I need help unf***ing my programming. I need help unf***ing my programming.

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Thread: I need help unf***ing my programming.

  1. #1
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    Default I need help unf***ing my programming.

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    As the title suggests, I've messed up my programming and I need help.

    Background info+3 questions:
    5'9", 204lbs (working my way up to 210), 25 years old, getting an average of 5.5-6 hours of sleep a night due to 11-month old son.
    1. I rest 10 mins between lower body sets (Squat, DL), and 8 mins between upper body lifts
    2. Lower body lifts: 5 lbs. Upper: Press is 2lbs and Bench is 2.5lbs.
    3. 3800cals.

    I thought I had completed my NLP at the end of February. My numbers were Squat: 385, Bench: 230 (my bench sucked), Press: 167x5, 176 for 5 singles, Deadlift 385!!!!! (I'll get back to that later)

    So in the beginning of this month, I decided I wanted to try out the 4-day upper-lower split. Mondays were Intensity Press and Volume Bench (which were just 3x5s because I thought I could still make progress, and I am still), plus some arm work. Tuesdays are Volume Squat (5x5) and Volume DL. Thursdays are Intensity Bench (again, just a 3x5 2lbs heavier), and Volume Press(5x5).

    About 3 weeks in, and I'm regressing so hard. I was only able to hit 375 on Squats last Friday for a TRIPLE only, and I couldn't even get 3 sets of 5 at 335 yesterday. My deadlift is crap. I barely eked out 375 for a set of 5 two Fridays ago, and the set took me 4 mins to complete. I was able to get 365 for a triple, then a single yesterday. I had issues setting my back, and I FINALLY purchased a 3-inch belt that is coming in in about 4-6 weeks. I feel like I should just start lighter and go back up from there with a proper belt.

    My upper body lifts are fine though. I'm pressing 177 for heavy singles and Benching 232.5 for 3 sets of 5.

    I'm sure I screwed up by going 4-day Texas Method, after reading the novice and intermediate chapters of PPST3. I'm sure glad I didn't do the 3-day version.

    Do I just restart my LP (this would be the 4th reset I'd do)? Or do I do something else? I am very unsure of what to do and I'm tired of leaving the gym on my lower body days pissed off and angry because my lifts are getting weaker.

    Thank you all for your time.

  2. #2
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    What exercise and weights are you using for your volume pulls?

  3. #3
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    Can you clarify what you're doing for volume deadlifts? Load, reps, and sets?

    It sounds like a recovery problem for both lifts, especially if you're having trouble completing your both volume and intensity squats. First thing I would do is drop your volume squats to less than 85% of your intensity load, probably even closer to 80%. You'll want to reset a bit, at least back to where you started 3 weeks ago (presumably 365 for ID?). So do 295x5x5 and then 365x5x1 and go from there. I wouldn't rule out a slightly larger reset though if you're beat up. Maybe 285/355.

    For deadlift, how often were you pulling at the end of LP? Any cleans? You may be able to get some mileage out of only deadlifting on Fridays for a while. Or if you absolutely need some volume work, doing a lighter variation like stiff legs or good mornings. However, you're going to have to get your squat squared away before you can get a real handle on what your recovery capacity is for the deadlift.

    Finally, given your sleep situation, you may want to consider a less stressful program. But you can give this a shot for a few weeks and see if you can get it dialed in.

    I have a couple of other ideas too but I'll save them.

  4. #4
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    I can tell you exactly what my DL workouts were:
    3/2 V day: Power Cleans 185x3x2 (I was so exhausted after 5x5 Squats that I had to stop). Rows 225x5, 185x5x2
    3/5 I day: DL 365x5 with rounded back. Really crappy set
    3/9 V day: I decided to just LP on my DLs, so I hit 370 for just a triple
    3/12 I day: 375x5 that took 4 mins
    3/16 V day: Could only do 315x5
    3/19 I day: 380x1
    3/23 V day: 365x3, 365x2

    I've had issues with back rounding, documented here: Round back deadlift

    My best DL was in November (when I was still running my LP) with 420x5, and the following DL workout at 425x1. It's regressed ever since.

