Q&A – 47

PR Friday is a joyous day where we congregate like Vikings at a wooden table and discuss the week’s training. Join the discussion in the comments.

Last Week’s Challenge was kind of goofy, but it entailed going up and down some monkey bars. I’ll give the guy who did the most a discount to one of the books.

Next Week’s Challenge: Eat as many animals as you can in a meal or day. If you’re working with different cuts of the same animal, point that out.

Week In Review: It was a short week due to adventuring and drinking a lot of beer last week (before that trip I created a few posts to auto-post but didn’t really have a computer for a bit). The “Limited Training” post provided some ideas for guys that have a lack of time or equipment but still want to get a decent training session in. The “Manly Deeds” was just a recap from a few weeks ago of some of the amusing deeds they did, but I wanted to highlight how taodoju helped a mentally handicapped girl in the gym. Since I’ve grown up with a handicapped brother (and lots of different kids at various programs), I thought it was a very nice thing to do. Don’t be afraid to say hello to these boys and girls; they and their parents will probably appreciate it.

Next Week’s Preview: Two things will hit you in the face next week. The first will be a continuation of The Revolution, but winter style. The second will be the restart of 70’s Big  Radio, a podcast. Stay tuned.



Gurdeep S. asks:
Rip is now teaching the press w/ dead stop every rep but using reflex off of hips forward to initiate each rep (here) I currently press with a bounce in similar fashion to this video of AC.
Rip claims at the end of this vid that you can handle more weight in this newer way than the bouncing style because of more muscle mass involved. Is this true? I could see that there may be less chance of the bar getting forward with the newer way taught because of the exaggerated hips forward to initiate every rep. Whereas, with the bouncing style the most exaggerated hips forward initiation will occur on the first rep. Does it matter?


Dear Gurdeep,

Let’s break this down into a few topics.

1. What is being taught. The “hip whip” prior to the start of the press is what is being taught. It was standard ops in Olympic weightlifting prior to ’72. Exhibit A and Exhibit B show you the technique. The “hip whip” is a push of the hips forward to lay back the torso with the bar on the clavicles or upper chest, followed by pulling the hips back to push the torso forward. This applies force to the bar to push it up, thereby helping the bar off of the chest. Note that in the videos, both lifters (including Serge Redding in the first video despite the front angle) are flexing and extending their knees. It happens quickly and was apparently difficult to judge, but there is clear knee movement in their presses. They then follow this hip whip with a layback, which was sometimes excessive. Rip’s CrossFit Total or pressing rules would limit layback to a line where the axillary (armpit) cannot move back past the glute — this was not the rule in pre ’72 weightlifting. So, to clarify, the “hip whip” to start the rep is what is being taught by Rip in the video.

2. Can you handle more weight his way? On a single repetition, yes. Is there more musculature being used? Yes, but in a similar that there is more musculature being used in a push press. Instead of thinking about inclusion of musculature, we should look at what musculature is contributing to the movement. In this case, the hips and abdominals are being used to lay back and then jut the torso forward. This is different than the pressing muscles solely applying the force at the beginning of the rep.

3. As for Gurdeep’s assumption that it would be harder to get the bar forward, this is not effected by the technique as the lifter will still need to keep the bar close to their face and get under the bar in order to prevent the bar from going forward. In other words, this hip whip does not effect forwardness of the bar.

4. What is my opinion? My opinion is that I want people to use the press to increase their upper body strength, augment their bench press, and get bigger muscles with it (this doesn’t mean Rip disagrees, and I’m sure he agrees with at least the first two things). While more weight can be handled with this method, it is for a single repetition. On multi-rep sets, the lifter will need to do what AC does, and that’s seamlessly use “touch and go” reps. Touch and go creates a stretch reflex in the muscles which is why AC’s second rep is a little faster than his first. The point isn’t about the stretch reflex; the point is that the subsequent reps require different mechanics than the hip whip method.

Even lifters who have received coaching do not press or bench well. Their grip is off, their elbow position is poor, and their shoulders do not have good external rotation. It’s why I made the unnecessarily shirtless video below (“3 Press Fixes“). We lifters are pressing for one of four things: a) to have a strong upper body, b) to augment the bench, c) to have a big, legitimate press, and d) to get jacked as a result of using the press. If a person is not properly externally rotating the shoulder (and therefore keeping the elbows “in” during the movement as opposed to flaring them), then none of these things are achieved. This means that the “3 Press Fixes” are more important than anything else.

Personally, I deem the “hip whip” as a more advanced technique. Barely anyone that I’ve coached in any setting — seminars or otherwise — has pressed with optimal technique. Until they did so, I wouldn’t worry about teaching a “hip whip”.

5. Besides, there are two problems with the “hip whip”. The first is that it encourages spinal movement, whether that is with anterior/posterior pelvic tilt or movement at the thoracic/lumbar junction. I don’t want trainees moving their spine under any circumstances during any barbell movement, so I will not bother teaching them something that opens them up to do so until they have solid mechanics (and a solid trunk).

The second is that since I teach particular wrist, elbow, and shoulder positioning, it is not a requisite for the bar to sit on the clavicles or upper pecs. In fact, when people do this, it usually results in poor wrist position (see the video, the wrist is not a close-compacted joint, creates torque at the joint, and therefore reduces force application to the bar). If someone were going to hip whip efficiently, then they would want their torso in full contact with the bar — like on a push–press — to fully take advantage of the force application from the hip whip itself. The hip whip inherently accepts the fact that there is an arbitrary amount of upward force applied from the hip whip and therefore not being applied by the pressing muscles (shoulder flexors like the anterior deltoid and elbow extenders like the triceps). This fact could potentially be a deterrent for its use, though a counter point would be that there is more weight locked out at the top. Still, I’d rather have full muscle action through a full ROM as opposed to removing the muscle action in the very beginning of the movement. A hip whip press is similar, but not exactly like, a push-press in that the lower body muscles get the bar out of the bottom position.

The third problem is that the hip whip encourages knee flexion and extension. This doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be coached, but lifters will not always have someone like Rip standing there telling them to do it correctly.

6. Given that the hip whip encourages spinal and knee movement, reduces an arbitrary amount of force application from the pressing muscles in the beginning of the movement, and is overly complicated for beginner lifters who almost always cannot perform the basic mechanics (which will effect which muscles are utilized and how efficiently they act), I think that it’s not necessary to teach until someone is an advanced presser. Also factor in the fact that the press is not a competitive lift, and it just solidifies the lack of utility — especially for the average lifter — for this movement.

Instead, I would not have a problem with someone using a bit of dip on their first rep to utilize a stretch reflex. This, of course, would not be allowed in a competition, but there isn’t a sanctioned competition for pressing so it doesn’t matter. The way it differs from the hip whip is that the pressing muscles are actually applying force on the bar from the very bottom ROM as opposed to the lower body moving the bar an arbitrary amount out of the bottom. A preceding stretch reflex makes allows greater contraction whereas the hip whip does not. You can see an example in the below video (Note: I am not a great presser and I would not accept this technique in a competition, but it’s used for muscle action and strength, not for competition).


So, Gurdeep, for the reasons above, I do think it matters. I would only teach the hip whip to someone if their mechanics were solid and there was a competition in which the press were contested. Still, if they weren’t easily pressing over 200 lbs, I wouldn’t worry about it. Especially since a competition that will actually include the press with strict standards doesn’t occur very often.


Hello Justin,

What do you think about programming deficit deadlifts for a period on a TM template? I currently doing a 5rm in deficit deadlifts on the intensity day. I’m thinking about staying with this exercise for a couple of months, and will wait until my next meet (end november) to do a regular pull, and see how that goes.
Any thoughts and comments from you on this?
Thanks for a great site,
Chris BDM
Dear Chris, 
To be honest, I haven’t programmed deficit deadlifts that much or in the way you describe. Depending on the advancement of the lifter, I may be hesitant to administer them since they will slightly alter the mechanics. If a lifter’s normal deadlift mechanics are solid, then I don’t have a problem. The first instance that I would use them in would be as an “active deload” alternated every week. I got the idea from Johnny Pain in this podcast episode (also discussed a little here in the first question). Basically an active deload would alter the movement so not as much weight was used to reduce the stress. In the case of deadlifting heavy every week, a lifter may benefit from alternating that heavy week with a lighter stress day. This is what I essentially do in the Texas Method: Advanced by alternating heavy and speed deadlift days, but you could do the same with something like deficit deadlifts.
Anyway, your question is just asking about them in general. In general, I don’t really have a problem with you doing it. However, I do have a problem with you not doing a regular pull until your meet. I’d rather you get a month or so of pulling regularly because the deficit will slightly alter your mechanics. Several years ago when we were using the terrible “halting deadlift” to try and push deadlift strength (which it didn’t), it significantly altered mechanics where the fellas didn’t like it at all. I don’t know if the deficit deadlift will significantly alter your mechanics, but that’s not a chance I’m willing to take. Besides, I think you could get better progress by using a different approach (like the aforementioned Texas Method: Advanced stuff). This does NOT mean that your approach will be unsuccessful. I’m curious to see how it goes, because it will essentially allow you to linearly progress the deficit dead every week. You are actually handling less weight than you normally could on a regular deadlift, and it could possibly help your off the floor strength (though this is not typically an issue with guys who have trained properly).
Let us know how it goes. Be sure to point out what program you were using in the preceding months before going to the deficit deadlift and detail your progress by using it. I would still have you do some conventional pulling in the final month (but not anything heavy within 7 to 10 days of the meet).
Ritchie S. asks
Competed in a comp on the 6th, took a week off like you advise in the 2nd Texas method ebook, back at the gym today and feeling very weak, is this normal? How should I be implementing the TM after the week long break.Thanx


Dear Ritchie,

You’ll feel weaker because of the hormonal change due to the (assumed) modest peak and time off. The first week back should be considered a ramp up week. You could ascend your volume work and keep the weight a little lower on that first day. It’s also not a bad idea to do a Light-Medium-Heavy set up on that first week back. This is standard though. You’ll be back to crushing weights in no time.


101 thoughts on “Q&A – 47

  1. Mistakenly posted this in the “manly deeds” post. Whoopsies….
    This week’s best worksets:

    SQ: 315 3X5
    Bench: 235 3X5
    Dead: 345 X5
    Press: 150 3X5
    Pwr Cln: 180 5X3 (one miss) PR

    Bodyweight is a touch under 181 today. Things are moving along. A couple of weeks should get me into PR territory on the rest of my lifts. Press will match previous PR next week if all goes as planned. I’m starting to take a bit more time between sets. The reps are becoming more and more important to me. I WANT them. Bad…..

    It’s been 4 years since my squat was where it is now. In the meantime I had gotten it up to 300ish, but now I’m back on it. I’m enjoying linear progression. It’s a beautiful thing.

  2. I’m “enjoying” some time off of pulling/squatting to try to let some illiopsoas bursitis to calm down. Haven’t found a way to load up my legs without aggravating it. So I’m going into “Operation: Jacked and Tan” with a vengeance. Benching and pressing harder with more assistance might finally catch my pressing strength/size up with my squat/dead ability.

    Injuries suck, but they only make you weak if you let them.

    • Yes! I’m kind of looking forward to the day when can I hang up my belt and PR on leg curls and upright rows for reps.

      What happened to tanningandusingmachines? That was a good name.

      • I hate not squatting with a seething purple hatred. I was training to break a USAPL raw state record in December but that’s sidelined for now. There’s another in March that I can attempt to win, hopefully I can be training it hard again by December.

  3. took a break from Oly for a bit and played with box squats. Never done these before, so I guess 265# was a PR. 20# under my best successful non-box squat… but I was sore for 2 days after to the point that I had to steady myself when I sat down to the toilet.

