PR Friday, 14 DEC

PR Friday: Post your training updates and PR’s to the comments.

Weekly Recap: Addressing Spinal Hyper Mobility, Quality > Quantity, Just Because You Can,  and Jacob’s Chili.

I’ve been debating doing Q&As on Fridays — thoughts? They don’t seem to get much of a response. That being said, go ahead and post questions to comments.

I made a video to piggy back off of the post on Monday about spinal hyper mobility. The post was about a Mobility WOD video that stresses the importance of external hip rotation when pulling to engage musculature around the hips. The video I made explains how stance width will effect the ability to externally rotate along with some other tidbits.

And to give you some other stuff to chew on over the weekend, here’s an awesome video with Swedish strongman Magnus Samuelsson. It starts with an emphasis on his arm training, but gets into some other stuff. I thought it was interesting because of how the ‘online training community’ shuns arm training with cited reasons of “vanity” or “functionality”. Well, strong arms serve a practical purpose instead of just looking massive, and strengthening them is vital in strongman. It’s a good lesson to take from strongman training: train your entire body and do not neglect certain body parts.

138 thoughts on “PR Friday, 14 DEC

  1. You could always throw Q&A on one of the days that you don’t post something, since its obviously hard to find 4 topics a week. And then just leave PR friday as is. I enjoy the Q&A though. That being said, I have a question about deadlifts.

    What musculature should be breaking the bar off the floor to start the lift in conventional? I was always assuming that it should be all posterior chain, but that hasn’t led to great results in numbers. I was talking to a guy at my gym that I’ve witnessed pull ~600 weighing ~200-210, and he was suggesting to start it with my quads. That sounded more like a clean setup though. He’s strong as hell, but I don’t know if he knows proper mechanics, or is just freakishly strong (for example, he hit a 575 high bar squat and refuses to low bar for no real reason). So any insight on what I should use to break the bar off the ground, and/or what to strengthen to get better at that? Because when the bar is more than 2 inches off the ground, I lock it out 95% of the time.

    As far as PRs:

    Squatted 380×5 on wednesday which is a PR
    Tied my press PR @ 175×5
    Deadlifted 325×5, which I’ve done before shoeless, but this was in my lifting shoes, so the heel raise is present.

    • I always wondered about why the deficit deadlift would be the go to exercise for improving the strength for breaking of the floor. Weak of the floor (to me atleast) translates to the hips shooting up before the bar even moves. In TM2 Justin states that the hamstring act isometrically during the start of the deadlift to maintain their tension to hold the back angle in place. Wouldn’t that mean that if you are weak of the floor > your hips shoot up > translates to ‘weaker’ hamstrings? So wouldn’t training your hamstring to bear higher loads be more beneficial?

      • I thought that was the problem a few months ago as well, so I focused on strengthening them more. But now I can do straight leg deadlifts with almost the same weight of my “normal” stance, and can do 12-15 bodyweight GHR’s after heavy deadlifts, so I don’t think my hamstrings are a weak point anymore.

        My hips aren’t shooting up at the start, I just can’t keep any hamstring tension if they’re lower, so I tend to start at a point where they won’t move to begin with.

      • “In TM2 Justin states that the hamstring act isometrically during the start of the deadlift to maintain their tension to hold the back angle in place. Wouldn’t that mean that if you are weak of the floor > your hips shoot up > translates to ‘weaker’ hamstrings?”

        Yes, this is the likely reason. Overall back musculature/strength could be related too, but that would be a secondary consideration.

  2. I had a solid training week. I decide to cut way back on my alcohol consumption, as I am sure it was effecting my lifting. I was drinking everyday, this week I got some really good rest and ate well also. I put up a few PRs today, and I think it was becuase of these reasons.

    Squat: 295 x 5, I was feeling really good so I threw 315 on the bar and got a solid triple.

    OHP: Again, I was feeling good after 160 x 5 (and I had to wait for the DL platform) so I loaded 185 for a 1RM PR.

    DL: 325×5

    After that I ate a big ass leftover carne asade burrito for breakfast.

    • Press is the worst and it has taken me at least three years of reasonable consistency to get my press to be almost bodyweight (5lbs away, blerg!)

      Because there is so much finess and technique involved with the lift, I think people who struggle with it just have to hit it more frequently (i.e. at least twice per week of pressing or pressing with a variant (push press, dumbbell press, light behind the neck press, etc). I’m no authority though. I’m sure others will disagree.

