Monday, January 9, 2012

More on the 2012 SPPC challenge + weekly Q&A

Some tips I have for those of you that will in fact do this for the full year.  Also, the Q&A......leave a name and a question!!!!!!!

  • If you said you were going to do it, do it.  No excuses.  No bullshit.  You're only as good as your word.  If you get injured, rehab it and still do what you can.  But dig down for 12 months and do it.
  • You will stall.  Don't be a bitch about it.  Expect it.  However if you don't get overzealous with your programming, you should not stall often.  If you do stall, go back to phase 1 (there's no way you should be stalling in phase 1 ever!) of that planned cycle and do it again.  
  • Take some of the quarter blocks (3 month period) and cruise on the squat, push, pull and push the movements you can substitute HARD.  This will give you a mental break from worrying about the big 3.  Try to set some PR's on the assistance.  
  • Take another block and push the conditioning while cruising on the big lifts if you are out of shape.  Don't do this out of the gate.  Wait until you feel like you are ready for this.  Still keep it to 20 minutes, but try to get in more work in that same 20 minute time frame.  
  • Take your recovery days serious.  This is the time you do stuff to feel good and not get burnt.  Do some fun stuff, take a good walk, stretch, foam roll, and sleep extra if you can.  This is why the two recovery days work well on the weekend.  Make sure you work on the rotator cuffs and stretch the hip flexors and piriformis as much as possible.  
  • Don't underestimate the factor of sleep.  Again, get extra on the weekends if you can.  There's generally no reason you can't if you really plan for it.  
  • If  you are after mass, make sure you are below the bodyfat threshold (15% max) before you start eating big.  Then limit the big eating to 1 block.  So you'll get 3 months of "mass building" eating before you need to reevaluate where you are.  Don't turn into a fucking glutton.  Quality over quantity.  
  • You can still run this program if you are preparing for a meet.  It is, after all, based around the squat, bench, and deadlift.  
Now ask away whores.  And I hope all of you are having terrible fucking Monday's.  Mine sucks.  So should yours!!!!    >:-[  


  1. Hey Paul,

    I'm wondering what sort of stretches you recommend for the recovery days? Also would you do stuff like face pulls and maybe some knee flexion work (leg curls or GHRs) on these days as well. I noticed you recommended curls and calf raises as well so I was wondering how rotator cuff work would fit into this.
    I was also wondering if there was any way to work in grip work into a template like the one you provided.

  2. If you look at my developing your raw squat stuff I talk about hip flexor, piri, and hamstring stretching.

    Face pulls, leg curls, curls, etc all sound good. Just don't go berserk on them. Remember it's a recovery day. Throw in the cuff work too.

    Grip work I'd throw in once a week on one of these days.

  3. Paul,

    Why is it ok that guys wear skinny jeans and weigh less than their girl? I am pretty amazed at how their has been a shift away from testosterone. I think a rant article or essay may be in the makings here...


  4. Parker - I am writing about this in the new book. It's going to encompass more than just training stuff.

    But let me just say that prosperity breeds weakness into most societies. We have been a very prosperous nation for a while, and in a lot of ways it is weakening us. When you have to listen to emo kids whine about how much their life sucks as they sit in the back of their mom's $80k range rover you know we're breeding a race of pussified individuals.

  5. Paul, I am cutting weight from a chubby 18% body fat with a goal towards 12%. Although my energy levels are normal and I can distract myself from cravings by staying busy, I can feel it has been affecting my squats and bench to the point that I am concerned I will miss reps that I have hit before. Should I just accept that I will have to program even lighter than before until I reach the target body fat percentage?

  6. Hey Paul,

    What's the best way to even things out if you find you have one arm noticeably stronger than the other? It's not the result of an injury or anything...just a lifetime of bad habits/poor form.

    - Frank

  7. I'm trying to get one of my friends to start lifting- in your opinion, what's the best beginner's program for a skinny 30-year old nerd who has never lifted anything or been at all physically active in his life?

  8. Hey Paul,

    I asked a few weeks ago about problems with my biceps/coracobrachialis. It feels better. The only thing it bothers me on is benching. I'm still getting stronger, I notice when I'm not as tight in my set up then I feel it a bit. Wondering if you ahve dealt with this and what you did? I'm going to get some ART on it. Was thinking about going with floor or board presses for awhile and maybe bringing my grip closer. Doesn't hurt when I OHP. What do you think?


  9. Hi Paul,

    I remember reading somewhere you have a SRT8, what do you think of the new Dodge Charger? Especially the back light cluster.

    (And yes I know it's not that new anymore, I've just been out of the country for a while).

    Thanks fella.

  10. Paul what kind of warmup would you recommend on the conditioning days?

  11. I'm in starting today. Been bouncing around programs and within 5 to 10 pounds of the same weights for the past year.


  12. Frank - One way to do that is to use single arm work and work the weakest arm first. Go to failure then only perform that number of reps with the strongest arm. So if you get 12 reps with the weak arm, only do 12 with the strong one.

    Ramon - Yes. You're going to be weaker in a calorie deficit. However if it's constant and you're REALLY losing a shit ton of strength, reevaluate things. You might want to bump calories up just a little bit on workout days in the morning. Remember, big picture here.

    MB - Starting strength is a great place to start.

    Jason - I'd say go to getting bad ass at overhead pressing and do light-medium weight benches. This is what Benni does.

    Steven - I am not a fan of the new Chargers at all. They look kinda like the new Skyline's. Which is a great car, but not in 4 door.

    Dave - Not a bad idea to start things off with a 10 minute walk then a couple of light runs of whatever it is you are going to be doing. So if it's sprints, just run 2-3 at 50% speed until you feel loose. Apply to any conditioning work you plan on doing.

  13. I need to diet down from 270 to 200-200. Is it a waste of time for me to do hypertrophy(high volume/high rep) work while I'm dieting? What kind of changes should I make to my training while losing 1-2 lbs/week?

  14. Yo Paul, I asked this a couple blog posts back but didn't get a reply, anyway - what do you use/recommend for measuring bf%? If you don't answer this time I'll take the hint.
    (a different)Frank

  15. Slowfuse - Sorry if I missed it. Just use some calipers and use the Pollock 7 Caliper method. If you can get fancier that's cool too. But just having a ballpark idea should be good enough. Just make sure you get all measurements done 3 times.

    JW - Not a waste at all. Just keep training hard and heavy. You will actually retain more mass that way by asking your body to keep the muscle you have built.

  16. Paul,

    I am an older recreational lifter just wanting to get/stay strong. I'm 48 and was looking at your programs. Are there any adjustments you'd make for the older lifter (big 15)? I am in good shape and no major injuries or anything to limit me (other than being fucking old)...


  17. I'm older too John. Not in years but mileage.

    Best thing to do, is just plug is some conservative maxes and go after it.

    Another thing I like to do now is, for the assistance work, up the volume per movement and do like 20 reps but LIGHT. I mean like 80 pound barbell curls and 135 pound barbell rows. So go heavier on the main lift then really light with high volume right after. This is what my LRB template is built on. I think you will like that.

  18. Awesome, thank you! I'll give the light assistance a shot- its awfully easy to be tempted to go heavier....

  19. Paul,

    Here you said "Take some of the quarter blocks (3 month period)" Did you mean 3 week period or 3 months...?

    Thank you