T Nation

EC: 6/21 and 6/23 Prime Time


I'll be on tonight and Thursday. Toss out whatever's on your mind (within reason, that is).



What is a good set/rep guideline for training the deadlift?

Do you train the deadlift once a week?



I've seen in your photos that you use the over/under grip for deadlifting.

I know there's some controversy surrounding its safety. Obviously, you don't feel it's too dangerous.

Where do those who get injured go wrong?


over and under grip is dangerous?


Just wrapping up the 2nd Neanderthal program, can you offer an suggestions for a follow up program, either specific or general? Really enjoyed both, slight but definite improvements in posture. Still really working on anterior pelvic tilt. thanks.


I was taking a look the other day at an article that you wrote on the squat and I have a question for you about tight hip flexors. Since overly tight hip flexors (coupled with weak glutes) cause an excessive anterior pelvic tilt and lordosis, what types of form problems have you observed happen when someone with tight hip flexors squats?


I sometimes experience a stabbing pain in my left heel when doing stiff leg-deadlifts. This doesn't occur in any other exercise, even bent leg deadlifts, I've been inclined to believe it's a flexibility issue, but wasn't sure exactly. Any ideas?

Thanks for your time,



I'm drowning here.

I took the list T.C. put up in the Axe Joe article. I took out what I already knew and was applying, and then I took out all the references to testicles.

Then I googled all the terms I didn't know like "stretch-shortening cycle" and "wave loading" or couldn't remember like "EPA and DHA".

I'm already doing this stuff, I just call it different names. For instance I take flax, I should take more, I will. Years ago I read some book by some guy from Bulgaria and he said make the negative longer, I've been doing that for years.

Bottom Line: I'm reading science and nutrition sites and following the research. I read T-Mag articles. I read Peak Performance, which is sometimes sparce, not focused on power building but an unbeatable resource all the same. ITS ALL TOO MUCH. I don't have enough time to put all this crap together and figure out where my training plan for this quarter is failing. Do I get results? Sure. Am I enjoying myself? Yes. Do I feel confident I'm maximizing my gym time and eating the best plan, given what there is to know? NOT.

I want T-Mag to offer a service where I pay some money, fill out a form on what I'm eating/how I'm training, and some of the T-Mag jokers send me a few important bullets they think I should take very seriously. I want to be able to do this once a quarter. I'm not saying that this is a substitute for my own ongoing education and personal planning, but given how much info is out there and the fact that life is hard, I want T-Mag to at least have my back.

Provided I pay through the nose. I buy grow, I eat the damn brownie bars, now help me out. Figure out a way to charge me for some personal training advice on a macro level once every three months. Dude! I'd do it for you. If I had time. And knew as much as you guys. And somebody wrote me a cranky email.

I wear a suit every day and solve other people's problems, I got a wife I gotta pay attention to, I got personal enrichment I gotta keep up with...

I wouldn't be suprised if you were already doing this. The site is steroids compared to its early days, when I wouldn't have made this request. But your entre penures or something now. What do you think?



Another DL question for ya. I find myself leaning slightly forward (i.e. shoulders beyond the bar) just prior to lift off. It feels as though I am stronger from this position as opposed to starting the lift more upright. From what I've read, this is not the proper way to deadlift though. Thoughts?

Thank you,



Hi Eric,

Just wanted to bounce something off you. For some time I was using a wide grip in the flat bench press, hoping to bring up my pectorals, which are my weakest point both aesthetically and functionally. I'd usually space my index finger 1.5-2 inches outside the power rings, and I always lower the bar to my chest. At first this was no problem, but after a week or two using this grip just once a week (I'd use dumbells on other days), I noticed a pain originating in the left rear delt and radiating down the left arm, sometimes all the way to the palm of my left hand. On non-training days (i.e., cardio) I would do a few sets of 10 pushups with a regular hand-width, and again, the radiating ache down the arm. I could actually push on the back of my shoulder and trace the pain down the arm by feeling along my tricep and forearm. This was uncomfortable but relieved the pain a little. I laid off lifting for a week, stayed off flat and decline barbell benching for another week, then came back to flat barbell bench with a narrower grip--middle finger around the power ring. No pain. I've avoided wide grip benching since then, and haven't had any recurrence of this pain.

