Question and Answer - Instagram – Jim Wendler

Question and Answer - Instagram


This is the first half of the Instagram Q/A that I put up recently.  Some of the questions were answered on the Table Talk that Dave Tate and I did. The ones we didn't get to, I answered them below. The second half will be up as soon as I can get to them.

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If you were 17, like I am, what would you do if you wanted to get as big as humanly possible? Besides eating a fucking crap ton of food. How would you train? Would you implement more high rep training or would you just do the normal 5/3/1, and a few accessories or would the majority of your training be high rep?

Answer: I would learn the value of patience, building a balanced base of physical skills and build great habits. Seeking “size” is a life-long endeavor. Enthusiasm is great. Discipline is 100000 times better.

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 If you were to want to train for more 'all round' performance how would you go about it? I'm talking strength so using the 531 program but also fitness and good core strength and body weight exercise strength, how would you go about it?

Answer: This is all in the new book. The key is balance and proper programming.

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I am currently running 531 full body 3 day split. Working well but my ass is weak. Im doing good mornings with 135+40lbs of chains for 3 sets of 10. Is this a good exercise/volume choice?

Answer: I would continue squatting, deadlifting and doing GM’s, back raises, running and jumping. Do the right work for the best results.

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For my entire life I've lifted without a belt (low 4s squat max, low 5s deadlift max, beltless) mostly due to discomfort and it making me feel like I'm out of position at the bottom of a squat and the starting point of a deadlift (conventional) - a few minutes explaining some tips/tricks about getting used to lifting with a belt and how to get the most out of it would be great.

Answer: The best way is to simply use it more often, get comfortable with it, let the sweat form it and experiment with different settings/positions. Most important, build a strong-as-fuck center: back raises and ab work. Strong center = strong man.

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My question is with regards to powerlifting an age. I just hit 40 and am having some real issues now staying injury free, over the past few months especially my body is not responding well. I enjoy powerlifting and training as such what different approaches can I take with regards to training to help elongate my participation in powerlifting ?

Answer: Best things to do: balance your training, understand the importance of recovery (sleep, diet, hydration and active recovery) and don’t be a volume queen if you don’t have to. Bow to NO tired dogma.

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How can you keep your pressing strength up while working on better shoulder stability with 5/3/1?

Answer: Press, bench press and do the other stuff after. I don’t really understand the question. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.

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What is your favorite assistance to build the hip flexors.

Answer: Roman chair sit-ups and running (not jogging). Hills and stairs will help as will jumping.

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What would u adjust with 5/3/1 if someone was also training Muay Thai 3 times a week?

Answer: Same as the many in-season programs I’ve published as well as the 5/3/1 for MMA I wrote.

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If raw powerlifting was a thing when you were competing in powerlifting do you think you would have competed for longer, or would you have been equally as fed up with the sport and left all the same?

 

Answer: I wasn’t fed up with the sport – I just wanted to do something else. Life is full of what I call “Mt. Everest” goals – these are goals you do just because they are there. I’m only concerned with accomplishing my goals and moving forward. I did that in PL and I moved on to other things in my life. Same as anyone that is goal-oriented.

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What would be your recommended caloric/macros breakdown for the fatasses out there looking to keep with the 5/3/1 program?

 Answer: Whatever fits your current performance goals – eat some protein, eat some carbs, eat some fruit/vegetables and keep your training balanced and your goals balanced.

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 1. Hard to lockout in deadlift due to back rounding early in the lift even though i flex everything, fixes? 2. Best training partners you've got trough the years? 3. How important is cardio/conditioning to maximize strength gains?

 Answer:  1. Kroc Rows. 2. All of them. 3. I think it is incredibly important no matter what goal you have.

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You always suggest agile 8 for mobility , have you ever used 'limber 11' or the upper body routine 'simple 6' by defranco?

 Answer: Yes, I have.  I don't think it really matters which one you do. What matters is that you do it. Getting caught up with the minor shit will ruin you.

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I've been training hard for almost 10 years now, which I understand isn't a whole lot of time in the iron game. I began using cookie cutter bodybuilding splits, like almost every other newbie. Then I found powerlifting and strongman, began to compete, and began to educate myself. Thank you guys for teaching me things that I now teach to others. As an incoming medical student/ eventual doctor, I understand that a day will approach where training is no longer a great priority in the grand scheme of life. But I'll train as long as my body allows. My question to you guys, is how do you cope with shitty training cycles during times when life gets rough. Obviously, you want each cycle to be great. But not all are going to be. I understand that having other outlets like reading and writing have helped you Jim, but what else do you guys do to keep things in perspective? When your lifts are going down, but the effort is still as great as it's always been, how do you make sense of training? Do you try to see it as more of a tool to enhance the other areas of your life, rather than an endeavor of its own? It's been challenging to see my performance occasional dip due to life, especially when competing regularly has become an important part of my life. I'd like to hear what you guys have to say. Thanks for your time, ahead of time.

