Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Weekly" Q&A

Leave a name and a question.  And please, 1 question per person.

130 comments:

  1. Just a comment. 1 week into the version of the shake diet you gave me feedback on last Wednesday. Great progress so far. Only bummer is I tweaked my low-back on Front Squats. That means a few extra days off between training sessions, and so fewer real-food meal opportunities. However the new prominence of my hip bones and erectors is keeping my resolve strong so far.

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  2. Know of any lifting sites with decent forums? Some decent ones have really low activity (few posts a week), while more popular ones attract in a lot of newbies and internet only lifters who bring the quality down.

    -Andy

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    Replies
    1. Nope. As noted in the podcast, I don't visit forums anymore. Generally they are full of dumbasses and nut swingers. I don't even bother to look now.

      Delete
    2. Actually, Muscle and Brawn is a fairly no-BS forum that caters for bodybuilders and powerlifters with a real emphasis on strength training. Lots of people on it are readers of Paul and Jamie Lewis' blogs and there's a ton of good info there.

      Now for a question:
      Paul, I'm currently following the 85-93-100 program over a 10 week period for strength. What's the longest/shortest cycle you would recommend for that and could one expect to see gains if they tried 2-3 cycles of this nature in succession?

      I prefer being Joe Lifter with decent technique than Matt Douchefag doing 1/2 squats and doubled over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame!

      Delete
    3. Paul, what podcast were you on?

      Delete
    4. The one Jamie and I do every week that I post on here......

      Delete
  3. Hey Paul, been reading through your blog and love your philosophy on lifting. My question pertains to what you think is best in my situation. I'm 200 pounds (6'0) and at 20% bf, my lifts are s185/b185/dl200. By reading your blog I've realized I should cut down to 10% before bulking. My question is what do you think is better with my lifts and stats Starting Strength or SPPC?

    I just started Starting Strength 3x week with 30 mins cardio post weights and running on off days.

    Thanks for your time and I can't weight to get the ebook next payday.
    -Logan

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    Replies
    1. Either one is fine, just get your diet in order and keep the conditioning up. You're going to be a lot smaller than you think to get into that 10% range, but don't fret it. Big picture, stay the course.

      Delete
  4. Thanks, that's what's driving me right now, the big picture. I've realized that I'm gonna be smaller than I think I will be. But by focusing on lifting heavy I'll have a great foundation when I bulk. Again thanks for your time.

    -logan

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  5. For a bigger bench, after a heavy single/double/triple and a 10+ rep backdown set how much extra chest and tricep work should you do weekly?

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    Replies
    1. All depends on how much you need. I don't do a lot. After the back down set I usually just do a set of inclines and that's about it. For me, I don't need a lot. But everyone is different.

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  6. Just a comment, but im in the 3rd week of running your strong 15, and am absolutely destroying weights that were heavy a few weeks ago. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

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  7. Paul,

    Thanks for being here, and for being you. Just got your Philosophy of Training e-books and read "Mass" Good Shit. Love the no Bullshit approach.

    I've just recently gotten back to the gym after being out for about 20 years. My stats are... 39 years old, 5'11/265 lbs and about 20% Fat (ugh). I'm at 225x10 on the bench, 365x15 on the squat, and pressing 185x15 (standing). I'm making good gains every week.

    My question is about your spreadsheet... My next bench goal is 250x10. According to most 1RM calculators, If I can press 335, I should be able to grab 250 for 10. So.... Should I plug in 335 on the sheet? I would assume that this would apply to the other lifts? (Damn, 2 questions. Sorry).

    Take care. I really appreciate your blog. Just found it last night and I think I read the whole damn thing.

    Steve

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    Replies
    1. Plug it in and see what happens. That's the only way to know. Or just plug in 315. I always plug in lower. works better.

      Delete
  8. what would be the best replacement exercise for overhead press? Like Wendler, its one of my favorite upper body exercises but my school gym is prissy and gets butthurt when anyone does it.

    -Augustus

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    Replies
    1. Try doing go to a different gym's for 3 sets of 10.

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    2. They get pissy when you overhead press? I'm confused......

      Delete
  9. Paul,

    What do you think of using things like Fat Gripz for use during training?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't use em, but I don't think it's going to hurt anything.

      Delete
  10. If not forums, websites or blogs you keep up with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty much none, really. I will read Jamie's stuff and Jim's stuff, or if someone posts something on facebook to me, but not a whole lot. Nothing has really changed in lifting in 70 years so I don't feel the need to keep up with everyone else for the most part.

      Delete
  11. Hi Paul,

    Any thoughts on the following layout? Just working on size/strength, not doing a meet soon. For reference I'm around 375/285/475 S/B/D at 6'1" 225lbs so still have a ways to go.

