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Thread: Ski's LPP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2022

    Default Ski's LPP

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    I've decided to keep a training log here on this wonderful forum to maintain accountability and keep my present goal the goal for this year, and not lose focus.

    You can read more details below if interested, including the plan I'll use, but the short version is this: I've dealt with a certain hip injury which I'll have to deal with and adjust for the rest of my life, but there are always options around this, even if it's not quite traditional. I'm someone who typically is mistaken for looking stronger than I actually am (relative to my barbell lifting capabilities) and I'm well aware that the more I push my barbell strength and by actually becoming much stronger I will look even more dangerous as a result - this is what I want. I should add that I built the "look" of someone who seems strong as a result of actually becoming much stronger than before by pushing myself on squats, bench press, and deadlifts. This allowed me to go from typical skinny kid to a more appropriately sized human. That transition took about 7 years, though, so it was by no means a quick transformation. I've maintained results for the simple fact that I've been consistent with training (any training) and nutrition for over 13 years, even if it hasn't always been highly effective training. A lot of the time has been effective training, coupled with consistent effort and no unusually long lay-offs. I love the barbell and have missed using it regularly and effectively during the last 3-4 years. I'm at a point where I feel like I'm ready and capable again of pushing my strength to new limits and the physique will follow. "Form follows function."

    A LOT of background info about me:

    I'm not new to lifting. I began when I was 17 (I turned 31 last Friday) and I've been pretty obsessed ever since. Though, the first 4 years I rarely touched a barbell. I was doing the typical college bro gym trash because I didn't know better and was too dumb to properly use the internet to find real training programs. The truth of the matter is, in 4 years I went from 140 pounds to 165 pounds. Keep in mind I'm 6'2. Not horrible progress considering my programming and recovery were sub-par.

    After college I began deadlifting, back squatting and front squatting. Over the next 3 years I took my bodyweight from 165 pounds to 225 pounds by eating an amount of food that disgusted my friends and family whilst getting progressively stronger on the squat, bench, and deadlift. I still was training way too frequently, with too much volume, and with overly complicated programs - so while I was on the right track, I still consider my training from back then to have too much fuckarounditis going on.

    During these years in my mid-20s I regularly had hip pain and pain in the adductor region. Like the invincible bloke that I thought I was, I ignored it and continued to pick up a habit of squatting every day, because everyone seemed to be convinced that the Bulgarian drug assisted government employees of the 70s were suitable role models for the general, natural population.

    Fast forward to when I was 27 year old and the pain was so constant and sharp that it literally hurt to do anything. My strength began to decrease and my motivation waned. I got on a SS LPP cycle for the first time (if I could do it all again I would have began SS LPP from day 1 in the gym) to try to salvage my strength and rebuild my squat and deadlift. Eventually I had enough of the agony and went to a doctor. Several appointments, an X-Ray, and MRI scan later, they confirmed that I had 5-6 labrum tears in each hip, arthritis in both hips, and informed me that I was one of the lucky ones to be born with FAI. I'll save you the Google search and just copy and paste what this means:

    "Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), also called hip impingement, is a condition where the hip joint is not shaped normally. This causes the bones to painfully rub together. This condition can be treated with corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, rest and surgery."

    The first surgeon wanted to do surgery, which I couldn't imagine. So I drove to another state to meet with another, more renowned surgeon. He said I'd likely need the same thing but allowed me to consult for an hour with one of his physical therapists (who was excellent). 2 months later I came back and I had made enough progress to hold off on the surgery and have managed to continue for about 4 years.

    I never stopped training despite everything, but my training did change drastically, several times as I tried to find methods to keep progress moving while also being fun for me. I bounced around trying new school bodybuilding stuff, old school bodybuilding stuff, light but frequent barbell "practices," I spent a year doing kettlebells only. Somehow this led me down the rabbit hole to doing a bunch of triathlon, indoor rowing, and general endurance training for longer than I'm proud of.

