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  1. #181
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    • starting strength seminar june 2022
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    Hi Tiny,

    I check your post and you are doing great work. I wish I had something concrete to offer in regards to your lifts, but am unable to offer anything more than encouragement. You are working hard and the good news is there is more hard work ahead!

    Take care,

    Bill

  2. #182
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    Two Bills? Yabadabadoo! And encouragement is always very welcome, thank you! My last training session beat me up quite a bit, both physically and mentally.

    1. I am really torn, to be honest. For intensity squat, I only do 3 X 3. Even when I account for the extended warm up, the tonnage of my last and heaviest session amounts to 4555 lbs. Meanwhile, last volume session adds up to 6527 lbs. Isn’t intensity easier to recover from than volume?

    I am asking because, schedule wise, I could just add an extra day of full rest before deadlift day. I could even reduce squat volume on intensity day. I have been doing 3 X 3 somewhat arbitrarily; most women stick with 2 sets. I could totally drop the third set, which would reduce intensity work by a third and total tonnage by almost 15%.

    2. As you guessed, I am reluctant to de-loading my squat just yet. It’s my strongest lift and it’s still going up nicely for the time being. I’d rather wait until progress slows down or stalls, which is bound to happen in the not-so-distant future anyway. It’s already a bit of a miracle that my squat got this high this quickly: it’s 10 lbs beyond the Cat V mark while my other lifts are sitting in the early to mid Cat IV range.

    3. Halting deadlifts are tempting because of my long-standing issues in keeping my back set. I read Nick’s article on Programming Halting Deadlifts and the 3-week cycle he describes offers an interesting comprise, with deadlifts programmed every third week. I am not ready to let go of the deadlift altogether, so this might be a good option.

  3. #183
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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    Two Bills? Yabadabadoo! And encouragement is always very welcome, thank you! My last training session beat me up quite a bit, both physically and mentally.

    1. I am really torn, to be honest. For intensity squat, I only do 3 X 3. Even when I account for the extended warm up, the tonnage of my last and heaviest session amounts to 4555 lbs. Meanwhile, last volume session adds up to 6527 lbs. Isnít intensity easier to recover from than volume?

    I am asking because, schedule wise, I could just add an extra day of full rest before deadlift day. I could even reduce squat volume on intensity day. I have been doing 3 X 3 somewhat arbitrarily; most women stick with 2 sets. I could totally drop the third set, which would reduce intensity work by a third and total tonnage by almost 15%.
    The total volume of your squats is what is starting to kill your deadlift progression. You really need to think of them as interrelated, as they both rely heavily on the same muscle groups to complete them successfully (see discussion in the Santana thread linked above). Looking at the TM example for women in PPST3 (pg 221, V=90-95% of I @ 6x3 + I=3RM), you're doing 40% more total squat volume in a training week cycle with your 5x5 Volume and 3x3 Intensity sessions than is prescribed. That will negatively impact your deadlift. Unfortunately, the women-specific chapter of BBRx only shows the early transition period for TM and nothing for HLM, even if they are similar.

    BTW, I'm a fan of tracking tonnage too, which is a holdover of my tracking cumulative stresses during triathlon/ultramarathon training. I can't recall right now where I read it on these pages, but I now only track tonnage for the work set, not warmups, as those aren't driving the stress recovery and adaptation cycle. Examples are provided in Intermediate and Advanced Training: A Few Ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    2. As you guessed, I am reluctant to de-loading my squat just yet. Itís my strongest lift and itís still going up nicely for the time being. Iíd rather wait until progress slows down or stalls, which is bound to happen in the not-so-distant future anyway. Itís already a bit of a miracle that my squat got this high this quickly: itís 10 lbs beyond the Cat V mark while my other lifts are sitting in the early to mid Cat IV range.
    I totally understand that. I was in the same headspace last spring. Then I spent a month+ with my squats still climbing while I was at a dead stop (pun intended) with my deadlift. Soon my squat 3x5 work weight was almost the same as my deadlift x5 work weight attempts. And these weights were at a significantly lower BW percentage than what you are working right now (seriously, you are STRONG!). Also, I was walking around like an old, old man since my posterior was not getting the recovery that I needed. That's about the time that I ran across Santana's articles and discussion, reset my squat on June 1st, and the deadlift started climbing again. Anecdotal? Sure. But illustrative. By the end of the 2021, my 3x5 and 5x5 squat weights still hadn't reached back up to where I was when I reset, but my deadlift was still climbing. Then I did my "mock meet" in mid-December and my 1RM squat was higher than both my deadlift and squat weight when I reset in June. And that's with my very inconsistent training through the summer and fall. As long as your deadlift is going up, your squat will follow. But it doesn't work vice-versa.