    I like the way you laid out strong-15 so those are the cycles.

    Day1 Squat/dead
    Squat- cycle (pause squats replaced w/ 1xAMAP regular squats)
    Deads - cycle (same as strong-15)
    Abs

    Day2 Main press
    Bench - cycle (same as strong 15)
    Overheads - 3x5 heavy
    Dips - 50% set (rotate BW/weighted)
    Chins

    Day3 Rows/supporting press
    Rows (Rotate DB/BB/cable)- 50% set or 2x12 if BB rows.
    Incline - 2x10-12
    Something for rear delts

    And then small workouts as needed - 1-2 a week for biceps/triceps/abs/rear delts etc.

    Thanks Paul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are training for size why are you using the strong-15 instead of the big-15? Reps + food = size.

      Delete
    2. I just liked the way you laid out the strong-15, I think it's the best template you've built for actually getting stronger so I wanted to follow that for the main work and then use the other stuff to build size. The 50% sets and so forth.

      Delete
  12. You may have covered this, but what are your thoughts on essential strength training supplements for a "lifer"? Would something basic like Protein powder, fish oils, and creatine cover your bases, or do you recommend more like your BCAA's and such? Do you even recommend supplements? I would love you and Jamie to perhaps discuss this in a chaos and bang.

    Nate

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    Replies
    1. 1. animal pak
      2. bcaa
      3. good protein powder

      that's all I take and all I really recommend. universal has a joint pack that works really well too.

      Delete
    2. That's what I wanted to ask you about, I've been taking Animal Pak for about 9 months, and goddam, I've always been sickly my whole life and now I feel great - I wanted to ask if you reckon Animal Pak would do you any damage long term, LOOOONG term, like taking it until retirement? Assuming I'm lifting that long I never want to get off it.
      I know it's only a multi but there are some pretty mega dosages of shit that I am basically too dumb to understand and I figure wouldn't occur in a normal diet. I'm not a vegan naturopath or anything but my girlfriend is and she is always giving me shit about it, what do you think?

      Delete
    3. For a really in depth reply, talk to Silverhydra. He knows a lot about supplementation, having studied biochemistry and dietetics for his degree. It's not just a job for him either -- he tests his theories out on himself through his training. He's also a really swell guy, probably one of the nicest guys on the Internet.

      To give you a preliminary answer now, however, the thing I would worry about first is Vitamin A toxicity. However, that probably won't be a problem. One dose of Animal Pak has 9900IU of Vitamin A. A gallon of whole milk, in contrast, has just shy of 4000IU of Vitamin A. This would seem to be worrisome, however, for toxicity to actually be a problem, you would typically need to be taking 4000IU per kilogram of bodyweight every day for six months or a year. You'd have to eat nothing but liver and carrots on top of the Animal Pak to get even close to toxic levels, unless you weigh very little. Also, assuming that you're training hard and doing a lot of conditioning, your vitamin and mineral needs will probably be higher than the people that the FDA had in mind when they created the RDA chart. Keeping in mind, however, that Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, and will just build up in the body without fat to move it along, you'll not want to go on a low fat diet when you cut weight.

      Nothing else on the supplement facts list stands out as being even possibly dangerous. Vitamin D is technically a fat soluble vitamin, but practically everybody needs more Vitamin D anyway unless you live in the tropics, and you might even need it there if you have an office job. Furthermore, the threshold for toxicity in Vitamin D is even higher: over 50,000IU a day for several months will result in problems, but a dose of Animal Pak has only 680IU. Nothing to worry about there.

      The minerals all look pretty benign. Some of them have toxicity levels associated with them, but again, it's pretty hard to reach them, and your body's needs are different from those of the sedentary office worker who doesn't even lift. Several of them, like zinc and magnesium, a lot of people need more of anyway.

      I don't know anything about the amino acid complexes, but I remember Silverhydra speaking favorably of alanine and arginine. Glutamine apparently enhances training performance, and also strengthens the gut. Silverhydra also recommended carnitine. Really, the only useful thing I don't see in here is creatine.

      Jamie Lewis recommends digestive enzymes for blowing through a lot of meat. Animal Pak would be useful, therefore, if you start eating more meat, and even more useful if you go on the Apex Predator diet.

      All in all, it looks like a useful thing. But I would still get a second opinion from the guy who knows about these things if I were you.

      Maru

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    4. Slowfuse - I found the same. Once I started on the animal paks, I never got sick again. Jamie has found the same thing, as have lots of other guys I know that started taking them. Can't be coincidence.

      Delete
    5. Yea for real, I've taken a million different multis my whole life but I really think these magic pills are legit and more than a placebo.

      Thanks Maru for your in depth response, I think I'll keep researching and stay on 'em until someone can otherwise indicate they'll do me damage long term.

