Question: If I am doing Building the Monolith and am also doing Olympic lifts at the beginning, what reps/sets and percentages do you recommend?
Answer: I recommend not combining Olympic lifts with the Building the Monolith (BTM) program. This program is designed "as is" and should be performed as laid out. If you want to do the Olympic lifts I recommend one of two things:
1. Finish the BTM program. Then start another program that is more Olympic lift-friendly.
2. Stop the BTM program and start a program that is more Olympic lift-friendly.
In other words, you can't always have your cake and eat it too.
Question: I’ve heard conflicting answers on whether to go for PRs on last set with BBB, any insight?
Answer: There are two answers to this question. First, if you are interested in long term programming (planning) and structuring your training into certain blocks (with specific goals for each block) - I recommend not going for personal records (PR's) when doing the Boring But Big program. However, if you are just training to train and don't really care about long term programming - do what you think is best for the day.
If you don't know what to do - use the 5's Progression (5's PRO) for your main work and then do the supplemental work (BBB). At the end of two cycles, switch to another program that emphasizes PR's.
Question: What would you recommend for "push assistance" on squat and deadlift days? I've been struggling to come up with push movements that could be done at home without access to any sort of specialized machines.
Answer: The most basic is push-ups; you can do these anywhere and can be easily loaded (if desired) with a band or weight vest. Dips can also be done, although that generally requires dip bars OR at the very least, two stable surfaces that can act as dip bars.
If you are worried that doing push-ups or dips will negatively effect your workouts, follow the principles: start light/progress slow. If you are a new to doing this, don't expect to do 200 push-ups on the first day and be fresh for the next training day. Start with a total number of push-ups that is reasonable. Only increase when this becomes very easy. You do not need to add X reps every workout. Let your body adapt.
Question: I'm doing squats 3 times a week and deadlifts once a week. Is it ok to do chin ups everyday. How often can I get away with doing chin-ups?
Answer: Yes, provided you don't go overboard with the volume. This is especially true with chin-ups/pull-ups. Now certain people can get away with higher volume of these movements but generally these people have worked up to the volume over a long period of time. In other words, they slowly and methodically built up their tolerance over a long period of time. If you wish to do them every day, have a goal for the total amount of reps to be done every day. Maybe have a higher day, medium day and lighter day. For example:
- Higher volume day - 50 total reps
- Medium volume day - 35 total reps
- Low volume day - 20 total reps
You can wave these during the week, done six days/week. The above rep ranges are examples - you have to use your best judgement. And the best way to use good judgement is follow principles - start light and progress slow. You don't magically make progress after ONE workout either. It may take a month or more at each section to be able to "earn the right" to increase the volume.
As always, be wary of the strain on your shoulders and elbows. These two areas are the problem areas when doing chins/pulls every single day. Your body will tell you when you are doing way too much. Sore/tired is ok. Being hurt is not.
Question: Would you recommend WaLRUS training and hill sprints for someone that just wants to kick ass in life?
Answer: Yes and no. Do I think these are awesome? Yes. Do I think you need some more variety? Yes, especially for your own sanity.
The majority of my training, at least right now, is WaLRUS centered. But I also do other things to keep things interesting AND have developed other "WaLRUS-esque" protocols that are more suited for me/my limitations/goals. There is nothing wrong with using the principles of WaLRUS training and hill sprints and engaging in similar activities. For example - instead of hill sprints you can use the Prowler, sled drags, Farmer Walk, Barbell/Yoke walks (we do these for 1/2 mile, no stopping), lunge marathons, weight vest walks, stairs, hills/stairs with weight vest and using the Air Dyne bike.
If you don't know D.R.I., shame on you.