    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    3. Halting deadlifts are tempting because of my long-standing issues in keeping my back set. I read Nickís article on Programming Halting Deadlifts and the 3-week cycle he describes offers an interesting comprise, with deadlifts programmed every third week. I am not ready to let go of the deadlift altogether, so this might be a good option.
    Ah, I had forgot about that article. Yep, that's a good cycle too, as you enjoy the deadlifts. I do too, and will probably follow similar once snowboarding season is over, as the deadlift is actually my favorite of the lifts.

    As far as your issues with keeping your back set on your deadlifts, keep in mind that the fatigue from all of that squat volume is going to help create and sustain that situation.

    Keep at it!

  4. #184
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    First, let's start with the training update:

    Intensity Press - 4, 3, 3, 3, 3 at 88 lbs (PR)

    Small win here, but I managed to get a fourth rep in during the first set. Those were all strict press. My lower back has been bothering me lately and is no fan of my press 2.0 (form still needs some though love).

    Volume squat - 3 sets of 5 at 190 lbs

    I had no intention of going for 5 sets today. Having completed those 3 sets, I have no doubt I could easily have done 5. That was not the point though. I approached this session as a possible farewell to heavy squats. I did consider giving the bar a hug after I racked it.

    That said, 3 sets of 5 at 190 lbs is still pretty good for a female my age and size. Thanks for reminding me!

    ***

    I mentioned feeling my lower back during the press. Well, this happened during the squat too. It does confirm Bill's theory and suggests my lower back could use a break. So I will do a "light squat week" over the next segment of my 4-day split. And by light, I mean something like 2 X 5 at 135 lbs and 2 X 3 at 150 lbs.

    Then we'll see and go from there. At the very least, I will cut volume way down. I will shorten my warm-up routine as much as practicable (Mr. Killmond has observed that I am doing way too much work there), cut 2 sets from my 5 X 5 volume day, and stick with two triples on intensity day instead of doing 3 X 3. If my squat stalls or regresses as a result, so be it, I can live with that. And I'll adjust my training schedule as Bill recommended.

    I am now considering de-loading the squat, though I'm not sure what this means in practice. How much weight should come off? Do I keep a volume/intensity sequence or do I go back to a NLP kind of progression?

    Also, I think I need to find the heaviest weight I can deadlift with proper form (probably in the 215 lbs range) and rebuild from there. I really doubt that I can fix my current form issues while also dealing with PR loads. At this point I'd rather deadlift "heavy and right" than "heavier but wrong".

    Does any of this sound like crazy talk?

  5. #185
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    Great training session with a couple of wins - the PR! and the self-control to not run out a 5x5 when you felt that you could have.

    As far as your plans, it's not crazy. Everything I learned I learned from getting stuck hard, hobbling around, then listening closely to what Hooper and Mr Killmond had to say.

    Remember that Intensity is your friend, while Volume is not (so much). For your "light squat week" you could even do something like 90% of today's Volume day 190lbs with 170x2x2 (680lbs workset tonnage) or 85% with 160x3x2 (960lbs workset tonnage). Compare that to today's volume tonnage of 2,850 (24%/34% respectively) and that's where your "light" comes in, without losing your hard fought gains. Heck, even 95%-180x3 is 540lbs total is 19% of today's volume. But you don't lose that feel for that weight on your back. After that, use that weight and start adding the volume back.