      Personally, I hate being a supp whore beyond a good cup of coffee and some whey,

      cheers,

      Delete
  13. Hey Paul im running the shake diet!! And its going well only thing is I was doing steady state on a morning then lifting at night. I've found im completely drained tho doing both so my question is

    Would it be ok to lift on a night followed by 20-30 mins steady state or should the conditioning take priority and should I scale bk my lifting??

    Love the blog btw thanks bro

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Paul,

    Your writing helped inspire me to finally stop worrying about getting weaker and to strip the fat and get in shape. I had been running 5/3/1 for the past 7-8 months with solid gains. I took some of your philosophies and some of my own and came up with the following program. I would love your thoughts.

    Lower and Upper A/B workouts (alternating between heavy squat/light dead and vice versa, and heavy overhead/light bench and vice versa). Week 1 would be A week, week 2 is B week. rinse repeat. I'm using pause squats for the light squat movement, deadlift with chains for the light deads movement (hey, they're kinda fun and interesting), DB bench for light bench, and DB overhead for light overhead work (this might change). Lifting is twice a week.

    Monday:
    Lower A/B alternating weekly
    upper back work (I typically like cable rows and pulldowns, might try out t-bar rows)
    abs if I'm feeling saucy

    Weds: hills

    Friday:
    Upper A/B alternating weekly
    upper back work

    Saturday: hills

    Every day I get in some walking and I throw in some chins and band face pulls at my apartment. Never stressful, just bust out some reps when I walk by the chin up bar.

    Weights are progressed similarly to your big15 protocol, though I reduce overall volume a bunch. What I do is give conservative maxes for all my lifts, then run the %s for the 5/3/1 week (75/85/95). I hit just the prescribed reps and I do a backoff set with the 5-rep weight. In two weeks when that movement comes up again, I have to beat the reps to move my max up 5lbs. I think this keeps volume and intensity manageable while also giving me conservative goals to strive for while I focus on fat loss, and I can easily do a 2 steps forward 1 step back as I get lighter.

    Diet wise, pretty simple.

    Non-training:
    wake @ 8 a.m. Nothing but coffee.
    11 a.m. - 1 scoop whey and 1/2 cup oats in water.
    2 p.m. - 8 oz chicken, veggies + a little olive oil, ~100g of rice.
    afternoon snack: 3 hardboiled eggs, banana
    dinner: 8 oz chicken, veggies. no carbs.
    evening: 1 scoop whey in some greek yogurt.

    training day is the same, except I have a sandwich for dinner instead, 2 slices wheat bread, mustard, tomato, onion, and roast beef. I have a little something post-workout too.

    macro-wise it's ~200g of protein, 100g/200g of carbs non-training/training day, and 2000-2200 cals. I currently weigh 230, probably in the 25-30% BF range (I was 242 at a meet in march).

    Anything you would alter? Tonight is my first hill sprint. Looking forward to it.

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    Replies
    1. Not really. This looks well thought out. Nice job. I like that you have upperback work in each session regardless. Good man.

      Delete
  15. Hi Paul. Just did my first run of strong 15 but subbed press for bench. Gained a total of 17.5 kg all round so thanks for the program! I really need to drop 15 to 20 pounds so must focus on this for a few months. Do you have a programming suggestion for lifting while losing? I believe I can still push myself through a strong 15 session but the intensity and the extra assistance work leaves me pretty beat and wanting to stuff my face. Thanks again - Tom

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    Replies
    1. The only thing I change in my programming when dieting is that I drop my big training sessions down to twice a week. Everything else, principle wise, stays the same.

      Delete
  16. Paul,

    I have had great success in the past 8 months with 5/3/1 programming. I would like to essentially do your squat push pull 12 month challenge but maintain the 5/3/1 sets on squat, bench, deadlift, and press. I was thinking it would look something like this:

    Day 1-
    Squats 5/3/1
    Press 5/3/1
    SLDL 3x10

    Day 2-
    Lunges 5x10
    Bench 5/3/1
    Weighted Chins 10, 8, 6, 5, 5, 5

    Day 3-
    Pause Squats Cycle
    Incline Bench 10, 8, 6, 5, 5, 5
    Deadlift 5/3/1

    Everything else would be the same in terms of conditioning and restoration. I don't want to bastardize your template, I just want to keep what is working (5/3/1 programming) and take ideas from your 12 month challenge. What are you thoughts on this?

