T Nation

What Training?


Too bad Meadows' forum isn't here anymore... I guess this is more related to general BB anyway so i'm posting this here.

I'm actually in my best shape, strength levels, and energy after a loooong beginner-to-intermediate plateau.

YET I'm feeling depressed (that's a big word, but still). My joints keep getting worse and worse, and I'm only fkn 26 feeling like my grandma when I sit down.
I remember exactly one year ago when I worked standing all day, I could deepsquat or grab something overhead without a single noise.
Now that I'm always sitting somewhere studying, being stressed with lower money incomes, BUT sleeping and eating better than ever...things are getting atrocious, and I feel that moving bigger weights are making things worse. Bones are cracking even when I walk up or downstairs...

So that's getting on my nerves.
Aside from the obvious "walk 5 miles all day long just like before" and "stress less" solutions, I thought that maybe switching to a more "joint-rehab'ish" workout would help a ton.

I remember some words of Meadows talking about the benefits of his very high repetitions sets for his shoulders. I've read some Hepburn's critics that say doing singles or doubles at sub-max percentages are also very easy to handle. But those 2 are completely opposite programs.

Maybe there are better AND simple programs that I should consider ?

numbers (most recent) :
bench : 80kg - 10reps
press : 60kg - 2reps
deadlift : 170kg - 1rep (not a big grind tho)
squat (parallel) : 140 - 1 rep, or 10x110 ATG
6"4, 83kg (from day 0 = 67...weight has been up and down for the last 18 months tho, peaked at 84 in summer 2013, and I've been lifting for 3 years... I've never been as lean as today though)


I did some more research, finding this from Bret Contreras :

So Here is my current program with a few big lift variations i'm about to implement. I train in my garage gym, a barbell, bumper plates, a bench and a rack.

5/3/1 template :

Day 1 Push Press (unsure about keeping this?), assistance : shoulder complex (thibaudeau's style), Rkc plank
Day 2 sumo deadlift (love them), assistance : swings, Farmer walk
Day 3 shoulder width bench (reducing width month after month), assistance : ring row, ring pushups
Day 4 front squat (no back squats anymore?), assistance : one leg squat,Rkc plank

Any suggestions welcome ?


First, you have to understand this:

You are a stick. Eat more.

Second, the "base of strength" idea is rubbish in application. This does not mean you don't need to be strong to get big. It just means you don't need a dedicated limit strength fullbody program just to get bigger numbers before you are permitted to train for hypertrophy, UNLESS your technique sucks bigtime and you need more practice with the basic lifts.

You should be getting progressively stronger even if you're following a bro split as long as you're lifting with intensity, paying attention to technique and eating right. If you don't get bigger and stronger, there's something wrong with one of these.

Third, if your joints are getting thrashed, stop doing programs with heavy singles and doubles for a while. There are equally effective ways to train for maximal strength, one of them being getting bigger so you have greater limit strength potential.


good post. Sums it all up actually :slightly_smiling:

The problem is people wont read the fine print in your post (if you're not getting bigger AND stronger as a late beginner-early intermediate, your program/diet/intensity isn't working)

OP, here's a carrot for you. Search for Larry Pacifico's beginner's program and do it to the letter. Re-evaluate in 6 months :slightly_smiling:


Try a couple of weeks just getting the minimum reps on the 5/3/1 set and do the deload week religiously every month wether feel like it or not. If within your budget get some Plazma, even half a scoop can make a big difference.

Switching templates to something like periodization bible or Beyond 5/3/1 also something to consider.


I'm intrigued why you chose these 4 as your big 4 lifts. Not saying you're wrong, just interested in the thought process behind them.

As for the problem of aching and creaking all the time, take a deload, try some fish oil, and most importantly, eat more food.


Meh, let's skip the carrots and give this man a pizza. Or three.

Good luck, OP. Solid advice in here by and large.


thanks for the answers provided :slight_smile:

Some thoughts :
- this may have not been read, but I weighted 67kg/150lb lololol 3 years ago. So I'm a bit fed up with eating junk food and have been trying to eat a clean 3000cal lately. I'll bump it up to 3500 by the summer though (that's a lot of carbs)
- Fish oil is already ordered, bought enough for the next 3 months.
- Why those big 4 : I don't like doing many different compound movements, and these made me have good progress for the past 3 months, well I just enjoy them.
- Can't find the Pacifico routine, but I read an interesting interview where his son says 531 is ideal for beginners, so I might as well take my current routine and implement the advices given here (conservative volume, deloads)


Other than changes to training and diet.

Vitamin d and fish oil.

You can do your own research, but 10,000 IU vitamin d, every day, for a few weeks should have you feeling better mentally, and regular use of fish oil at 6-30g a day will have you feeling better physically (and mentally).

EDIT: your post came in after this one.


If you're going to go with those movements, you might consider the "Power Look" workout posted on the front page this morning.

I was really pleased with what Thibs put together. Looked like a solid base for a strongman program.


Yeah I enjoy his articles a lot but I think I'll stick with 531+bodyweight for a few cycles.

Just to have a base picture somewhere, I took this today after 2 days off, at 187-188lb.

I hope the 7grams of fish oil (to begin with) and the increased carbs will do a good job for the next months.


Sheesh -great shape.
Yeah broadly speaking keep doing what you're doing, you don't need a big overhaul just make some adjustments here an there.

With your conditioning you can really go to town on peri workout supps/nutrition and it will only do good things.
Ideally get some plazma/HBCD, but if on a budget load up on aminos , glutamine, leucine, waxy maize etc


You are naturally lean. Use this to your advantage. Don't be afraid to pile on the calories while you're still young.


Mike Robertson's Bulletproof Athlete.


Maybe you should try this since you claim it has all the answers.


Haha you aren't disappointing. My concern is joints' caring using proper exercises and the good diet advices taken here, neither strength nor muscles which have me posting my best numbers at the moment, in all ranges, and do very good football games. But keep trying


I ran this through Google translator, still no joy. If I can just quote something I read recently:


keep trolling then.
I've received good advices here that have confirmed some intuitions and feelings I had, receiving enough fish oil tomorrow for at least 10 weeks, increasing carbs, reducing barbell's volume and increasing bodyweight for a "easier" hypertrophy cycle, that is all.


Even a negative IQ could have understood this.

All your base are belong to us.


Wow, my first troll call, mummy would be proud.

In all seriousness though, you can't expect to throw around posts like the one myself and AG referenced above and expect people not to call you out on it.

Good luck with the training and let us know how it goes.