PR Friday – 20 FEB 2015

PR Friday is a forum to allow you to share your triumphs and failures with your strength training brethren. How has your training been this week? What questions do you have for your peers? Talk and mingle.

Do you have a training question? Ask anyone from the 70′s Big Crew a question in the comments below, on Facebook, or Twitter. Follow 70’s Big on Instagram.

70sBig_LP-mediumFinally, the wait is over. The 70’s Big LP e-book is released today. It’s kind of like the Superman quote: “It’s an arm training program! It’s a linear progression! It’s a gateway to intermediate programming! It’s gonna get us jacked! It’s…THE 70’S BIG LP!”

Click to learn more (including Table of Contents).


What do you want out of your program? What strength goals do you have? What aesthetic goals do you have?

55 thoughts on “PR Friday – 20 FEB 2015

  1. Justin,

    If you did this program in 2011 it seems to me that you would have been an intermediate. Is it safe to say that this program is good for intermediate lifters?

    • Yes. I keep saying it bridges the gap, but I used it primarily to push my presses. I wasn’t pushing my squat super hard (I switched to high bar and was progressing that, but I wasn’t trying to break my PR of 515×2 with low bar), and I wanted to push my deadlift too.

      Anyway, I liked it as a change from the TM. A true TM makes you ride on that cusp of too much stress where this program here lets you play around with other stuff (like aesthetic or conditioning training).

  2. Curious if anyone has any experience with this – I’ve been having some pain in what I believe is my levator scapulae. It seems to be correlated with overhead presses, but it is never acute and only becomes painful the next day, and for about a weeks a have when I try and move my head certain ways. Its happened about 3 times in the past.

    Has anyone seen a correlation between presses and this kind of injury? If so – what is the cause?

    Super excited about the book btw!

    • I see this on occasion. If it is actually your levator scapulae, then you need to get in there and work it. My Theracane works really well on that area. You probably have some more upper body tightness, so I’d start doing “5 way shoulder” and working on everything on a regular basis, particularly the neck stretches.

  3. Justin – It seems to me like it would be based on your description, but if I’m moving off a BB style program and looking to do my first powerlifting meet by the end of the year, would the program suffice as a good base? Obviously looking to switch my focus over to strength based but the thought of staying wholly swole whilst doing so sounds like a decent plan – but as an LP this may be good for me to go with?


    • Hmm, it depends on where you’re at now (in how you’re adapted to stress and how strong you are).

      This is certainly a good base. If you have imbalanced musculature, especially in the upper body, this can help get that area stronger to allow for a stronger bench. But the TM is more of a true strength program and is groomed to get specific for powerlifting (and is used regularly for that purpose with success).

      It just depends on what your short term goals are within the context of doing a meet. Did that answer the question?

      • It did indeed – I’m around 74kg at 5’6 – Squatting 170kg, Deadlifting 200kg but only benching around 105kg. I’m not looking to set the world alight, just competing for the sake of personal satisfaction and challenge of working towards something new. The idea of working the bench helps as that is lacking for sure. I’ll give it some thought and make a decision – but thanks for the response, much appreciated.

  4. Just ordered the 70s Big LP. This came along at the perfect time, as I’m only a few months back into training after a long break and I was seriously considering sucking up my pride and going back to a basic LP. I’ve tried a few different approaches, but each time the volume ended up being a bit too much for me (whether due to time constraints or simply because I let myself get really deconditioned). I plan on rocking the 70s Big LP starting next Tuesday.

    PRs for the week includes my bench went up slightly (145 for 4×6, fixed a form issue), and I squatted 245×6 and then later 285 for an easy single. Presses are at 115 for 4×6 right now, and my deadlift is hovering around 330. I actually injured my elbow roughhousing with my kids (I was body slamming my youngest onto the couch for the 32nd time that day and my elbow got tweaked slightly), so it’ll be a nice break for the rest of the week and reading up on the 70s Big LP for me.

  5. How will this program fair for someone with several other athletic endeavors? I am just getting back to serious training after an extremely long layoff due to hip surgeries. Along with lifting, I also roll a couple nights a week, box a couples nights, hike, run, bike, always moving, etc
    Is this program flexible enough for me to see benefits (can it be 2x week on occasion, will I still see gainzzz)? I love the set up; the dips and front squats are a nice add


    • You can tailor it to yourself, and it even has a section talking someone like you. Note that in the section it quotes Ron Swanson in saying, “Don’t half ass two things. Whole ass one thing.”

      You will need to (and probably have) accept that you aren’t going to have optimal progress.

      But yeah, you can certainly make this into a 2x/week program.

