Q&A – 8

Happy PR Friday — Post your training PR’s and updates to the comments. You have about three more weeks for hard training before the Christmas and New Years break, so let us know what your goal is in that span.

Consultation inquiry asks:
Hey, when the hell are you going to consult with me?

Dear you,

I apologize for the delay. I’ve been trying to wrap up two big projects in the midst of doing the whole Thanksgiving thing. I’ll be in contact with you soon, but it will be in order of inquiry. Thank you for your patience. I love you.

Hypothetical Question Guy asks:

Justin, what does the clean and jerk work?

Dear Hypothetical Question Guy,

Since I did 72 of them last night (31 of them at 300 pounds), I can give you a detailed and educated answer on what clean and jerks work. They work the skin of your hands primarily. They also work the skin of your upper chest and collar bone area. Speaking of the collar bones, clean and jerks especially work those. Don’t forget about the skin on your thigh — they work that pretty good too if you’re wearing short shorts and a tank-top (and you should). They also work on your will to live by letting you experience a case of “not fun” so that the next time you’re when you’re not having having fun, you can always put it in perspective and say, “At least I’m not doing (that) again.” I think the military calls that “character building”. Hope this helps.

harveymushman asks:

Programming question twofer: It’s been at least 6 weeks (maybe 7) since I’ve been in the gym (wedding, sickness, etc.) and by the time I get over my sinus infection it might be 8. I am/was still on the SS LP, so how much should drop the weights when I get back to training? Also, using the SS LP but with rows instead of cleans, how and when should I integrate curls and chin ups/pull ups into my routine?

Dear harveymushman,

Bro, you’ve commented on this site long enough to know that it won’t matter too much. But since you’re a regular, and I care about the regulars, I’ll get crayola style for you.

Whenever people come back from a break, even if it’s only a week (due to travelling, but especially when sick), I call for a light day. The light day should be manageable, since it’s fucking light, and then the next workout can be medium. Then the next workout is either a medium or kinda heavy workout. This usually is a week of training (since it’s three sessions), then the following week you can start with your previous or newly desired program. Don’t get all hasty. It’s like anal sex; ease into it.

As for the curls, they’ll help you get back into lifting shape. I also find curls are good when you have a cold. And when you wake up and when you go to bed and before and after every meal. But if you’re still worried about it, alternate the chins and curls every workout.

Andrew Ramirez asks via Fahzbook (that’s how I say it in my head):

Hi Justin, I have what is probably going to be a dumb question (yes, I believe there are such things). Which muscle group does the power clean benefit? Granted, I am only power cleaning about 185 lbs but I do not feel a specific muscle hit like I do with squats, presses, etc.

Dear Andrew,

A dumb question would be, “How many fingers will fit?” or “Should I use a condom?” (the answer is no). A good question is, “Did you see my butt? How was it?”

Maybe you didn’t see my answer above on what is worked in the CJ, so make sure you check that out. If someone is actually jumping correctly on a power clean, they may get some residual hamstring soreness, yet this would only the case for efficient lifters (someone who can clean or power clean a high percentage of their max). For example, it’s difficult to do posterior chain work (low bar squat, RDL, etc.) after I do power cleans or regular cleans because my hamstrings get worked on the second pull. The traps also will get pretty sore from the inherent shrug in the power clean too.

However, most people only lift a low percent of their absolute strength. This person may not get a whole lot of muscular work out of the power clean, but it will still a) work on your skill and b) work on your overall power production. Focus on having a snappy jump, eliminate for inconsistencies, and eventually you’ll handle enough weight to get sore. Also, if you’re only doing a few reps, you won’t get sore either, so…take care of that shit (five triples, seven doubles, or 15 singles).

Craig R. says

I know you think Brian Cushing is a deuschbag. But come on! The kid’s got a great story coming out of DeFranco’s gym in NJ. We can let the stories of PEDs aside, this is an awesome vid:


“Ain’t No Puppies out Here!”

Hey man, what the FUCK? Your argument for Cushing NOT being a fuck head is to send me a video of the Texans beating the shit out of my Browns? God DAMN IT.

Let’s look at this objectively though. I don’t know his little fairy tale story, but “where he came from” doesn’t mean shit when he constantly acts like a fucking idiot. I mean, he headbutted a guy without a helmet on, and he’s voted team captain? There’s no doubt he’s a good player, but I see a video full of un-funny jokes and narcissism. Look, if the black guys don’t think you’re funny in football, then you couldn’t be more un-funny.

