Q&A – 43

PR Friday is a celebration of training. Let us know how your week went, whether you hit new PR’s, and what upcoming events you’re preparing for. Ignore the timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

The Weekly Challenge asked you to accumulate manly deeds. The person with the most deeds will win a 70’s Big shirt. This includes wearing short shorts as part of The Revolution. Post your deeds to the comments.

Next Week’s Challenge will be directed at the womenz, because I excluded them with “manly deeds”. You gals will compete in a training photo contest — whoever has the ‘best’ training photo will win a t-shirt. Make it funny, make it cool, or whatever. Submit them to the Facebook Fan Page or Twitter.

Week In Review: It started with a clarification post about the lack of neuromuscular efficiency in females. There’s a difference between the gender result of not being as efficient and the ability to improve a given efficiency in training. On Tuesday I talked about the benefits of warming up, specifically for athletic endeavors (I pulled my hamstring because of a lousy warm-up). Wednesday took a look at why the Anglosphere population is fat and what we can do about it. Thursday celebrated 70sBig.com’s third birthday (which is actually Saturday, the 22nd); thank you all for the kind words.


This question comes through a friend of a friend (female):

“My blood results show high cholesterol and high triglycerides. I eat mostly Paleo and train heavy 3-4x/wk. I will tighten up the Paleo and reduce cheats, but what else should I work on?”

 Dear Friend of Friend,

First, I want to point out that having a poor looking lipid profile may or may not be a bad thing. It’s more so the composition of the types of fats you have. I highly suggest you read Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution. He goes into depth on this issue. I’d also recommend The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo as well as Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Wolf’s book will give the simple “this is what the situation is, and this is what you do”. Colpo and Taubes will give you a tons of background explaining why the fat hypothesis is just flat-out wrong. Let’s assume you’re on par with the last two books.

Second, I don’t have much information on you. If you have a more unhealthy body composition (i.e. you’re a bit fat), then fix that.

Third, I don’t know what “mostly paleo” means. If you’re not actually doing it, then it’s pretty easy to see why your lipid profiles aren’t where you would want them. Again, check Wolf’s book because he actually gives some ranges on what they should be (the medical doctor’s ranges will probably blow). If the lipid profile concerns you, then commit to 30 days of no shit paleo, then get re-tested. If they improve significantly, then there ya go.

Fourth, are you consuming quality fats? Fish oil is a standard recommendation for a reason as it’s rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and helps the 3:6 ratio. If you’re eating lots of nuts and seeds, then decrease that stuff and increase the fish oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. I’d have to guess that “mostly paleo” means you’re still eating bread or other non-paleo things more than once a week. Give it a month and see what happens. Don’t bullshit the month otherwise you’re wasting your time.

rburak asks:


Have you ever done specific neck work? Do back squats really isometrically work the neck? I want dat yoke.



Dear rburak,

I’ve only done specific neck work a couple of times, and it was playing around with light bands to see if they could be used. I would say that back squats are not enough to have a significant effect on your neck thickness. Instead, things like power cleans, deadlifts, and shrugs will. If you didn’t have a neck harness (I do not), you could try using light bands to extend your neck (I’ve stood on the bands, bent over, and worn a hat to keep the band on my head). Note that lots of reps are recommended since the neck muscles are postural and usually activated throughout the day.

An Australian friend, named Stuart, does neck bridges. You can bridge on a bench or couch, but I recommend ensuring that the neck is in neutral alignment (i.e. not extended back). You would push your heels through the floor (like you’re doing a hip thrust for the glutes) and get the whole torso horizontal as the back of your head is on a surface. My Aussie friend, however, would do bench presses from this position and told me he worked up to 70kg. His neck got too big to fit in shirts, so he stopped doing them. I probably should start doing neck bridges.


Stonewallwells asks:

Anyway, I have been working on the TM for about 6 months now and have made some pretty decent progress. Recently I have only been hitting the Volume day and the Intensity day due to the birth of my son and not having the time to do much else. I am fine with this for now because I am still making progress; however, I am intrigued by the Smolov squat program and would like to give it a shot in the next few months(when i have more time in the week to lift or have a bar and rack at my house.) My question is if it would make sense to go through a more volume laden program (thinking of Poliquin’s 10×10 idea) for a few weeks to get adapted to increased volume, or should I just forget about the Smolov idea and continue blasting away on the TM?