    Thanks,

    -John

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  17. Hi Paul, for clean and overhead press, which option is better: the one where you clean and press the weight at each and every rep or the one where you clean the weight at the first rep and afterwards you push it for the following reps ?
    Hope my question makes any sense to you :))
    Thank you,
    Marius

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  18. Rippetoe is holding a Squat, OHP, Deadlift meet at his gym in TX in November.

    http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/event/rippetoe_invitational

    I know you've got another meet planned, but you could go give token squats and pulls, and then show off your pressing skills now with extra-freakishness due to your Klokov race with Jamie, heh.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Not exactly a Q, but you and Jaime could invite to the show dudes like George Leeman, Stan Efferding, Mark Bell, Wendler, Dante Trudell, Steve Pulcinella, Dave Tate etc. It would be pretty interesting to know what Stan Efferding or Jim Wendler thinks about the beetus.

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  20. I would be interested in a blog post on HRT if you ever have time to do one. The pros and cons and whatever else is useful to know.

    Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. I should add wrt to older trainees (35+), not darksiding or anything.

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    2. understood Mike. Will do man.

      Delete
  21. Here's a question: can you start a separate page just for Nealstar so he can post his rambling dumb stuff and hang off your nuts there instead? No need for him to post on every goddamn thing you type.

    And I know you hate it too because you ignore him more than half the time and you're not one to shit talk much in your comment section. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL I try to answer everything that comes in because I know some guys "big time" people as far as that goes. I also have appreciated his write ups for several of my templates. So I don't hate it at all.

      so long as someone isn't asking a question that I've already answered 5 times THAT week, I'm generally fine. That's how the diet rant started. lol

      Delete
  22. BTN press as an accesory lift on MP days on 5/3/1, yes or no?

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    Replies
    1. No. You already overhead pressed heavy. Do something else IMO. Incline, db bench, or dip......

      Delete
  23. So, what are the "Small Session"s for? I feel like there's something I'm missing?

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  24. Thoughts on tricep pushdowns? I'm surprised at how many good benchers over the years seem to use them for accessory work. Also curious how they compare in your mind to skulls for adding tricep strength.

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    Replies
    1. Nothing magical about them. Bicep work is actually better for increasing your bench than a bunch of tricep work. Why? They stabilize the elbow and shoulder joint. The more stable a joint is, the stronger the structure is.

      Delete
    2. Although I am far from a strong bench presser, being involved with arm wrestling(which I suck at as well) taught me how involved the biceps are in benching. After an a intense arm wrestling session, if I would press even a week after it would feel as if my biceps wanted to snap off my arm. I have not neglected direct biceps work since I have never felt better.

      Delete
  25. I've a couple of cycles of big 15 and had good results with it. I'm about to start another round but wanted to sub squats for front squats (partially coz back squats aggrovate my shoulder, part just coz I like front squats). What kind of rep ranges would you recommend? I was thinking of doing 6-8 sets of triples with really short rest instead of the AMAP, any thoughts on this?
    Thanks
    Steve

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  26. Mikelina

    Is there any major difference between your programs (Strong-15/Big-15) and 5/3/1? I've been running 5/3/1 for a year now and am interested in experimenting with one of your programs.

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    Replies
    1. It depends on what you call major. Mine and Jim's principles are similar but 5/3/1 isn't the "same" as the strong/big-15.

      Delete
    2. Well I guess what I mean is, do you think it would be to my benefit to try out Strong-15? I bought your e-book and it seems really solid. I don't necessarily have a meet coming up, but as I'm trying to drop weight (need to get into a lower weight class), I figure a strength program will be better than a hypertrophy one.

      Delete
    3. then you'd be right. Run it and program light. Let me know how you are doing as you go.

      Delete
  27. I have been busting my ass on getting bigger and stronger for the past 14 weeks. Just pulled a 575 deadlift and I'm the biggest I have ever been, however, I will be going with my gf to Brazil this summer for 4 weeks and I'm afraid I'm going to lose some size when I'm there. Should I try to workout there? I'll be in Rio so I know there are a lot of gyms. What do you usually do for workouts while on vacation?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suggest you enjoy the time on vacation and don't train. Bang your girl, get on the beach, and relax. Lifting will be there when you get back.

      Delete
    2. To add on to this, just remember to eat in sufficient volume, especially if you're out walking/swimming/banging your girl a lot. Fortunately, I think the Brazilians have something of a love affair with steak, and cost of living has got to be pretty low even in a tourist town like Rio, so getting lots of protein shouldn't be much of a problem.

      Delete
    3. Hi,

      I'm from Rio so I thought I'd chime in. Depending on how much time you're spending here and where you're staying, I'll be happy to show you the gym I go to. I say this because depending on where you lift, they won't let you deadlift and won't have a squat rack. I'll have to disagree with Paul, 4 weeks is a LOT of time to not train. Cost of living is fairly high here in Rio, actually. You wouldn't believe how much a tub of whey costs and steak is not necessarily cheap depending on where you buy it.