  4. It’s been a while since I posted on a Friday thread. The going has been slow, but:

    Bench: 3x5x195
    Press: 3x5x135
    Deadlift: 1x5x265 (PR)
    Squat: 3x5x225 (switched to high bar, dropped the weight way back, no more elbow/bicep pain and the weight is coming back up, still far below where I want)
    BW: Down to about 212 from 218 or so.

    I was kind of going through the motions there for a while, but feel pretty good lately. I almost always row for warming up and it seems like the more effort I put into rowing the better my lifting is. I’ve been shooting for a 1:45 or so 500m.

  5. 2-3 weeks away from lifting again after the broken arm… been doing front squats with the weird crossed arms thing and pistols squats… it will be nice to get back into regular lifting with my arms again… very worried how week my bench and press will be the first time… also can’t wait to deadlift again

  6. Still making progress on my 2x week TM setup, but things are getting slow… for now I’ll attribute that to reduced sleep due to the baby and all, but I may be changing things up soon

    Squat: 165kg x 5
    Bench: 265lb x 3, 3 – wanted 5 but was way too tired settled for 2 trips
    BW still hoovers arond 180-185

    I have a feeling that the winter verson of the revolution might involve flannel…

    • Almost forgot, got hit on by a large black woman when I was buying a new car last weekend…
      Woman: Can I help you with something, Honey?
      Me: Im looking for Ahmin…
      Woman: OK hold on (picks up phone)
      Man in background mocks how she pages people over the intercom
      She pages Ahmin, sounds exectly like the man
      Woman: (to the man) I hate you
      Man: No you dont, you like me
      Woman: yeah, yeah youre right. Somethings wrong with this black girl, just love me some red necks
      30 seconds later she looks back at me
      Woman: Do you lift weights?
      Me: Yeah…
      Woman: yeah i could tell cause you fine.
      Me: Am I?
      Woman: yeah. yeah, you real fine.
      Me: Thanks? (couldnt tell if srs)

      Later i was looking for a pen and she points to the pen clipped to her shirt that sitting in the cleavage of her giant boobs. I laugh and say no thanks… she takes it out and says “careful this one is hot” I kept the pen…

  7. Finally hit 135lb 3×5 for the press after two resets at 132.5lb. Even hit the last set for 7 reps Thank you, weighted dips!

    Also hit the squat for a PR of 300lb 3×5

    I need to either switch from my LP or re-examine my recovery routine. I’ve been super achy and tired over the last 4-6 weeks, but I’m 34 and have been running my LP for over 6 months now

  8. 145# Snatch (I was really feelin’ 155# but shoulder said no more)
    215# Front Squat
    43″ Standing Box Jump
    Inversely, the better I get at snatching the worse my clean seems to be getting. My Clean 1RM this week was 25# under what it was 2 weeks ago. Feels like I need to overhaul the whole thing.

    Looking forward to the Noah’s ark challenge.

  9. Haven’t post for a month or so.

    I “discovered” that Sheiko and a lot of hours sitting don’t get well together. So I went to a more simple aproach for squat and deadlift.
    I kept the sheiko programming for bench bc it works very well for me both strength-wise and swole-wise.

    About deficit deadlifts if I may add my 2cents:
    It alters your technique so unless your dead technique is very good there is no reason to use them.
    Sheiko says that any lifter below CMS shouldn’t use them. And CMS means a total more than 1463 at 220 bw.

  10. Just finished up FIT this morning. I think you guys did a great job breaking it all down, especially for the “applied fitness” folks such as myself. Just ordered Practical Programming, and Anatomy without the Scalpel; I should be getting around to putting together my SFAS prep program within the next few weeks.

    No PR’s this week, I have been crushing my tripples for press though at 170, which I’m very happy about given the ground is moving underneath me.

    Today the blue angels and a bunch of other old school navy aircraft are sitting on the flight line, I think ill go check them out. There are even a pair of what I think are f22s but I’m not sure. I’m gonna cruise over and hit up the pilots here in a bit.