    Right after the surgery scare I ran a caloric deficit for the first time in my life to see what I could do in 16 weeks. I went from about 205 pounds to 185 pounds, and then hovered around 190 for 2 years or so. Looking back, I looked horrible at 190 pounds.

    In the last year I've dabbled in some general Bodybuilding type programs, spending some time doing "Heavy Duty" training, a-la Mike Mentzer, and other times doing Vince Gironda's cumulative fatigue programs for months and got back up to around 210 pounds and 15ish percent bodyfat (which is a bodyfat range I'm comfortable at).

    I would say I spent most of the last 3 years doing Dan John and Pavel Tsatsouline inspired programs. I like these 2 coaches a lot, however, I have found that I have been drawn to highly specific, high frequency, "practice this lift" type routines for too long. Simple and Sinister had zero carryover to barbell strength, despite every kettlebell enthusiast preaching the kettlebell's "what the hell effect" (all I said was what the hell happened to my deadlift and pressing strength?!). But, I did enjoy training with kettlebells and the simplicity and primitiveness of it, for awhile.

    Kettlebells and light barbell work were convenient for me. For one, the kettlebells didn't bother my hips much. I also switched over full time to the garage gym life in 2019, and, while I haven't looked back, I didn't have a power rack or half rack - just kettlebells, barbell, and pullup station. Finding effective lower body exercises became a constant experiment. Deadlifts never really bothered me too much, unless I did them too frequently or for too much volume, which, of course, I always did when I trained them. This led to inconsistent deadlifting.

    As soon as strength and muscle became a goal of mine again, I realized how much I had lost during the year plus of doing kettlebell and high frequency, light barbell "practices." After having some solid success with Mentzer and Gironda's programs, I sold the garage gym equipment, moved across country, and had to lift in a commercial gym for a couple months. Within 2 months of being in my new place I had had enough of the commercial gym and began recompiling equipment for a garage gym. Initially I just made do with my kettlebells, barbell, some plates, and 2 stall mats. It's taken awhile, but as of last month I have a fully equipped garage gym now that I finally got my bench and half rack.

    While my experiment with Gironda's methods worked for putting on muscle, I missed plain old fashioned barbell training and progressive overload.

    From May 2021-July 2021, I ran a couple cycles of Power to the People and actually did okay. My press didn't improve at all, but I've always had a very weak press and never dedicated enough time or consistent effort to increasing it. (I would probably benefit greatly if I were to consult a Starting Strength coach). But I was happy to be pressing and deadlifting again after doing so only inconsistently for the previous 3 years. Eventually the high frequency deadlifts (program calls for 5 days per week, but I did just 4 days) took a toll on my lower back and put me out of commission for a couple weeks (along with those stupid hexagonal shaped commercial gym plates).

    I ran Easy Strength for Fat loss during the second half of summer, and was disappointed with the results. I love Dan John, I love his principles, and I loved the idea of "Easy Strength," in theory. However, in practice all I got was an overuse wrist/forearm/elbow injury from doing pullups 5 days per week (which still bothers me a bit, but I've recently begun doing pullups again without too much issue), ridiculously tight hip flexors from conventional deadlifting 5 days per week, and, I may be an outlier for the program, but, I gained no strength using sub-maximal loads over and over, on a near daily basis. I also did an inbody reading and found that I lost 3 pounds of bodyweight, 3 pounds of skeletal muscle mass, and just 1 percent body fat in 2 months - not quite the numbers you hope to see. Needless to say, the program, or at least the way I did the program (which was by the book), didn't work for me. I later heard him talk about how if he were to rewrite the program he would recommend just 3 days per week and 3 lifts, which probably would have been better for me because I've realized I do better on programs that call for a bit lower frequency. But for MY goals, moderate/light loads with plenty of reps in reserve are ineffective. They're great for people who fit the prototype for the Easy Strength program though, I'm sure.

    After this, I decided to give my body a break and run kettlebell simple and sinister again for a couple months, achieve the goals of that program, and then get back to real training. (It took much less time to reach "simple" the second time around, despite not having done the program for 2 years).