      Mike Tuchscherer spent a week or so here during carnival and he managed to lift a couple of times with me too.

      If you want a local contact, add me on facebook. I go by Carlos Daniel Llosa.

      Delete
    4. Yo, thanks man! That would be awesome. I definitely want to enjoy my vacation but thought about training like 2-3 times a week. I'll give you an add on fb!

      Oh, and thanks Paul! BTW, those Klokov presses are fucking insane! I'm guessing Klokov does not train like a traditional olympic lifter, dude is jacked.

      Delete
  28. Hey Paul,

    I’m 20, 6’3”, and 190 lbs. My max numbers are 135,200,275 in the OHP, Bench, and Squat. I’m looking to drop bf% and increase strength this summer. My current routine is a 4 day a week upper/lower split. I’m focusing on bringing my ohp and bench max up and I want to get my 5x10 squat weight up as well, which is currently sitting at 195. 1 would like to hit a 155 ohp and 225 bench by the end of summer and would like to get my squat 5x10 weight to 250. This is what I have been doing so far and would like to know if there is anything that you would change. Anything listed without a % is done light with little to no rest to get a good pump.

    Upper 1
    1a. Pullups 50 reps
    1b. Bench 4x3@85%
    2. OHP 10x3@85%
    3. Chest Supported Row 5x10
    4a. Seated Side Raise 3x10
    4b. Seated Front Raise 3x10
    4c. Seated DB OHP 3x10
    5a. Triceps Extensions 5x10
    5b. Cable Biceps Curls 5x10

    Lower 1
    1. Squat 5x10 (heavy)
    2. GHR 5x10 BW
    3. Lunges 3x20
    4. Calves 5x10
    5. DB Shrugs 3x20
    6. Facepulls 5x10

    Upper 2
    1a. Pullups 50 reps
    1b. Bench 5x2 95%
    2. OHP 3x5 80%
    3. Chest Supported Row 5x10
    4a. Side Raise 3x10
    4b. Front Raise 3x10
    4c. DB OHP 3x10
    5a. Triceps Extensions 5x10
    5b. Cable Biceps Curls 5x10

    Lower 2
    1. Squat 5x10 (heavy)
    2. GHR 5x10
    3. Bulgarian Split Squat 3x10
    4. Calves 5x10
    5. BB Shrugs 10x3 (heavy)
    6. Facepulls 5x10

    I was wondering if there is anything in my lifting that you would change in order to better help me achieve my goals. Also, I was wondering if you think it would be a decent idea for me to run GSP’s Rushfit dvd’s alongside my current lifting. A coupld of my friends have done it and it seems like it’ll be a fun way to get some cardio and light workouts in while developing coordination and just getting overall more athletic. Any help would be greatly appreciated and sorry this is such a long post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JFC way too much god damned shit. You can't be serious.

      My suggestion is to take some time and read through my blog and look at the routines I suggest and my philosophy about training.

      Jack of all trades master of none.

      Delete
  29. what's your diet look like these days?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Paul, quick question on lifting sore, I take 4-6 days to get over Doms from squatting or deadlifting, should I lift again even if I'm sore or am inhibiting recover and gains?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lift when sore all the time. If you get that sore, my suggestion is to get in a light squat/deadlift workout 2-3 days after it to make the soreness subside faster. This will help tremendously.

      Delete
  31. Is Jamie still rocking the New Balance Minimus shoes for training?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL I don't pretend to keep up with what shoes Jamie be wearing.

      Delete
    2. Fair enough. I bought a pair based on his writing about them, lightweight, no heel lift and relatively cushion free soles, so good for lifting plus comfy as f*ck...

      Was just wondering if he had discovered anything better...Thanks for the reply.

      Delete
    3. I will check them out now.......

      Delete
  32. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TbgbLJSyO3s/T8_zGFFESqI/AAAAAAAAASg/GLeUREoiEe4/s1600/LRB+shirt.jpg
    Dude how did you get such a big back?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your replies. Your blog motivates me to be more consistent with training, and showing that things are simple (not easy) is very helpful. Again thank you.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your great compliments! I appreciate that.

      Delete
  33. What do you recommend for someone to fat or to weak to do chins and dips?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tons of pulldowns, and use the dip/chin assisted machine. Get in shape so that you drop some unnecessary fat. Get after it man.

      Delete
  34. is dynamic effort work not worth the time for somone who doesnt want to compete and just wants to get strong, and if so what would you recommend in its place? thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Assistance/support work for high reps, lots of volume. Like I do in my small workouts.

      Delete
  35. Do you ever get really nervous before a big lift? I'm a relative beginner, and lately I've been pretty nervous going into the gym. I'm not really worried about hurting myself (I use good form & a power rack for everything), it's more like I'm worried that I'll disappoint myself.