For reference:
Male / 27 / 5’9″ / 188lb
recent PR lifts (no older than 8/19):
Squat 380×3
Bench 275×3
DL 440×2
Press 187×1

Last Volume squats was 285x5x5 and i would say it was easy to medium difficulty
Last Intensity Squats was 355x3x2 and this was pretty easy as well

Dear StonewallWells,

Before I answer this, I want you to understand my frame of mind. As someone climbs through intermediate programming of strength training, I’m of the mindset that they will need to lift heavy regularly to remain adapted to hitting the big numbers. I’m also not a fan of excess volume (which is the premise behind the Texas Method books and how the model has progressed into the advanced stuff).

I look at Smolov programming as typically having a lot of volume work. Yes there are different cycles of it for different instances, yet the volume does remain high. I also (possibly unfairly) reduce it to a program that is more so benefited from extracurricular supplementation since PEDs use is accepted and prevalent in Smolov’s regional birthplace. Not that it doesn’t work for a raw un-drugged lifter, but that it would be augmented by additional recovery capabilities.

That means that I’m less likely to be supportive of using Smolov. Especially in this situation. You’ve got limited time, man. You’ve got a family and work. Smolov is a rough program. It requires perfect recovery. Sleep. Food. Even soft tissue work to really recover well. I see it as a program that a competitive lifter would use in their off-season knowing that they were going to transition their training too much higher intensity work. Remember that one of the girls that I handled at nationals ran a volume-focused Smolov program and I thin it inhibited her ability to hit heavier loads since she wasn’t adapted to high intensity.

The argument with the TM style of programming is that you can still get that higher intensity work regularly and not have to have that build up period. And you can do it by using relatively less volume (when compared to a hard squat program in Smolov). You could emulate Smolov with squatting higher frequency, but still, you told me that you have a family and limited time.

Does this mean that I think Smolov sucks and that TM is king and I am god? No, but given your life circumstances, I don’t see Smolov as something that’ll be optimal. Especially when you have a lot of progression potential given your numbers (your Volume Day is only 80% of your Intensity Day, and you said the ID isn’t hard). Smolov will work well to boost someone’s squat, especially if it’s lagging, but I’d only recommend it enthusiastically for certain people.


Dear Justin,


Been a big fan of the site for a few months now and I believe I am fully indoctrinated into the 70’s Big way of life and am quickly becoming less of a hyper-kyphotic, internally rotated douchebag – – But enough about me, this question is actually about my wife…here’s a little background:


About 8 years ago, she started experiencing constant pain, soreness, lack of energy, etc…  She was ultimately diagnosed with fibromyalgia AND chronic fatigue syndrome and has steadily gotten worse.  Last week, after a routine blood test, her Doc diagnosed her with full-blown geriatric osteoporosis and a severe vit.D deficiency.  She still has to work (cleaning houses) 5 days a week ‘cause we’re poor and doesn’t have much energy to do much else at the end of the day – – BUT she is willing to try a workout routine in hopes of feeling just a little bit better.  Since I’ve been talking nonstop about the things I’ve been learning on 70’s Big and MobilityWOD, she wants me to tailor a plan for her.  


Now, I know you’re not a doctor and you’re one busy dude, but I was wondering if you’d give me some pointers on where we should start out and what she could reasonably progress to.  I was thinking of just starting her out with unweighted or broomstick variations of the main lifts (e.g. – third world squats) and then maybe adding some band resistance as she gets a feel for them.  I currently train at a globo in Gettysburg, PA and have absolutely no weights at home for her to use, but am not averse to purchase some if need be.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Anyway, keep up the great work and stay safe.


-Joel (aka. Blister)


 P.S. I totally forgot to mention that she is only 32 years old and ~120lbs, since her story makes it seem like she is more like 72 and 240lbs. 


Dear Joel,

My mom was told she had fibromyalgia and thoracic outlets syndrome, so I’ve done some reading on this issue. Given the age of your wife, I have to assume that she has some pretty severe nutritional and muscular deficiencies. My stock answer for the fibro and chronic fatigue is to immediately go paleo. Recently my friend Renee sent me this article to forward to my mom. It explores the idea that fibromyalgia is a result of a mineral deficiency. They specifically looked a magnesium citrate, which is in Natural Calm. Magnesium is a mineral that almost everyone is deficient in because of the normal, shitty American diet.