    Also found out this week that one of the women that goes to my gym was diagnosed with leukimia. We are doing a max out fundraising even tomorrow. Vine urbank is gonna show up and pull 800# ill post a video sometime after.

  11. Front Squat PR: 250lbs

    As I prepare for my first PL meet next week, I’m reminded of how much good material is in the 70’s Big archives. Like this article on tapering from like two years ago: http://70sbig.com/blog/2010/10/a-texas-method-powerlifting-taper/.

    Pro-tip: If you’re looking for info, use the Google search command “site:70sbig.com” followed by search terms of your choice. Works better for me than the site’s organic search bar.

  12. Only things of note from this week are:

    1. Broke the floor with 170kg (about 375lbs) deadlift but couldn’t lock it out. I’ll hit it soon enough and then crush the 4 wheel lift.

    2. Kid-the-younger got us all ill. Kinda interfered with training.

  13. OHP: 125 x 5 x 3 (rep/set PR)
    Bench: 185 x 5 x 3 (rep/set PR)
    Dead: 365 x 5 (PR)
    Squat: 315 x 5 x 3 (PR)

    BW: 179 (PR !!)

    Needless to say, it was a pretty big week for me. Still rocking out linear progression on my Advanced Novice template. I spent a lot of time spinning my wheels by trying to out-lift my diet, trying to out-program my diet and recovery, and trying to do too much in general.

    I’m back and re-focused and am excited to be back above where I originally jumped ship too long ago.

  14. Squat PR: 235lb 3×5

    Do You Even Lift PR: Jacked dude asked me to spot him on DB flat bench. Proof positive that I don’t look totally lost in a gym environment.

    • I know that feel bro.
      I’m not a particularly big fella at about 182 @ 6’0 but i once had a guy come all the way to the “stretching/core” area of the gym, where i was dealing with my gnarly IT bands at the time, to ask me for a spot. He will have bypassed at least 15 other guys just to come find me. I guess he was aware.

  15. Press: 167.5x1x5

    I’ve been cutting. I’m down to 231 from 245 since July 18. Regular intermittent fasting brought me to 237. Now, I mostly eat one giant meal a day, and that brought me to 231. Works pretty well, and strength has maintained.

  16. First PR Friday post. Want to preface it by saying that I love the site. As marathon season continues to annoy the shit out of me with people’s facebook posts of their t-rex arms crossing the finish line, it’s good to know there is hope out there. Me? I’m relatively new to lifting, having been exposed to a lot of the benefits via CrossFit (say what you will about 75 snatches for time, but at least it’s helped me learn the value of lifting heavy).

    Bodyweight: 157

    bench 5×5: 165lb
    dead 5×5: 245lb
    high bar sq 5×5: 170lb (no idea why are my legs so fucking weak. more RDLs?)
    press 3×5: 115lb

    • If it were me i would drop the 5×5 on deads and go for one heavy set of five once a week or every other week.

      Are you on an LP? Looks like you are doing TM, but if youre pretty new to lifting and LP would be more advantageous due to the ability to make progress every time to train…

  17. Mon

    LB Vol 110kg,117.5kg,125kg x3
    Bench 107.5kgx2x3
    pull up bwt (97kg)x5x4
    RDL- 97.5kgx5x3 tiring pulled it off the floor, will take it out of a rack – next Mon w/ 100kg
    side planks/foam rolling


    Deadlift 167.5kgx3 DOH
    Press 67.5kgx3, 70kgx4, 72.5kgx2 PR
    Chin up bwt (97kg) + 23.75kg for 3,2
    Bwt x 9


    Low bar squat 125kgx2, 135kg x2, 145kgx1x2 wanted 2 with 145 but first rep was veryyy slow so racked it. Will prob just do three ascending sets of singles and milk that before going back down to a linear progression again

    Bench 108kgx2x3
    Pendlay row 100kgx3x3 DOH
    Oly bar curl 50kgx 5,3
    EZ bar curl 50kg x 5 x 2
    Side planks/planks/foam rolling

  18. Adopted a new bench press technique at the insistence of a new coach. Smoked my old laughable 1RM of 150 and got 160-something this week. Good shizz.

