Q&A – 44

PR Friday is a celebration of training. Get active in the 70’s Big community and talk about your training. If you aren’t “as strong as everyone else”, it doesn’t matter. We all started somewhere. Post training updates or the week’s PRs to the comments.

The Weekly Challenge was directed at women and was a photo contest. I neglected to post about it on social media, and therefore there were zero entries (despite one gal putting a submission for the manly contest!). Nevertheless, this will make me rethink gender fairness for contests in the future.

Next Week’s Challenge: Cook at least one meat-based meal in the crock pot. Post the recipe to next week’s PR Friday comments.

Week In Review: Monday started with a female post about muscular imbalances. It’s relevant to guys, but it’s common for females to have muscular limitations in their training. On Tuesday I provided a progression and programming parameters for someone who wants to train for a GoRuck Challenge, though most of the advice applies to backpackers and hikers too. On Wednesday I posted a video that shows and corrects the three common mechanical faults with the press. I’ve also started consultations back up and have talked to some very cool people, including a Scot and Australian in the same day (I wish I had a cool accent).


Chad H. asks:
Hey Justin, couple of questions for the Q&A:1. Is there any marker to determine when would be a good time to switch to the TM Split? Just when you feel like it?

2. Think it’s possible to push up both the Press and Bench every week? I know you give a couple of scenarios in the TM Advanced but I’m talking Bench and Press Volumes and Intensities on the same day.

3. I’ve been hearing a lot lately about doing a single heavier than your workset weight as part of the warmup so as to make the workset feel lighter. Any thoughts (specifically doing these on Volume and Intensity days)?Thanks


 Dear Chad,

1. Typically when things slow down in a linear progression. Should the linear progression be run until it’s a life destroying affair that renders the lifter useless for a week or so after their final workout? Probably not. As you know, I did that, and I don’t recommend that people do it anymore. However, if there have been several resets, and the lifter gets to the same weight every reset, then yeah, they are probably due for a programming transition (assuming there aren’t extraneous factors like technique or recovery that are causing this).

2. Hmm. I think it would be possible for an early stage intermediate. I’m not a fan of the “alternate the weekly emphasis from press to bench” in stock TM programs. Chad is referring to how in The Texas Method: Advanced I provide many template examples of how to do both in the same week, though usually one day is “press day” while the other is “bench day”. But if someone were going to do try and get volume and intensity work with both exercises, they would probably need to only use a 3×5 for the Volume Day, and doubles or triples on the Intensity Day. Press may need to come first (since it’s less invasive than benching), but that would depend on what the trainee considers more important (perhaps their order could be alternated every week?). The second movement on the Intensity Day could be several sets of doubles instead of triples to avoid inducing any more fatigue on the muscles that would be there from the preceding exercise. Perhaps both lifts could just use doubles so that the total number of reps are lower for better Intensity progress? It’s interesting, and I’ve never done it, but I kind of like it for early stage intermediate and TM users. Or at least I like it better than the stock recommendation of alternating the lifts every week.

3. Doing a single before the work set would provide a neurological effect of making the work set feel lighter, but I would not recommend this. There is still a physiological effect of getting a rep at a higher intensity. If I had Chris, Mike, or AC do this, then they would have less in the tank for their scheduled session, and it may even throw off the weekly stress. By getting a higher intensity rep on the Volume Day, it’s applying a different adaptive stress than what I’m going for. I see this being problematic for them.

Now, if we’re talking about people who are focusing their training on lower intensity with more volume or reps, then it may not matter. Yet, someone in this position would be a) lesser advanced or b) training just to maintain strength or muscularity within the context of their goals. If someone were regularly working to lift heavy weights every week (as in a Texas Method), I don’t see this being helpful and potentially being harmful. There’s a reason volume and intensity are fluctuated for raw, un-drugged lifters.

Besides, the warm-ups are supposed to appropriately neurologically prep the lifter. I would assume that some proponents of this method may not warm-up properly. Some of them probably warm-up fine enough, yet their program may not be finely tuned where a higher intensity single will disrupt progress.