John F. asks:
Justin, what is your favorite curl variation?

Dear John (hehe),

Seated machine preacher. Call your parents to pick you up, cause you’ll be too pumped to drive.

Dirichlet Says: (from the post that had naked lifting chicks)

BTW is it gay to say that those beach pictures reminded me of…? Nah, nevermind.

Dear Direchlet,

Do you have something so say, son? Say it. SAY IT!1!!

47 thoughts on “Q&A – 8

  1. A dumb question would be, “How many fingers will fit?” or “Should I use a condom?” (the answer is no). A good question is, “Did you see my butt? How was it?”


  2. lol great Q&A.

    PR this week is not snapping my back off while I’m coming back from a lower back strain. I’m taking it slow and easy so now PR’s this week. I might try to shovel down some serious food tonight at a buffet though.

    I have a question, what rep/set scheme of power shrugs do I have to do to get Brett Kim traps? I’m also doing hang cleans to try and get some Brent Kim traps.


  3. I’m about to attempt a squat at 300 lbs… been a goal of mine since i started taking this lifting shit seriously (about 4 months ago). I’m feeling saucy today. I think I may do it. Yea. I’m gonna.

  4. First post on here. This site is the shit!
    Squat: 95kg x 5 x 3
    Bench: 70kg x 5 x 3
    DL: 115kg x 5

    Did some conditioning today and hit a PR of a 50kg Overhead run of 100m. I am still only a kid but am working on it. Closing in on 80kg.

  5. After being sick as a dog earlier this week, hit some good numbers today.

    Squat: 415×1 PR (was going for a triple, but hamstrings would hold on the second one)
    Press: 135×7 PR, 155×1
    Deadlift: 495

    Academic PR: Crushed 2 exams no problem.

    So I was shooting for 415 for a triple for my last ten pound jump on the TM, but I didn’t get it. My diet’s been dialed in all week, and I seriously expected to get something, but after the first rep my posterior chain couldn’t holding together. Whatever, started doing presses, dicked around and recovered enough while doing them that I decided to go heavy on deads, 405×3 felt like cake so I said fuck it, and hit 5 wheels. It was faster than last time.

    Then I realized I had a heavy single deadlift and squat, so I cleaned 135 and was going to do 145, it flew up like cake, and I realized I had put on 10s, not 5s, so 155 press. All told that gives me a “Crossfit Total” today of 1,065. Nothing crazy, but something I remember thinking was going to be forever out of reach two years ago. Now it’s just another training day.

  6. Hi Justin, I just re-read the section int the TM book about moving to 3RM on ID, but I’m still not 100% sure what to do with VD when you do this. Maybe I’m just blind. Do you recommend sticking with 5×5 or saying with the IDx5 idea so 5 sets of 3 for VD, or 3 sets of 5?

    Also if you decide to answer (and I appreciate it :), does all this apply to bench and press as well as squat? Thanks mate

  7. Nice work on the clean and jerks, but was disappointed they weren’t performed in a speedo.

    (no homo)

    (kinda homo)

    So if I do weighted pull-ups on monday and weighted chins on friday, that means it would be ideal to curl on any other day then those days? Just wanna get them shredded ‘ceps, brah.

  8. Thx 4 teh response Justin. I sort of did a light day, in that I dropped my squat by about 10%, did that the Monday before Thanksgiving, then came back at the same weight this week before adding weight. I decided to throw the curls on row day and the chins on deadlift day. Also the platform was out of order (WTF? Actually looked like a ceiling leak) so I did RDLs instead and have decided to do those in lieu of RBEs on my row day.

    Marriage PR: Got my wife in the gym last night. She’s too weak to squat – ACL reconstruction in March; limited upper body strength and mobility makes it difficult for her to hold the bar properly – so I’m having her leg press for now. The plan is heavy 3×5 both legs, and a lighter 3×10 on the weak leg (she could tell today based on relative soreness that she was favoring). Also a basic two day split of bench & RDLs (which she really liked), and press & row. I’m having her go at least twice a week, three when she’s able but she plays roller derby so the time and recovery isn’t always there (though she said she won’t be pushing herself in practice). I was pleased that she was able to bench the bar (she was worried she wouldn’t, despite being 5’9″ and already qualifies as a 70’s Big Female) and that she really liked RDLs. We’ll see how pressing and rowing go, but so far she’s enthusiastic and taking direction fairly well.

    I don’t have any lifting PRs right now, as I have about a month of catch up to do. So I guess that’s my goal for the remainder of the year – get back to where I was. I charted it out and think I should be hitting some good PRs in mid-January and early February.

  9. two PRs. Bench 235×1, Squat 300×1. I dont really ever go for 1RM but I’ve been dying to squat 300 and I felt super fuckin saucy so I went for it and crushed it. Monday it’s back to my LP.

  10. PR press 1×5 165lbs
    PR Deadlift 1×5 405lbs (PR on reps, not weight)
    Dialed it back on the squats and just did 405 1×5 as I had missed my intensity day 3 weeks in a row.

    Also, got chalk and my shoes in the mail today. I am not sold on the shoes’ fit, they are a bit tight in the toe area. Is this normal or should I move up a half size?

  11. I took this week off. Trained Monday and felt totally beat up so decided it was time to rest. I’ve got two intense weeks programmed and then another rest leading to up a 1RM testing day (in PL comp format) on the 23rd Dec.

    I’m aiming for (at least) SQ 440 BP 265 DL 530 for a 1,235 total @275lbs. This will also mark 6 months of training/lifting weights.

    Then, DECEMBEER!! will officially begin, until it’s time to sober up and start training again in the new year.

    When you say…
    “Whenever people come back from a break, even if it’s only a week (due to travelling, but especially when sick), I call for a light day. ”
    …does that mean you don’t recommend taking a week off before a comp (to rest up)? If not, how would you recommend preparing in that final week?

  12. I wanna thank Justin for S&C 2.0. Ive always had a hard time getting stronger, but im consistently adding plates.

    but i feel like my progress is slow. i add about 2.5 lbs a week to most lifts. sometimes i just add a rep. is there anything i can add to the template to speed up my gains??

    i know sleeping and eating more bacon helps..

  13. Had my last heavy session before my meet next week (on the 10th).

    Squatted a PR of 395 for 2 singles, and for some reason the second looked cleaner than the first. Whatever, I’ll take it.

  14. Hit a couple 1rm PRs this week. Bench of 285 (15 poound pr) and deadlifted 445 (20 pound pr)

    And while I’ve been reading posts for a whilw now, I’m only just now joining. So, hey folks.

  15. This is an excellent Q&A. I’m going to end replies to impatient students with “I love you”. I’ll report back.

    Press PR: 85×5
    DL PR: 210×6. Wasn’t trying for 6, but I had a big job interview in the afternoon and I needed to get RECKLESS, you know?

  16. Oh, and my pre-Christmas goals are to DL 225×5 and stop sucking at squatting. Bar went straight to the pins today. This was a lameness PR because I was surrounded by hotties.

  17. Squat 260 lb 5×3
    Press 115 lb 5×3
    Power Clean 120 lb 3×5

    Just started doing the power clean three workouts ago and I’m trying to not make my form suck.

    I’d like to hit a squat PR of 300 5×3 by Christmas, which means I can only stall for one workout. Probably impossible, but I’m going to eat like a horse and sleep like a champ to make it happen.

  18. I went from a previous squat PR of 340 lbs to 360. I also upped press from 135 to 140 and dead lift from 373 to 388. My combined squat, bench press, and dead lift is now at 958. I hope to reach 1000 by Christmas, even if it means squarting.

  19. PR: getting my female friend to lift with me today. Tried to teach her how to press, squat and power clean. She obviously needs more practice on everything, but she had a few reps on squat and press that were good, But power clean. Omfg. “you can’t jump UNDER something Brandon”

  20. All sorts and kinds of PRs now that I’m at a ‘hardcore’ gym.

    Bench: 142.5#x11 (+4 rep max)
    Deadlift: 315#x5 (I was feeling reckless. I initially was going for a triple)
    Life PR: Neck harnessed to ‘Holy Diver’

  21. Clean PR – 85 kg. Managed to clean and jerk 80 kg again, so I know I didn’t imagine that the first time.

    Press PRs – 1 x 116 lbs, 2 x 110 lbs

    And then I power cleaned and pressed 53 kg, which is 116.6 lbs. But, since I always press with the same bar and plates and this was with my 15 kg bar and kilo plates, I am not counting it as an official press PR.