    Once the new year hit (this new year - 2022), I decided I was going to, for the first time since the hip circus, dedicate myself to getting stronger and bigger. I spent the first 2 months getting some size back, and am now in the middle of an 8 week calorie deficit to get quite lean to allow for a nice long, slow, progressive gaining period for the following 12 months while allowing a buffer to gain some bodyfat in the process.

    I ran some progressive, simple programs the last 3 months to re-establish some skill with certain exercises and build a little strength back, but seeing as I just very recently got my half rack up and ready for action, I was doing most compounds with dumbbells and using trap bar deadlifts (from the low handles) for my lower body work. I know how Rip feels about trap bars, but I've become a fan of them the last couple years as an alternative (no, I don't think they're a proper "replacement" but they allow for some quality quad and hip work, nonetheless) to barbell squats, which I just can't make work anymore given the condition of my hips.

    I'm excited about my Safety Squat Bar that came in though. So far, I've played around with it for 3 sessions and for any possible number of reasons, it has not caused any pinching, clicking, or stabbing pain during or following my squats. I recently ordered a new pair of squat shoes (with a little bit higher heel than most) to maximize knee flexion and minimize hip flexion, as well, which should help. The deep hip flexion from low bar back squats is no friend to those of us who's hip anatomy suffers from FAI.

    While I won't be running Starting Strength's LPP to the tee, I will be running something quite similar, but alternating deadlift and squat days along with alternating pullups and power cleans. So a bit less frequency for the lower body lifts and a little watered down. My hips will thank me for the extra recovery though. Or so I hope. I guess we can call this "Ski's LPP."

    Here's the plan:

    Session A
    Ex 1: safety bar Squat-3x5
    Ex 2: Press-3x5
    Ex 3: Power clean-5x3
    D1: EZ bar curls-2-3x6-8
    D2: DB lateral raise-2-3x6-8

    Session B
    Ex 1: Deadlift-1x5
    Ex 2: Bench-3x5
    Ex 3: Pullups-3x5
    D1: Skullcrushers-2-3x6-8
    D2: Calf raise-2-3x6-8

    I'll alternate between these 2 sessions 3 times per week in A-B-A, B-A-B format.

    I love power cleans, but haven't done them in several years. So I will have fun reintroducing this movement.

    I'll be doing conventional deadlifts for now. I've been using mostly trap bar low handle deadlifts, but in preparation for this linear progression phase I switched to sumo, thinking it may be beneficial for my hips. Sumo just feels so unnatural for me, though. Conventional always felt much better, so I'll be doing them instead.

    I haven't barbell bench pressed since 2018, so this will be a fun time rebuilding this exercise.

    Until last week I hadn't done a pullup since August. I really did a number on my right forearm/wrist back then and it still bothers me, especially during curls if I don't warm up and get some blood in the bicep first with light weights. Using an EZ curl bar has helped alleviate some issues. But I've done pullups a couple times over the past 2 weeks and it feels decent enough. They certainly haven't seemed to make the nagging achiness any worse.

    I'll be starting very conservatively on all exercises and initially progressing via 2.5 pounds for upper body lifts and power cleans, and 5 pounds for lower body lifts. I suspect this will drop to 1 pound and 2.5 pound jumps eventually, which I am prepared for. If I completely plateau on a particular lift for a few consecutive sessions, I'll simply reduce the weight by 10 percent, add 100-200 calories to my diet, and rebuild some momentum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016


    Great intro - lots of info there. I can't add anything to your experiences except in terms of the safety squat bar.

    I started by doing low-bar squats exclusively. Got quite strong, but eventually developed a lot of issues that may be related to the exercise - admittedly, most of them were probably due to poor form. I bought an SSB and worked that into my programs. After a shoulder injury, I had to change to the SSB for squats exclusively for about 5 months - and I never looked back. My elbow tendinitis, hip pain, knee pain (surprisingly), and sciatica slowly evaporated. Still have some lower back tightness, but even that is glacially receding.