Michael L.
Hey Justin, I had to workout with suboptimal weights for my latest intensity day. Weighed all the plates on a scale, some of them were accurate with less than half a pound difference, but some of them were off. 45’s weighed 40 lbs, the 35’s weighed 30 etc.Anyway, I made up for the difference in weight, and I think because I had to use steel instead of the bumpers I’m used to it messed everything up. Squat and press were hard, but I got through them. Deadlift I only got 2 out of my 3 reps.

27 Male 235 lbs

For reference, today I did the following:Squat: 375×5
Press: 182.5×5
Deadlift: 460×2 (wanted 3)

Should I repeat the same deadlift next week when I’m back to the bumpers I’m used to? Switch to 2’s? Or move up? This is my 4th week on the Texas Method. Before this, I did 5-3-1 for 10 cycles, before that Smolov, before that Starting Strength, before that Crossfit. I have both eBooks so if there is a section you can point me to that works as well.


Dear Michael,

Your volume is at 84% of your Intensity Day and you’re only in week 4. Typically the “cap at 85%” applies to 3×5 as opposed to 5×5. This means that the volume is higher than it probably should be at this point.

I think that you started with weights that were too heavy on both the Volume and Intensity Days, especially since you are coming from 10 cycles of 5/3/1. Given that all of your plates were dicked up, you need to account for that in the progression (especially if bar weight is 5, 10, or 15 pounds different). If you are returning to a non-crappy gym with better equipment, then do what you can until then. Otherwise, do not increase your Volume Day and try and let the Intensity Day increase. Since your ID is hard already (as a result of you picking weights that are too heavy), it may take a weeks to normalize. If you think that the Intensity Days should not be hard, then you are probably doing too much volume (since you are doing a 5×5 and just came from a lower volume program like 5/3/1, a 3×5 on Volume Day is probably more appropriate).

Lastly, if you have both books, then review the Intensity Day rep schemes. There are plenty of options you can transition to with clear instructions on how to use them. That means that you could probably use triples, or doubles, or another approach to allow you to hit get decent intensity work in.


Brian45 asks:

What are your thoughts on this uncoordination regarding movement patterns? and how to address it (especially in a group setting) without holding back other kids that pick up things faster?


Dear Brian45, 

This is where the art of coaching a group comes in. CrossFit does a pretty good job of teaching their coaches to take the group through the progression of a movement together. This allows you to get some eyes on people during the progression. If someone has an issue, you can cue them simply enough. If it’s really bad, then you may or may not have the time to correct it, depending on the severity and length of time the correction would take. In such a case, continue the group’s progression, and you can focus a bit more on that person once the individual portion starts (if there is such a portion).

The effectiveness of this process is dependent on the quality of simple, concise progressions to achieve the goal of a given movement. Rippetoe’s teaching method of the power clean differs from USAW’s power clean progression, but it’s incredibly simple (I taught a 65 year old cyclist to power clean in about three minutes in Rip’s gym). This particular power clean is good for general strength and conditioning, but may not be the best for Olympic weightlifting. On the weightlifting side, Pendlay’s progressions for snatch and clean are very simple and concise as well, yet they put different emphasis on the movement. In other words, the Rippetoe power clean puts an emphasis on jumping whereas the Pendlay clean/snatch puts an emphasis on proper positioning for optimal weightlifting.

The above paragraph’s tangent provides two examples of good progressions that are simple, concise, and accomplish the intended goal. If you lack a progression, you’re not setting up the trainees for success. If the progression is poor, then you’re only going to make it difficult from a mental or physical standpoint.


wayniac asks:

Justin, I posted this question under another topic and I’m hoping you’ll give me your thoughts: Do you think that a male having a 5rm that is a higher percentage of their 1rm could be a symptom of low testosterone? When I was younger (25-29) I used to be able to use the (reps x work-weight x .0333)+work-weight = max for bench and come really close. Now that I’m older (37), I’m finding that I can’t bench what my reps at 225 would suggest under that formula. One other fact is that I used to test my max relatively regularly and stopped doing that for a very long time. So, my question is basically: Am I turning into a woman, or do I just need to start lifting more at higher percentages of my max? Have you ever seen this before?


Dear wayniac,

Short answer: yes, probably. As males age, their testosterone levels decrease. It’s part of life, and it does not mean you’re turning into a woman. Sure, there could be a variety of factors that are inhibiting your lifting ability, but you know that each five year aging period will result in decreased recovery capabilities. This isn’t just because of the number of years you’ve been alive, but the physiological effect of aging, and lower testosterone does occur.