Does this sound like some nerve impingement to you? Even when the pain was at its worst (which still wasn't real bad), I could externally and internally rotate my shoulders both vertically and horizontally without any change in the nature of the pain, so I used this to rule out an actual injury to any of the shoulder rotators. That might not even be close to a good test for rotator cuff injuries but it made sense to me. Thanks for listening and keep up the great work you're doing here at T-Nation and elsewhere!


I beleive you have said you eat mostly P+F meals throughout the day... can you give us some basics of your daily eating habits (i.e. total cal, and macronutrient profile)


It depends. Are you looking to get stronger or just bigger? What's your current deadlift? What's your training age?


I think that the alternate grip gets a bad rap because some lifters don't program appropriately.

The long head of the bicep will get beat up more as a flexor of the humerus than it ever will as a stabilizer of the glenohumeral joint. In other words, you're more likely to irritate it with excessive benching and overhead pressing, etc.

What's one of the biggest risk factors for biceps tears? Previous overuse conditions (e.g. tendonosis)!

If you want to keep your biceps tendon healthy, keep your rotator cuff strong and balance out your training at the shoulder and scapula. As long as you're varying which hand is over/under in your training, you should be all set. Biceps tears with deadlifting really aren't as common as people seem to think, anyway.


If it's working and you're seeing results, stay the course!

Most people with whom I work require more scapular retraction volume "indefinitely," it would seem. A great way to just attend to these issues without abstaining from exercises that can be perceived as counterproductive is to just give the "fixing" exercises more volume. For instance, if you were supersetting bench presses with rows, you'd do 4x6 bench and 4x8 rows. You're getting an extra eight reps on the rows; over time, this really adds up. You can also do extra sets for the corrective exercises, or give them extra sessions of their own.

  1. Heels lift, or they externally rotate the feet like crazy to compensate for a lack of ROM in dorsiflexion (which goes hand-in-hand with tight hip flexors).

  2. The knees may buckle in if the tight hip flexor in question is the TFL/ITB complex

  3. The lower back arches hard if it's the ilopsoas complex that's tight. In this case, one of two things can happen. One, they'll start okay, but then the hips will pop up as they approach parallel and they'll wind up doing a good morning (due to excessive truck flexion). Two, they'll try to stay upright and will just initiate the movement with the knees coming forward (they'll be up on their toes). The former case is more prevalent in experienced lifters, and the latter is what you see with newbies who are just learning to squat.


It sounds neural to me. The plantar nerves are just branches of the sciatic nerve, which can get entrapped at any of a number of places; this would explain why you'd feel it with some movements more than others. It's most commonly related to pressure on the L5-S1 nerve root.

It could be tarsal tunnel syndrome, which negatively affects functioning of the posterior tibial nerve. Your pain location isn't typical of this, though.

You can never really rule out plantar fasciitis or stress fractures, either. Your best bet is to get it checked out.


I think that most of us contributors are; it's called online consulting! Drop me an email and we'll work something out.


Let me guess...you have long limbs and a short torso and aren't a heavyweight. Am I right?

Answer to follow! :wink:


Eric; What is a good exercise to match up with the Hang Clean? is it more of a Upper back or a trap. I was thinking of matching it with Deadlifts on Wed because on M and Fri I would do Ch/Back/Quads/Ham total body?/


I'd chalk it up more to referred pain from the rotator cuff. You'll see some crazy referral patterns. Chances are that you had the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and long head of the biceps involved (basically just really bad impingement).

You can never really rule out nerve impingement; I think it's fair to say that everyone has it here or there to some extent. Given that your problem kicked in with a new benching grip, though, I'd say that we could almost can that possibility altogether.

Thanks for the kind words! :slight_smile: