T Nation

Feedback From Meat


I'm starting this thread to help me help more of you.

If you have program questions, need me to take a look at a training vid, have questions about powerlifting or bodybuilding in general or if i can help you in any other way, this thread will make it easier for me to help you faster.

I'm here to help.



MM - thanks much for your nuggets, errr, slabs of wisdom.

Very much appreciated.


Great idea, Meat!


I just got a new VCR, and the date keeps blinking on it. Can you tell me how to program it?

Seriously, Meat, you're the best.

Question: I've seen Matt Kroc do reps of 6+ for 650 lb. DLs, and I'm also repping out per 5/3/1 protocol (albeit at much girlier weights). Would you ever advise against higher rep DLs (say, above a certain weight)? Just curious.


This thread is going to turn into the Over thirty five, Power lifting & Bodybuilding Education Center. Professor Maraudermeat in attendance. I like it very much indeed, you're the man! Thank you Meat!


Meat is also the master of Masculine Hygiene protocols. Don't be shy fellas.


Thanks for starting this thread. I've been following your training log, its always good motivation. I have a question about a few things

My program at the moment is 4 days a week: deadlift + assistance, bench + shoulder dominant assistance, squat + assistance, and bench + tricep dominant assistance.

Each workout i try and get a heavy 3x3 for more or less as heavy a weight as i can triple then try and get the next 2 sets for as many reps as possible. I might do another heavy exercise for assistance for a set of 5 or so, then some assistance moves in the 10 rep range.

How often would you recommend someone who is intermediate stick with the same exercises? At the moment i haven't changed the exercises: would you say that beginners and intermediates should stick with the exercises until they improve, or would you say that all people should rotate exercises in and out (will people who aren't advanced will lose efficiency on exercises they don't train often because they haven't learned them yet?)

Also, when you do assistance work, do you ever go to failure? I usually just try to get the reps for lower body assistance work and push probably too hard on upper body (where i reach failure on most sets of assistance work). What are your thoughts on failure? Do i need to harden the f up when it comes to squat and deadlift day and go all out till i die, or is getting the reps and avoiding failure the way to go ?

Thanks for all the info you've put on the site already, you're a real asset to the strength training community. Have you considered writing a book?


This is a great idea meat - thanks for your willingness to help!

Here are two videos from bench press testing. One is my PR at 195# and then the fail at 205#. Any and all suggestions appreciated (including the video angle - lol, re - your comment to SteelyD on the angle to video a squat attempt.)


This is a great idea. I know we've all been appreciating your feedback on everyone elses stuff. It all feeds off itself and seems to generate more information.

btw, I just posted a dl video on my log from the weekend in addition to another squat one. Can you take a look at the dead lift and hand me back another paper full of red ink?

Thanks :slightly_smiling:


I have a question.

When I squat with any challenging weigh I "shift" my hips ever so slightly to the right as I decend. Long ago I had a bulging disk, though I have no pain and only a slight bit of lumbar stiffness.

I'm wondering if this shift is caused by a lack of hip flexibility or perhaps a strength imbalance on one side?

Thanks, great idea.


Meat -

I was wondering if you could address the mental aspect of lifting.

I've noticed variability in my lift numbers depending on my mental/emotional state just before attempting a lift. There are times I feel physically great but my rep count or poundage sucks and other times when I feel totally physically unprepared and pound out a PR. The difference seems to be in how I get ready for the lift, whether I "elevate" myself "into the zone" or not.

I've started developing a regular routine of self-talk just before any lift that seems to rev me up and make me more successful.

You've written about this in the past elsewhere and I was hoping you would re-iterate and expand on it here.


it really depends on a few things. firstly, your level of training. if you are either a beginner or intermdiate lifter and still getting your form down, repping out can lead to your form falling apart and developing bad habits. once you have become advanced and your form is automatic, repping can be done and the form stays solid.

for a beginner or intermediate lifter, i like to see them setup after every rep. go through that mental checklist so that each rep is as perfect as possible. this goes for warmup and working sets.

so to answer your question, i'm a big fan of variety. especially when it comes to rep ranges but not at the risk of the form going to shit.