I’m not going to pretend to know much about aging and hormonal supplementation, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to consider for men getting into their 40s. Testosterone is what makes a man a man, and when it goes down, tons of health issues erupt. I’m not even referring to performance, but health, and nobody is going to look after you other than you. Just a thought.

If anyone has anything to add or information to provide, throw it in the comments.

143 thoughts on “Q&A – 44

  1. Justin, I posted this question under another topic and I’m hoping you’ll give me your thoughts: Do you think that a male having a 5rm that is a higher percentage of their 1rm could be a symptom of low testosterone? When I was younger (25-29) I used to be able to use the (reps x work-weight x .0333)+work-weight = max for bench and come really close. Now that I’m older (37), I’m finding that I can’t bench what my reps at 225 would suggest under that formula. One other fact is that I used to test my max relatively regularly and stopped doing that for a very long time. So, my question is basically: Am I turning into a woman, or do I just need to start lifting more at higher percentages of my max? Have you ever seen this before?

  2. This is my first comment…. Been reading this site since day one. Justin– great job. Always entertaining. I’ve learned a lot reading along here. Thanks for all the free work you’ve done for us here. Great resource.

    power clean 160# 5 sets of 3.

    This is significant because it’s the first PR I’ve had under the bar since November of 08. This lift has progressed, and I’m progressing it linearly. I was scared to do it before out of some fear of weak technique.

    Everything else is coming up nicely though. Should be back to where I was in about a month or so. Feels great to be back in the gym.

  3. Notable things this week from workouts:

    RDL 85kgx5x3

    DL 162.5kgx3 DOH
    OHP 67.5kgx3, 70kgx2, 72.5kgx0 (not that great)
    weighted chin ups (+21.25kg) bw 97kg 3×3. Pretty much all reps were paused at the bottom for a while


    Low bar squat 117.5kg, 127.5kg, 137.5kg x 2
    close grip bench 90kg x 7.
    pendlay row 95kgx3x3
    barbell curl 47.5kgx5x3 strict.

    Did some side planks also and foam rolling and mobility work everyday as usual (3 stretches for lifters+ hamstring tack and stretching )

  4. Has a successful week of training – the first time in a while.

    High bar squat PR – 132.5kg, three sets of five.

    Also finally benched 100kg! Been a LONG time coming.

  5. I realized my deadlift form was shitty a couple months ago and have been working on setting up behind the bar more. So with that new form, 305×5, which is a PR doing it that way (old way was more of an RDL).

    Squatted 355×5 for 3 sets, which is 15lbs off my PR.

    Pressed 145×5 (PR 165), but the speed I did them at was insane, and I feel like I’ll blast through that old PR when I get there.

  6. I’ve read this site for months now, but haven’t said anything out of shame. I have the embaressing trouble of looking almost 70’s Big without the personal pride of being strong. That might sound like I’m half-way bragging, but it’s shameful really. I touched a barbell maybe 2 years ago when I bought Mr. Rippetoe’s classic fucking book and everything before that was hiking 10-20 miles with a pack on in the Marine Corps. And pull-ups and flutter-kicks; fucking-a, flutter-kicks.

    This week:
    Squat: 290 and 295, both 3 sets of 5 (2 sessions).
    Deadlift: 375, 1 of 5 (felt like I’d auto-erotic asphyxiated myself, so sort of good and sort of bad).
    Press: 165, 5 of 3 (some hefty back-bending, ie cheating).
    Bench press: 235, 5 of 3 (popped something in my formerly “good” shoulder and now it hurts to wash my hair. I posted a question about this under “3 Press Fixes” if someone cares to help me out here).

    All of these are PR’s because I’m weak and on a linear progression. Love the website Justin, keep on keeping on.

  7. Thanks for answering my questions, Justin. For #1 I was actually asking about moving from the traditional TM setup: Volume,Accessory,Recovery,Intensity to the the TM Split. I’ve been on the traditional setup for a bit and the Split looks like a nice change, but don’t fix what ain’t broke?

    Meet’s a week from Sunday. Singled up to my openers today. Felt a little sloppy. Need to focus more on mobility.