Also, magnesium is critical for bone density (and therefore osteoporosis). Not to mention a lower pH diet (like a paleo diet) facilitates the absorption of calcium and magnesium, which would only help the osteoperosis and fibro. And of course she has the vitamin D deficiency which is going to make all of this worse.

Eat stone cold paleo, supplement with vitamin D and magnesium. I’d have a teaspoon of Natura Calm (it dissolves in water) twice a day. I’d have a gel cap of 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D at least once a day, and I’d consider it twice a day. I’m not a fucking doctor, but if this was my wife, this is what I’d do. She may even feel worse initially if she is used to eating shitty carbs, but she will feel better eventually. I’d say do the 4 week “challenge” and commit to it. I’ll remind you both that complications from these “conditions” are going to be MUCH more costly than buying vegetables and meat.

Your proposal for training is a good one. When she’s ready, you can find weighted objects around the house for her to move around (hold for squatting, press overhead, do push up progressions, hold for lunging, row, hold for RDL/good mornings, etc.). She needs to commit to it yesterday. I’d recommend at least four days a week of at least 15 minutes of this kind of stuff. I’d have her squat, lunge, row/pull, and press in every “workout”. If you need to make it a circuit, then so be it. You could even time it like CrossFit but stress proper technique. Buying PVC and filling it with sand will cost only a few dollars and provide a bit of weight. They also have pipes at hardware stores that you could buy for weight. She will feel absolutely shattered from these sessions initially. Accept it. Fight through it. She will get better. But you and her need to commit to this together.

If you guys need ANY help, any at all, then give me a text or call (my number is in the signature of the e-mail I sent you). I’ll send you Wolf’s Paleo book, send money for quality food, get you some used dumbbells, or just talk to your wife on the phone. She can beat this. It’ll be hard, it’ll take time, and it’ll hurt, but she can do this. I’m going to ask a friend who is a natural physicist to comment — he might be able to be more precise the supplementations. I’ll also be doing a podcast with him eventually, so keep us updated on your situation.





149 thoughts on “Q&A – 43

  1. Getting ready for my meet.

    Squats today:
    425×1 (PR)
    430×1 (PR)
    435×1 (PR)

    I should have just bumped it up by 5 initially but I’m still happy with what I got.

    230×1 (Paused PR)
    235×1 (Paused PR)
    240×1 (Paused PR)
    245×1 (Paused PR)

    230 is ten pounds lower than my last successful touch and go triple.

    Deadlifts looked a SHIT TON better than prior weeks. Back angle is good. I’ll pull lower than what I Squat at the meet but I’m just happy they look good.

  2. PR – C+J’d 225. Have cleaned 275 but due to my crippling disparity between upper and lower levels of strength I’ve never even come close to jerking it. 225 felt good, proceeded to miss 235 like 4 times.

  3. Manly deeds: carried boxes of books for a teacher, created sucrose solutions of varying molarity for bio teacher(manly?), helped my elderly neighbor move junk out of her house, spread training knowledge, snatched 205 and cl and j 245 at 190 bw 3 weeks after starting Olympic lifts, and finally my highschool lacrosse coach officially dubbed me “the beast” and said I look like a man playing among boys.

    • Also, I flirted with girls in Spanish in my Spanish class( I am Irish, and about the farthest thing from Spanish) and wore short shorts and a tank top. Several people commented on my huge ass and legs. And in response to the smolov post. I did it this summer, and several natural lifters I follow on YouTube have done it with great success. Keys for success: 1. Sleep alot ( this is why I did it during the summer) 2. Eat alot of fucking food and drink alot of fucking milk 3. Preferably you must be a young buck, unless you are taking peds. I never really felt beat down, and by the second week I was adapted to the volume and lifting weights for reps and sets I never thought possible. In the end I gained 30 lbs on squat with just the 3 week base mesocycle and 20 pounds on bench with smolov junior. Deadlift and press also went up significantly, and squat technique improved

      • IMHO, if you are a male in high school, you are effectively on anabolic steroids, for training purposes. The volume I can handle at 28 is nowhere near what I could at 18.

        Enjoy being a raging ball of testosterone, without having to jab a needle in your arse. Its a great time in your life for training.

  4. Ran out of the plates that I initially purchased for my home gym. It’s not much but I’m now doing squats and deads at 225 for speedy sets of 5.

    Also, finally approaching 200 pounds bodyweight. Im still fairly new to this so, ya know, good times.