 

Answer: Shitty training cycles and days and even years – these are all part of the game. This is part of life – shit sucks and you march on. I don’t know any successful person that stays down, even for a day. You make your peace and push harder or smarter. This is how you accomplish goals, not pretend to dream.

Training serves whatever purpose it needs for you – earlier in my life, it was a way to be better at football. Then I wanted to be a better PL. Now, it serves as a way of keeping my teeth and soul sharp – no man or woman should be weak physically or mentally. And since most of us have pretty docile lives, if you don’t use it, you lose it. So this helps keep the mind/body strong (one of the ways). Physical challenges keep me balanced.

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Could you guys share some technique/queuing advice for single ply lifting

Answer: I never lifted in single ply gear – sorry.

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 In the last 6 months, I have gotten really hurt during squatting. I've had such severe pain in my SI joint and it shot down my leg this last time causing toes to be numb. It happens in the bottom of the squat usually and I can't bend over to even tie my shoes when this happens. Few months of dry needling and PT helped as we found the major issue to be my glutes being where the pain is from. Now on my own I have found that a lot of times I shift towards one leg in the squat and believe that to be the issue. Anything you recommend to correct this. It's very slight but you can see it and it is definitely getting better now I am aware of it as I just squatted 290x2 without pain. Just asking your opinion. Keep it metal 🤘🏻 love the new locust whip track

 

Answer: This is 100% out of my league – I don’t know enough about injures or PT to warrant any kind of guess. It’s not just dangerous, it is horribly irresponsible.

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Hi jim got 2 questions, whats the best way to get you ohp press up? Is there any problem with replacing A standard bar squat with a safety bar squat for good? Thanks

Answer: The best way is to press (using whatever main lift/supplemental program works) and then do other movements such as dips, chins, rows and triceps work to support those muscles. Also, having a super strong ab/low back is also necessary. Also, you have to eat like you want to improve your press, not to impress other dudes at the beach.

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What two day program is best for a beat up 47 year old? Do you feel walking while wearing a 66 LB weight vest two times a week is enough conditioning? How would you fit prowler walks in the two day scheme? Thanks Jim!

Answer:  

  1. There are dozens of different two-day programs; find the one that you WANT to do, and do it. There is no right/wrong answer. 2. No. Do more. 3. I would use it as part of a 2x2x2 program.

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Jim: If I find that I always press and squat 5-10% better while listening to Immortal's "Sons of Northern Darkness", do I just keep re-running that record, or switch it up and attempt to break through the non-Immortal plateau? Thank you.

 Answer: That is because Abbath loves wearing aviators.

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 Hi Jim. Multiply lifting - is it dead or will it make a comeback?

Answer: It might – I have no idea about PL as of now due to coaching, work and my family.  The only thing that should matter to you is your own goals in life - not whether or not something is popular with the public.

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Any templates of higher squatting volume and frequency in the new upcoming book?

Answer: No – everything I do is balanced and supposed to make you awesome.

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Hey Jim. Doing your 5/3/1 2x weekly template all upper body one day lower the other. Plus 2x weekly martial arts . Due to some nerve damage (unrelated to lifting) I can't effectively do any dumbbell work. I'm limited to straight or specialized bars. So, Are you planning any new old fart programs in your new book ? Btw: I'm looking at 60 yrs old right between the eyes.

Answer: You aren’t an Old Fart, Tim. I know that because your farts are rose-scented. And yes, there are.

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Best exercises for shoulder mobility and health. Also how to avoid bench stalling 101.

 Answer: It’s more about HOW you do the movements, then what to do. You can’t avoid stalling on your bench – that shit happens regardless of what you do. That’s what makes training so awesome – you can prove yourself and figure out the problem.

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Give an example of an exercise you've done for a long time that you realized probably did very little to help your goal.

 Answer: I don’t think I ever did any movement that didn’t help for very long – Since I started training, majority of lifting was bench, squat, dead, clean. So other than those things, I didn’t branch out too much other than the press.

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Firstly I am here to say thank you! I have been improving my strenght with your program 5.3.1. My answer is how often and how should I check news PR or RM? For example, does it have a number of reps with 95% of 90% of 1 rm that indicates I should try new marks? Sorry about my english and thanks a lot again!