    • Oh. Well god damn it.

      I think it’s time to switch when the lifter will benefit from more (or more invasive) assistance work in order to garner progress. The light day gets to be kind of irrelevant, and if someone adds an assistance day (as in the first book), it can increase their assistance. Yet eventually it’s just better to move to the Split Template. It’s better for the pressing movements since they have a dedicated Volume/Intensity Day, and it’s better for squat/deadlift because they don’t have to be sandwiched with presses.

      You’re probably fine to move to it and may even have better progress and enjoyment on the split template.

  8. What’s up guys. First time posting here – been reading since August of 2011. I try to follow CFFB, but I just started college this semester and it’s been a tough transition. Been in the gym maybe three days a week. Need to figure things out. Anybody else in college here? Would like to hear how you eat with dorm food and all.

    Anyways..these were my numbers this week.
    Squat – 270 (5,4,2)
    Deadlift – 355×4

    I’ve been too tired and haven’t been eating enough. It’s either a little of good quality food or a lot of shitty food (pizza, pasta, etc.)

    • Do you have a meal plan?
      I lived on campus last semester so I was required to purchase one. Lost ~25lbs (currently around 214lbs) eating tons of veggies, grilled chicken/meat, and potatoes. Saw tons of people in the commons get fat as the semester progressed eating pizza and chicken strips every day.

      I’m off campus now so I cook in bulk for the week since I’m taking 17 units of science classes with 9 hours of lab during the week not including weekend open labs. Still setting a solid 3 day a week lifting plan with conditioning but I’ve been getting stronger. I was also in a strength and conditioning class last semster. I always went to the gym tues and thurs mornings having my 3rd day be on sat or sunday depending on how much drinking occured the nights before.

      This week:
      6′ 214lbs (body weight/fat PR) maybe around 15% bodyfat, but I really dont know. I feel pretty fucking good.

      cleaned 255
      deadlifted 415
      pressed 135 for a set of 5 while warming up cleans.

      Also walk a couple miles up huge hills to school multiple times a day wearing a heavy backpack, which I really think added to my overall body strength.

  9. New strength cycle, so not much. 143# Bench. (I have been stuck at 135 for months, too proud to go in 2# increments until this week.) 175# Jerk. Finally, finally finally felt like I was doing a snatch semi-properly this week. Bummed I missed the lady-oriented contest, curious what it was? Also wanted to enter the manly contest after eating 32 oz of steak. But then I remembered my glaring neuromuscular ineffficiency and changed my mind.

  10. DL 305x5x5
    Bench 150x5x5 (working on my form, I have a lot of gaining to do here)
    Squat 205x5x5 (also working on hip torque. It’s starting to come together as well)

    My posterior chain is ridiculous sore – I think from the new squatting form. My quads don’t feel worked at all. I am pretty encouraged that maybe when posterior catched up to anterior, I can make serious gains.

    Wildlife PR: while running at lunch, I saw black bear tracks in the mud in a powerline cut. Then, I saw a black bear get struck by a car while the bear was running across the freeway. It got up and cruised off into the woods, unharmed. The bear was NOT wearing short shorts, though – the only thing that would have made it more badass.

    • Also, a question on exertion headaches. I read the post about passing out, but didn’t see any mention of headaches. I had a pretty serious one a few weeks ago, and I was wondering if anyone else has experienced them?

      • I have, and they’re awful. The first time I had one I went right to the doctor and had an MRI, as they were concerned about it being an aneurysm. Once I have one, I have to completely rest for about a week. Without the rest, I can feel “fine”, then instantaneously feel like I’ve been hit by a baseball bat while under load.

        I find that they generally happen when I have my neck in a bad position. Also, when I’m doing longer sets (I was doing the GSLP, and it generally happened on rep 12+ on the 5+ set). Now that I’m close to my true 5RM and don’t generally go above 8 reps on the 5+ set, I haven’t had an incident in a while.

        Good luck with it – it’s no fun.

        • Thanks for the reply. Yeah, mine was on the 12th rep of the 5th set of deadlifts. I am never doing that again, needless to say. Keepin’ it under 10 from now on (that’s what she said).

    • Doing a 5×5 on deadlift could be the cause of your posterior soreness, call me crazy.