    Also, I have some used (but good condition) dumbbells, adjustable from 5-20 pounds. I’ll donate them to help Joel/Blister and his wife if he’d like them. Just let me know :)

  5. Failed my Intensity Day squats. I think Deadlifting *heavy* every week for the past 6 weeks has taken a toll on my low back, as it gave out (rounded) after 380 x 2, and it’s been sore throughout the week. 375 x 3 was easy last week, and recovery stuff is good, so I’m blaming the frequent deadlifting.

    Bench 285 x 3.
    Dead 420 x 3.

    Deloading squats and not deadlifting for the week; we’ll see if this gets me back on track.

    • Hey dude, I wouldn’t necessarily deload squats all together, just maybe take a light week and a week off of deadlifting. 6 weeks in a row pulling heavy will accumulate a lot of residual fatigue. 1 week of taking it (relatively) light should set you straight if recovery is in order. Good luck!

      • Agreed, if the triple was easy the week before, just look at it as a recovery deficient and try the same weight again. I’ve seen many recommendations about NOT deloading ID. I did it too much and it really slowed me down.

        Get more sleep, repeat VD– go at it again and keep going UP!

  6. I’ve decided to max squat 6 times a week again (3 back, 3 front), because it helps me remember how it is to feel again.

    Life PR: made a friend at the gym that I can talk to about cool things like Klokov, Abadjiev, and press medleys.

  7. Re cholesterol. LDL or so called bad cholesterol will increase due to resistance training.

    Re the Vit d. I was once deficient, supplemented 10000ius a day for 6 months and only got into a healthy range. You can’t overdose on that shit. So if she is severe, take 20000iu.

      • Im not sure the mechanism, anybody who claims to understand cholesterol, doesnt understand cholesterol, but there are a few studies on the internet where they had 2 groups, 1 control, 1 who did some sort of resistance training. As with all human studies, it was likely loose with its scienctific protocol but its enough for me. LDL increased in all people in the resistance training group. A fair few smart people just destroy anything related to cholesterol, Chris Masterjohn comes to mind. I tune out to anyone crapping on about Chol now. Hats of to Justin for discussing it.

        At the time I read, I was 31, on an oly lifting program, eating heaps, 100% paleo, and my chol, everything but VLDL and Trigs, were through the roof. The doc wanted me on meds right away.
        I walked out.

    • “Re cholesterol. LDL or so called bad cholesterol will increase due to resistance training.”

      I think this is a gross over generalization because it is heavily influenced by nutrition.

      “Re the Vit d. I was once deficient, supplemented 10000ius a day for 6 months and only got into a healthy range. You can’t overdose on that shit. So if she is severe, take 20000iu.”

      Interesting. n=1 one, but interesting. Wolf says in his book that ancestral populations probably had over 20k IUs a day (don’t have book in front of me, though it’s on the floor).

  8. No PR’s this week.

    Successfully was intimidating enough to prevent sketchy hobos from approaching the 7 girls I was with walking home from the club in San Francisco last weekend. Is that manly that 4-5 guys are afraid to walk up to the girls when I’m there, but don’t hesitate at all when it’s just the girls?

    Also, wearing my short shorts to my neighbors birthday tomorrow. She’s inviting 60 of her sorority girls, and only 10ish guys are invited. Is stripping manly?

  9. Thanks for the reply Justin! I hadnt considered the fact that the plan was basically built around lifters using PEDs. I agree that its in my best interest to just stick to the TM for a while and keep making gains here. I mean, I cant complain about getting out of the gym after an hour or so.

    Finally squatted 400 last night… It felt pretty good for a minute or so, but after thinking about it, I believe I probably could have hit this weight a year ago. However, I was on stupid programming and was always afraid of missing it or possibly hurting myself so i never even attempted it… i guess that makes the case for sticking with TM and not trying to squat my dick off with the smolov program, sweet.

      • Yeah I think its pretty sounds advice as well. I’ll likely just add a little volume into my current set up so that I can gain a little mass considering im still on the light end of the spectrum.

  10. deadlift 210kgx2 – PR
    Squat 197,5kg
    overhead press 85kg x 2 PR


    – helped to move my friend
    – i helped em…not totaly normal girl which is overweight with exercises, she takes care of mentally disabled people (she kinda is…well in that team) but wanted to loose some weight and get more social with people, i will take care of her for some time. she can squat now, yet she doesnt quite now why she should, but we are working on it : ) it’s hard to comunicate with her, but im learning to.
    – i took my friends with their girlfriends to the gym . and thought them all to squat, soo 4 people more squatting:D girls loved it. that’s all, not quite a lot..

