Wednesday, August 8, 2012


The last few weeks training has not been great.  I don't need a no-deload deload as much as I just need a reboot in terms of backing off.

Sometimes I don't differentiate between the two, but there is.

No-deload deload = Fuck the gym, fuck weights, I need a break and to get hungry again.

Reboot = I still desire to train, but shit isn't going good.  In fact, I want grandma's to die training has been going so bad.

On a reboot, here is the deal.

1.  Back off - Back way the fuck off in terms of total tonnage.  Stop trying to hit PR's.  Dial the intensity level (both in terms of real intensity, and perceived) back and start light.  If a lift has stalled or regressed, just reset it but don't try to face fuck it into progressing.  It's just going to revolt.  This is a time to be kind and gentle.

2.  Change support work - I do not believe in that horse shit broscience called CNS burnout.  I do however believe that excitement and/or boredom play a huge part in training success.  Sometimes you just hate doing the same god damn movement over and over again.  Switch it up.

3.  Move some shit around.  If I have separated my squat and dead, I'll often throw em back in together again for a while.  If they are together, I will split them up.  It doesn't seem like much, and it doesn't change the philosophy of what you're doing.  However it can be enough to give you a break from the monotony that existed to recharge progress.

You don't need to overhaul your "routine" in order to get the fire stoked again.  Just reset your shit, and don't sweat it.  As you can see, I just had a terrible session and I am not sweating it.  I know I have just fallen into the valley and need to take a few small steps forward, rather than trying to run back up the hill with blood on my shoes.

Makes no sense I know, but fuck it, it sounded good.

As a reboot here is my changes........

Monday - Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Bench - strong-15 but light
Seated Db Press - 5x10
Pushdowns - 100 reps

Wednesday - Squats and Pulls
Pause Squats - leg is still not healed so I'm sticking with the lighter pause squats for now.  Will work on speed at 365 for high volume
Sumo or Conventional Deads - either 1x8 or a ton of doubles using the 24/45 method
Single Leg Work - 100 reps

Saturday - Back/Biceps
Shrugs - 8x8 light and explosive to start
Cable Rows - 100 reps
Poundstone Curls - 1x100+

That's it for meow.  Remember, when things are shitty it doesn't take a total overhaul to get back on the progressive track.  Just some fine tinkering and the understanding of where you are at in terms of peaks and valleys.


  1. Very timely. I'm at that weird place too where everything is slighty "off". It's not even close to a point I want/need a hiatus, but I'm also not cutting work early to get in the gym. I think I just need to get out of my fucking basement and train amongst human beings for a day or two. As you said, the little things.

  2. I think this is a really great post to come after all of the "Lifer" installments. I'm sure you didn't plan it that way (why the fuck would you? You don't need gimmicks to get us to believe what you're saying), but it just goes to reinforce the philosophy that shines through from those Lifer posts.

    You've experienced enough, and have enough time under the iron, to know when to reboot, when to back off a little and when to really go balls to the wall. It's really awesome that instead of just keeping that knowledge/wisdom to yourself, you share it with all of us.

    I caught myself in the gym the other day in the middle of an exercise thinking "that other guy over there must think I'm a pussy because these dumbbells aren't that heavy." And then I had to immediately mentally smack myself and remember I'm not in the gym for that random dude's benefit, I'm there for ME. Who gives a shit what he thinks? He probably couldn't care one iota less about me! He's busy worrying about his own shit, just like I need to be!

    And my being able to catch that shitty, negative, worry-wart thinking as fast as I did was due in part to the constant reminders you give in your blog about making sure you're doing everything for the right reasons, and that you're keeping your focus on what's truly important.

    So thanks for that, Paul. Keep kicking ass.

  3. Just did a little switching up of my programming myself. Nothing huge, just went from rep scheme of heavy 5's and 3's to lighter 8's, still increasing weight weekly using a linear progression method. Started hitting my metcons a little harder, stretching out the time domains to increase intensity, lighter weight. Really getting the blood flowing to muscles, getting a good pump and sweat going on. Sometimes, you just got to switch things up to keep the enthusiasm high. Everytime working out becomes a chore, I lose that joy and rush I get from lifting, I switch things up. It also seems like everytime I do, my plateaus disappear and the gains come back with a vengence. Thanks for your blog and your insights into being a "lifer".

  4. Paul, are you doing conditioning work on the days that you're not lifting? Also, have you ever tried a body weight training only routine for any length of time? Sory if you've already covered this.

  5. Replies
    1. Start at 135, do a double, slap on a 25, do a double. Take 25 off, slap on a 45, do a double. Slap on a 25 do a double.

      Rinse and repeat to a crisp double.

  6. I know the feeling all too well. In fact, you got me out of that slump after reading SLL and starting on the intermediate routine. It's good to get things moving forward again.

    I have two slight questions about that routine though, just making sure I'm doing things right.

    1. Is the progression scheme still vaguely linear (bump weight when you hit the upper rep range, so for instance, I hit 1x20 on t-bars I up the weight?) or percentage (strong-15 for instance based)?

    2. You didn't include arm work. Now I agree with that when it comes to tricep shit, but I know you're a big supporter of curls to keep things healthy. I decided to just add a sort of superset of BB curls (focusing on high reps, usually something like 2x20 but I don't really have a progression scheme I just go by feel) and face pulls in at the end of every upper body workout. Good or bad idea?

    Anyhow, get your shit back together and start kicking ass again Paul. It's inspiring to see you hit heavy weights for high reps.

    1. 1. More instinctive. If you hit 20, bump the weight.

      2. If you feel like you need arm work, so some.

    2. Thanks Paul.

      Don't really NEED arm work just use it for prehab purposes. Let's just say I don't wanna end up with elbows like yours, no offense BTW.

    3. My elbows got like this from years of martial arts, football, AND lifting. Not because I didn't do arm work.