      Also, working under the assumption you have good technique, I wouldn’t think your PC is your weak point setting how much heavier your deadlift is.

      • Yeah, good points. I am probably going to have to dial the deadlifts back since the 5×5 protocol dominates my life with recovery time after awhile.

        Not sure why my squat is so far behind my deadlift – I have decent technique I guess, always with room to improve. I usually chalk it up to ridculously long arms – 5’11” with a 6’5″ wingspan – making it pretty easy to pull.

        • I would guess that the insane deadlift volume is holding your squat back. Your entire posterior chain (from traps to the very bottom of your hamstrings) is probably so chronically wrecked that you aren’t able to squat a weight that’s heavy enough to stress your quads at all.

    • This happened to me while doing the villain challenge #1 last August. It started somewhere in the 30s and I stupidly finished the 50 reps trying to be tommy tough guy. Ended up taking 3 weeks off lifting because of it. Haven’t had anything like that since, but I also haven’t done stupid shit like 50 rep sets of squats. I’ll just take some good recovery and patience and you’ll be back at it in no time.

  11. I’m still dealing with pain/uncomfort around the back of my lower ribs. I’m starting to think deadlifts may be the culprit. Is it my belt? Maybe too big? It doesn’t hurt during the lifts.

  12. Good week this week (for me at least). PRs:
    Bench 215x3x5
    HB Squat 295x3x5
    Deadlift 320×7
    Despite my numbers moving up, I need a deload week badly. I’m fried.

  13. This is my first PR friday. Low back soreness more than usual from the squatting, is this normal when transitioning to TM from LP?
    Squat- 335×5
    Press- 205×5
    DL- 385×5

  14. Hi, I believe it’s my first comment!
    Feel it’s time to start submitting my training progress.
    This week I equaled my previous training PRs.
    Short info: 77kg-class, Weightlifter
    1RM PR (training)
    Snatch: 100kg
    C&J: 115kg
    Jerk: 120kg
    HBBS: 153kg
    Front squat: 120kg
    Press: 77kg
    Push-press: 95kg
    Now I will focus on developing some leg-strength.
    My goal is to total 230kg in the 77-class by January.

  15. Took it easy on the squat and dead this week d/t some nagging back soreness. Used the press fixes and comment cues to press 165x3x5 after failing it the week prior. And it felt solid and tight, like my next increase won’t be a problem. I’ll call that a win.

  16. Good week for me. Did 5 touch-and-go squat cleans at 245, pressed 195 for 3 and hit a 1RM back squat PR at 425.

    I’ve been mostly high bar for a while now, but this max attempt seemed like it was more 85% high bar, w/ the bar being a little lower on my back but, initiating the movement with my hips and delaying bending my knees in order to maximize hamstring tightness on the descent. Yet I’m still very upright when my hip crease passes below my knee (according to the people watching me). My previous max was 405 and 425 went up quite easy, like I could have had 445 or more.

    All this makes me think I may not know what the hell I’m talking about with high bar vs low bar. I’ve read your extensive post on the matter a couple times. Would mind doing one of your “Shirtless in short shorts” (no homo) videos of the difference between the two some time. I’m curious how you initiate the movement. I’ve heard/read that with high bar you simultaneously initiate hips and knees or even knees first, but that does not feel right to me. Thanks. Big fan of the site btw. First comment but I’ve been lurking for a while.

    • I think you’re local, just wondering where you train..didn’t think either of the local cfit gyms were as strength minded as your numbers suggest. Cheers

            • I wear blue.

              One of our guys has a level 2 cert and was able to outfit the work gym pretty decently. Three racks, bumpers, rower, kettlebells, ghd etc but it’s under utilized. To be fair I primarily lift these days and use more traditional conditioning means (prowler, sprints) with the occasional metcon that isn’t shoulder intensive.

              • Does blue mean city police?

                I work from home (sales) so I workout at the box because I do better with the accountability of community. Left to my own devices I’d probably never do any conditioning.

                • It does, yes.