  11. Pulled 585 goddammit.

    On the neck issue: I did a metric dick-ton of neck harness work and don’t think it helped growth anymore than heavy deads. Irregardless they are still fun to throw in at the end of a session to keep it oldschool.

  12. 6′ 2″ 217lbs
    Hang Power Clean & Press: 135 lbs x 5 singles otm
    LB Squats: 275 lbs x 5 singles otm

    Progressing well, but may cut back on my volume a bit as I haven’t been feeling fresh the past few mornings. Been foam rolling before my workouts and squatting feels much better, a night and day difference.
    Ate 37 chicken wings. New PR, felt terrible for a day and a half.
    Tried butter in my coffee. Meh, gave me greasy lips.

  13. Saturday, I hit a 1 kg snatch PR, 78 kg. Monday, I hit a 5 kg squat PR, 150 kg. Today, I added another 2 kg to that. In January, I stopped low-bar squatting, and started doing high bar, because I focus on olympic lifting. Today, my high bar PR passed my old low bar PR by a tenth of a pound.

    • Manly deed for the week: Started curing a 10 lb slab of brisket to make corned beef. This weekend, I’ll be cutting the heads off a couple of rabbits and butchering them.

  14. Long time lurker, first time poster. This site is awesome.

    No lifting PRs this week. My lifts have all gone to shit now that I’m in another country for school with crappier food quality and not to mention the general stress from just going to another country.

    Life PR (and manly deed?): Joined the rugby team here at school. A guy on the team saw me working out at the gym and asked me to come to tryouts. Never played any sports before actually, but I’ve always wanted to. This is the first time since 5th grade that I’ve had the time and opportunity to play a sport. The season will set me back in my journey to squat 405# but it’s worth it.

    I have a question for Justin and anyone else who trains other people. How do you deal, personally, with people who aren’t willing to do enough to accomplish their own goals? I’m not talking about how to convince them to make changes in their lives, that has been discussed here before. I’m wondering how you deal with the personal stress that this causes you (I would assume that it does to some extent?). I am not a professional coach, I’m a student, but I am currently training both of my parents and one of my best friends and this is stressful enough. I give them advice to help them achieve their goals and try to do it in small manageable doses. I never ask any more of them than I do of myself, but still they only follow about half of my advice. I love teaching them stuff and I’m glad what they’re doing is helping at least a bit, but they aren’t achieving their actual goals because they aren’t willing to put in the work necessary (e.g. the friend is a vegetarian, won’t change). It’s incredibly frustrating, because the solutions are so simple. Should I just accept that most people will never be as dedicated as I am to achieving their goals? How do you deal with this?

    • dump them. Robb wolf talks about it in the paleo solution book justin mentions above. 25% of people just wont be helped, will fight you every step of the way, 50% will be in and out, various levels of dedication, the final 25% will be passionate and dedicated – try and find them.

    • It’s hard, but try to remember that their progress (or lack thereof) isn’t a reflection on you, so much as it is on where they’re at in their lives. Some people are never going to get it; some will take a while to get it. It can be really frustrating to meet people where they are. And if someone’s really obstinate, fire them as a client.

    • If you’re still in school, I’m guessing you’re not a paid trainer. Non-paying people may not be super motivated to change, and the best you can do is offer sound advice WHEN THEY ASK. Otherwise, let them do what they want and get crappy results while you continue to make progress.

  15. Finally major PR today. Just a great week all around for lifting!
    DB Bench: 75×10,10,12- that ties PR set and gets my goal of 3×10.
    85×3- first time I’ve ever managed to support the 85s, and they didn’t even feel that bad. Pumped for next week, going to get some real work with them.
    Lat Pulldowns: 220×12 PR- still piddly weight, but building up.

    Also! Most pumped of all about the fact that I’ve been able to start barbell lifting again!
    OHP- 160×1, felt good
    Push Press: worked up to 205×1, which is a PR by 5 pounds. Very happy about this.
    Squat: worked up to a 335×1 single. Got it but my knees started to come in, called it there. Hit 315×3 with good form later in the week.

    Med School PR: Also got an A on a biochem test in medical school. It’s been a damn good week all around.

    Weight’s also back down to 215.

      • I’m honestly not sure, but I’m at a osteopathic school and OMM really interests me. I was initially interested in orthpedic surgery, but that’s 8 years of training after school, and I like to geek out on metabolism stuff… so I basically have no idea.

        -PS. having several hundred people around who can fix soft tissue or vetebral/joint problems really helps with recovery from lifting.

          • You can do it dude. 18 months ago I was unemployed, hadn’t taken a class in 3 years, already had a degree that I couldn’t work with, and hadn’t taken the MCAT.

            If you’re not in the US I can’t offer much advice, but if you are I’d be glad to if you want.

  16. Rep PRs:
    DL: 300 x 6
    BP: 255 x 9
    OHP: 150 x 7

    I am disappoint. My squats felt weaker than ever this week. I could only squat 265 for 5 fucking reps. I ended my LP at 280×5 for fucks sake. I think my technique was fucked today.

  17. I got back in the gym today after an 18-day layoff to get married and go on a honeymoon. I’ve just done squat/bench/row 3x this week with escalating weights. I’m moving to a new apartment tomorrow, which is always an ordeal that results in a few new chest hairs.

    Manly deeds: 1) completed navigation and tour of the California coast with my new wife in a rented mustang convertable. I’d never been there before and neither had she. Most days I wore short shorts, except for when it was too cold I wore pants similar to vietnam-era BDUs. One day we completed a 10-mile loop through a state park in Big Sur covering stunning beaches, mountains and redwoods, all without a map. I mean I looked at the map at the entrance, then went with it from there. I didn’t want to leave. During this time I grew a beard as a place holder so that I could have a mustache (not really possible to grow a mustache solo IMHO). Day 10 I shaved the beard with a shitty disposable razor and left the mustache. When I got home my electric shaver was packed in a moving box so I shaved 18 days of growth off of my lip with a dull disposable razor. 2) This morning I noticed one of my chest hairs almost touches one of my throat hairs. They day the two sections legitimately merge will be nothing short of monumental in my life.

  18. Hey everyone. I had hip surgery yesterday and it wet really well. Been resting up in bed playing lord of the rings online. Any of you guys play that?? Get at me. Anyway, on tuesday I went for a max deadlift and bench. I missed 485 at lockout, I was so fucking pissed. I nailed 290 after that though. So yeah, no lower body training for quite some time, but I’ll be benching, hoping to get in the 315 range by year end. And Happy Birthday to 70s big!!!

  19. Long time poster, first time reader.

    LP PRs: 240 3×5 squat / 180 3×5 bench / 335 1×5 deadlift / 135 3×5 press. I have a feeling I’ll stall out and have to switch programs before I get there, but I’d like to reach 315/225/405/185 for each lift respectively. Baby steps.

    Life PRs: Nutted up and finally bought a belt and shoes (which ended up being half a size too big so now I have to wait another six days). Hate myself for not taking the plunge earlier.

  20. bench 250×5
    squat 295×5 (high bar PR)
    DL 374×5 (beltless–forgot it)

    pseuod-revolution PR: no short shorts yet, so I started rolling up the waist of my shorts to show of my quadzz

  21. Two PRs this week that finally make me feel like I can post without being embarrassed:

    #1-I hit the 100# lost mark, which I’m pretty proud of.

    #2-I cleaned 85#, which isn’t much compared to you guys, I know. Five months ago, though, just cleaning the bar on its own was a struggle.

  22. No PRs

    You may or may not care what people think Justin but I gotta say after reading the portion for Joel, you sound like a good dude man, kudos. I don’t know many people that would go out of the way for someone like that.

  23. 325×5 on Squats and 130×5 on Strict OHP

    Manly things?
    Found a nice (but broken) dresser on the sidewalk, carried it home and repaired the broken drawers

  24. No PR’s this week. *sigh* Re-injured my right knee after 7~8 months of being able to squat and Oly lift fine.

    I was having problems with my lower back rounding in the very bottom of my squat, mainly because I wasn’t keeping a very upright torso, despite high bar-ing. So, I figured external hip rotation would be the cure. Turns out my knee does NOT like the torque this produces. I’m considering having it looked at this time around. Only time will tell how long I won’t be able to Oly lift for, which is such a bummer, since I just got my garage gym set up, and I was starting to get really close to having good snatch technique.

    … Well, I guess I can always work on my overhead strength…

    • Do you wear weightlifting shoes? The external hip rotation would not be a problem if you kept your toes pointed out. Have you seen the articles I’ve written on this? Because the toe angle is dependent on mobility and you shouldn’t try a forward toe position with poor mobility.