  3. I esp. like the first part of the vid.
    Out sick from the gym/life last week. Still not at 100%. Lifts were the suck but managed my first Muscle Up & Unbroken 100 Double Unders this week. :/

  4. Two PRs today: 345×5 on back squat and 235×5 on bench press.

    I missed my fifth rep on 345×5 last Friday, so I made sure to get more rest this past week and varied up my leg work on Monday, doing 5×5 of heavy front squats (followed by some single-leg work) instead of back squats. That must have done the trick.

  5. I have a question. At what bodyweight on average do people hit a 405 squat and a bw press. I know there is many other variables, im just curious about that one.

  6. Pressed 245 x 1 for a PR.

    Planning on swapping out the press in favor of the the push press starting in January as an attempt to hit 300+ overhead – na’am sayin?

  7. No PRs this week. I keep getting fuckin sick. Making sure to take care of this shit this weekend so I can get a solid week in before Christmas.

    Question for Justin: You mention snatch grip deadlifts in the video. I’ve been wondering about these. I was doing some reading on them, and some people say they’re good for extra hamstring/glute development, some say more upper back. Some places also suggested using them for your warm up sets before regular deadlifting. What are your thoughts on using them this way?

  8. Bench PR of 290#, felt fast and smooth which was exciting. 300# is not far.

    Also pulled 375# twice, my max is 380# but I should blow by that easily now. All in all a pretty solid week.

  9. Life PR. 1st powerlifting meet complete this past Saturday! Sadly due to my oversight, I didn’t notice it was only a push-pull.
    Only 3/6 lights. Red lighted all bench attempts due to technical mistakes. The weight went up easy, but I didn’t practice with pause enough, but lesson learned!
    PR Deadlift at meet: 175kg/385.7lbs (20lbs greater than my Gym PR, also waiting on confirmation but think I set the Maryland State record for 198lbs weight class in Fire/military/law division for deadlift!)

  10. I think the Q&A is really good. Definitely keep it around.

    Here are two questions:
    1) With respect to the Texas Method, do you dislike alternating bench/press emphasis on a weekly basis because it doesn’t seem to work well?

    2) Once again with respect to the Texas Method, when someone is emphasizing only the bench press, do you have them do any other stuff to make up for the 2:1 ratio of benching to pressing? Like, for instance, do you have them do face-pulls or something on an assistance day so they keep their shoulders healthy?

    PR: deadlift 430×5
    bench 255x1x5

    I got sick this week. I did my best to sit around and do nothing while also eating as much as I normally would. Thanks to the advice in this blog post:

    I am continuing to successfully lose weight (on purpose). According to the navy bodyfat calculator, I went from 26% to 17% bodyfat since March of this year. I specifically started intermittent fasting 4 months ago, and my lifts have all improved except squat. But, squat is about to surpass my old pr of 350×5 in a couple weeks. It feels good.

    Finally, Justin’s press video helped me today, especially the cue about pointing the middle set of knuckles toward the ceiling, so thanks.

  11. Life PR. Talked enough about Women and the benefits of Strength Training that my Mommy (62 Years) asked me to make a program for her.

    Had her in the gym today and tested her maxes to see where to start and any deficiencies in movement. Squat 115lb. Bench 95lb. Deadlift 155lb.

    Super proud of her and happy to say her form looks pretty good. Squat depth needs work, but she responds to cues well and is not afraid to be under the bar.

    She has already ran in the Boston Marathon, so my goal is to have her compete in a powerlifting meet to make her life complete. She has always watched my dad and I lift so, it is time.

    • Love this. My mom is also a former marathon runner (NY way too many times, did the Boston once), and is 63. I’ve got her (and my dad, who was the real target) doing Crossfit for 3 years now, but I finally got her to work on strength extra and last June she competed in a 100% Raw meet and set a new DL record for her weight group (-148) and age group with 92.5kg. She LOVES it and keeps trying to get her friends to lift now. Keeps saying something about it being “empowering” :D

      She also needs to work on squat depth and her bench strength (your mom is strong!). But I love seeing the 60+ women picking up a barbell with some weight! Go Mom!