I personally like to stick to a primary movement such as my Max Effort movments for 4 weeks. my style of training is based off of a Westside templete but I have many changes to it. Westside usually switches up every two weeks. i feel that after two weeks you've felt out the movement and then week three and four you can really make some progress. but you can definitely stay with a movement too long. especially if you are trying to increase weight each week. i've recently started experimenting with different percentages over that four week cycle. Eco and Bunny are both working off of a training cycle based off of these percentages.

I feel that a lot of poeple go too heavy on accessory work. I personally, like to do two ME movements and then do my accessory work. my accessory work is always in the higher rep range with moderate weight. doing this doesn't put a stress on my recovery abilities because i'm not putting a big strain on my CNS. I will often times use very high reps in the 15-20 range and go to failure. i find that that type of work with light to moderate weight actually helps me to recover from the heavy stuff i just did in my ME work. getting a good pump gets blood into the muscles and helps them recover. if you are doing assistance work in the 5 rep range, that is too heavy. accessory work shouldn't beat you up.


vid angle isn't bad. it allowed me to see your setup and arch but really couldn't see what your arms were doing. maybe next time take one from that angle and then one from the front sort of off center.

your setup is a lot like mine. i like how you set your feet and then pull yourself into an arch. i feel that you can still get much tighter though. keep working on getting your feet farther back.

you need to really drive your heels into the floor as soon as you unrack the bar, then when you press off the chest, really drive them down as hard as possible.

the biggest thing that jumps out at me is your bar path. it looks to me like you are trying to press straight up. pressing straight up is ALL triceps. the kep to a good bench is bringing the bar down at an arch to build tension and give you pop off the chest, but to also press back in that same arch. i find that the strongest raw bench path is starting with the bar at around nipple level and then press back directly over the shoulder. you appear to press up and then back. make it a very fluid motion. also, make sure that you lockout at the top and then rack the weight. it's a very common mistake when benching for a single to bench the weight back into the rack. always make all your reps look the same. always follow the exact bar path. warmup reps and working reps should always look the same. bar path should be fluid and then racking is a totally separate motion.

keep working on getting tighter and work on that bar path. once you get a consistant bar path, we will look at where you are failing in the lift and find some solutions. right now i can't tell because of the inconsistant bar path.

definitely on the right track though bro.


there are a few more questions that i need to get to. I will definitely get to them tomorrow. it's been a long day and i still need to put up my own training from tonight.

I'm glad that you folks are taking me up on my offer though.


heres one for ya.......

my last meet I missed an un-equipped 215 BP attempt about 10 inches off the chest . so my plan for the next couple ME bench cycles is 2-board and 3-board press , working to 5RM/3RM/2RM over 3 weeks of each . I also picked up some bands from EFS (micro and monster minis), with plans on incorporating speed work in place of RE on my second bench day.

here's the reasoning....

a) I moved the missed rep off my chest easy enough , so the 2 and 3 board ME work should build strength in the upper half of the stroke.

b)speed work should help with training to press faster throughout the entire stroke , enabling me to blow past that 10" point.

logical ?

(stats if it matters....5'6" / 180 lbs /45 y.o./ squat & DL maxes are about 360/training about 2.5 years)


Thanks Coach meat! That gives me some good stuff to work on for a while.


that's a tough one. after injuries the body does tend to favor one side to protect the injured area and often times a new motor pattern will show up. i would definitely get it checked out. start with your physician and then get a referral from there.


that mental thing is a tricky one. I've tried it all. i've gone the crazy route and split my forehead open on a squat bar and i've tried the very cool and collected route where i visualize myself lifting the weight.

What works for me is to do my best to forget about the weight and clear my mind. that seems to work the best for me now. in the past when i've gotten myself too worked up my form goes to shit and i end up attempting to muscle the weight up.

i think the "self-talk" as you call it works the best.

what i do now for a big lift is first visualize myself completing the lift in my head. sometimes this takes awhile. then i will repeat in my head a particular ritualistic saying. after that i will get my equipment together- putting on belt, wrist wraps, knee wraps, chalk, ect. then i will take a moment and just clear my head of all thoughts. this has taken me a long time to master. I can remove all fear and anxiety. it's just blankness.


Coach Meat-

In several threads, you mentioned integrating speed work for deadlifts (a la your band-deadlift vids).

How would you fit those lifts into a 5-3-1 program that a lot of us seem to be using (or in my case, bastardizing)? Say on 3x3 (or, whatever night) night after getting those minimum sets, would you do speed work? What % of max?