Question Hunting, GOMAD and American Political Whores
Question: hi jim , some time ago i read an article where 2 lifters had a battle on shoulderpressing . george halbert vs. mike francois . george as a powerlifter(benchpresser) with less musclemass was stronger at low rep or 1 rm and weaker on more reps than mike . i was allways a fan of "smaller" lifters with more strength than a 300 lbs bodybuilder like cutler or other examples .
so , a goal of westsidetraining for example was and is learning and training for using more musclefibres (training with 90+% and dynamic effort)than with "normal" mid/high volume training. so it is possible getting stronger (too!!) without gaining more weight ...theoretically . HA , you lost a lot of bwt. and you've gotten stronger , so gaining weight is not the ONE answer . i ask as a long year lifter over 30 . i know that younger lifters should gain so much muscles as they can .
hm , what do you think , just a theorie , bullshit ?
Answer: I always feel like these questions are like drug addicts that doctor hunt – ask the question to enough people until you get the answer you are looking for. This is always the kind of examples people use to justify not eating enough to make gains, keep their precious “abs” and continue making zero progress in the weight room. The truth is there are some great lighter lifters lifting massive weights – Sam Byrd is one of them. He is one of the most impressive lifters I’ve ever seen.
But Sam is an exception. And you can’t use the exception to prove the rule. You can’t use Mike Francois and George Halbert either. You ever see that video on the YouTubes of the guy squatting 800 pounds for 3 reps at 220? (I don’t know the exact weight but it was insane). You know why that was passed around the internet and the forum wankers like a crack whore? BECAUSE IT IS SO RARE.
Here’s what I propose to people: Eat to win, Train to win and Condition to win. You do these things and LIKE A MIRACLE, everything falls into place. You weigh what you weigh – I can’t believe that men are so wrapped up in what they weigh and not what they do.
In conclusion, lift weights and get stronger.
Question: Hey jim Ive been following your template 5/3/1 and I must say I have made the most gains on this program. I have a question for you, ive noticed when i get up to 90 to 95% on the deadlift that I am very slow at coming off the floor. My question is should i be doing speed pulls for accessory work. Ive been lifting for 10 yrs and 6 or 7 of those years I made no gains hardly. Ive been on your program for a year and made gains every single month. Just want to say thanks for a great program.
Answer: Speed deadlifts are the lazy, uncoordinated answer to Power Cleans. Learn to put a bar on your shoulders from the floor and do some good mornings/back raises. That’ll do more good than tugging on a light weight.
In conclusion, do Power Cleans and train your lower back with GM’s or back raises.
Question: I'm currently doing John Meadows Mountain Dog style training for my pre-contest training for Fitness Modeling. Afterwards, I'll be starting 5/3/1's boring but big 3-month challenge you posted on t-nation (I miss 5/3/1 dearly and must start it again). My two questions are:
1. I know that during the deload week in the normal 5/3/1 you recommend that someone deloads everything, including assistance work. Does this still apply for the 3-month challenge with the 5 sets of 10 on the press, deadlift, bench, and squat for the 50%, 60%, and 70% on week four or do I still perform these sets at the percentage for 5 sets of 10?
2. Aside from doing the walking/prowler pushing, what do you think about doing some farmer's walks/sprints after the two lower body days?
P.S. By the way, I agree with the guy who posted on Monday that you should sell posters. I would definitely buy one.
1. You can deload everything or do the 5 sets of 10 reps. If you are feeling beat the fuck up, take the full deload. If you feel OK, do the 5x10.
2. I think you should do the program as written for the 2 months and see how you feel. After you do that, you are free to add in whatever you want. But you are underestimating the soreness (and you have to understand the point of the program). Take a step back and understand the “WHY” of the 3 month challenge.
Question: I’ve been on 5/3/1 and have made insane progress. The problem: I’ve been diagnosed with triceps insertion tendonitis, and after pushing through it for the last three months, I’ve decided to take my doctor’s advice and stop pushing. So, other than squatting and deadlifting heaving, what should I do for bench and overhead press? Moreover, working triceps is a cornerstone of my training. I know your time is valuable, so any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your work – it’s made a huge impact on my life.
P.s. when are you putting out more shirts?
P.p.s. goddamn you for suggesting hill sprints 3x a week!
Answer: You have to train what is trainable – and you also have to rest. So my advice is to use different raises with plates and dumbbells and see if they hurt your triceps. Try curls, too. And any back work. I don’t know what the time table is for you but I can guarantee that rest is going to be a better option than re-injuring your triceps. Take some time off the pressing and use this time to train your dead, squat and low back/abs/neck. Turn this time into a blessing.