      • I think you are right. She’s an amazing woman and didn’t take up exercising/running until her late 40s. Untapped potential shall be unleashed!! In a methodical, patient, educated manner that would benefit a woman in her 60s:-)

    • Hey man, I had some success moving them up simultaneously. Instead of doing volume for both exercises on the same day, do one exercise’s intensity day and follow it with the other for volume. So, say on Monday, do intensity press for maybe a triple and then follow it up with a 3×5 for bench. Then on Thursday, switch it.

      Anyway, just thought I’d make a suggestion.

  12. Dude, I post a question almost every week and you never answer them. What’s up with that? You have at least enough questions from me alone to do an entire post.

    No PRs this week. I got some sort of viral or bacteria stomach infection that put me on my ass for several days starting this past Saturday. I’ve literally had diarrhea since then. Did an light session on Tuesday to get the blood flowing, and I finally feel like I should have a good session tonight.

  13. wifes been squatting with me alot lately, pretty awesome. She doesnt like it when i tell her she isint going deep enough, but i cant complain…
    hit a snatch pr super easy this week. gotta give credit to Waxman’s programming, pretty good stuff for focusing on olympic lifts.
    snatch: 200

  14. PRs – 320×5 squat, 200×5 bench, 405×1 deadlift and I definitely left some weight on the bar. Seeing a doctor next Wednesday about my nagging left wrist/forearm tendon problem (presumably). Hope I can start rehabbing it soon because I really miss pressing.

    • I enjoy the Q&A’s, here’s a couple:
      Are V-rack dips problematic for creating internal shoulder rotation? What are some cues for keeping the shoulder in proper position when doing dips?

  15. I haven’t done any real training in weeks and I’m really bummed out. Developed some fairly major back pain over a few months that became severely limiting w/r to heavy lifting. Couple that with finals and weird break schedules and I’ve been non-active.
    I have taken this time to relax though and try some mobility work to address the problem. Deadlifted the other day a few sets of 137# and the pain was non-existant. Front squatted 107#, felt like the same spot on my back was about to kill me. Before I stopped my regular training, presses seemed to affect my back as well.
    I know I haven’t posted much detail, but has anyone else experienced anything like this? It feels like the pain stems from compression of the lower vertebrae or something. Is it time to get some x-rays and see a chiro? ugh…

    • Echo I’ve been experiencing the same thing. Been out of commission for about 3 months now. I’ve been working with an ART practitioner and some PT. The list of things I’m working on is long but I’m starting to feel some improvement. The dull aching is manageable and becoming less persistent. Still doing lifts, but haven’t DL for a while and my squats are between 60-75% of what I should be doing. Good luck…

      • My wife has been to a chiropractor to get her atlas straightened out, which led to her hips leveling out. Now she’s working with a Feldenkrais practitioner to sort out hip muscles imbalances. We went to a woman that showed us Trauma Release Exercises too, that was pretty entertaining. I’ve been bugging my wife to show me what she’s learned from Feldenkrais guy, so I’ll start implementing it into my routine.
        What is your issue, specifically?
        Thanks so much for responding.

        • Specifically in my case, there are small kinetic chain issues from the heel chords, hamstrings, hips and QL or lower back. I think it all added up and caught up with me after a long period of increased volume. The ART is focusing on mobilizing the psoas, glute med and surrounding region. The PT is focusing on strengthening lumbar stabilizers (planks, shoulder taps, etc), glute med work (1 leg RDLs, this was surprisingly weak considering I was on a TM DL program when this happened), psoas/hip work (modified couch stretch), thoracic extension/rotation (roller work – once again, surprisingly stiff), ankle dorsiflexion. Essentially I’m working the kinetic chain from the ground up. I’ve noticed some positional improvements in the thoracic region and I’m actually starting to feel control/stability over hip posterior tilt during squatting (I won’t use the ‘wink’ term on this site). I expect to be back to my weights pre-“injury” in a few weeks.

    • Sorry to hear about the problem. You definitely need to go to a chiro and find out if it is indeed structural and not muscle or tendon related.

      My problem was my lower most lumbar shifting forward and pinching a nerve. The area tightens up, hurts, and my hip cocks to the side.

      A chiro saw this and adjusted me, but I had to educate myself on what caused the lower lumbar to get screwy. For me it is from my pelvis tilting forward due to tight hip flexors, and also if I lift anything without bracing my abs to lock the spine in place I can “throw the back out” that way as well. Get adjusted, wear a leather lifting belt, and do the “couch” stretch if your problem ends up being like mine. Hope this helps.