    Also PR on tweaking the shit out of my lumbar spine last night barbell rowing. Chiropractor, here I come.

  19. North Carolina State Weightlifting Championship on Saturday:
    Snatch 64 kg – meet PR, totally fucking choked on snatches
    Clean and jerk 84 kg – meet PR, all time PR
    148 total – new meet total PR

    Two kilos short of the 150 I needed for the American Open. I choked on snatches like an asshole, which left me opening at 82 on the clean and jerk, which WAS my all time PR. I went 82, 84, 86 and couldn’t stand up the 86 clean. Still not sure what happened there.

    I also had 6 lifters competing. PR for number of lifters coached in a single meet. I coached during two sessions, lifted during a third session and refereed during a fourth session. That’s some sort of PR also.

    I have a last chance meet on November 3.


  20. PR friday. Not a lot to report. Another PR for grades. Got my best biochem grade yet.

    Lifting PRs: DB Bench: 85×9. That’s a PR by 4 reps, I’ll freaking take it.

    I was talking to Brad Johnson (former pro strongman who runs our school gym). He told me about how he was benching at the Ronnie Coleman classic two years ago even though he was just there to deadlift (he was a strongman, not a powerlifter). Some dude was trash talking to him, so he benched. Got 525 and 500 raw, at a BW of 235. He then went for 575 and ripped his pec completely off his humerus. He was just matter of fact about it, taked about how he got surgery, and I’ve personally seen him knock out a set of 20 reps with 130 lb DBs. After hearing that I couldn’t do anything but PR. So I did.

  21. Spent this week ramping back up to heavy training after my meet. Unfortunately but kinda cool at the same time, I’m going to China for work in a few weeks and then comes Thanksgiving week so my training schedule is basically getting kicked in the nuts for a while.

  22. This is probably 7-8 years ago so I don’t imagine it counts for the challenge but one year after hunting season I once did an wild game fondue in which I ate:
    1) whitetail deer
    2) antelope
    3) sharptailed grouse
    4) hungarian partridge
    5) ring-necked pheasant
    6/7) two species of rabbit
    8) porcupine

    All of the above was wild game I shot myself. Deviating from the ‘wild game’ theme of the evening but also eaten was:

    9) beef tenderloin
    10) chicken breasts
    11) shrimp
    12) scallops

    All these animals deep fried in oil. Sweet Jesus, I need to do this again.
    (there may have also been some mule deer in there as well but I can’t remember for sure, so I wont count it.

  23. Squat: 195 kg (~ 430 lbs) x1
    Wanted to hit 3 reps, but today I felt really weak and it was just too heavy (failed on the second rep). Then I did a backoff set of 150 kg (~ 331 lbs) x10.
    Bench: 119 kg (~ 262 lbs) x5
    Deadlift: 212,5 kg (~ 468 lbs) x1
    Wanted to hit 3 singles, but the first one was so slow and heavy that I just did a backoff set of 180 kg (~ 397 lbs) x7 afterwards.
    BW: 93 kg (~ 205 lbs)

    Not the best week for me, maybe I have to consider some changes in programming.

    • I’ve been following your progress over the last few months and you’ve been killing it.

      Your programming is working. Stick with it. We all have bad days.

      I’ve seen one guy on the Texas Method get stuck on 3 reps for a certain weight for 3 weeks in a row. The fourth week he got 5 reps and continued to go up 5lb for the next 4 weeks after.

      Just be consistent and believe in what you’re doing.

  24. Squat: 225 x 3
    Bench: 185 x 6
    Deadlift: 330 x 3

    Birthday PR: I will be 38 this weekend. I’ve never been this old before.

    Running 2 Tough Mudders in Kentucky to celebrate. I know running them doesn’t make me awesome, but they sure are fun.

  25. Deadlift: 405 3RM – farmers walks built up confidence in this lift
    Press: 135 7RM – keeping the elbows in helped a lot
    Back Squat: 275 7RM – thought I sharted

  26. Two PRs this week after a bad couple of weeks being sick. Used cues from the press fixes video for a 215×1. And had my first 500lbs deadlift today. Thrilled about that.

