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  1. #171
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    • starting strength seminar june 2022
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    I felt oddly fresh today. A bit of tightness left in the lower back, but no more muscle soreness. I felt the urge to move all day, so I went with the next planned training session, which also happens to be the easiest.

    Intensity bench - 5 sets of 3 at 126 lbs (PR)

    Still hard but doable. Amazingly, this is starting to feel like a forearm workout.

    Chin ups - 8, 6, 5, 5, 4

    Not a huge improvement, but I did get one extra rep in there, on the first set. Arthritis has settled down a bit; this was not too harsh on my fingers.


    Next workout will be on Sunday. Based on my last volume squat workout, it looks like I should attempt a 210 lbs intensity session for 3 X 3. Hopefully it goes well, my current goal being 215 lbs, or 75% of my BW.

    And then more deadlift drama will come. Still looking forward to trying Step 4.5.

  2. #172
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    I feel pretty badass today. I am 3.5 lbs away from a 1.75 X BW squat.

    Intensity squat - 3 X 3 at 210 lbs (PR)

    All sets felt like limit sets, I think they all look pretty good, including set 3, where I had a "holy shit" on my final ascent. It's subtle but felt like a lifetime! Huge improvement in knee control too. Here's set 3, back and front.

    Volume press - 5 X 5 at 79 lbs

    Some tightness left in the very low back, IVO the coccyx. I might treat myself with some jack-knife stretching over the next days. My press 1.0 is still more reliable as far as groove and timing are concerned; with press 2.0, I get the best results from breathing at the top. I might try that on my next intensity session.

  3. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    I feel pretty badass today.
    Excellent. You should!

  4. #174
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    What is the opposite of feeling badass? Defeated?

    Volume bench - 5 X 5 at 114 lbs

    Boring as always. Tried to improve my technique (normally I just lie there shapelessly and do it), but this will require a lower bar setup.

    Deadlift - 3, 0, 0 at 237.5 lbs - FAIL

    I have no clue what happened today.

    I was able to complete the first set and there are some signs of improvements. Back angle seems pretty good on rep 1, bar path is improved on all reps, but my hips keep unfolding before my knees and I don't know how to fix it.

    I attempted a second set; the bar came 2 inches off the floor but I could not lift it any higher. I rested and reattempted, but it didn't leave the floor this time.

    Not sure what I should do next, and I'm probably not in the right state of mind to make that call at the moment. As always, I welcome any insight you may have.

  5. #175
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    It's bound to happen. But you'll keep at it.

    At first blush, I would think that you haven't recovered from your Intensity squats of just two days ago. Remember those three limit sets? You haven't recovered sufficiently from those to pull heavy.

    You're getting deep into Intermediate programming needs for both of these now so that one does not interfere with the other. One way to do that is to program your heavy pull for the session prior to your Intensity squat. Yes, it puts the deadlift one session after your Volume Squat, but those are lighter and not as taxing. Theoretically.

    If that doesn't work, consider a deload on your squats. Don't worry about them if you do, as your deadlift will resume and everything will still get trained.

    Gotta run and get dinner going. But that's my first thoughts.

  6. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    I was able to complete the first set and there are some signs of improvements. Back angle seems pretty good on rep 1, bar path is improved on all reps, but my hips keep unfolding before my knees . . . .

    I attempted a second set; the bar came 2 inches off the floor but I could not lift it any higher.
    In his recent video on halting deadlifts, Coach Chase Lindley states:

    "The majority of time as the deadlifts really get heavy, people start to fail in flexion right off the floor, so this is a great exercise to help prevent that and to train it."

    That's what the 237.5 work set looked like. Accordingly, it may be time to consider some accessory work with halting deadlifts (along with the load management that Bill suggested).

    Here's Coach Lindley's video:

    Halting Deadlift | Chase Lindley

  7. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Killmond View Post
    In his recent video on halting deadlifts, Coach Chase Lindley states:

    "The majority of time as the deadlifts really get heavy, people start to fail in flexion right off the floor, so this is a great exercise to help prevent that and to train it."

    That's what the 237.5 work set looked like. Accordingly, it may be time to consider some accessory work with halting deadlifts (along with the load management that Bill suggested).

    Here's Coach Lindley's video:

    Halting Deadlift | Chase Lindley
    I concur with this. You'll have to think of where you are in relative terms, not absolute terms. You're almost at 2x your bodyweight with that deadlift attempt. Whenever Rip is talking about switching to haltings/racks, he's typically referring to men pulling in the 400's, which would be around 2x their "ideal" bodyweight, with ideal being the weight where he typically suggests that men get to "as quickly as possible" (235-255lbs).

    Having said that, I would recommend changing only one thing at a time.
    1. If you can, change where your deadlifts fall in your programming and pull heavy before you squat heavy (Intensity), whether that be the same day or different sessions.
    2. If you can't, or that doesn't work after a few attempts, consider a deload of your squat (both Volume and Intensity). And before you balk at the deload, read the conversation between SSC Santana and Justin Johnson in this thread. BTW, I always highly recommend reading and re-reading that article from time to time, plus the associated forum threads. There is so much goodness in those discussions. However, keep in mind that you would just be kicking the can down the road, getting a short run of deadlift progressions before having to progress to the next step.
    3. If those don't work and you are getting plenty of rest, eating right, etc., (the Three Questions), then it would be time to swap out the Deadlift for alternating Haltings & Rack Pulls.

