Q&A – 37

PR Friday 
Post your training updates and PRs to the comments IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YA.

Weekly Challenge
The challenge from two weeks ago was “Curl 40kg or 90 pounds for as many reps as possible at the end of one of your training sessions next week.” I did 15 and filmed it in case you goons were to get all aggro.

Next Week’s Challenge: Do a max set of push-ups at the end of each training session. Perform the reps without stopping (so no resting in the plank position). Wait 20 seconds and do a second max set without ceasing movement. Record your reps and post them in next week’s PR Friday post.

Week In Review
It was a short week due to travelling back from USAPL Raw Nationals. You can see meet recaps for the lifters in Part 1 and Part 2, followed by the lessons learned. The goal as a lifter or a coach is to always get better, so analysis and discussion is important.

Here is the awesome collage video AC made of the meet. Thanks to Elliot Rowe for doing a lot of the filming.

Q&A (Incoming)


First off I’d like to say thanks for everything you do with your 70sbig.com webpage. You and your webpage were largely responsible for getting me involved with powerlifting and attending my first meet about a year ago.


I’ve recently been struggling with a snapping hip in my right hip, and just overall hip tightness/pain in the outside of both of my hips. The snapping hip occurs when I move from a toes pointing forward position to a toes pointing outward position. After digging around on your webpage for a bit, I think I may be pointing my toes out too much during my squat in order to compensate for a lack of mobility.


Unfortunately, my job requires me to be at a desk for several hours a day, which I’m sure isn’t helping anything. I’ve been doing several hip stretches at least once a day for a few weeks now with no significant improvement on the snapping hip or the general exterior hip pain.


Just for clarification, I do low bar squat with a stance ~6″ wider than shoulder width, and I do sumo style deadlifts with my toes pointed pretty far out as well.

I’d like to get your thoughts/suggestions on how to alleviate my snapping hip and exterior hip tightness/pain, and improve my mobility so I can move my toes to a more forward pointing position


Any input is greatly appreciated.

Sean C.


For your reference, I’ve included a video of my squat and a few pictures of my squat and deadlift. By the way, I’ll be investing in some lifting shoes.


Dear Sean,

These questions are on the borderline with how much I can help. I have some PT friends that will add their two cents in the comments if they have time. In the mean time, I’d be curious to know if you are just having pain, or the actual “snapping hip” type pain where you feel a tendon roll over one of the femur’s trochanter (depending on whether it’s lateral or medial). You have two considerations: a) treat the symptoms of the existing pain and b) address the problems that are causing this to begin with (which are probably mobility and mechanical in nature).

You note that you sit a lot at work. Immediately I think of hip flexor tightness and dysfunction (this would include the psoas, which would be a part of the medial hip snapping stuff). Then you provide the video of your wide stance squat, the kind that is going to put plenty of stress on the hips, and I’m not surprised you’re having an issue. If I were coaching you, I would bitch at you about your shoe choice (we’ll ignore it for now), but I’d bring your stance in and teach you how to squat with more efficient mechanics. You’re going to improve the effectiveness of the hip external rotation and distribute force application across your thigh better when you do. It’s likely that you’ll be weaker in this new position since you have been training the old and wide way for a while. I’d tell you to suck it up, because what you have been doing got you into this current predicament.

As for your deadlift, I’d go ahead and have you pull conventional, at least temporarily. I’d assume you feel the hip pain during the sumo, but pull conventionally for a few months so that you can treat the symptoms. You can go back to sumo down the road, and the conventional work will only augment or compliment your sumo strength.

As for rehabbing the area, that’s almost out of my forte. Apparently the bursa sacs can get irritated with this hip snapping stuff, so I would do things to reduce inflammation as well as work on opening your chronically tight hip flexors. If you feel pulling — in a bad way — on the afflicted area when hitting the hip flexor stretches, avoid them for a day or so. Use movement to heal. Don’t be afraid of isolation exercises and body weight squats (with the new, narrow stance). Point your toes at 20 to 30 degrees and put your heels at shoulder width. If the pain is bad, this could take a month or two to start going away. I’d also try wrapping an ace bandage around your proximal hip (meaning it would be right up by your nut sack) and doing squat reps while wrapped. Be diligent with rehab work, and yes, I’d still ice it after the cessation of activity. Let us know how it goes.