                  I hear that about community it does take self discipline to get er done at home, but it’s those little mental victories like working out when I don’t want to that are “forging elite will to win”

  17. Bs 340×5 intensity, 290 5×5 vol
    Bp 195×5 intensity, 175 5×5 vol
    Dl 400×5, mp 115 5×5 vol

    5’8 167lb 27yo

    2 questions:
    1. Can anybody link me to the diet recommendations for texas method with conditioning? I hear it is similar to paleo.

    2. I work 24 hr shifts. I have implemented texas method on a 9 day cycle to match my work days (1 out of three days, lifting on the day before work, and resting the day after). Day 1 volume day. Bs bp/mp and a couple accessories. Day 2 power snatch or clean and conditioning all out. Day 4 light day. Day 5 conditioning interval oriented. Day 7 Lifting intensity day. Bs bp/mp dl. Day 8 conditioning all out or sustained effort. Day 9 rest.

    Can anyone comment on what i might expect from stretching the week and adding conditioning?

    • Re: diet, I’ve been programming TM style for a few months (and enjoying the progress). I eat MOSTLY paleo, but without a little bit of dirty food I have recovery issues. I just can’t get enough calories in me unless I add olive or coconut oil to everything, and that just gets weird. So a little pizza and a couple burgers are my weekly norm.

      Its just trial and error. A gallon of milk helps the skinny teenagers blast through an LP, but I think most people around here eat more like Grandma used to… http://70sbig.com/blog/2010/06/making-the-cut/

  18. BW PR: 160. Yes pounds. 5’9″. I’m a manlet, but I’m shooting for 185. You gonna finish that pork chop, bro?

    All my lifts went well. Should be back to PR territory in two weeks. Manned up and got a belt and WL shoes (thanks to a 70’s Big guilt trip). Videoed a guy’s DL for him for a form check. He clearly knew that if a skinny manlet was pulling 265, his form must be on lockdown.

  19. First time post – been lurking for a while here…

    8×2 BS 315# which felt alright, I havent maxed BS in forever, its something i feel like i need to get in here soon

    I’ve been going to a Crossfit gym here in Jacksonville FL for a while now and the coach has been running us through a front squat program. I started at 315, and this next week is test week – im looking to hit 325, but 320 would be cool.

    I attended the CF Lv. 1 seminar a few weeks back with a mind to eventually start coaching classes, get more time in, and start programming for myself. I feel like strength is a glaring weakness (72in, 200#, DL445, FS315, BP250, OHP170, SN185,CJ 255) that needs to be addressed before I make any serious progress in other areas – and on that note…

    I’m within 2 months of being discharged from the Navy – my plan from there is to stay in Jax and train for the next year (Dec12-Dec13) before leaving for Army SFAS. I’m reading up as much as I can on strength and conditioning programming, and reaching out to buddies in SF to get a good idea of what I need to be doing for the next year. I plan on sticking with the same gym and running crossfit untill then. December will be an off month mostly – My buddy gets back from deployment the day I get out and the next week we are going to New Orleans to have a voodoo priestess do a super strength ritual on us (real talk). From there he’s going home, and I’m headed back with a stop in the swamp for a warrior spirit quest (also real talk).

    What I’m thinking about doing is running an LP for at least 4 months with some conditioning (almost done with FIT) adding in rucks at the six month point, and adding in more conditioning the closer I get to my ship date, while still keeping the program strength biased. I’ll be picking up your TM books here soon to get an idea of how I should keep moving forward once I break through that beginner phase. A side note that I think is relevant is that I will have a ton of recovery time in between sessions this next year as I’ll have very few responsibilities, only school and coaching.

    If anyone has any advice I’d appreciate your input – I’ll be reaching out to various other sources as well, and try to keep everyone here updated as I progress, kinda use it as a work log and what not, Iv’e wanted to post for a while but just haven’t made the time. Thanks everyone.

    Oh, and Justin, I hit up the exchange and picked up 4 pair of those short shorts and have been rocking them all day erry day. Small children and grown men are visibly distraught around me – the ladies swoon. Boom.

  20. I’ve been in a real funk since the meet, but I need to get my head out of my ass because my next meet is October 13.

    I’m squatting high bar now due to my shoulder. But, the good news is that my shoulder seems to be leaving me alone. It’s okay, since I am setting PRs and sucking less at high bar.

    High bar squat – 106 kg

    I usually don’t give a shit about “PRs” on things like complexes or assistance work, but I hate jerks so much, and I tripled jerked 75 kg this week. That was kind of fun.