    Of course, it never hurts to ask the man himself over on the Network forums.

  8. #178
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    Good points. Oddly enough I find volume squatting way more taxing than intensity day. I’m always surprised at how “fresh” I feel the day after a squat PR. But that perception might not be accurate.

    Case in point: last night, I watched a TV show where a character I despise finally killed herself. Her brother’s response made me cry. Not normal. Today, I decided to lie down for a nap over lunch. I woke up four hours later. Not normal. I am taking an extra day of rest before my next training session, no matter how I feel tomorrow.

    Halting deadlift definitely sound great, but in my understanding, they would require a substantial de-load. If I cannot lift the thing with a flat back for a single rep, not a chance I can do meaningful halting deadlifts for sets of 5 to 8 at the weight. So incorporating halting deadlift would require a reset of my deadlift as well, correct?

  9. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    Good points. Oddly enough I find volume squatting way more taxing than intensity day. I’m always surprised at how “fresh” I feel the day after a squat PR. But that perception might not be accurate.

    Case in point: last night, I watched a TV show where a character I despise finally killed herself. Her brother’s response made me cry. Not normal. Today, I decided to lie down for a nap over lunch. I woke up four hours later. Not normal. I am taking an extra day of rest before my next training session, no matter how I feel tomorrow.
    Yep, sounds like a good time to take a small breather.

    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    Halting deadlift definitely sound great, but in my understanding, they would require a substantial de-load. If I cannot lift the thing with a flat back for a single rep, not a chance I can do meaningful halting deadlifts for sets of 5 to 8 at the weight. So incorporating halting deadlift would require a reset of my deadlift as well, correct?
    WARNING: Some anecdotal stuff below for perspective/illustration. And likely pretty long...

    Nope, it won't be a substantial deload for the haltings, because you'll be boosting volume with a small decrease in intensity, so the overall stress will remain fairly consistent. Depending on what article/book you read on it, it almost looks as if you start higher than your deadlift, although I cannot for the life of me figure out how I'd break x8 off the floor if I couldn't break x5 (e.g., BBRx p. 139; BBT3, pg 233). The Blue Book mentions starting at very conservatively 135lbs and working up from there, achieving possibly 85% of your 1RM for your x8, but don't go testing for that 1RM. In the forum discussion of Chase's video, Chase recommends "starting at 20-25lbs less than your last x5 or 2x3 DL" and working your way up from there, with the possibility of large jumps for a while.

    Anecdotally, I did just that, starting my first HDLx8 at 20lbs less than my previous DLx5. That set completely gassed me, as it's a bit more aerobically taxing than a DLx5 set. But it felt great afterwards, without the lower back and glute strains that I was getting from my DLs. So for the next HDL session 2-weeks later, I programmed a +10lb jump and just couldn't do it (although I had several hard snowboarding days that week, so I'm still not sure what that week means). They're programmed again this week, so I'll repeat that +10lb again to feel it out since I haven't had as many snowboarding days this week. I may, or may not, have started too heavy on these.

    Keep in mind that once you start down the Haltings/Rack Pulls programming, the idea is that you don't do deadlifts anymore, unless you are in a competition. However, Sully & Baker describe in BBRx, pg 139 that, depending on the client, they'll test the deadlifts every 4-12 weeks to see how it's progressing.

    For the Rack Pulls, Rip mentioned that he was able to pull x5 at what would typically be his 1RM in a competition. With that in mind, and knowing that I'm not Rip, I started at 20lbs less than my 1RM that I tested last month, which was 15lbs more than my last DLx5 prior to marking that 1RM. That RPx5 set felt great! So I programmed +10lbs for my next session (2-weeks later), but chickened out after my HDL failure of the week prior and loaded +5lbs for a what ended up being a very comfortable RPx5. Too comfortable, so I did a dumb thing and loaded another 5lbs (back to the originally programmed +10lbs) and immediately pulled that x5, which while taxing, was still pretty comfortable. And this x5 was just 10lbs less than my 1RM that I set last month. That's where your money will be—rack pulls. But you'll have to use them in conjunction with haltings if your long-term goal is to pull heavy off the floor.

    If you've tried the other two methods (rescheduling & deloading squats) and you still can't pull your full DL workset, that would be the time to forget about the deadlifts (for now) and just start alternating Haltings & Rack Pulls for your weekly heavy pull, as illustrated in Figure 13-1 of BBRx, pg 139.

    Finally, do not lose sight of the fact that you are STRONG! Seriously STRONG! Now is the time where it is easy to let the frustration have you start looking for alternatives (e.g., program hopping) but this is working for you. Minor tweaks to your programming while keeping the course could see you through another 50-75lbs on your deadlift in the coming year, should you choose to test it at year's end. Just know that from here on out, those gains are going to be slower than they have been this past year.

    Keep at it!

  10. #180
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    starting strength coach development program
    Great lifts and very useful discussions. Thank you!

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