    I think you'll like the SSB. Best wishes on your program. Looking forward to following your progress!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2022


    Thank you. That's reassuring news regarding the SSB. I'm glad to have it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2022


    03/22/2022. Week 1 day 1

    Warmup: glute bridge 1x10; DB side bend-40x1x12

    Ex 1: Deadlift-245x1x5
    Ex 2: Press-95x3x5
    Ex 3: Pullups-BWx3x5
    Ex 4: ez skullcrushers-78x3x8

    03/24/2022. Week 1 day 2

    Warmup: glute bridge 1x10; DB frog crunch-40x1x15

    Ex 1: SSB Squat-185x2x5
    Ex 2: Bench Press-175x3x5
    Ex 3: Power Clean-115x5x3
    D1: ez bar curls-78x3x8
    D2: DB lateral raise-25x2x8

    03/28/2022. Week 2 day 1

    Warmup: glute bridge 1x10; DB side bend-40x1x15/15

    Ex 1: Press-97.5x3x5
    Ex 2: Power Clean-120x5x3
    C1: ez bar curls-80.5x2x8
    C2: DB lateral raise-25x2x6

    2 sessions last week before going out of town for 4 days. TFL issues so taking a week or 2 off from squats and deadlifts to rehab and do some specific work to improve the function of the hip musculature.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2022


    03/30/2022. Week 2 day 2

    Warmup: hip step overs - 10 each direction; glute bridges-1x10; weighted frog crunch-40x1x12

    Ex 1: Bench-177.5x3x5
    Ex 2: Pullup-BWx3x5
    C1: EZ bar skullcrushers-83x3x8
    C2: single leg calf raise-40x3x8

    Hip Health Core program (about 10 minutes)

    I should note that I annotate my sessions as "weight x sets x reps."

    I've been doing a daily TFL fix routine by Eric Wong every morning this week. I'll plan on keeping this as a regular little 10 minute morning routine every day. The goal is to train the muscles and stabilizers of the hip to activate more effectively so the TFL doesn't take over the workload.

    This whole TFL issue is really making me think of aggressively attacking my FAI problem again. I would really love to be able to squat heavy, pain free and worry free again. Fixing the TFL is a big start, but it's led me back down the rabbit hole of fixing my hips (hopefully without surgery). I found some good info and programs online from Eric Wong and DPT Sarah Hughes. I'll be incorporating much of their teachings into my daily routine for the next few months, and some of it (like the TFL fix daily routine and Hip Health Core program) I will keep long term.

    Obviously my impingement is a bit more serious than some because I do have the labrum tears. But ironically, I always have had less symptoms and pain in my left side. The main issues causing pain likely are: overactive TFL, weak psoas, weak adductors, and abductors not firing correctly. The Core program is a pretty great combination of addressing all these problems along with strengthening the midsection. Adding the core routine after each strength session should be very beneficial.

    The TFL is already feeling a bit better than the last couple weeks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2022


    starting strength coach development program
    04/01/2022. Week 2 day 3

    Warmup: Eric Wong's Advanced mobility routine

    Ex 1: Press-100x3x5
    Ex 2: Pullups-BWx3x5
    Ex 3: Ez bar curls-83x8,7,6
    Hip-Core routine

    The mobility routine is just a 5 minute warmup drill. Leg swings, single leg deadlift, warrior cossack squats, and some internal external isometric contraction stuff in a deep squat stance. Nothing sexy. It felt good though.

    The TFLs are still a little tight, but definitely are getting better. I'll be doing a lot of FAI specific work in the mornings that I won't mention here. But it's a time commitment of anywhere from 10-30 minutes a day that I'm doing first thing when I wake up at 5am. ASMR, joint capsule mobilization, and hip stabilizer activation things.

    The presses and pullups felt great today. I'm hoping I'm able to squat, deadlift, and power clean each once a week again, beginning next week. Hopefully all the hip work I'm doing alongside the LPP variation will allow me to get back to lifting challenging weights in those exercises soon.


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