Q&A – 40

PR Friday

Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here? Updated your week’s training in the comments. If you had any PR’s, let us know about them.

Paul Sousas attack in numbers

Weekly Challenge

Last week’s challenge basically said, “How much butter can you eat, punk?” I’m told there are some interesting communities online that pride themselves on their butter consumption. Eating more butter increases the amount of fat calories consumed. High-fat diets, particularly animal fat, promote higher testosterone and hormone productions — fat and cholesterol are the building blocks of hormones, after all. Eating fat also helps improve insulin sensitivity since it will usually be combined with a change in carbohydrate consumption. Greater amounts of animal fat allow for better recovery and bulking, but they also help a lifter get lean by avoiding carb calories as well as avoiding unnecessary fat gain when trying to bulk. Aside from adequate protein, fat consumption is the best method to recover from training and stay lean. My friend Gant always used to say, “Eat protein to maintain or build muscle, eat fat to recover, and only eat enough carbs to fuel your activity level.”

 Next Week’s Challenge: Learn about a specific muscle group that gives you problems in training. Learn how it functions as well as what you can do to improve the problem. Share your findings in next week’s comments.

Week In Review

On Monday a bunch of people that are sensitive to vegetarians thought that I would give a shit what they had to say when I wrote this piece. There isn’t anything anyone could say to change my mind because a vegetarian will simply not lead as healthy a life as they could, and they certainly won’t be able to reap the benefits of their training. If they thought research on the human body was so comprehensive and correct, then they are free to go and eat whole grains as 75% of their diet for a year and let me know how that goes. QED. On Tuesday I pointed out that rotating your toes forward for the squat is dependent on having the mobility to do so. Wednesday I started a series that shows a continuum of how to learn about strength and conditioning. This particular post was focused on several very good anatomy books; anatomy is the foundation for coaching and programming. I also sent out the first issue of the 70’s Big Insider Newsletter today. Normally these won’t be available to non-subscribers, but today you can get a view of the newsletter (this preview link will be taken down tomorrow).


brian45 asks:

this is siituational (not me, just hypothetical). What I am trying to say/ask is:


if a client/person is squatting at say 45 degrees or greater but it is comfortable versus turning their toes into 30 where it is discomforting. Do you A) stop squatting (because the toe angle is so great despite no pain) and focus on mobility until they can move in? or B) hit mobility and using the short term change created have them slightly move in and squat (gradually working in)?


Dear brian45,

I wouldn’t expect someone to be uncomfortable at 30 degrees. Even the most inflexible people won’t need to point their 45 degrees out — it’s pretty excessive. But you are correct in saying that we would not want the person to be uncomfortable from a joint perspective (though they’ll probably be muscularly uncomfortable since squats are not the same as couch lounging). Use the toe angle that is “forward enough” without providing positional or joint complications.

Note that acute applications of ‘mobility work’ can improve positioning for that session. By using joint distraction to open the hip flexors (band pulls thigh forward when kneeling), lacrosse balling the external rotators, and stretching the calves and achilles a lifter can hit better squatting positions. These areas should be worked on regularly too, but it’s immensely helpful to do them immediately before squatting.


splchris says: 

after my acl surgery and partial lateral meniscoctomy, toes forward is very painful. feels like bone one bone action. i probably should just stop trying…


To which I replied:

Yeah, man, I wouldn’t attempt it. Perhaps you could hit a different end ROM after a while, but it depends on how the repair was done. The ACL resists anterior translation (the tibia shearing forward) as well as medial rotation. That second part is the important part.

I haven’t wrapped my head around it yet, but when you squat with toes forward the tibia laterally rotates. The ACL is supposed to stop medial rotation, that would produce tension on the ligament. Lateral rotation on the tibia might compress the ligament. That might be the painful part since it’s surgically repaired and no longer normal. Perhaps the repaired tissue is getting pushed into itself, or maybe it’s getting compressed into bone.

Either way, you are right in thinking that you shouldn’t point the toes forward. Maybe forever, but at least for several months.


daniel asks:

I’d like to know how gorillas get so jacked from a mostly vegetarian diet. Do they produce significantly more testosterone than humans or what?


Dear Daniel,

This is an excellent question. A google search of “how are gorillas so muscular” brought up interesting results. One person noted that a gorilla will eat an average of 18kg of food a day. Plus, they’re grass-fed brah.

Personally, I think it’s due to their fecal consumption.


Brandon S. asks,

I am transitioning to TM next week. My starting VD weight is about 65lbs less than my ID weight starting out. Should I advance the VD weight each week for awhile or leave it steady for a few weeks and raise it once per month?

Dear Brandon,

Do you have The Texas Method: Advanced? In that book, it talks about the discrepancy between the Volume Day and Intensity Days as a percentage instead of an absolute amount of weight. It’s hard for me to comment on your situation because you didn’t list your poundages, but ideally someone in your position will wait until his Intensity Day gets a a bit difficult before increasing the Volume Day regularly. Think of the VD as approaching “once every three weeks”, which is the recommendation in The Texas Method: Part 1. I’ll also point out that the first book has a process for transitioning into the TM, and it’s dependent on what your previous program was.

Well, there weren’t a lot of training questions because people were just whining and bitching about various things. Enjoy the first weekend of college football and get outside before the cold season.



81 thoughts on “Q&A – 40

  1. Bench Press 250×5
    I have been battling my bench press all summer between traveling and figuring out how to run the TM I am finally moving somewhere. The weight went up smoothly. I clearly had more in me but I’ll save it for next time.

  2. Justin, as someone who has a science based degree and what seems to be a very keen interest in reading science literature including journal articles, presenting arguments, I would have thought that you would have learnt to deal with counter arguments in a better way than just say that people are bitching. Plus the main points of people’s arguments went straight over your head.

  3. I was trying to lose some fat, but as soon as I couldn’t budge a 420 deadlift I went home and drank 8 eggs, a banana, a scoop of chocolate protein, blended in whole milk. I will not stand for that.

  4. Pingback: Q&A – 41 | 70's Big

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