Hope all is well. Spent some time watching Olympic lifting over the last two weeks, noticed how incredibly fat some of those guys are…. beyond that I noticed how incredibly good so many of the lifters are at standing up for the bottom of the hole when it seems like there is no chance they will. Do you have any tips for practicing that pop at the bottom? I find that on heavy squats my ascent involves saying a prayer and hoping my diaper holds up.




Dear Roy,

Yeah, it’s interesting how some lifters can be quite lean while other lifters carry a bit of body fat. As for their ability to recover out of the hole, well, that’s what they do every day. Remember that their max squat, front squat, or clean is going to be greater than their best snatch or clean and jerk (some folks will get near their max clean or front squat on the platform). Continue getting stronger and do the Olympic lifts, and you too will get to a point where your average snatch or clean will be easier to recover from.

If you’re high bar squatting, once a week you could “bottom out” your squats where you’ll lower down as far as your mobility allows (i.e. don’t collapse your back or hips). If you have decent mobility, you should be able to touch your hamstrings to your calves. Note that you should use less weight in this lift at first, but it will get you familiar with “bottoming out” a squat, which is common in heavier snatches or cleans. I’d still squat to regular depth throughout the rest of the week. This lift could even be done as back off work when you squat. Overall, just get strong in the back/front squat, snatch, and clean, and you’ll recover better.


Hey Justin,
On again off again reader of the blog.  37 y/o 5’11 225ish.  Lifting steadily since I was 14.  Moved away from boring gym routines several years back and got a bit into crossfit.  Had fun on my own with it but never had the cash to join.  I like the intensity it offered and I like how it made me feel like I was working out again rather then spending a half hour isolating my outer delts or whatever the hell I used to do.  Lately a mix of metacon workouts and 5×5 work days.  Just maintaining.
A few years back I noticed I had some nagging pain in my hip that wasn’t getting better.  Trouble touching my toe, couldn’t run anymore, trouble squatting.  Real flexibility issues.  Finally get to a doctor and it turns out its pretty bad arthritis.  As in, I need a new hip.  Still going to the gym and lifting because I will have all new hardware in the winter so I may as well get the most usage out of the old one while I can.  Just can’t do certain lifts because it hurts too much.
So my question for you is, what do you recommend I do and don’t do with the new hip?  The surgeon, when I asked jokingly said I could do anything but 500lb deep squats. Have you worked with anyone that’s had a replacement?  Or maybe there are some older lifters out there that have been through it.  Would love to hear your thoughts, as I haven’t found many real answers from a doctor or form google searching.
Thanks in advance.  And feel free to post this question to the blog if you wan’t but I don’t know that it applies to too many readers.
Dear Matt,
Ehhhh. I guess the first thing is if it were me, I’d want to make pretty damn sure I needed this new hip. But it sounds like you’re pulling that trigger. I knew a guy that had two full knee replacements and trained on it for a while. Joint replacements are very good these days, but I’m not sure how to go about training on them. Without consulting friends who are smarter than me, I’d say just start with very light activity and progress into it, and ensure that your mechanics are absolutely solid. If your mechanics waver, I wouldn’t increase the load. I’d be hesitant to have ballistic loading at first and would slowly progress into that. I would use squats and deadlifts, but I wouldn’t worry about going heavy in them. Use them for what they are: great, compound movements that have a positive effect on metabolism, lean body mass, and strength. I’ll see if any PT friends want to share their thoughts.