  25. First – Joel AKA Blister, I grew up about 20 minutes north of Gettysburg (currently reside outside of Philly). I have a decent gym set up in my shed with a few parts to spare, like some load able DB handles and plates for them, that I could donate to the cause. We could meet up the next time I am in the area. If you are interested, let me know and I will provide email.

    Second – Only PR this week was a 195# snatch (that’s about 88.5 kilos for you legit lifters). Did it in sneakers too. I have actually set a few weightlifting PRs without weightlifting shoes lately and it makes me wonder if I ever needed them in the first place.

    • Hey, 20min N of G-burg sounds like exactly where I live – Does the l’il town of Gardners ring a bell? Didn’t grow up here, but further north up in good ‘ol Perry County…

      Thanks for the offer, man – I really don’t want anyone to go out of their way to help us, (esp. those that would have to pay to ship stuff) but if you really are that close sometime I guess it would be kinda awesome to have an actual 70’s Big hookup of sorts (No Homo). My email is: regal1lager at gmail dot com

  26. Two PRs this week in the Clean:

    300# on Tuesday, 315# on Thursday.

    My previous max was 275 (back in May), and I took an Oly-lifting hiatus due to a new job. I basically only had time to squat…so I squatted twice a week for 4 months. Got back into the lifts, started wearing tank tops and shorter shorts last week… and started dick-stomping my previous PRs.

    Wear tank top for make glorious revolution.

  27. So, 70’s Big has the same birthday as me, eh? I better post some happy b’day goodness to celebrate!

    I hit two LP PR’s –
    Since July 19th my BW has gone from 77KG to 90KG and I hit 100KG 5×5 squat after starting with the bar. Nothing like the numbers you guys push, but a good birthday present to myself, none the less.

    Working towards being an adult male that can squat 405…

  28. Competed in my first powerlifting meet last weekend. Weighed in at 206.
    Hit a 350 Squat, 215 Bench, and 420 Deadlift.

    Squat: 1×5
    Bench: 205 1×5
    Deadlift: 355 1×5

  29. No PR’s this week, doing a taper for a 1RM test with my strength class on Sunday. We’ll have 3 attempts at Squat, Press and DL. Not quite a competition but good practice. (and press instead of bench)

    I’ll then look to start another cycle to prepare my 2nd meet on Dec. 1st– need to get stronger and lose ~6 pounds.

  30. Happy Birthday to 70’s Big! Started following at the very beginning. I don’t post a lot, but do enjoy following you guys and all the great progress the community has made.

    Solid Justin with the offer of help to Joel. It’s been said before, 70’s Big takes care of its own, just another solid example!

    Keep up the great work guys!

  31. Sumo deadlift pr of 495 tonight. I haven’t pulled sumo in at least six months and eating season is almost upon us so I’m certain I’ll pull 495 for 5 this year.

    Anyway, Happy Birthday 70s Big! Here’s to another three years, lots more PRs and fit folks with obese BMIs!

  32. Wow, Justin…thank you very, VERY much for the great info – I can tell you legit sympathize with our situation, what with your mom and all.

    I did get her some 5,000 IU vit.D caps about a week ago, since she found out about her condition – – She is also taking 5-HTP, fish oil (prob not enough), flax seed oil, calcium, and glucosamine/MSM (recommended for her fibro & joint pain). We will definitely take your advice and start a paleo diet ASAP and get some of that Natural Calm. I don’t see any magnesium in any of her supps, but I currently take ZMA every night – Do you think she would be able to take it, too?

    Also, thanks for the kind offers of support (some of the community too), it’s awesome to see that folks still care and want to help their fellow 70’s Big-ers! I think we’ll be able to handle it, but we REALLY appreciate the gesture – You guys are the bestest! ;)

    I’ll def keep y’all up to date on our progress as well…although a future phone consult w/Justin might not be a bad idea – I looked but didn’t see an email with ur digits anywhere. Did you send them thru FB? I “can’t do it”, so I created a bogus acct to ask you the question. Perhaps you can write it and we’ll do it live…


    Also, no real PRs to speak of…had 3 nights in a row with <5hrs of sleep and it showed. Only managed to SQ 365×2 and tied my Press PR of 140×5. DL totally sucked 'cuz my back felt so tight that I had to lie down on a mat for a few minutes before it started to feel better. This after mobbing/stretching/lax ball work like a madman pre-workout. Good.