  21. Bro, BROs. I almost forgot… Any of you come to hate eggs? I can’t stomach them anymore but I’ve discovered a way to snarf down a huge number of them: Put them in soup!

    Boil chicken broth
    Whisk a shit ton of eggs
    Chop up green onions, put in broth
    Slowly pour eggs into broth
    Put temp on low

    Fucking tasty

  22. This is my first comment, but I have been reading the blog for about six months and have learned a lot from the posts and comments alike. I do a Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday split because of my work schedule, and yesterday was a pretty good day for me.

    Back Squat: 3x3x315 (PR)
    Dead Lift: 5×315, 1×365, 1×385, failed on 1×405 (which I have gotten before)
    Bench: 3×225, 3×230 (PR), 3×235 (PR), 3×240 (failed on second rep)

    Finished with some weighted dips and did a few sets of pull-ups today. Felt pretty good about my squat, which I have really been working on and now know I can go up on.

  23. I’ve been lurking for a while now and decided to brush the sand out of my butthole and post some numbers. My background in lifting weights is sparse – all I do is CrossFit, but I love reading this site. Bro/28/5’11″/175#. PR yesterday:

    – 5×265#

    Decent for me considering my last 1RM (275#) was done on June 1. Guess I’ve made some progress since then. Thanks for the info on this site!

  24. Had a total confidence dive after 2 Fridays of TM going poorly right before my first sanctioned meet next Saturday. Supposed to squat 455×5, got 4. Supposed to press 170×5, got 3. Then I singled my deadlift opener at 495, was super heavy in spite of me pulling 485×5 last week. Pretty meh two weeks of training. On top of that, my knees and hips just started hurting pretty badly over the last fortnight. SUXORZ.

  25. Squat – 315 x 5 (Matches PR)
    Deadlift – 350 x 1 (DOH), 385 x 5 (mixed grip)

    Missed 165 x 2 press, after getting 160 x 3 last Friday. My press has gone nowhere since switching to TM and it’s pretty frustrating. Bench hasn’t really gone anywhere either.

  26. PRs of 295×3 on bench and 325×8 BS. More importantly, PRed on awesomeness by going to a taping of World’s Strongest Man in LA. Saw Big Z, Brian Shaw, Thor Bjornson, Derek Poundstone, and a Polish dude who’s name I can’t pronounce or spell who was probably 280 with veins in his quads. Saw the car deadlift and 700lb giant BB squat. Brian Shaw is the biggest human being I’ve ever seen and Big Z has the sweetest power belly. It didn’t stop him from getting in great start position for the deadlift. Homeboy is mobile.

  27. LP Update. All are PR’s

    BS 215x3x5
    Bench 150x3x5
    Press 110x3x5
    DL 295×5
    PC 155×3

    Had been stuck/failing at 110 for almost two weeks on the Press. Did 5×3, 4×4, and then breezed through with 3×5 on Wednesday!

  28. This week’s TM results:

    Squat – 410×3 PR
    Dead – 550×3 PR
    Bench – 275×2 failed the third
    Press – 165×3

    BTW Justin – I am programming bench and press as described in the first question. I’m doing the split routine and just do 3×5 bench followed by 3×5 press on Monday, then 3RM bench and 3RM press on Thursday. No other pressing assistance. So far I’ve increased both for 7 weeks but I’m starting to stall out on bench as I’ve got only 275×2 two weeks in a row now. Not sure what I’m going to do next, but thinking of just lowering a bit and trying to progress again.

    • I’d suggest increasing the amount of weight you increase between sets, if possible. For example, if you have been making five pound jumps between sets, make 7 or 10.

      I typically put an emphasis on weighted pull-ups and rows in a pressing set/rep scheme like this since the stronger back will augment the presses.

  29. Nothing much to report this week. Felt kinda beat up and stress is high because it’s time for the second anatomy exam (it was funny watching mobility wod videos now though, since I actually know where the structures he’s referring to are.)

    Crappy PRs:
    DB Bench: 85×5- cut down volume this week for a relatively “light” week. Never managed these before last week and got 3 reps then. I’ll take it.
    Lat Pulldown PR: 285lbs. I did it for a legit single, got the ball clear under my chin with a little grinding. Had to strap a 45 pound plate to the machine to get the weight that high. 20 pound PR, so I’ll take it.

