T Nation

MR: TIME to Get It On!



I'll be on from 7-9 EST tonight to discuss any and all training topics you might have. Feel free to leave questions here in the mean time!

Also, here's a good topic to discuss this evening: Can one make continual gains/progress while training at a commerical gym? If so, how integral is the role of the training partner? What things separate this person from another who does not progress from month-to-month, year-to-year?

Stay strong,


Hi! This may be a bit too large topic to discuss here widely, but what's your take on the training frequency per musclegroup for different purposes? I know you're not an proponent of once a week training per musclegroup, but to what extent do you agree with CW on this subject? And which do you prefer more: upper-/lowerbody or total body splits?


I posted this on the "Hip flexors for squatting" thread hoping you'd see it. Here it is:

When I squat I get pain in my hip flexors(that is, the area in the front where my legs connect to the trunk in case i am not using the right terminology) and I seem to get pulled to the right as I approach the bottom position. This just started happening a couple months ago and while I can't point to a specific injury or movement that caused it, my hips(same area as I mentioned above) were bothering me in rugby.

The pain is substantial, but I can deal with it. The area feels weak however and i think it is affecting my numbers. I also get pain and weakness when I do the lower back stretch where you cross your leg over one way and twist your torso the other. My right leg hurts when i drive as well.
My initial thoughts were that my hip flexors were just tight, but I stretch my hip flexors pretty frequently, more so now and it doesn't seem to help.
Any thoughts?

As far as making continual improvements in a commercial gym; I have been able to, at varying rates of course. I don't have a workout partner and am pretty self motivated in the gym. However, I bet if I had a training partner who was on the same level of dedication, etc. as myself I would make more rapid improvements just through the inherent competition.


im 16 days out before abb show
i have trained like crazy for it{10 times per week am,pm sesions}around 15 sets per big groups nd 6-8 sets per small muscles groups 2-3 weekly for each gruop
vided in the week.

do i need to reduce the voulme or the load for this last 16 days in the
so by how much and how?{im in low carb diet, 100 grams day and going down as athe ashow come closer}im feeling very tired and at all im need to reduce the vulume or the loads.
plese help.
ps -soory on my english


Hey Mike.

Just wanted to ask you what type of re-hab protocol is typical for a dislocated shoulder. This is for a friend of mine, 19 yrs old, boxer, anterior dislocation. Its his 3rd time. Yea, I know, could be a Bankart lesion. But this kid was doing some slap-boxing and he has been weight-training for two years. Is there any way, without an MRI, to determine if he needs surgery?

Thanks Mike




I wanted to get your thoughts on the best methods to develop anaerobic capacity for strenght/power athletes. By this I mean what training methods (hiit, gpp, tempo, strongman)/parameters would be best suited for athlete who has to exert themselves maximally and then recover in a short time span to do it all over again.



My dad is a 46 year old man with blood pressure concerns, (due to the american diet and stress) I'm wondering if doing some light strongman stuff or any weightlifting could be bad for his blood pressure. He is fairly strong and has spent many years being a farm hand/ mechanic so has lots of dad strength.
Whats your view?


Hey Mike,
I am a 21 year old male who is 6'5" and I have some serious back problems and I was wondering if you could give me any better ideas than the ones I have come up with myself on how to exercise my legs. I have major disc degeneration on three levels of my lumbar discs(not too uncommon these days it seems), I have a lumbarized S1, and I have problems with my sacroiliac joints and mild problems with my facet joints. I also fractured my L4 four years ago during football.

At this point I cant squat anything more than about 85 pounds because of the load putting too much stress on my lower back causing severe pain, and I cant deadlift because the extension of the spine is painful as well. I have been sticking mostly to some very light dumbbell squats, very light high rep, or 1 1/2 half rep squats, and some single leg movements. As for my posterior chain I am pretty limited in that area as well, just being able to do some bodyweight movements i.e floor bridges etc...

I have been told by pain specialists, back specialists, and neurosurgeons down in Indianapolis to just stay in good physical condition, keep my weight in check, focus on ab training, and try to deal with the pain as best as I can. I was hoping you could give me a better idea of how I could work out my legs with my injured back and possibly give me any rehab pointers or any ways to increase the health of my back. Thanks alot Mike, your answer is greatly appreciated.

Your fellow Hoosier,


Hey Coach,

A little birdie told me you may be able to help with this "non-exercise"-related question. My day job has me typing on a computer from 9 to 5. For the past 2 weeks or so, I've been feeling a numbness/tingling in the pinkie and ring fingers of my left (non-dominant, non-mouse using) hand lasting a few hours after work. I believed it was from resting my elbow at a funky angle on my desk. (I don't have a keyboard wrist pad, or ergonomic chair, if that matters).

It seems to have gone away the last few days, as I've consciously not leaned on that elbow. Could it be anything major, or just a simple pinched nerve-type of thing? Thanks.