      • I really appreciate your input, so thanks for taking the time to respond. I’ve been doing the couch stretch a lot lately. When I first started it I could barely keep my back above parallel. Now, I can get pretty much full extension and work the corners. It addressed my tight hip flexors for sure, the pain I used to experience (from squatting) is gone. It seems like a tight psoas (as I think Justin and Starrett have addressed) can cause back problems too. How did your chiro identify your lumbar spine slippage? That’s pretty intense.

    • Been there also, my back seized up a couple separate times while playing softball and I can relate to how frustrating back pain is. Fortunately my issue was non-skeletal and the solution for me was the help of a chiro/PT, lots of mobility/strengthening, more attention to posture and the biggest one is regular exercise to keep everything warm and loose (hey buddy). Find out what the problem is, get healthy and keep diligent on maintenance work is necessary to keep the problem as quiet as possible. (see Justin’s post:, good luck!

      • I’m hoping it is non-skeletal as well… What type of mob/stretching did your chiro have you do? The final stroke post sounds amazingly like me as well. I just thought it was my lack of experience under the bar, and that it would fix its self.
        Thanks for responding, it’s good to hear from my comrades.

        • Supermans, bird dogs, supine hamstring stretches, back bridges and back extensions were the primary things I could work on myself. All of this was once I was relatively pain free and had normal ROM again (my hips were uneven also). When it was at it’s worst he would torture/stretch me and put me on the stim machine. None of it was magic and it took quite a while to improve.

    • had some of the same issues. started seeing a chiro who crossfits so understands what the heck i do. after some quick assesments he said dude your jacked up your hips and associated muscles so tight its drawing right leg up shorter than left. after several visits with him i am making improvements he not only does the chiro stuff but mobilty stuff as well hes a fan of and utlizies alot of the same methods. goal now mob after lifting followed by icing one hour post working out. so yes i would look around and find someone who knows how to work with lifters/athletes.

      • Did your chiro measure a left/right tilt in your pelvis? I feel like one leg is always shorter than the other, or at least a lot tighter. It’s noticeable when I shift weight from one leg to the other.
        Thanks for responding, I was afraid I would get flamed for not giving very much information. You (and the others above) are awesome.

  16. Well, I have a big PR to announce, in fact, it’s my state’s (Nebraska) PR:
    There is now an Olympic lifting club in the state! And I am one of three lifters, currently. (Not a founder.) I dunno if there are any other Nebraskans on here, but if you’re looking to Oly lift, and you’re around Lincoln, you can find us on team USA’s website with their “Find a Club” feature.

    Now, looks like Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and… Arkansas? (Didn’t expect that one), are still club-less. Me-thinks we need to get on that.

    • Also, after three months of not lifting heavy, due to an injured knee, I’ve made my first PR today: 160 KG Back Squat. That’s a 10 kilo improvement on an all-time PR. (Though, I’ve have been stronger in the back squat than I am currently, it’s just that I didn’t test my 1RM then…) Also snatched 100 KGs for the first time since the injury.

      I’ve signed up for my first lifting meet at the end of the month. I hope to total at least 220 kgs, and, as long as I don’t bomb, it looks like I should be able to make that.

  17. Im 14, 5’11”, and 156lbs. I’m on starting strength and am not gaining weight quickly, I drink a lot of whole milk and eggnog and eat sandwiches throughout the day. What should I do to start gaining more weight?

    • Keep eating and keep working out. It is hard to gain weight when you are 14. Be patient and keep getting stronger. I was <160 until I was about 25 and then I blew the fuck up to 210. Everyone is different, be consistent.

      • Just keep eating and lifting as consistently as possible. Eat as much red meat as you can, and eat eggs in the morning. If you don’t have time to eat eggs and a decent breakfast in the morning, 1. re-evaluate your morning schedule and see if you can get more time there by giving up staying up later, and 2. boil eggs in advance and keep them in the fridge to eat in the morning, or on the bus/car ride/walk to school. Take advantage of home-cooked meals and school lunches (assuming you’re actually getting both of those) as much as you can while it lasts. Sleep all you can. Don’t try to do too much training all the time – use your rest days to actually rest and recover. Don’t ever stop squatting.