    As far as programming after that, you could go either NLP or V/I (TM style), both with their regular pros/cons. NLP and your squats will catch up to your deadlifts quicker, while V/I will be slower (which may not be a bad thing, considering). Looking back over last year, I did both, but then again, I was not consistent due to life events, so I can't say if one worked better than the other. Regardless, pay close attention to your volume, both in the warmups (it looks like Mr Killmond has set you on the right path there, as he did with me) and the work sets.

    As far as resetting your deadlift, hang tight with that thought. You might find that your form creep above 215lbs was caused by your lower back not recovering from your squat volume. Give that 237.5lbs another try late next week (7-9 days after Tuesday's attempt) while doing your "light squat week."

    I'm looking forward to seeing what others chime in with.

    Keep at it!

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    I will shorten my warm-up routine as much as practicable . . . I am now considering de-loading the squat . . . . Also, I think I need to find the heaviest weight I can deadlift with proper form (probably in the 215 lbs range) and rebuild from there.
    Given the amazing amount of warmups you've been doing, it might even be the case that your training perks up just from cutting back on the warmups.

    I'd be tempted to try less warmups and, for now, skip the deload or any other changes! Keep in mind that you legitimately got the 237.5 deadlift triple even if it wasn't crystal. I wouldn't be surprised at all if cutting the warmups leads directly to better form. If there's no improvement, or it otherwise doesn't work, you can re-think at that point.

    Just so we're clear, such warmup schemes aren't my idea. I saw some discussion in the forums and then looked in the books. It's covered in Practical Programming for Strength Training on p. 74, and there is a detailed discussion of the issue in The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40, p. 174-176.

    My own experience has been good with implementing the tapered warmups from The Barbell Prescription (empty bar, next warmup set for 5 reps, next one for 3, then singles). I definitely feel less taxed stepping up for the work sets.

    True confession, (1) I have started to rest 3-5 minutes between the last warmup and the first work set and (2) I've chopped the deadlift warmup even a little more (first warmup for 4 reps, next for a double, then singles).

    Give it a try!

  7. #187
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    French equivalent to TGIF is "vindredi". Vendredi = Friday, vin = wine.

    Here's what in can look like.

  8. #188
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    Thanks a lot for the advice, gentlemen. I really appreciate your input. The warm-up conversation made for a pretty good vindredi. My husband and I had not laughed this much in a long time! He felt vindicated because I have lectured him about his warm-up scheme in the past. Silly me!

    After going through my paper log this morning, it is obvious I have been adding warm-up sets as the work sets got heavier instead of spreading the warm-up sets further. Thanks for the BBRx reference; I will stick to a minimalist scheme from now on.

    I love your ideas for the “light squat week”. With the revised warm-up routine, this will feel light AF, like a RPE of -2.34.

    Good point about the programming too. I will keep doing V/I in the short term. I do like that it slows down my squat’s progression, and sets of 5 are doing wonders for me. My form has improved a lot since reintroducing those, bar speed is much faster, and I have way more confidence during The Most Important Rep of my intensity day triples. Psychologically, heavy triples are far less intimidating after having completed sets of 5 at 90% of that load. I’m totally cool with cutting volume down to 3 sets, but fahves are staying. I don’t know how the other ladies can put up with up to 8 sets of triples for volume. I’d have zero fun doing that and having some fun with this program does matter to me.

    Point taken on the stupid deadlift: I’ll reattempt the damn thing, but this won’t happen until Friday. Life stuff going on this week is conveniently forcing me to extend my recovery from Tuesday’s session. Under-recovery should not be a factor on my next attempt. I’ll also use Mr. Killmond’s 4-2-1-1 warm-up scheme.

    On one last bright note, I am looking forward to my training sessions being shorter!