  6. Okay so I purchased the book this morning and just got done reading it (slow Friday at work).

    It’s fantastic. I’m a mid level novice and I’m really excited to start applying this program. A lot of the principles laid out are things I haven’t seen before. This looks like it will take LP farther than any other program I’ve seen.

    Justin, yesterday we briefly discussed breaking this up into a 5 day split. What if I laid it out like this:
    M- Press, wtd chin up, biceps
    T- Squat
    W- bench, rows, Triceps
    Th- Deadlift
    F- rest
    Sat- wtd dips, front squat, wtd pull up, RDL, biceps

    Does this look like it could still be effective? Would I need to drop volume or add it in places? I know that it isn’t optimal but unfortunately I just don’t have a lot of time to lift on the weekdays (I work 7-5 with a 1 hr commute and have 8 month old twins at home).

    Thanks man. Congrats on the great book.

    • Hmm, this is a good proposal. It depends on what your goals are. At first I didn’t like the rows before deadlift day, and thought you could switch the monday/tuesday workouts and the wednesday/thursday workouts, but if you aren’t solely focusing on deadlift (like it mentions in the book), then it’s not a big deal.

      You are in a particular situation given your schedule, and what you propose isn’t a bad idea. The main problem will be the recovery, since you would train 4 days in a row.

      Do it and see how it goes. If things start getting meh, then drop one of the workouts Monday through Thursday. You can interpret that as “drop it altogether” or just take one of those days off each week (maybe rotate it?).

      • Good point on the rows and deadlift. I am wanting to improve it so I think switching the Mon and Wed workouts sounds good. I also like the idea of an alternating rest day when necessary. I’ll start on Monday.

        Just FYI I really liked the ascending sets idea added into the LP. I hadn’t seen that before in that kind of format. Excited to work on my squats with it.

  7. Helllll yeah. Just purchased it. Gonna read it tonight. I suspect this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. My schedule is ridiculous right now and I devote a lot of my free time for training to martial arts, so this looks great. Cheers Justin.

  8. So I bought the book and did the Friday template today…holy shit. I haven’t felt my upper body this worked in awhile. Even managed to complete 3×5 for BW dips. They were grinders though. Thanks for this Justin.

  9. Alright Justin, you just convinced me to buy dumbbells. I have a home gym so do you have any recommendations on a dumbbell set? Also, do you have an alternative to the preacher curls? I don’t think I want to invest in the preacher bench. For the same reason, I won’t be doing cable press downs, since I don’t think I will be buying cables. What do you think of LTEs? I have always been a fan of them. I was thinking about doing LTEs and one other tricep exercise on a weekly basis, rather than rotating between four tricep exercises on a bi-weekly basis. Lastly, thanks for all the quality stuff you do for free. Buying this ebook was a very easy choice for me.

    • Hmm, dumbbells are great, but they are expensive. Have you outfitted your gym with the necessities otherwise?

      I wouldn’t recommend getting special equipment for the arm specific exercises since you can work around it with the barbell. But dumbbells are nice, just expensive.

      • Yes sir. I actually share a facility with several friends. We have a squat cage with pull-up bars, two barbell set with bumpers, flooring, bench, dip station, GHD, EZ-curl bar (for LTE), chalk, belts, dip belt, WL shoes, and an ab wheel. After shopping around, we may split to buy an Ironmaster dumbell system to save space.

        I adjusted my routine with some of your ideas. The squat is TM:
        Monday: Squat, Bench, RDL, W. Pull-ups, Ab Wheel, Hammer Curls
        Wednesday: PC, BB Row, Front Squat, W. Dips, GHR, LTE
        Friday: Squat, Press, Deadlift, W. Chins, Hanging Leg Raise, Alternating Curls


  10. Well done on the book, dude. Big congrats.

    Hit 4 comp PRs this week, only because I did my first powerlifting comp and so technically everything was a comp PR.
    BW 80.6 (177)
    SQ 185 (407)
    Bn 120 (264)
    DL 205 (451)
    Definitely not my best numbers, but it got me some good experience. Had a lot of fun. Met a lot of nice people, too.

    I’ve got 12 weeks until the next comp, so I’m going to run a cycle of Cowboy.

  11. Squat – 150kg x 5 today.

    Intensity Day. Rocking the TM at the moment.

    Is the new book in PDF format as I would like to print it. ebooks suck to print but PDF work well.

  12. Awesome bro. Read it this morning. Once again you have smashed it.

    Bout to crack out the double front bi pose before shot, then run this for 6 months and hit the after shot.

  13. Hi Justin,

    Congrats on the new book release, i’m looking forward to reading it and make progress towards fitting into my oversized flannel shirts.

    Any good substitutes for benching (because of shoulder pain) that you would recommend? I’ve experimented with db floor presses, incline, and other things but I’m still searching for “the one”.