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    Replies
    1. Yes of course. That's normal. If it's a new PR on the squat or pull, I feel the same way. I want it really bad and if I miss it, I know I will have to deal with disappointment.

      However I try to apply the same rule to missing a lift as I do when I hit a PR. I don't get too high on the PR, or too low on the miss. So if I miss, I jut say "fuck, ok, well we'll go at it again in the future......." and leave it at that.

      Delete
  36. Hi Paul,

    This is my routine at present. I'd appreciate any suggestions/tips. My goal is strength and my best lifts are 247 bench, 308 squat, 396 deadlift. This is working well at the moment but is there any fluff you'd remove or anything that should be added?

    Tuesday
    Deadlift - Work up to heavy single, 2 back of sets of 3 - Began at 308
    Power Shrugs - 5 sets of 3
    Ez Curl 3 sets, hit 20 rep total to increase weight

    Wednesday
    Bench - Work up to heavy single - 2 sets of 5 back off began at 70%, 2 sets of Pause Bench began at 60%
    Strict Press - 5/3/1 style format
    Weighted Dips - 3 sets, hit 20 reps to increase weight
    Weighted pulls/chins - 3 sets (hit 12 reps to increase weight)
    Paused squat - 5/3/1 style

    Friday
    Power Cleans - work to heavy single, 2 sets of 3 back off
    Pendlay Rows - 5 sets of 3
    Rack Pulls - Work to heavy single
    Hammer Curls - Same as EZ curls

    Saturday
    Push Press - work to heavy single - 2 sets of 5 back off, 2 x 5 strict press.
    Close Grip Bench - 5/3/1 style
    Paused Bench - 5/3/1 style

    Sunday
    Squats - work to heavy single - 2 x 5 back off + 2 x 5 paused squat
    Good Morning - 3 sets of 5
    Leg Press - 3 sets of 5
    Calf Raises - In between sets of other exercises

    I should state that I am using a 10 week cycle where I start at 80-87% and work my way up for the singles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too much. Too many days a week for big sessions and too many movements.

      Delete
  37. Hey Paul,

    recently moved in with my girlfriend and obviously cutting costs where I can. You recommend both BCAAs and protein powder, which one would you recommend when you're on a budget (meaning, I can't really buy both)?

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    Replies
    1. Go with the protein powder.

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    2. Much obliged Paul. I take it this is because they already contain BCAAs anyway.

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    3. Right. And if you look around, some of them add extra BCAA to the mix, so that'd be a 2 for 1 combo right there.

      Delete
    4. I looked it up for you Carl, Monster Milk has almost 12 grams of BCAA in it. I'd go with that. And you can look around online and generally find it on the cheap and at a good price.

      Delete
    5. Awesome, thanks a lot Paul. Really appreciate you actually looking around too. I'll get to finding a good deal on MM right away.

      Delete
  38. Hi Paul,

    I found out about this site just a few weeks ago and I've been a big fan ever since.

    My question relates to marijuana use during training and it's use as a “performance enhancer.” For obvious reasons, this tends to be a taboo subject in most circles, but especially in the area of weight training and fitness specifically. I've done as much research in this area as I've been able to do online, however a lot of what I've found has been anecdotal at best.

    What is your personal opinion on it and do you feel that this has a place within serious and legitimate training?

    Personally, I find that smoking after an intense training session helps me focus on my recovery immediately afterwards but seems to delay and lessen the onset of DOMS. It also goes without saying that it helps me eat big and assists greatly with sleep.

    I've done this practice for a while now and I've not had any issues with overall performance or strength gains, and I condition hard 3 to 4 times per week as well with no issues there either.

    I understand that these results are completely individual and I'm not looking for you to legitimize my practice, but I was curious how many people out there share my experiences however just don't discuss it because of the controversy swirling around this topic.

    I figure if it's good enough for Arnold, it's good enough for me.

    Thanks again Paul for your contributions!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I wrote a question about knee pain and an uneven stance while squatting a little while ago, and you suspected it was a pelvic issue and told me to go see a chiropractor, even though i said that wasn't a possibility.

    Well i decided to listen to you anyways, and i have been going to the chiropractor for one and a half week now, and had x-rays taken today. My chiropractor concluded from the x-rays that my left leg is longer than the right, which causes my hips to rotate and my spine to curve inorder to compensate for the difference in leg length.

    The chiropractor told me that there wasn't really any way to fix this, and that the goal would be to restore optimal function with the way things are and allow me to move pain-free. He told me to do high rep low weight leg presses for the time being inorder to promote bloodflow and recovery of my knee, and then when it no longer bothers my knee at all, i can go to light squats.