        There’s a limit to what your body can do at your age, but if you’re patient and consistent you can make some serious strength gains over the next 5-10 years that will lay a foundation for the rest of your life. Remember you may be a teenager now but you’ve only just barely stopped being a child. Odds are you’ve got almost a decade before your body is fully matured. Even after they finish growing vertically, male bodies still have a lot of developing to do before they’re fully mature. I stopped growing vertically at 15 but kept developing physically for almost another 10 years. I got a lot broader and thicker in general after high school without much lifting and not really getting fatter (until about 21-22 at least), and my face didn’t fully mature until my mid-20’s. My senior pictures from 10 years ago barely look like me at all because of the extent of the changes in my face.

        Stick with it. Be patient. Don’t take shortcuts. Eat and sleep.

        • I was a late bloomer as well, wasn’t much more than 155 lbs my senior year of high school (at 5’11’) and now I’m ~210 at 27 yrs old. I would second the recommendations above, be patient and focus on building a base of strength and the changes come.

  18. Justin, it’s recently come to my attention that I, unfortunately, can never be big like Donny Shankle without a time machine and a lot of shenanigans. Can I be big like you instead?

    I dunno. You seem fairly disappointed in the lack of questions, or at least the lack of quality questions. I’m here all the time reading, and I’d hate to see the Q&A go. So, I figured I’d at least provide you with a question, even if it was a joke. I respect the hell out of you and what you do. The more you’re able to do, the better in my opinion.

    Now, for an actual question, I took pictures of myself pressing an empty bar last week for a presentation I did in class (ended up doing the squat instead though, but that’s irrelevant). In that picture, the bar is way behind my head at the top of the movement. It’s out back there pretty much in-line with my scapula. My friend said that it only seemed to go back in such an exaggerated position when I was pressing the empty bar. What might I be doing wrong that’s putting the bar so far behind me when it feels like I’m keeping a mostly vertical bar path?

    • You are probably over extending your spine or anteriorily rotating your hip in the lockout position to push your torso too far forward. If your torso was actually vertical in a correct way, it would not be possible to put the bar behind the glenoid (ball and socket joint) as you are doing.

  19. Life PR:

    Had our second child this week. This doubles my previous PR which had hit a plateau for 2 years.

    Also important to note is that the wife has decided to take up strength training to ‘get back in shape’ after baby.

    Did not lift at all this week.

  20. No PR’s but eating pretty well and lifting good. I have a question, my vastus medialis, is not developing like my vastus lateralis. Is this because I only back low bar squat? Would front squats address this?

  21. Decided to compete in a school-wide “powerlifting competition” yesterday. They ended up changing it to a bench press competition because only one other guy besides me wanted to do all three lifts. The girls did all three lifts, though. It was the most bullshit “competition” ever. Bad standards, bad judging, fourth attempts, and weird weight classes. To say I hate this country would be a massive understatement. I can’t wait to be home in a week with good food and good training equipment. Also, excited to go to the 70’s Big seminar in January.

  22. 245x5x2 Squat
    205×1 Bench
    115×2 Press

    Bit of shoulder irritation so I’ve been light on lifting this week. Going for a better squat on Sunday.

    Justin, your press form video on the helped my press improve vastly from the horrible way I’d learned to do it. The deadlift stance width video also solved a problem my friend has been having. Learning more every day, appreciate the knowledge.

    As far as Q&A…I have a question on squatting. I learned how to squat high bar, and recently I’ve been interested in low bar. Debating on when to try it. Is one better than the other? Or are they carry drastically different dynamics? Just curious.

  23. I’m pretty new to strength training and this blog so I have no real questions other than how to handle tendonitis.

    But I’ve learned a lot from the Q&A, so hopefully you can keep them up on Fridays…

  24. Rb squatted 5×8 at 430. The adductor is getting better, but I still need to be patient and stick with the “rehab” for the next few weeks.

    Benched 325×2 paused and close gripped 2×6 at 290. Eazy PZ. Going to go after a 92% double next week.

    I’ve been tracking my sleep habits with one of those Ipod apps. I’m getting interesting data on REM patterns, but it doesn’t make a ton of sense. What are the best sleep patterns to achieve, rather than just “getting a lot?”