  27. So no prs for a while. I keep having to change up my workouts because my work sched keeps getting moved around. The wife says im looking better every week but im not bodybuilding im just trying to move some real weight. Oh well… maybe next week.

  28. I like to do the Garcy style press (As described by Starr) on intensity day. I like its explosive qualities. For the same reason as the one stated above (not to “steal” shoulder muscle action from the beginning of the lift) I usually do strict presses on volume day.

  29. A pretty good week. I have been battling some tendonitis in my patella, though, and would appreciate any tips on what might be causing that in my squats. My best guess is that the weight is coming forward onto my toes and stressing the front of the knee. Anyway:

    M, 6’1″, 195, 34

    HB BS 5×5 @275
    Press 5 @135, 5 @135, 3@135, 5 @115, 5 @115
    Power Cleans 3×3 @185
    Weighted dips and pull-ups

    Bench Press 3×3 @235
    50 Box Jumps 24″
    RDL 3×5 @185
    Power Cleans 3×3 @185
    Weighted dips and pull-ups

    HB Back Squat 3 @315, 3 @325 (PR), 2 @335 (PR)
    RDL 3×5 @225 (PR)
    Press singles @135, @145, @155, @165 (PR)
    Max strict pull-ups 21 (PR)
    Weighted pull-ups and dips
    50m Farmer’s walk with 100# DBs

    • Hey there, fellow patellar trndonitis sufferer here. There’s two things that are likely going on: 1) your knees are tired and overworked 2) something is wrong mechanically i.e. tissues are tight, fascia is all gummed up. If both knees are buggin it’s probs #1 but if it’s only 1 knee thats in pain then its likely #2. In my experience it has always been #2 so the most important thing I would say is stop moving altogether. JK. I would start attacking your wounds with fervor. Do a search on mobility wod for patellar trndonitis or even super patellar pouch. There’s lots of good stuff in there. Basically I would work on all the structures north and south of my knee. Tight quads, hams, calves can put funky stresses on the tendon which cause it to inflame. For me, I would lay off the power cleans until it was feeling alot better, maybe a week or so. Ice it for 20 mind post workout AFTER you have done your mobing. Kness sleeves are also a plus. Lax ball to super patellar pouch is a must. “couch” stretch against the wall needs to become your best friend. Goor luk!

      • Hey, thanks very much for those suggestions. The soreness has been in both knees — possibly because I have been squatting three times a week of late, but maybe not — but it is most acute in my left knee. I have been icing the left knee at night and use knee wraps when I squat. Thanks to your suggestion, I also found this on Mobility WOD:


        It’s highly possible the cleans, not the squats, are the culprit here, so I’m going to take your advice and go easy on those for the next two weeks.

        Thanks again!

        • the fix is easy…i had major patellar pain in my left knee for almost four months…i tried everything-glucosamine, ice, lacrosse ball on supra patellar pouch, no squating for months…nothing helped…but then i saw a m-wod episode about wrapping your knee with the voodoo band…i bought some of those cheep exercise bands from k-mart that are just a strait length (not a loop)(if you lift at some globo gym they might have these on hand), wrap it kinda tight (like 7 of 10)…work your knee through full range of motion and do some air squats…took maybe three days of work and knee feels better than ever…there were maybe three or four instances where the knee got ‘hot’ and i wrapped it and was able to keep working

          • Thanks! I have been icing the knee this weekend and think I can go ahead with volume tomorrow. I am going to continue with the ice, lay off cleans, and will try your tip as well. Anyway, much appreciated!

  30. Did my intensity day on the tail end of a manflu…

    Squat 182.5kg/402lb x 1 (failed second)
    Bench Press 127.5kg/281lb x 2 (didn’t attempt third)
    Deadlift 202.5kg/446lb x 1 (didn’t attempt second)

    Not the triples as planned, but not bad considering how laid out I’ve been.