    The plan is to do legpresses with light weight the rest of the summer, and really take my time before i start squatting, and then start out really light. My max is shit, and probably around 200 pounds give or take a little. I'm thinking about following a slow progression plan, and picking a very conservative max such as 135 pounds, when the time for squatting comes.

    What are your thoughts on this rehab plan, and do you think i will actually be able to move some heavy weights in the long run(years) with the leg length problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally if I were you, I'd do lots of 1 legged work and get good at deadlifts. The other option is to get a shoe with a lift in it. You could ask about that. My wife had to have one before her hip surgery.

      Delete
    2. He did talk about the lift in shoes, and he didn't recommend it. He doesn't believe it's a good long time solution, and recommends that we work towards maximum function with how it is.

      Im definitely gonna focus on deadlifts, and the 1 leg work sounds like a good idea, i guess we're talking lunges and split-squats?

      How's your view on squats with this dysfunction - is it possible to get decent at them?

      Delete
  40. Hi Paul,

    I read you say skull crushers are bad for elbows. What is it abput them that makes it bad?
    What i'm trying to figure out is that are all extensions bad, just the ones with a bar or only the skull ones?

    thanks!
    Jari

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way most people do them, they let the elbows put the brakes on to stop the movement. Over time that eventually takes a toll on the joints and you'll pay for it.

      Delete
  41. Hey Paul,

    I just discovered your website about two weeks ago. After flipping through copious amounts of past articles, I've decided to do your SPPC challenge combined with the LRB diet. You don't see a problem starting the challenge this late in the year do you? Part of my problem has been a lack of motivation, but I think I'm ready to just get brutally strong at a few movements and see how it goes from there.

    Thanks,
    Joseph

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Paul,

    A few eeks ago I wote to you about failing on DL w/505 from the floor. Took a week off after Rack Pulling and went to pull from the floor today. Well I sucked giant moose cock today. Everything else is going up. Since everything else is going up, I guess I should expect something to suck, especially since I DL later in the week. With that being said, I remember reading templates where you alternate squat/pull week to week or do variations. Was thinking of doing:
    Week 1
    1. Back Squat sets of 1-3's
    2. Rack Pulls sets of 5+
    3. Lunges

    Week 2
    1. DL from floor-Singles
    2. Front Squats sets of 3-5's
    3. GHR

    Any thoughts on this. Was thinking of using Big15 for both squat & DL

    Thanks,
    Jason

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd go......

      week 1 - squat, pause squat, GM or SLDL

      week 2 - dead, fronts, abs

      I'd use the strong-15 for the dead. Keep the reps low.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Paul, I'll give it a shot

      Jason

      Delete
  43. I am going to try 2 heavy workouts a week, Sun and Wed. Squat one day and deadlift the other. What would be best for the lower back, having the 3 days rest after squats or after deadlifts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Squat on Sunday and pull on Wednesday if you're gonna do it that way.

      Delete
  44. 2 ?s paul, how many lbs should someone at 18% bf lose a week? and for your top 3 supplements can you tell me in your opinion why bcaas? and how you had it ahead of protein powder. why is bcaas so good)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pounds per week, just look for 1-1.5 or so. First week or two could be more.

      No particular order really. But BCAA's have been proven valuable to me in helping me train and recover.

      Delete
    2. is there a brand you recommend personally? i hear purple wrath and i think scivation are top from peoples opinions which one do you take paul? might as well ask you what kind of protein do you take as well? some guys customize there own at trueprotein.com or such

      Delete
    3. For the BCAA I like the USP Labs, but Scivation is good as well.

      For protein I really like the Dymatize ISO-100.

      Delete
  45. K, so I've been reading a lot of training stuff from guys like Dave Tate and Jim Wendler, and a lot of times they recommend or program box squats (often in addition to regular squats). I'm not a powerlifter, I don't use any gear (except a belt on squat work sets - and that's to remind me to push my abs out), and I don't really get the point of box squats if you don't wear suits (so I agree with you). Here's the question: in their programs and/or program suggestions, should I just replace the box squats with regular squats, or should I replace them with something else?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think Jim recommend box squat anymore. It's usually squats or safety bar squats.

      So try the safety bar squats, or if you don't have one, do front squats.

      Delete
    2. Ok, thanks. I was rereading Wendler's and Tate's "Basic Training" and box squats and board presses seemed kinda emphasized. But I guess it might be a bit older and geared for geared powerlifters. I appreciate the input!

      Delete
  46. Hi Paul. Will you Big 15 and Strong 15 Templates be included in the new ebook, or do we have to purchase those seperately. Also do you cover getting lean in the new book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The new strong-15 and big-15 are in the book plus tons of other templates.