  25. Here’s a question. I know you prefer the conventional deadlift to sumo deadlift, but is there any legitamency to selecting the sumo style based on body dimensions (i.e. tibia, femur, torso, and arm lengths)? I am 6’3″ with short arms and find it considerably easier to sumo. Over this past year of trying to dial in my strength program, I have trained conventional and found it to go nowhere. Whereas when I switch to sumo, I consistently increase. I am going to incorporate some RDL’s into my program and see what happens, but I don’t want to be wasting time if I should concentrating on sumo’s based on body type. Just for info: 8 months of LP, last two on TM

    PP = 1*5*195
    BP = 1*5*275
    Sumo DL=1*5*420
    All climbing easily except PP.

    • If you’re stronger with sumo, I’d stick with it. Shorter-armed guys definitely seem to prefer it, so it would make sense that it works for you.

      If you’re not looking to compete, I probably wouldn’t go super wide. We have similar strength levels though (except for BP sadface) so YMMV etc.

  26. Working through a LP, still in the very deloaded end of the spectrum:
    Squat: 210 x 5 x 3
    DL: 310 x 5
    Bench: 150 x 5 x 3
    Press: 110 x 5 x 3
    Farmer carries with 115 in each hand and a 40 lb weight vest. Fun!

    My son hit 105 on the DL, his first weight over 100 lbs (BW 90 lbs). You should have seen the look on his face! Every week he is making progress on one or more of his lifts, and he loves it.

    Justin, I saw you deleted a couple comments of mine earlier this week linking to KStar’s site about exertion headaches. My apologies if I violated the terms of use here, I wasn’t trying to crap in your nest.

    • I did not delete your comments. If you posted more than two links, then they were automatically held in the spam void and I would need to approve of them there.

  27. PR of the week 7×420 low bar back squat

    We did a big search warrant at a house around here that had a bunch of big workplace laser printers. I just picked them up and moved them outside when I came across one. At the end of the day one of the gals I work with was commenting on how worn out from all the heavy lifting I did toting out those printers. I just kinda had to give her the old laugh and yeah stance. Not worn out and they weren’t heavy but the rest of the world I reckon can’t grasp that concept.

  28. Holiday office party PR: Bought a dress shirt, using regular measurements that I would have used a few months ago, got all ready to roll out, and my fucking shirt would not button at the very top. Hmmm, better try another shirt…. Same thing.
    My neck is getting swole, fuck yeah.

    Seems like there’s a wave of PR’s for everyone lately, that’s awesome to see. Keep up the good work everyone.

  29. I have read 70sBIG for about the last 2-3 years. However, I have never posted. I had a pretty solid week of training and wanted to finish on a high note. I had a friend rack dead earlier in the week (855×3 from 21″) and I decided this morning that I wanted to also pick up something heavy and put it down. I hit 765×1 at 24″ (missed 800). The last time I rack pulled from 24″ was a little over 2 years ago and 585 was my best. I hope to keep posting comments like these in the future.

  30. Things goin’ good this week, hit a couple PRs:
    DL 215×2
    OHP 90 x 1 (PR)
    LBBS 160 x 2 (PR reps)
    BP 125

    I just wish those were kilos, but they’re lbs. BW is 165, and I’m about 5’7″.
    Been really focusing on protein intake, and I have a hard time getting anywhere near 200g/day.
    Made the chili from the video, can’t wait to try it. Beer in chili is worthy of a Nobel prize of some sort.

  31. About a month into my switch to the TM and I’m enjoying it (It feels like I’m half done with my lifting for the week after I finish the 5×5 squats, which yeah, great to feel half done early monday). I think a volume day was just what the doctor ordered to get everything to go up. No new maxes, but definitely setting some rep PRs on Intensity day.

    Squat: 290lbx5
    Deadlift: 345lbx5

    Press and bench are close to rep maxes also. It’s also looking like I might hit 300lbs for reps on squat and I might hit my meet pr on deadlifts for reps (360) before the new year which would be awesome. I’m not sure if it’s the TM or dinner being on the line at my next competition but I am cruising right now.

  32. Damn there are a lot of people on here whining about minor injuries… fair enough that MWOD is all the rage but you’re never going to feel perfect so harden the f#ck up… on another note I really hoped someone would say something about the Magnus video. Especially on how there was “a bit of lean” on a 140 kg set of curls with slow negatives!!! That was unreal!!! Betcha I could clean way more if I could curl like that!