    When I hit that weight, I was DL-ing every 5th workout. So DL, Chins, PC, Chins, DL
    Last edited by Isaac Medina; 03-25-2021 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Clarifying my DL frequency in LP

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac Medina View Post
    I can tell you exactly what my DL workouts were:
    3/2 V day: Power Cleans 185x3x2 (I was so exhausted after 5x5 Squats that I had to stop). Rows 225x5, 185x5x2
    3/5 I day: DL 365x5 with rounded back. Really crappy set
    3/9 V day: I decided to just LP on my DLs, so I hit 370 for just a triple
    3/12 I day: 375x5 that took 4 mins
    3/16 V day: Could only do 315x5
    3/19 I day: 380x1
    3/23 V day: 365x3, 365x2

    I've had issues with back rounding, documented here: Round back deadlift

    My best DL was in November (when I was still running my LP) with 420x5, and the following DL workout at 425x1. It's regressed ever since
    There's a lot to unpack here.

    You need to pick a volume day exercise and stick with it. NOTE: Pulling a heavy set of 5 is not a volume day exercise. You understand why that is, right? Pulling heavy twice a week is not going to work. Reread the intermediate section Practical Programming if it's not clear why.

    So then the question is, what exercise should you pick? Since your cleans are basically 50% of your current deadlift loads, that would be a good option. Do them before your 5x5 squats though. Doing 3 sets 5 of deadlifts at 80% may work, and it would be an opportunity to focus on the form issue you've identified. The tricky part is recovery. You may find it hard to pull heavy on Friday after doing 3x5 on Tuesday. You're going to have to figure out what works and go from there. Also can you do chins? You could put them on an upper body day if you want but you should be doing them.

    Once you decide what your volume day exercise is going to be, stick with it for a couple months. Adjust the loads or the total sets if you need, before bailing on it entirely. I'd probably start fresh next week at a weight you're comfortable with. Probably less than 365. Give yourself 2-3 weeks to work back into limit sets when you make a big programming adjustment like this.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like you're overtrained

  7. #7
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    It looks like you are not recovering well, and since you went from 3x5 on squats to 5x5, I'd say you lack the conditioning to do this kind of volume.

    I think you could benefit from applying the concepts laid out here and here.

    I particularly like doing my deadlifts the same day a do volume squats, maybe you should try that too.

    Work up to a heavish single, take around 30% off, do your 5x5 squats and 1x5 deadlifts on volume day. On intensity day go for 1x5 around 10% heavier than the 5x5 for squats and do something for more pulling volume, like power cleans for 5x3. Compare how this to your best lifts and make a reasonable 4-6 week progression plan and see what happens. Your performance on intensity day should indicate how the volume day loads are affecting you, and you may have to increase of decrease the spread in load or the number of sets.

  8. #8
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt James View Post
    You need to pick a volume day exercise and stick with it. NOTE: Pulling a heavy set of 5 is not a volume day exercise. You understand why that is, right? Pulling heavy twice a week is not going to work. Reread the intermediate section Practical Programming if it's not clear why.
    I understand that a heavy set of 5 isn't volume. I just got anxious to LP my DL up to my former weight, and it messed me up. Impatience will kill me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt James View Post
    So then the question is, what exercise should you pick? Since your cleans are basically 50% of your current deadlift loads, that would be a good option. Do them before your 5x5 squats though. Doing 3 sets 5 of deadlifts at 80% may work, and it would be an opportunity to focus on the form issue you've identified. The tricky part is recovery. You may find it hard to pull heavy on Friday after doing 3x5 on Tuesday. You're going to have to figure out what works and go from there. Also can you do chins? You could put them on an upper body day if you want but you should be doing them.
    PCs before my Squats seem to make sense. I should be Cleaning more. But 3x5@80% sounds pretty enticing... And I can chin. I should be doing more of them. I started doing more arm work on my Upper Body days because I wanted to work on my arms and I missed doing curls and LTEs. Looks like "mission creep" started to happen, as described in the 4-day split section of the Intermediate chapter. Chins will build my arms very effectively. I need to start doing them more often again.

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