In the last month or two, I have had some recurring pain in two places that won’t seem to stay away no matter what I do. One is on my left hip, I guess in the hip flexor area, it hurts most when coming up from squatting, or standing up from sitting in a chair. Also the side of that hip and butt (sciatic?) is tender, so maybe some expressed pain from the hip flexor. I have done the wall stretch to try and loosen it, but it doesn’t seem to go away. I have also sat on an LAX ball to try and loosen the sciatic area, I’ve done foam roller on the quads but that isn’t particularly sore.


Also, my right ankle was swollen for a few weeks, I think I tweaked it trying to do a more toes forward squat stance because there were times I could feel a tendon(?) sliding over a surface. I finished a workout about a month ago with some 50M sprints and that is when the swelling started. It is not swollen anymore, but my ankle is pretty sore when squatting to where I don’t have much drive out of the bottom. I have been doing some compression band stuff with it, but it is on the outside bottom of the ankle bone, not a high ankle sprain area. I also noticed recently that my mid-calf is pretty tight and have been trying to do LAX ball work on that or general release.


I went to a chiro who just quickly took me through some stuff with the ankle, iced it and put the TENS unit on it. I asked him about the hip and he did a test and said my hips were out of alignment. But he didn’t offer much more than that.


Frustrating as hell, I feel like I should stop squatting in order to let it repair, but I don’t want to lose strength. I am ok on lighter weights, but anything close to my work sets is bad enough that I don’t feel like continuing in the movements. Should I keep working on Mobility for those two areas and just stick to lighter squats. Or drop squats altogether doing some RDLs and Leg Press in the interim.

Thanks for your help.



Dear Craig,

Holy SHIT are you guys asking a bunch of complicated questions today. This question doesn’t provide complete information to be extremely specific and I’ll also see if the PT friends want to take a stab at it.

First off, I’d think your ankle got sore from the sprints, not the squatting toe angle. If you weren’t adapted to full speed pounding (and if you tweaked it), then that’s why the ankle swelled up. Why the hell didn’t the chiro adjust your hips when he said they were out of alignment? Isn’t that his fucking job? That pisses me off a little bit, though there may be circumstances I’m not privy to.

Secondly, everyone should keep in mind that toes forward squatting is dependent on good mobility. I don’t know if you actually tweaked your ankle because of this, but I’ve heard of several people tweaking something (though it’s usually in the knee) as a result of trying toes forward. When you make changes in your stance, do them incrementally over time. 

Third, your ankle/calf itself. “Outside bottom of ankle bone” is vauge — is this your lateral malleolus? Your peroneal tendons will pass right under the lateral malleolus, so you could probably start working on them with soft tissue work. They are on the outside of your lower leg. If you work on them, it could release tension under the malleolus. You can also work on your foot arches with a lacrosse ball, especially near the peroneal tendons and anterior (right in front of) the calcaneus (heel bone). I like the idea of wrapping the ankle with physio tape and doing plantar flexion, dorsi flexion, inversion, eversion, and just ankle circles. Don’t do it longer than 2 minutes and try to have it closer to 1 minute. Go ahead and do foot drills and band rehab. Yes, I’d still ice after the cessation of rehab.

Fourth, your hip. It sounds like you have scar tissue on your hip flexor and your lateral hip is tight. I don’t know if it’s sciatic related because if it was, I’d expect some referred pain down the nerve. I also don’t know that mashing on it randomly is going to help. I really can’t help with this as much because the location is vague and you haven’t given me any movements that cause pain. I would need more information, but generally speaking, I’d have some sort of soft tissue work (pin pointed massage), followed by stretching (if applicable), followed by movement (as rehab), followed by one bout of icing.

I’m still talking with people about the whole “icing issue”, and I’m sure that they will have some better input than me. Just remember that if you want specific help, you have to get specific with where the pain is, when and how does it hurt, and how long it has done so. More information is much better than none.