I'd say absolutely, as long as they don't mind getting odd looks and occasional interrogations from doing the things (non-traditional exercises and set/rep protocols) required to achieve results.

Partners can be a deciding factor, as long as they are as dedicated as you, and are working towards the same goals. Think Arnold and Franco, Dave Tate and Louie Simmons, Abbot and Costello. Sometimes, having the right partner just makes magic happen.

I think the most significant difference between those who achieve results, and those who get comfortable on plateaus, is having an open-mind.

Always remember that fitness, strength-training, whatever you want to call it, is an evolving educational experience. When you stop learning and stop adapting, you stop progressing.


I have a similar question.. Are continual gains possible for anyone? We rarely hear of Berardi or Waterbury packing on new pounds of muscle yet we follow their principles.. Does what they preach work for experienced lifters as well as newbies?

I think a good training partner is important, it is just one more part of the motivation to get your butt to the gym and push through the work out.


here is a question for you:

how to use the conjugate method with with only 3 days a week?

I know I could do a 4 day rotation over 3 days (M:ME lower W:DE upper F:DE lower, M: ME upper etc...) but am trying to find other options as this hasnt always worked the best for me. How F'd up would it be to combine DE lower and RE upper?


Depends on the trainee and their goals, but I will use everything from one muscle group per day and per week, to total body workouts 3-4 times per week (ala CW). Not only does this allow you to get multiple training effects, but it breaks monotony as well.

For myself, I typically do two days each of upper/lower split, but I'm a powerlifter. Others will find different options more beneficial.

Stay strong



Hmm...could me a multitude of things there. Perhaps you have a tight R glute? This could contribute to the low back pain, as could an erector strain. Other thoughts could include a hip flexor or adductor strain as well, but it's tough to say.

Do you have access to someone who can do ART or massage? I would be interested in hearing what they find.

Stay strong



I really can't tell you what to do, given that you haven't given me any info as to what you've been doing up to this time. Realize, however, that this is really typical; if you felt great the week or two before a show/meet you are probably doing something wrong!

Stay strong


Anything that mimics what you do on the field. I despise steady-state work for these athletes, or anything that just has them mindlessly go through motions.

I think HIIT, strongman and tempo work all can play a role, but trying to say that one is inherently better than the other is like saying that there's one best training method out there.

Stay strong


It could be, but it depends on the severity of his current BP.

Instead of focusing on the iron, I would have him focus on cleaning up his diet and supplementing properly. I had a guy who was on BP meds when he came to me and his BP was consistently 150/110, even in the middle of the night. Once we got him eating correctly, supplementing right, lowered stress, got his exercise in order and got him OFF the meds, he came down to a consistent 120/75. Not too bad, eh?

Get your dad to clean things up so you can have more years with him; it'll be the best gift you ever give him (and yourself!).

Stay strong



Have you ever seen a chiro? I would be interested to hear what they say about your condition.

To be quite honest (and you might not want to hear this), I would focus on getting healthy first and foremost, not on working your legs. Think about this: You are only 21 years old and you have these issues, what's your body going to be like when you are 30, 40 or 50? I'm more interested in your long-term well being than massive legs.

I'm actually going to meet a chiro here in town on Thursday, if I like him, I'll let you know and maybe you can get with him as well. In the meantime, I would really work on getting loosened up; check out my "Hardcore Stretching" and EC and I's "Feel Better for 10 Bucks" articles to get yourself started.

Stay strong


It could be the leaning, or it could be something bigger; what is your upper body/shoulder posture like?

I used to work with a ton of people who had shoulder/neck/hand/elbow issues d/t working on a computer all day. Really focus on stretching the pecs/lats/subscap, and strengthening the rhomboids, external rotators, and middle/lower traps in the weight room. Also, when sitting, think about forcing your chest out and pulling your shoulder blades down and back.

Hope this helps!

Stay strong


mike here is some more info:
1}right now im 6& body fat, 17 days left
the show is the 27 of august{mr israel}

2}i did by now for the last 2 month 10 weekly sessions combinig{am havy lifting,pm posing or cardio and supplements lifts-isoslation movmnets mostly}

3}right now im still doing 10 weekly sesions like this-3 days on lifting for both am,pm sessions and 1 day of just cardio and posing

4}im training right now- 15 sets four the large mucsle and and 6-8 sets four the small mucsle grups evry seseinons ususly divided chest and biceps, back and isolaition shulder movments ,and in the third day of training legs{its my srontgest body part and cardio for sepertions
sometomes i add some variatins of the olimpic lifts in back days

5}im usinsg all supplemmts in the book and alredy in my carb diet

6}do i need to take the volume or the load down?im feeling carmps doing my posins sessions

7}if so by how much load and volume?

8}any more help will gartly appriceated

ps-soory on my english agin

ps-i do feel very teird in lifting sessions right now but can still keeping the weights and load as regular
the problemis is the tirdeness and the cramps