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Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:02 am
by Jungledoc
Speaking of which, Peter, you really need to see the current post on his blog:

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:04 am
by Jungledoc
And now I see that you've already been there! That's pretty funny.

Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:11 am
by pdellorto
Yeah, I saw it. The other guy who commented is that RKC who lives in Tokyo. I'd say "it's a small world" except I found him from browsing Boris's YouTube videos.

Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:47 am
by pdellorto
I like the new workout. It seems pretty complete. If you're going to add an auxiliary exercise, you might want do add a unilateral leg exercise. You can't load them up as much as bilateral ones, so you give your body a break from heavy loads, and you can help even out your development.

What I try to do is follow my posterior chain ME work with quad-dominant single leg or regular exercises for higher reps (it's an accessory, not the main workout), and follow my squats with PC work. So I'm doing deadlifts now with short-stroke (shallow step) reverse lunges as my accessory. My cycle before was back squats and bulgarian split squats. I figure it was a good way to cover my bases - bilateral and unilateral, heavy squats with lighter work that called for more PC than quads.

Posted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:07 am
by pdellorto
Nice work on the chinups. Next up, 5 x 5 with some weight...2.5# is a good start, 5# is better but it'll suck if you drop down too many reps as a result. Better to start smaller and get all the reps.

And just think, you did 5 x 5 x 185#, when last time you did under 25 reps at 183#. Clear progress indeed - up reps and weight.

Posted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:01 pm
by Jungledoc
pdellorto wrote:Nice work on the chinups. Next up, 5 x 5 with some weight...2.5# is a good start, 5# is better but it'll suck if you drop down too many reps as a result. Better to start smaller and get all the reps.

And just think, you did 5 x 5 x 185#, when last time you did under 25 reps at 183#. Clear progress indeed - up reps and weight.
So you're saying my gaining those 2 pounds back is a good thing? You should consider a future in politics--the term "spin doctor" comes to mind!

I guess I'm to the point that each rep is a smaller increment. I'll add weight, and/or do some with an overhand grip.

For some reason, occasionally everything in the forum suddenly is marked as read, so I can't tell what I've read and what I haven't. So I missed your last post. Good suggestions. In fact last Wed I did a few weighted walking lunges. My quest for something to hit my glutes hard is over--I'm still walking funny. Maybe I can get Sam to include a few. Not as many as I started with!

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:16 am
by Jungledoc
My squat form check is at:

I'd be happy to receive any tips on form, technique, personal grooming, investments, differential equasions or metaphysics.

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:23 am
by Jungledoc
So today was one of the most discouraging days working out that I've had in a long time. Maybe ever.

First no music. How can one work out without music?

Then Sam was away, I didn't know when he'd be back or whether he would want to work out when he got back, so I worked out alone.

After feeling so pumped last week about chins, I still didn't do as well today, the second sub-par workout on chins in a row.

Then my back hurting again on deads. I don't think I hurt it seriously, but it stopped me for today. Yeah, I shouldda gone back a notch on the weight since I've been away from it for a couple of weeks. So, trying to learn a lesson, when the presses felt too heavy, I backed off and went with a lower weight.

And on top of it all, Jeff walked in, turned the CD player on, and it worked right off, first try.

So at the moment I feel like a weak, tired old man who waited way too late in life to get serious about fitness. DC players even are against me.

I won't quit, but this is the day I feel like it.

There. Now I've said it, and I'll get over it.

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:52 am
by pdellorto
Jungledoc wrote:My squat form check is at:
I knocked off the period after your link - I suggest you edit it out, it prevents clicking through properly.

Some form issues:

- Don't bend your wrists. You want them straight. Mark Rippetoe suggested putting athletic tape from the forearms to your hands, so you can feel it bunch if you bend them. You'll have to push the elbows back further to do this, which makes your torso even more tight so you can hold more weight.
- Grasp the bar thumbless. Can't tell if you are doing that or not. That will help with "don't bend your wrists." Your thumbs are not capable of holding the bar there. What does is you crushing the bar into your back like you're trying to bend it into a "U."
- You're keeping the bar a little high on your back. Is that intentional (i.e. you want to high-bar squat)? If not, get it a little lower, try to slot it in just on top of that "ridge" on the scapula. Hard for me to describe but I think when you get it there it just feels welded to your back.

That's all advice from a crappy squatter, so keep that in mind. But I think if you tweak that you'll be happier. And go a little deeper if you can. :D

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:00 am
by pdellorto
Be careful with your back, and ALWAYS work up slowly on deadlifts. Lots of warmup sets, even if they are warmup singles and doubles. You won't burn much energy, you'll get the form down, and you'll know if you don't have that previous PR matching rep in you before you try it.

Anyway, you're discouraged. That happens. Maybe it's time for a break? A deload (do the same weight and reps but cut the sets down to 2/3 of normal, or do what I do and cut the reps to 60% for the same weight)? Maybe just do some light barbell complexes? Sometimes the best thing you can do for your fitness is walk away from the bar for a little bit. A few days, maybe a week...and then come back, set the weights down a little, and go to it.

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:52 am
by TimD
Doc, Tey looked prety fair to me. As to the placement of the bar, well, a high bar can be a good thing. Just kind of depends on what style you're doing and why.. The key is it's sitting high, comfortable and NOT on the neck *I.e. on one of those nek bone disk thingys). It didn't appear to be that way to me. As to the thumbless grip thing, well, far be it for me to challenge Rippetoe, but I would always have a good solid grip, and pushing up with it in the ascent. The only time I go thumbless is with front squats.

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:29 pm
by Jungledoc
Thanks, guys.

I certainly will be going lower and slower on DL for a while. For the next few weeks most of the time I'll be doing Sam's bench routine. I've been icing my back, and it doesn't feel too bad.

I think I usually use thumbless grip on the squat. That's my intention, anyway. I thought I was using low bar position because of what Rippetoe says about low position being easier on the low back. At least it's lower than when I started. I just put it where it seems to fit.

Am I "sitting back" enough? My tendency is to fall forward part of the time. That's an even worse problem on front squats, which I haven't done with much weight. My other concern was my low back. It looks to me on the video that it at least flattens out a bit, if not flexes coming out of the "hole".

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:48 pm
by Chris_A
Actually, FWIW, I thought your knees were tracking too far over your feet. Your knees shouldn't go past the tips of your toes. You can correct this by concentrating more on shooting your butt straight back and down as if you're trying to sit down on a low stool behind you. My knees tend to drift forward as well, but by concentrating on where my butt is going, it gets corrected.

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:17 am
by Jungledoc
If I were to do box squats, how high should the box be?

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:27 am
by Chris_A
Various heights for different things like exploding out of the hole, partial squats for overcome sticking points, etc.

For your squats, I’d say a box height that allows you to reach perfect parallel.

You don’t have to use a box though. Just do body weight squats, hold your hands in front of you, and really concentrate on leading with your butt as you go down. As you do this, take a glance at your knees, and you’ll get the feel for dropping down without letting your knees go too far forward. But be careful as you look over at your knees. I often lose a good stance when I do this, so really concentrate!

As we talked about before, I often concentrate on squat form when getting up from the couch (or any chair for that matter). In that sitting position, you can position your legs such that your knees are in the prefect position, and while sitting on the couch, you can observe hip and thigh alignment, then drive through your heel and stand up. As you sit there on the couch or stool, you can easily look at perfect knee over foot placement, and casually observe the feel of that low position and make adjustments to torso without losing knee alignment. It’s great daily practice for learning where your knees are and how to “lead with your butt” as you squat down. Doing it daily like that, it soon becomes second nature.