    Thanks again!

  9. #189
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    Yesterday was the lightest session of my 4-day split. Normally, I do not take a day off before this particular session, but I was curious to see how the bench would react if I did. Results are inconclusive at best; bench does not seem to mind either way.

    Intensity bench - 5 sets of 3 at 127 lbs (PR)

    I reviewed my warm-up routine, resulting in about half the warm-up tonnage of my previous intensity bench session. That said, I started with 5 minutes of light rowing on my Concept 2 (there is a secondary gym in the basement). This was actually quite nice, especially with the addition of pretty scenery. A keeper.

    The work sets didn't quite happened as stated above. In reality, I ended up doing 3, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3. During my second set, I had a misgroove incident during rep 2 and this carried on into rep 3 which I had to lower onto the safeties. Good news is that my setup is perfect; I have sent that video to my mom to rest my case. She is not supportive of my strength training at all, except for the fact that it's made me gain weight. She keeps going on about how "dangerous" it is. She had a bit of a point when I was using the el cheapo squat stand at my old place, but since my move last summer, let's just say that there have been some major upgrades in the safety department.

    Anyhow, I didn't get 3 reps on set 2, but I chose to assume it was just a misgroove issue and kept going. Then I decided to do my 15th rep in a 6th set. It went so well that I did a second one which was very tough. Then the little voice said "At this point I might as well at least try to get that third fucker in". I guess the safety experience gave me some extra courage. I doubt I would have attempted this rep otherwise, and I am glad I did.

    Grinding on the bench is a relatively new experience; I better get good at this soon. I would not be surprised if my bench stalled in the foreseeable future. I'm not built for a big bench, I have to use a narrow grip, and my technique is not very good. I don't get the leg-drive thing; I actually tend to lift one foot up when struggling with a rep (odd, isn't it). This is something I need to work on as well. But as much as I'd love to get to a 135 lbs bench, it wouldn't be a tragedy if I didn't. I'm quite content with having 1 X BW bench.

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

    4 fewer reps than last time. Not quite sure why this was not working today, but I suspect it's from the reduced frequency over my last training cycle (9 days since the previous chin-up session). Not a huge deal here. I know that I need to do chin ups often to get good at them, and they de-train ridiculously fast when I don't. If I wanted to get much better at them, I'd probably have to do them at least twice a week. I might try to see where I could fit a second chin up session as I am reviewing my training schedule.


    After this, I did something unusual. My lower back was still tight and I tested it with a few incline crunches to see if it would get triggered. The first rep was unpleasant, but after a few, it felt looser. I followed up with a 15-minute yoga session in the "zen corner" of the secondary gym. I'm not a fan of yoga but can put up with short sessions of simple moves when I don't find the instructor too annoying. Adriene is very tolerable, unlike many yoga instructors and their over-the-top performative zenitude.

    As I went through the motions, I realized that my hip flexors were very tight. Bringing the knees to the chest was painful. I doubt my lifting has anything to do with this; I am quite confident that working from home is responsible for the tightness I have been experiencing since we've been ordered to work from home. Sure, I have a desk job, but working from the office introduces way more movement throughout my day. Just getting to the fridge or going to the bathroom requires a 50 to 100 meter walk each way. So until we're allowed back in, I think I will try to do some yoga or light cardio to loosen up. Yesterday's yoga session was oddly effective; my hip flexors feel better today, and while the tightness in my back is still there, there seems to be an improvement.

  10. #190
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    Feb 2021
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    starting strength coach development program
    Hi Tiny

    I am so jealous you have the Rogue Lil Monster. I tried to get that color but had to settle on black. Anyway, the purpose for my post is I found great benefit to adding the Rogue Monolift. The way it helps old shoulders like mine is something to be experienced. No more pulling from the back. Just lift and do the work.

    Here is a vid of what it does. It's expensive, but I am so glad I added it to my rack.

    Bill

    Jan 21 2022 Bench 275lbs - YouTube

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