(Not sure about more shirts; we have a ton of awesome designs. Thanks for the interest).
Question: I've been following 5/3/1 for almost a year now and made huge gains, despite being 32, a soon to be father, and traveling every week. Thanks for the books, articles, and FAQ's!
Anyways, it seems like you get a good bit of questions related to GOMAD when a person is lactose intolerant. First of all, I laughed my ass off on the plane when I first read your baby wipes suggestion in 531! I have had similar problems (with milk, not baby wipes), but found a few good ways of dealing with it (see below). By the way, few things suck more than getting the milk farts when in a sealed aluminum tube with 180 of your closest friends at 33,000 feet in the air!
1) Buy dairy enzymes and take them 15 minutes before the shake/milk.
2) Use kefir (fermented milk, kind of like a tart yogurt). Great healthy bacteria as well, similar to raw apple cider vinegar.
3) Use raw milk if you can get it. It still contains the enzymes to break down lactose. Gotta find a farmer you trust near you though (I live in Dallas, and this is relatively easy).
Answer: This is great advice – thanks for sharing.
Hey Jim, hope all is well.
Quick question for you...
I'm about to start month 3 of the BBB 3-month Challenge deal. I've been really happy with my progress and results so far. My question is what to do after this 3rd month, should I keep it at 70% and see how that goes or would you suggest starting over with 50% and build up again. I'm pretty sure you're going to tell me to untuck my tally-wacker and just lift but I'm just curious if there's some logic to building up progressively month to month like that.
Thanks for your time. Keep being awesome.
Answer: I really don’t recommend that at all. Here is what I recommend and this is how you look long term and set yourself up for a year of greatness.
See this how this works? We have size, strength and conditioning neatly packaged in a year long plan. You are always making progress, always moving forward; seems smart to me.
- December-February: Boring But Big (time to eat a ton of food, weather sucks)
- March – May : 5/3/1 for PL (do a meet because that makes your training actually mean something)
- June – August: Train 2 times/week, push conditioning to new levels of insanity (heavy weights are now replaced with heavy Prowler)
- September – November: Full Body Training (squatting every session makes your pubes coarse and your beard thicker)
Question: When i started doing 5/3/1 i took and used a max that was around 15% lower than my estimated 1 rep max but it seems that im getting crazy amount of reps especially on deadlift all the time and this has been since beginning. This is probably because this shit works but...should i just keep increasing that 5kg per month or more?
I pulled a max of 200kg(as christmas present for me) in december while using calculated max weight of 160 that time and now since ive increased max weight monthly i seem to get a way high reps on deadlift especially. On my last single week i pulled 12x162,5 where i was supposed to do only +1
Question is that would it be wise to up deadlift maybe 10-15kg just to get used to higher weights and lesser reps? Could it be that im still on the noob gain phase
Other question is about bench press:
I seem to get a nice amount of reps and nice pump with lower weights but immediatly after i move from 60-70% range to +70% i feel like im crushing under the bar and cant get the bar move at all, could this be some issue on cns or what? Only deadlift im getting all these retarded reps but other lifts are close +/- 10 to my real maxes.
Answer: So you are making progress on your deadlift, pulling PR’s and you want to change? I don’t understand. As for the bench press, I highly recommend you increase your upper back work and do some rows. Like a lot of rows. It takes time to build a thick set of lats and upper back so start the Protocol of Tugging ASAP. You want to build an upper back and set of lats that can help you support a 500 pound bench press. Also, get strong shoulders and arms. Finally, take the bar out with some confidence and hold your air.
Question: I am competing in my first equipped powerlifting comp this weekend (I have competed raw previously). It is a multi ply fed, and I am competing in cheap, very loose single ply gear. I hope to go 290/210/280 (640/462/617). Raw I am 240/150/272.5 (529/330/600).
This gear has been great for learning a little about equipped lifting, but I am ready to take the next step.
As I see it there are three options -
*get better at using my current gear
*get tighter and better single ply
*move into multiply
While I realise squeezing some extra weight out of my current gear is possible, I am thinking options 2 or 3 are probably better. Which would you recommend?
Answer: Gear is gear – it’s like trying to tell me there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans; they may talk shit in public but they are all about fucking over Americans, taking our liberties while lining their pockets with our hard earned tax dollars WHILE trying to impose their twisted morality and sense of fuckness on the very people that make this country move. Our founding fathers are disgusted.
My advice is to take the gear you have now and maximize it. This will let you know if your training is actually making a difference and not the gear. You are strong so don’t let the number chase turn into simply getting better gear. Lifting weights is about the training process, not what you can afford. Good luck at the meet and open light!
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