T Nation

MR Prime Time: Holiday Version!


I'll be on for two hours tonight, so hit me up with some questions!

Stay strong


I appreciate you marking my birthday with a holiday. You're sweet.

Do your toes ever come off the ground when you pull?


All right people, I've got some green tea in the system and I'm ready for your questions. Fire away!

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Like when I do deadlifts or Olympic pulls?

And no problem w/the B-day buddy; it's our job as Americans to get as many days off as possible!

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Alrighty, three quickies:

1) What is, in your opinion, the best way to be able to work out while keeping the R shoulder work minimized due to a RC strain. (I am right handed, if that affects anything)

2) What is a good way for an O-lifter with frequent problems in the wrist to get around these> (I know that is a pretty open question, but I am happy to give you any extra info. that you need)
[Probably important, my Doc says I am slightly dislocating some of my carpals, mostly on the ulnar aspect]

3) What is a good way for an o-lifter to use bands in his training?

Thanks big guy!


Well alrighty then.
im working up a new program with one lift a day in mind do to time constraints. so what lift of the following three would give me most bang for my buck.
push press/ power snatch/ power cleans
this would be just for day two

Thanks in advance Working


Answers below:

First off, get familiar with the safety squat bar. I would suggest every training facility have one for athletes with injuries to the wrist, elbows and shoulders.

As well, you can still focus on scap retraction/depression work with the arms straight. Prone scap retractions would be ideal.

Yeah, you gotta give me some more info to help you out here. How long have you had the injury? What was the cause? What have you done so far to rectify things? The more info here, the better.

You can use them for all squat variations; however, I wouldn't use them too much with the actual pulls. The only area you would want to use these is perhaps from the knee-hip position to work on maximizing the explosiveness of this part of the movement. Remember, the first pull is more about getting set for the second pull than anything else.

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If you want more pure power, I would go with snatches. If you want more of a mix between power and strength, go with the cleans. Either one is an excellent choice, though.

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Mr. Robertson,
My old Personal Trainer/Friend/Coach is a coach of a Jr. Olympic Lifting Team here in VA. He has atleast 4 of his 6 guys he trains in the top 3 of their weight class nationally. It had been along time since I trained/talked with him so the other day I sat down with him and what he told me about the way he trained them went almost totaly against what I've ever read/lived.

He said he gave them only a post workout drink with no carbs at all just 50g protien, they did olympic lifts and squats as a workout 6 days a week, and their training sessions usually lasted from an hour and half to two hours. I wanted to talk more with him but I was on the run, I also didn't want to break into a lecture about protein synthesis, insulin sensitivty, anabolic window, etc. especially since he had raised atleast three olympic lifters to the national level from the very first time they picked up iron (and I'm 1/3 his age and my training experience is no even close to his and I've never trained anyone else).

I was wondering should I give this guy some some nutrient timing and overtraining books or is there science behind what he is doing?


Unfortunately, some coaches (no matter how many athletes they've "produced") just have no desire to get up to speed with current training methodology. I have met several top-tier Olympic lifting coaches that use archaic programming yet still get great results. To be honest, I think it's more of a testament to their ability to properly select athletes rather than their ability to write programs, implement sound nutritional regimes, etc.

I have no idea how willing this guy is to change, but it's always worth a shot. Just make sure to go about things in a non-confrontational way; you want him to understand that you are trying to help him and his athletes evolve, not tell him what he's doing wrong. Good luck!

Stay strong


I have another question about steroid use:

I understand this is a very broad, opinionated, and goal oriented question but I would like to see what your opinion is:

If someone was planning on starting a normal steroid cycle, would it be wise to use a program that specializes in what they want to enhance (for example lower body: Twelve Weeks of Pain, Part I; Limping into October; By Ian King) and just do maintenance on the rest of the body during the cycle. Or would you recommend doing a full body workout and specialize after cycle?



While I normally feel confident commenting on just about anything, I don't know jack about steroids. I think Cy would be a better person to ask. Sorry!

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Hmmm, I'm sure us Aussies could give you a run for your money in getting days off, it's the national pastime over here!


Thanks for the tips on how to propose the more updated information onto my old coach.

I have another question:
On a lot of forums I see people asking how to enlarge they're arms only (bi's/tri's). Some of the responders bring up that you must add a certain amount of weight onto your whole body for your bi's and tri's to grow:

"I an article from a prominent trainer (I forget who, exactly) that said if you want to add about an inch to your arms, you're likely going to have to put on a total of 10 lean pounds. That's just an estimate, but it should tell you that you aren't very likely to get your arms to grow out of proportion with the rest of your body."

Yet I know a couple of co-workers who only work upper body and have huge arms, I promise you they didn't get their arms with anywhere near LBM:inch ratio as stated above. So is this myth?



It's possible to add size without adding mass, but it's not going to happen for long. If you want to consistently grow the size of your arms, put on some weight and do big, compound movements. The systemic effects of these exercises can't be ignored.

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Mr. Robertson I know I'm really milking you tonight but, I have one more.

For a person (160lb, 5'7", 14%bf) lifting four days a week (50 min, full body), 20 min low-mid impact walking in the mourning on empty stomach, consuming 700 calories under their equilibrium per day (1800).
Macros non w/o days: c/f/p: 63/32/271
Macros w/o days: c/f/p: 129/28/239
Using 4 HOT-ROX a day

They continue this for 30 days, generally what do you think their chances of losing muscle during this time are? What would make this short fat loss process more effective for preserving muscle?



Hey CW! I was wondering if you ever heard of of the BFS system, used for highschool atheletes from all country. If so,
1) What are your thoughts?
2) If you could change anything about it, what would you change? E.G Periodization, training percentages, rep/set, exercise selection, and etc.

Basically its reps/scheme format is 3x3 week 1, 5x5 week 2, 5431 week 3, and 10-8-6 week four. This book is sports specific and incorporates plyometrics, sprinting, and etc.

Thanks for your time


Well first off, that's only about 1600 kcals per day, not 1800 (at least on non-w/o days).

Next, your fats are really low. If nothing else, I would add more healthy fats back into the equation to help with insulin sensitivity. As well, if you are doing cardio activity along w/the low calorie diet, I think you'll be harder pressed to keep your strength, assuming that's your goal.

As well, this isn't something I would recommend someone try for an extended period of time. I'm all for weight/fat loss, but I'm going to counsel people to do it in a little bit more moderate fashion.

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Hi Coach,

Here's mine:
In your wonderful article about back exercises, you didn't mention the lat pulldowns done on a machine.The lat pulldowns are actually more difficult to feel the contraction of the back muscles than rowing movements for me.

Bodybuilders use machine lat pulldowns while powerlifters don't? Both athletes seem capable to do all kinds of pullups already. Also,does a person build larger lat muscles from a wider grip or not?

Thanks and have a great day.


Um, I'm not CW but I don't like the BFS system. I think the mix of poor exercise technique and heavy loading at inappropriate times is a recipe for disaster. Most kids could get a lot more benefit from developing a sound base of movement skills, dynamic flexibility/mobility and proper exercise technique before they get into the iron work.

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