    Push press PR – 67 kg. Since I never push press, that wasn’t really a surprise.

    I’m at the American Open. Woo.

  22. By far the best Q&A ever. This whole thing is comedic gold, I was LOLing hard in real life.

    This week I benched 280 x 7, pressed 190 x 8 and squatted 455 x 1.

  23. This was my favourite part:

    “Since I did 72 of them last night (31 of them at 300 pounds), I can give you a detailed and educated answer on what clean and jerks work. They work the skin of your hands primarily.”

    …especially because of how disheartened Justin was during the stream as his hands were getting torn to shreds.

    This is the best site on the entire internet. Trust me I would know, I’ve read the whole thing.

  24. Hi Justin,

    just curious about how to get in contact with you for a consult. I am a former 200 lb strongman looking to learn the olympic lifts. I’ve tried watching CalStrength and AverageBroz’ videos and doing it on my own for the last 3 months, but I have seen little to no progress. I saw your novice Oly + SS program, but I’m not sure I’m a novice anymore (610DL, 485S, 355B), so having some trouble on deciding which way to go with programming.

    You can skype me at name: cobrastatus or email me your rate information (email in my profile). Sorry, I scoured the 70sbig site up and down and couldn’t find your contact info anywhere.

  25. So I took part in my first powerlifting meet today. Mike Tuchscherer was there as a guest lifter. Just to set the stage, his deadlift almost equaled my total. Anyways, onto my performance.

    Weighed in at 152 since I decided not to cut for my first meet, figured I’d just go with wherever I was. Started out squatting 275lbs which I crushed. Proceeded to crush 298lbs, and struggled a bit with 320 lbs. The last two were PRs, so I was very happy with those.

    On bench I started at 170lbs, whenI thought I’d put 175lbs, but whatever. It flew up. I then got 198lbs in spite of hitting the rack on my way back up and getting one red light. I got greedy at this point because the first two were relatively easy and tried for 226lb. It made it maybe an inch off my chest. I did PR with my second lift though, so I was ok.

    On deadlift I started at 304lbs. I forgot to put my belt on, almost tried to pull it with an overhand grip, and then at the top I felt like I was about to topple over, but it was a good lift, and rather easy. I then pulled 336lbs easily so I decided to go for 358lbs on my last lift. It was slow and heavy, but I nailed it. Once again the last two lifts were PRs.

    All in all I was thrilled. I went 8/9, PRed every lift for an 876 total and had a good time. I feel I could’ve pulled a bit more on the squat and deadlift, but it wouldn’t have been much more, so I’m fine with that. The bench I just got greedy and didn’t take into account that my first lift was lower than I should have started so I jumped too much on the third attempt. A friend videotaped my lifts so I will maybe share them later. All in all a good day thanks to Starting Strength and lots of eggs.

  26. I know it’s Saturday now but I just deadlifted 500 FINALLY.

    Going for 468/336/502 at my meet next weekend as an unnecessarily sloppy 100kg lifter. Wish me luck!

  27. 12/2/11
    Squatted 405 for an easy triple. This was actually three pounds over what I squatted at my first meet. Did it to Kickstart My Heart.

    Benched 275 for a triple which was my old PR single.

    Deadlifted 415 for three singles. This was about two pounds over my PR single that I did at the meet.

    All in all a really good day!




  29. @stankrom – Congrats, I’m a homeowner, too (married into it). Welcome to a lifetime of fixing shit other people didn’t do right the first time.

  30. On the quest to a 405# squat before my first-born arrives…

    Hit 330 for 5 triples on Wednesday and then 365×3 on Saturday morning (so what if it was after Friday).

    I also PR’ed my Snatch at 185# (that’s bodyweight) and my jerk at 255# during the week.

  31. Any advice on which day to deadlift?
    I squat 5×5 monday (335 lbs), then I do a light 3×5 squat wednesday, and an intensity squat day friday (265 lbs 1×5). I usually deadlift on friday after I squat and press, but for the last 2 months I haven’t been able to do anything respectable. I’m simply gassed. Any suggestions other than eating/resting more? Should I deadlift before squatting on Friday? Or deadlift on a different day?

    You’re probably doing too much volume. There’s a book on this topic somewhere…


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