    My best lifts at 78kg bodyweight are:
    Squat: 150kg
    Deadlift: 180kg
    Press: 70kg

    However, I can’t even bench more than 80kg without shoulder pain…

    Vive La Revolution

    • Subs for bench press pain are well intentioned mobility. If you haven’t had a specific shoulder injury, then it’s something you can probably rehab back. If you have had a specific shoulder injury, it’s still probably possible.

  14. No PRs this week.
    Transitioning back to the TM from 5/3/1 is going fairly good.
    Squat 355×5 (rep #5 is still pretty rough, still lack the strength/endurance)
    Failed again on 295lbs for a new bench press PR

    I bought and read The 70sbig LP, great read. I’m still debating on giving it a shot. I like the bent rows aspect since I’ve never really had much luck in programming them into the TM, but it’s the volume/intensity that makes me enjoy the TM. What to do, what to do!!
    Either way, thanks for another book and all the advise ever given!!

  15. Justin,

    Just finished reading it the first time through. Would squatting/dead lifting later the same day still provide the necessary hormonal stimuli? Thanks man.

  16. Justin, just bought the book and created an account because I have been sponging information off of you and the team for a year now.
    Absolutely loved the charts for stage 1, 2 and 3 examples of the program. Will be starting it next week and will keep you updated on the progress. lifts currently: SQ 300, B 265, Dead405, OHP 180

  17. Is it safe to program back-off sets for, like, basically everything? Some exercises mention them specifically (presses, chins, etc.) but others there’s less discussion. I like this program to work on my muscular imbalances, but since I’m also using it to progress my high bar squat and therefore quads, I’m wondering if its alright to do backoff sets for front squats and back squats regularly too?

  18. really great book, nice to the point and we can sorta steal ideas for other program schemes, i added arm /chin up work to my HLM as my upper body is really lackin (220kg squat, 240 deadlift, 120 bench …so like i need 30 kg on my bench)

    • couldnt edit so :

      primary goals – more upper body mass and strength- ive measured my arms so i can check how much will them grow
      seconday – fixing my diet o paleo for lifters 100% (adherence now is like 70%)
      and last one is doing some kind of conditioning twice a week – not killing myself but like, some kb snatches some HIIT for 5-10 min

  19. Never really tried beltless squats, so Friday was as good a day as any. Resulted in an easy 515 low bar. Called it there, as I tore my back the week before and didn’t want to push it.

  20. Hi Justin,

    What do you think about using the “Max” method with dips? I can probably do 10-12 unweighted, and about 7 reps with 18 lbs hanging from a belt.

    I’d be using this in conjunction with a split texas method:

    Male, 232, 5’11

    Intensity Press
    Volume Bench
    Wtd Pull-ups (max method), worked up to 10lb max, 7.5×2, 4 unweighted
    Wtd Dips (max method)


    • The 3 sets of 5 is a solid progression. using the Texas Method e-books I’ve brought my dips along from 70 lbs for 3×5 to 150 for 3×6 (its the largest dumbbell we have on the rack).

      If you dig in there, Justin lays out a solid template for dips:
      3 sets of 5
      back off to 50% for max reps
      back off to body weight for max reps

      100 lbs x3 sets of 5, rest 1-2 minutes
      50 lbs x15 reps, rest 1-2 minutes
      Bodyweight for 20 reps

      Related: Bill Starr recommended that you progress body weight dips until you can perform 3-4 sets of 20 before adding weight. Works really well – lays a solid foundation of technique to build off of

  21. Justin,

    It has been a great pleasure reading the Texas Method books and Paleo for Lifters.
    In this new book, is it predominantly geared towards development of the limbs?

    One of the areas myself and a few other training partners struggle is in overhead work (strongman type work) and musculature. Aside from applying volume to pressing and triceps movements (Close grips, push presses and dips), what suggestions do you have for developing well rounded shoulders? (pumpkins, boulders, cannon balls, other large/round objects).

    The common thing among us are large anterior deltoids from benching and pressing and a not-so-graceful absence of everything else. Does your new book look into this at all?

    Wishing you all the best

  22. Justin, bought the book and flew through in one sitting. It’s well written. Any thoughts on how best to program in my situation: often can only work out Saturday’s and Sunday’s but can fit in a midweek session at least every other week. Also suffer with hamstring flexibility for RDLs any pointers on best way to build flexibility for them?


  23. Well this prob will go unseen, but I hit all time comp PRs at my weightlifting meet this weekend. Not only did I compete, but i organized, ran the event and coached 6 lifters. I was so pumped up that I hooped in at the end of the meet and hit a 106 snatch, 136 c&j for a total of 242 at 83k. So I am pretty happy.

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