  33. Couple PRs this week! Extreme novice here and definitely on the lower end of the spectrum in comparison to the rest of you.

    Deadlift: 300×1, first time working up to a heavy single. Probably could hit 3 plates if I didn’t squat before.
    Squat: 245x5x3 to match my PR. Going for 250 monday!
    Bench: 125x5x3 then 130×3. I’m a converted runner so my upper body sucks.

    In regards to Q&A, I love it. It gives me general knowledge that I can apply later on, or if a friend has an issue I can show him the blog. Also, where do you ask questions? I’ve seen some come from the Facebook page, but do most people just post comments on articles?

  34. Yo Justin, I got a question.
    I recently bought a 10mm lever belt and received it about a month ago after reading your series on belts. Well, after a month I never got abdominal soreness like you promised, so what gives? IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! No just kidding but seriously I feel like I’m wearing it tight enough at least for the deadlift. I have some trouble taking a big breath and it’s stopped shifting during the lift. I think I can wear it tighter on squat and OHP now that it’s broken in. So I’m wondering if I have some sort of imbalance. Related question, my lower back gets fatigued as fuck doing GHR (starting from back extension position) and deadlift, even on warmup sets. But I still feel like I can complete my work sets with OK form, and I don’t get any persistent back pain or DOMS from it. So obviously I’ll soldier on, but I just want to know if I have some kind of imbalance that’ll make me snap my shit up eventually.

      • Sorry for rambling. no problem with the belt. wondering why I never get abdominal soreness even after starting using a belt, and why my lower back gets super fatigued on warmup sets for deadlifts.

        • Not getting abdominal soreness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re cinching it tight and you can feel it working for you (helping your lifts) then you’re probably fine.

          As for the low back fatigue, I don’t know. I’d have to see your programming and warmup scheme before troubleshooting that.

          • My program looks like the SS Advanced novice variation, but I power clean every monday and deadlift every wednesday. I start warming up DLs at 95lb so I can practice setup and pulling the slack out of the bar. My last DL session looked like this:

            • That looks fine. Is the low back fatigue actually affecting your work set, or do you just feel fatigued but still pull fine?

              And I assume you’re squatting before deadlifting, which might be contributing to some tiredness there (you said you were doing a variation on the Advanced Novice program, so I don’t know exactly what you’re doing). Also, depending on how heavy your power cleans are you might still be fatigued when you go into deadlift.

              What’s your age/ht/wt/other lift numbers/rate or progression on deadlift?

              If you’re doing a variation of SS Advanced Novice you might want to look at Greyskull or something based on that. It can let you extend your novice gains out much longer by adding in a different stimulus (max reps on 3rd set) and reducing the squatting frequency.

              • Im doing 2×5 front squat before deadlifts on deadlift day. I don’t think its a recovery problem, I actually got 2 days rest before the last DL session due to a missed workout. Fatigue sets in during the warmup sets no matter how fresh I am. I can still pull fine. But when I do stuff like GHR with 10lb plate for 3×8 or 16kg KB swings for intervals (not a regular part of my program, was experimenting with them a while back) my lower back gets so tired and stiff I have trouble just standing or walking for a few minutes afterwards. Feels like I just tried to run a marathon using only my lower back. No back pain afterwards, though. Is this normal? No other muscle acts like this for me.

  35. Continuing along the linear progression…Hit all 3 squat days this week 295/300/305. Pumped to surpass 300, going to throw on the 3rd plate this coming week!
    BW 160-165 (up 30 pounds from July…used to be a cyclist haha)
    Squat 3×5 305
    DL 325×5 335×3
    Press 140×4
    Bench 2×5 190
    Deloading bench after a third failure to get 3 sets of 5 at 190 ( got 5/5/4 grr)

  36. Hit a 225# clean & jerk
    Matched my previous snatch PR at 155#
    Matched my previous high bar back squat PR at 265# x 1. Failed at 285, but I was doing this at the end of a session. If it was at the beginning, I would have hit it for sure.

    Weird week because there was a lot of stress, distractions, and the start of Christmas party season, yet I still got a PR and some decent lifts.

  37. PR: went to Fogo de Chao after a long weight training session last weekend. I started out weighing 188 lbs and ended the meal at 197 lbs, for a 9 lb. gain. Two days later I was back to 188. Magic.

    I took a rest week this week due to having to work late several nights. I’m back in action this week.

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