    Hopefully I can fit some squatting in this weekend, we’ll see. I’m lifting more regularly, but school still has priority right now. It’s just frustrating not to be doing the big 3.

  30. 28 y/o male, 81kg BW (178?)

    I’ve been away with work, and only got in at midnight last night, so I was worried that I’d feel like shit at the gym this morning, but I actually felt pretty good.

    I’ve been trying to cut back on DL volume, due to my lower back, and instead subbing RDLs, which I never used to do.

    So, banged out 1×5 DL, but not too heavy, and then did 5×5 RDL @ 140kg (305), which is a PR.

  31. Squat 315×5
    Press 185×2
    Deadlift 375×5 (hookgrip)

    I back into PR territory for everything. It is a good place to be. This was done on ~3 hours of sleep and relatively poor nutrition. I will rectify my rest and eating issue next week and keep moving up.

  32. PR’ed my 1-rm’s this week:

    Squat: 385
    Press: 180
    Dead: 405
    Bench: 225

    I probably could have done 225 for a double, but then failed twice at 235… Meh. Pretty happy to add 10 pounds to my squat and press though. Very close to bw press. (6 pounds)

    I am competing (Masters, 181) December 1st…

  33. 6’2″, 217lbs

    Had a rough cold all week. Joints ached, and on my first press with an empty bar the back of my mouth filled with snot. Evaluated the situation as an opportunity to do some garbage I don’t usually do, it was fun. Back to the real world next week.

    Apparently, after watching the MNF game, I thought it would be a good idea to leave my unsolicited name an number on a napkin for a cute bartender. Fail.

  34. PRs:
    Power snatch double: 61 kg, beating last week by 1 kg
    Donated 1 pint of blood in 4 min 17 s, beating previous PR by 24 s. You may address me as Mr. Hydration.

  35. I decided to seriously
    Fuck up my training this week with a surgery. So down for 6 weeks no lifting. that’s encouraging…. But I’m thinking this is my chance to bring up my curl / skull crusher #’s !?!?? Bicep vein PR en route.

  36. Almost became a man today, of course by that i mean i almost squatted 405…so close. Hopefully my time on earth as a pathetic weak little man is nearly over, we’ll give it another try soon…
    anyway a few other PR’s from this week are
    Squat Clean-265
    Hang Clean-255

    On a side note, I havent been able to find good oly coaching where i live. i was just wondering if you or any of the readers can help me with some of the thought processes you go through, specifically i have trouble fully extending my hips on the squat clean and snatch. seems like a common problem among new lifters
    Love your stuff Justin, usually hilarious and always informative and useful. so far havent gotten out of the house with short shorts yet but working towards it…baby steps, ill wear them to go get the mail in the morning

    • Do you do many snatch pulls in your programming? I’ve started doing a lot more of them recently, and one of the first things I noticed was that I was performing the snatch pull differently than I was performing the full snatch. Now, whenever I’m snatching and feel like I’m not getting full extension, I focus on what it feels like to be at the top of the pull, specifically, the moment at which the bar almost feels weightless, i.e. right when you would drop under to receive it.

      A little while ago, I also had some trouble with the “drive the heels through the ground” cue; for some reason it wasn’t working for my frame of reference (should probably reread Ender’s Game). Instead, I started thinking about kettlebell swings, and how it wasn’t necessary to lower the KB to almost to the floor if I simply pushed my hips back like in an RDL, then drove them forward, horizontally to the floor, in order to “stand up,” otherwise known as, extend my hips. This also helped solidify the importance of an extremely rigid torso, i.e. chest up, arch through the shoulder blades, spread the chest, etc. etc… I hope I’ve done more than just state the obvious.

  37. Once again, no lifting PRs this week, and I’m not expecting any during rugby season. Rugby is going really well, though, and I feel like I’m catching on pretty quickly. It’s crazy hard to eat well in this damn country. Butter and olive oil are absolute life-savers. Getting enough protein without spending ridiculous amounts of money is the hardest part.

    Life PR: Justin uses the picture I tweeted to him in the Q&A.

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