    Wanted to film myself in nothing but short shorts, using my chainsaw to fashion a log press from an actual tree that is leaning over in our yard…but didn't get around to it. Maybe soon. Maybe i'll just hang myself from it instead. Can you tell I've been reading MopeilityWOD??

  33. Went for rep PRs this week after 5 solid weeks in the 1-5 rep range.

    Stats: female, weight just under one fiddy

    DL: 10 @ 215 (clean grip)
    Also did 285 on rack pulls which is relatively new in my lift rotation.

    BP: 10 @ 100

    And used 135 for snatch pulls from hang position.

    And my manly acts (even though I’m a girl) this week were:
    Mowing the yard…twice
    Having the balls to drop in unannounced on an attorney I’m trying to get a job with
    Rescuing a teenager getting crushed by his bench press fail
    Rejecting post-coital cuddling by shutting off the lamp and saying “no more touching”.
    Watching hours of war documentaries

    Currently recovering from all my pr’s and manliness with red wine, chicken thighs and roasted beets.

  34. Oh…derp…I totally forgot to mention my new BW PR of 174# (@ 5’5″) – Up from 130# before I started my LP and GOMAD. I’ve been wondering what an adult runt male such as myself could realistically top out at, since I think I’d look pretty ridiculous @ >200#, heh.

    Also used a weight training reference to answer a question in a job interview…that I mobbed prior to.

  35. no pr’s due to totally fucked shoulders, tweeked them hitting a 5k snatch pr (missed three attempts before pr’ing then went ahead and put 5k more on for three more misses)…nothing hurt till the day after, and it wasnt the typical soreness,felt like rotator/stabilizer pain. three weeks on sunday, oh and rep’n out 135 on bench is brutal painful

    on smolov- did that about a year ago, was 29 at the time and was coming off of alot of 20-rep work (used the template from stronglifts) and squat went from 425 to 475 in 5 weeks @ 4 squat sessions a week. previous comments were spot on: tons of time in the gym, food, sleep, testicular fortitude…oh and i iced the shit out of my legs after every session…and after all that still bombed out in the ‘intensity’ cycle two weeks in a row (although i think it had alot to do w/ what was more or less a two week deload between the two cycles). would really love to try it out again to see what both cycles would do (oh and dont expect any time for upper body work)

    • oh and as far as the mantastic deeds challenge for the week, does taking the 5 month old baby girl to my tiny gym for most sessions count? try getting in the zone while feeding the baby so you can get another attempt in. nothing says hit that c+j pr and control it on the way down like sleeping beauty five feet away… my wife still bothers me for the pic my gym owner buddy took of my baby girl watching me squat

      • although its pretty funny to not be known as the guy with the crazy beard or the guy who squats really low, nope i’m just ‘guy with baby’, totally in love though so its all good

  36. Slowly getting back into regularly lifting after focusing on my sport for the last 9 months.

    So my only PR was RDL 3×5 @130kg. Its only a PR because I used to DL instead. I’m still weak as shit compared to what I was. Anyway, its somewhere to start from.

    Justin – I forgot to mention it in my last email, but if you find a copy, read Persian Fire, by Tom Holland. I think I mentioned it to you when you were in Sydney, but I obviously didn’t lend it to you because I just found my copy on the shelf.


  37. Had a meh day of training. Squat 450×4, Benched 265×4 and both were fails. Then I deadlifted 485×5 and I thought I might die on the 5th rep. But then I didn’t. I’m getting ready for my first meet Oct. 6 at Furman University. Hoping to just see what it’s like and really get ready for the state USAPL meet in December where I hope to beat the currently low state record in the raw squat which stands at 525.

  38. Neck work: The harness is great but if you aren’t pulling heavy (deadlift, clean, rack pull, shrugs, whatever) then something will look off, like someone who does mad curls and never chins. My favorite neck exercise: flexion. Grab an ab strap for hanging leg raises (clean the shit out of it first!), attach it to a high cable rack, insert your face and head bang.

  39. Had to finish a term paper the night before friday, so I got only 5 hours of sleep and was fucking tired before my training session. Nevertheless, training went very well:

    Squat: 185 kg (~ 408 lbs) x5 –> PR
    Bench: 117 kg (~ 258 lbs)x5x3
    Deadlift: 205 kg (~ 452 lbs)x3
    Barbell Row: 105 kg (~ 231 lbs)x5x3

    BW: 93 kg (~ 205 lbs)

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