 Answer: This is all in the book.

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 No question, but fuck yes to that Indian shirt. I have the limited edition From All Purity vinyl.

Answer: Indian is the best anti-music band ever.

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 What's the point of lifting?

Answer: To quote Gaahl, “Satan.”

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 How is it possible to keep the fire burning, the passion alive, when it is so easy not to train.

Answer: You have goals and are disciplined. Motivation is for the weak. Fuck motivation.

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What all equipment would you recommend for a home gym to get strong as fuck.

 Answer:

  • Squat stands/rack
  • Platform
  • Barbell
  • Weights

That is all you ever will need.

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What're the best ways to use a weighted vest? Suggested weight/progression?

Answer: All in new book or on my forum: we use it for strength (WaLRUS challenge) or for conditioning and recovery.

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 Conditioning is going to be my main focus. I understand strength is gonna take a back seat. Should I focus more on accessory lifts and sled/hills? Instead of pushing my main lifts? I also have a rower and weighed vest. Your thoughts on adding a plyo box and some kettle bells?

Answer: If conditioning is your main focus, you should have a performance goal. Then make a plan to accomplish the goal. This is very basic and simple – please don’t do conditioning just to do conditioning. That is foolish. We use box jumps and kettlebells as part of our training – not sure what the question is. As always, it has to be used properly and with the right program. We do not use those for conditioning though.

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Thoughts on growing popularity of high frequency squatting

 Answer: I don’t think about it all.

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 How would you structure a strength and conditioning program for an in season athlete (soccer in my case). I like Bill Stars approach for weights x2 a week, one light one heavy transitioning from an off season x3 per week HLM program. Thoughts? Alternatives?

Answer: Same as all the in-season programs I’ve written over the past 10 years.

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 Butt wink, something that quasi fitness personaltrainers have over exaggerated or something to work dilligently on

Answer: It’s a great way for people to live in fear and for people to milk you of your money.  Anything based on fear is bullshit.

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Do you have favorite songs for heavy sets of the mainlifts or a certain lift?

Answer: Not really – I just kind of pick a band and then listen. I never listen to loud music when I train as it is a distraction. Despite my music being heavy/aggressive or whatever you want to call it, it is soothing for me and helps me relax. And being relaxed and focus = great lifting. Being a foaming savant = ignorance.

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What lessons learned under the bar was valuable in your personal and professional life? What did you take from training that improved your character in worklife and with family/friends (and even enemies).

Answer: Sports, specifically football and throwing the discus, did 10000000 times more for me as a person than lifting. Teamwork, sacrifice, patience,overcoming fear, pain, accountability, being uncomfortable as well as working with people I would have never encountered (and understanding them) are some of the lessons I learned. And am still learning and deciphering. Life and education NEVER stops when school is done. Read, write, read, write – your entire life.

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 What supplements do you recommend?? best exercise for shoulder mobility ?

Answer: Supplements I recommend are the ones that work for you and fill some void in your life. I never work on shoulder mobility but probably shoulder dislocates.

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First off, thank you @jimwendler for all your work. This one was asked above, do you think it is detrimental (to the main lifts) to add mma training on off days on 5/3/1 4 days a week w/ BBB?

Answer: Yes!

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You have any tips for weak ankles? I tend sprain my ankles easily and that just sucks

Answer: I sprained my ankles a few times but the best thing I ever did was: run, run, run, jump, jump and NEVER, EVER tape my ankles. EVER. Don’t put a cast on something that you want to get stronger.

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Have you ever tried the "JM Blakely secret diet for gaining weight"? If not, what was your favorite way to gain/maintain a competition weight class?

Answer: Nope. I just ate food and minimized my activity. One thing that you learn when you play sports and do so every single day of your life is how to relax. No one is lazier than a football player when he doesn’t have practice. You run two times/day and lift once a day and you quickly learn how to not do a damn thing. So all I did was not do a damn thing outside of training.

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My 10 year old son has to lose about 10 lbs for football, and he has a month to do it. What do you suggest? We've been working at it for about a month and I'm starting to panic now. Appreciate any help you can give me.

Answer: Here’s my advice – don’t make a 10 year old cut weight. He’s 10 years old. If he’s active and you teach him about the right foods, and give him a chance to be healthy, he will grow up healthy and with a great attitude about his body. Making him cut weight at 10 years old, in my opinion, is sending him the wrong message. BUT he is your child and you are his parent so it is up to you to make the best choice for him.