134 thoughts on “Q&A – 37

  1. K justin, is this a little better?
    Mon- snatch- one per min for 12 min. Pull ups till 25. Hbs 3×5. barbell complex
    Tues-c and j- one per one and a half min for 12 min. Dips till 25. Front squats 3×5. Rdl 3×8. Sprints
    Wed- off
    Thurs- snatch up to max then hit 4 more heavy singles. Press 3×5. Hbs 3×5. Chins till 25. RBE and ab complex
    Fri-c and j up to max then 4 more singles. Bench 3×5. Dead lift 1×5. Bb rows 3×5. Shrugs and then sled pulls.

    • I forgot on what I’m supposed to compare it to. Prob need to post on a recent post or the social media stuff to get me to see it (but if you reply here I may see it).

      Better yet, bring it to the Reddit AMA on /r/weightroom tomorrow.

  2. Last week something under the left side of my ribcage “popped” while I was driving out of the hole on the 1st rep of my 5th set on volume day. I thought, “duly noted”, and continued with the last 4 reps. As the day went on, it started hurting like a bee-yotch. I did some research and I think I might have strained an intercostal or something. 12 days later, it is still a little tender, but hasn’t gotten any worse or affected any of my lifts, oddly enough.

    Bodyweight PR: 172lbs (I’m a 5’5″ hobbit-lifter), but don’t know if I’ll ever qualify as a real man (>200lbs). It’s fine.
    Squat PR: 345×5
    Bench PR: 200×5

    DL fail @ 405 – I was greedy and made a 20lb jump from last week and only got it a li’l past my knees. Dropped back to 385 and did 3 singles. Sucks ass being weak.

  3. Tested Maxes

    Squat 290lb PR
    Bench 195lb
    Deadlift 265lb fucking pissed with this as I pulled 280×5 a few weeks ago.

    Missed 300lb squat twice. Next time. Was expecting more from bench. Meh.

    Back at it.

  4. First PR Friday post for me;

    Just started up on the Oly program that was written about here two weeks ago. I’m doing C&J/snatch (focus C&J) monday, Back squats and pressing tuesday, front squat (light) and snatch/C&J (focus snatch) thursday, and Back squats and rows Saturday.

    1rm’s @ 6’4/185 lbs
    Snatch: 30kg
    C&J: 60kg
    Front Squat: 75kg
    Back Squat: 125kg

  5. BW PR: 195# at 5’6″ (courtesy of cream puffs)
    Baller PR: Trained in my Romaleo 2 Volts.
    Snatch PR: 115# (Me are have weak external rotators and have been addressing the issue).
    CnJ PR: 185#
    Squat 3RM: 345# (While hungover!)

  6. Bench PR this week, two singles of 220 at 187. Holy shit does my bench suck.

    Also did a reverse band squat at 374, which is actually roughly 5 pounds more than my best single ply competition squat. Pretty happy about that.

    I also achieved a TV watching PR during the Olympics. Where was our boy Donny? I thought he qualified, but I didn’t see him in any competition or results roster, and his blog doesn’t mention anything… what’s up with that?

    • The US men’s team only had 1 spot and Kendrick Ferris qualified over Donny to go to London.

      I hear you on the bench as well dude, hiit 215 for a single this week as the heaviest weight I’ve managed in several months.

  7. I benched for the first time this week. I’ve overhead pressed since late last year but have my first powerlifting comp in a few months and decided I needed to learn how to bench. I’m a 29 yo, 70kg, 5’8″ female.

    Best lifts this week:
    Low bar squat: 3 x 5 @ 75kg
    Deadlift: 5 x 95kg
    Bench: 45kg (failed at 48kg)

    Anyone have any good accessory exercises to help build bench? I am much weaker in upper body than lower, struggle to do more than 10 push ups (I’m working on this) and want to get to a BW bench. Cheers! :)

  8. Hang clean & press: 115 lbs x 5 singles on the minute.
    Back squat: 245 x 5 singles o.t.m.
    Clean & Jerk: 145 x 5 s.o.t.m.

    Alright, alright, alright. Light and easy. Keeping a little change in my pocket. Rec league softball playoffs start this coming week, so my innings played could double. I need to be fresh. Top priority of the summer.

  9. Pingback: Q&A – 38 | 70's Big

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