  31. I tied my PR of press of 165×5 this week, but I got it for 3 sets instead of just 1 last time. Bodyweight was around 185lbs both times. Excited to try and break that this weekend.

    Next week’s challenge is going to be awesome. I just went to the store today (before reading this) and got 9lbs of steak ($20 too), some pork, sausage, bacon. And at home I already have chicken, bacon ends, other cuts of pork, other cuts of steak and some ground beef. This week will be awesome.

  32. Finally back in the gym this week after 6 week llayoff with broken thumb/surgery. Felt good. I now realize how much grip strength plays into lifting heavy, and I have vowed to never take it for granted again.

  33. PRs from this week:
    Press: 130#
    Push Press: 175#
    Push Jerk: 195#

    PR from a couple weeks ago:
    Front squat: 225#

    Hockey season has started… While I’m not strong compared to your typical lifter (squat is not at 300 yet), I am significantly stronger than your typical person. So playing rec league hockey is lots of fun because very few can move me. When I’m squatting 405 it will be that much more fun.

    I was out for a walk with the lady and found some monkey bars. Completely embarrassed myself trying traverse them while tucked. Did a few pullups on them instead.

  34. Squat PR – 265 3×5, which is approximately 1.5xBW. Got some gnarly bicep tendonitis from having shitty shoulder mobility and using my arms more than I would have liked, but no pain no gain or something like that.

  35. I’m a long time fan/lurker… Thanks for all the knowledge and entertainment!

    I’ve been trying Dan John’s “Even Easier Strength”. On the the day of six singles I hit PRs on my front squat and press and tied my deadift PR. I even felt like I coud have done more, but I hit my 6th lift and quit.

    FS – 315#
    Press – 155#
    Deadift – 410#

    I truly attribute by press PR to improved mechanics… Thanks Justin!!!

  36. Exactly what the guy above said, excellent site Justin!

    The meat challenge is excellent!
    Trio of Roasts in the pub last Sunday. Beef, chicken and pork, served with goose fat potatoes, along with pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon) and the meatloaf my friend failed to eat. I’m not sure what was in the last one, but that’s at least four animals and six different types of meat. All for £12.

    I’ll be on the lookout for others.

    Also, 160kg Deadlift on Friday for a 25kg PR, 24 weeks after ACL surgery. All it took was some gym shouting and the instruction “you’re not allowed to leave until you lift that.”


    • A pub in Birmingham. They were trialling their christmas menu, and we were only too happy to help.

      Goose fat potatoes are amazing, I agree with the stomach rubmbling. The food is the best thing about christmas!

  37. (Neighbor lady, after watching me schlep 205 lbs per hand up and down the alley behind the house a few times): What are you doing?

    Me: Cardio.

    She just looked confused.

    Also, I made the sweet potato/egg/pork sausage crock pot recipe angdesj posted a few weeks ago. It was damn delicious.

  38. This week and last I started focusing my training on Olympic lifting. I have done lots of cleans and I am proficient at them but snatches and jerks I had never really done much before. I practiced the lifts every day with light weight, and got what I would call a comfortable full snatch yesterday. I am still kind of pressing out my jerks but I will keep trying.
    Back squatted 275 for 3 this week and Deadlifted 345 for 1 also. These are the biggest lifts I have done in at least the last 6 months. Hoorah.

  39. Good week PR-wise:

    Press: 170 x 3 Actually not that hard with being consistent cuing “nose”.
    Bench: 270 x 1 Working some weighted dips has bench moving again.
    Squat: 395 x 5

    Still working towards squatting 405 x 5 prior to basketball practice starting this fall (at which time my ability to train goes to crap). 3 weeks out. It’s gonna happen and then some.

  40. So uh…

    …lifetime PRs on all my lifts today. I don’t know how to explain it, except to say that I’ve been eating and mobbing consistently and a total MASTODON spotted me today. (I usually bench without a spotter, foreveralone.jpg.)
    Bench: 150×4
    Squat: 210×3
    DL: 270x1x3

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