      Delete
  47. Not a Q Paul, but I was reading old topics here where people were talking shit about tnation, I had never gone there and after reading it I decided to go check that place out. I thought you'd get a good laught out of it, here is the first thing you notice when you go to to the site, the new article called "How I really train", by Dan John, and here's the description:

    "So how does a strength training legend actually train, day in, day out? It's probably the way you should be training."

    Wow what a rumble guy, calling himself strength training legend even though I never heard of him. Anyway, here's how this "legend" trains:

    Monday:
    Turkish get ups
    Clean and presses with KBs
    TRX Rip trainer
    KB Presses

    Tuesday:
    Mobility work
    Ab wheel and bench

    Wedns:
    KB squats

    Friday:
    KB snatch


    So this "legend" doesn't deadlift, doesn't squat ( kb squats don't count, you can't go heavy on that stuff ) and instead does a lot of kettlebell fad exercises. yeah what a legend

    Site's a joke, never going to another internet board again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be fair, that's t-nation calling him a legend. Dan is actually a very good and solid dude. It's t-bag's responsibility to build their guys up like that in order to make them seem above everyone else. But Dan knows his shit and is a very good guy.

      MY guess is he trains that way now because he's older and does what he needs to do. I am guessing he would not train a young buck or an athlete like that.

      With that said, t-bag nation still sucks my hairless sack.

      Delete
    2. To the OP:

      Mind you, Dan's just had a hip replacement. You should take that into account.

      Delete
    3. So there ya go. I like Dan John. solid guy and solid information.

      Delete
  48. Paul

    To others out there wondering about the programs, they are awesome, big15 is unreal, made just crazy gains, at first it may feel like its "not enough" but just be smart with it, if youre good to it, itll love you back i promise.

    got a quick q as well about conditioning.

    Was wondering what you thought about running suicides on a basketball court for conditioning yay/nay? I keep rest btwn them around 30-45 seconds as well.

    Blog is sweet, shirts are legit, podcasts are the bees knees, keep it up bro, hope training and the fam is doing well.

    Ryan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ryan - Do em. I like any kind of stuff like that.

      Delete
  49. With rows, do you like to do heavier? Or lighter with a lot of reps and sets? I like to go lighter with a lot of reps and sets because I tend to lose form with heavier rows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always make sure on rows I can actually make the back work, and not just sling weight around. Even with 7 plates on, I tried to keep my reps strict. Not heaving. I don't like shitty rows.

      Delete
  50. Who would you consider the best overall athletes? For arguments sake lets define “overall” as exhibiting qualities of strength, speed, endurance, and badassity /toughness

    Pro football players
    Professional Cross fit athletes
    Pro Rugby Players
    Professional Strongman athletes
    Pro MMA fighters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that's a great question.

      I'd have to give that a toss up between pro football players and pro MMA players........

      Delete
    2. Not one people generally think of due to the nature of the way the sport looks but certain Gymnasts have superb physiques and are really really strong. Excellent balance, speed, flexibility as well. Probably have to be a Pound for Pound discussion though cos theyre generally not big guys.

      Delete
  51. I've been squatting quite frequently these days (5 times a week), and my calves have been hurting recently. Today it hurt too bad to do any productive squatting.
    I'm gonna take two days of break on squats, and start doing more higher-rep stuff of ten or more reps for a lot of sets, still 4-5 times a week, and come back to lower-rep heavier work when my calves feel better. In the meanwhile I'll be stretching and icing my calves. I feel that I should also do some direct calf work as well, which is something I've never done in my life. What do you think about my plan?

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember my calves doing that when I did that Russian squat routine. That's what derailed it for me.

      Take the break, you have an overuse injury. My guess is you started out way too heavy.

      You should be fine after a break from the squats. But give it plenty of time to heal up before you go back to squatting.

      Delete
  52. What benefit do you think behind the neck shoulder presses confer, that the regular shoulder presses in front of the neck cannot, other than offering shoulder flexibility?

    B. L.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better shoulder stability, and flat out, better pressing strength. If you can press behind the neck a fuck ton, your shoulders are going to be stable and strong as fuck.

      Delete
  53. Paul,
    What do you think of my program? I ran it for 8 weeks after not lifting for over 2 years and had some great results. Thought maybe I wasn't doing enough leg work though.


    monday
    cg bench-2x5-12
    seated db press
    pushdowns
    or
    incline bench-2x5-12
    weighted dips
    pushdowns

    wed
    squats-2x10+
    speed deads-8x3 fast
    adductors
    calves
    or
    squats-2x4-6
    deads-1x3-5
    adductors
    calves

    thursday
    upper back/biceps

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't comment on "programs" without knowing a bit of what it was you were trying to accomplish.

      One routine isn't any better than the other really. You have to know WHY you are doing that particular routine.

      And what are your training philosophies?

      That's a bigger question to answer than "does this routine look ok?"

      Delete