The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    Hard Work, Westside, and other ramblings

    Well, I finished a cycle of Westside, and decided to test things and see where I stand.

    When I started Westside training at the beginning of the year, my squat 1RM was 365 (with a miss at 405).

    My bench 1RM was 275 (with a miss at 285)

    I weighed about 217.

    So, what are they now?

    First, some observations:

    Westside is a lot of fun. I haven't enjoyed lifting so much for quite some time.

    It is not magic. You still need to work very hard to make progress, just like you do with anything.

    I need to get better at training. I slacked off a little, didn't train as hard as I could or shoudl have, and wasn't as consistent as I need to be. That MUST change.

    Now, to the new journal:

    6/5 ME Squat *Squat Max Test*

    Weight 206

    Squat
    45x5
    95x5
    135x5
    185x3
    225x3
    275x3 (belt on)
    315x3 (wrist wraps on)
    365x1 (belt and knee wraps)
    385x1 (belt and knee wraps)

    The 385 might have been the ugliest legal depth squat in the history of squatting. My form completely fell apart... I got my knees over my toes, I leaned WAY forward, bent at the knees first instead of sitting back... truly everything I could do wrong from a form standpoint I did wrong, but I got deep. After that, I just stopped.

    Hypers
    3x20

    That was it, as I was pretty discouraged. Thought about it on the drive home, and came up with some solutions:

    I have to squat more on my ME days - I need to get comforable with more weight on my back. Part of the form breakdown was a loss of concentration because the weight just felt too heavy. I get a little scared and fall apart. I didn't *think* I was coming back up with it before I tried to go down.

    I need to do more quad work. I'm a quad squatter, and squat with a narrow (er) stance than Westside suggests.. so I need to put more effort into the quads.

    I need to work harder in training.

    I am pleased that I did get a little stronger while dropping weight.

    So, the plan looks like this for Squat/Dead training:

    On DE days, I'll stay at 55-65% of max, training using 4 week waves (215, 225, 235, 245, 220, 230, 240, 250). I'll stick with 10 sets of 2 to keep working on form. I WILL do a heavy double every other week, alternating with speed deads (we'll get to discussing deads in a minute). Then, I'll do 2 hamsting/low back moves and one ab move.

    On ME days, I'm going to switch to what the Westside guys seem to be suggesting now, which is squat, GM, and pull once every 4 weeks, with the 4th week being a dragging day. Instead of dragging, I'm going to do a set of 20, working like McCallum suggests (use what I would pick for 10 and get 20). That should serve to increase work capacity, as well as get me more squatting practice. Then, I'll do one quad focused movement (one leg press, front squat, zercher squat), 2 lowback/hamsting, one ab.

    As far as deadlifting goes, I'm going to test it next week.. I have a feeling it didn't come along as well as I hoped. I think the change to more pulling might help.

    I'm testing my Bench max tomorrow, I think I'll be more pleased with that result... I think my bench training will stay pretty much the same as it is now.

    Still slowly (very) dropping bodyweight to get down under 200. Then we'll see where everything stands.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

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  3. #2
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    Good read there, Mr Stagg.

    Best of luck.
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  4. #3
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Good luck Paul, keep up the hard work.

    MS

  5. #4
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    So you had some progression and some fun whilst lifting. Don't get discouraged with those results. You still have your bench max to test as well. Maybe the program had more affect there. But even if it's not as big as you hoped at least it was something different and I'm sure after the years you've been training must have been a nice change of pace.

    Good luck with your lifts.
    Deadlifts are like women, they'll hurt you everytime, but they'll also make you a man. - Me

    Friends don't let friends do dumbell kickbacks. - Me

    ElP is the smartest man in the world. - Gyno Rhino

    A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls. -- Dan Quayle

    If do right, no can defense. -- Mr. Miyagi

    Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey:

    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

    Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk.

    Current FFFA Enforcer

  6. #5
    bone crusher
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    yea paul best wishes for success!

  7. #6
    King Nothing ericg's Avatar
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    Great read Paul, like Robboe said.

    I have the same "problem", if you will, that you have with squats. Heavy weights, I think too much; "****, this is fooken heavy", other days, i am pumped, not sure why, then I just squat and it goes great. The mind is a beautiful thing, when its not fuken with you.

    Good luck, looking forward to reading the journal
    Current Stats --------------- Training Goals: Improve athletic conditioning.
    Squat - 305lbs - 1/23/06 ----- 335
    Deadlift - 415lbs - 2/4/06 ---- 435
    Bench - 90s*7 ----------------- 100s*5
    Weight - 208 ------------------ 190
    Height - 5'10"

    My Journal|My Routine|My FitDay
    WBBB|"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" - Thomas Edison

  8. #7
    Bespoke Super Mod
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    Good Luck Paulo

    Where are you getting this new info at what the guys at Westside are advocating now?
    "A + B + C = Success if, A = Hard Work, B = Hard Play, C = Keeping your mouth shut" -Albert
    Einstein


    I've always gone to the gym with the conviction that I'll be the hardest working mother****er in the joint. Make that your credo, and hope we don't lift at the same place.
    -- Adam Fahy


    "Fran is a double-hard bastard"- Clint Brewer 31/12/02

  9. #8
    bone crusher
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    yea the mind can psych yourself out of a lift you can otherwise perform because it "looks" to heavy

  10. #9
    Senior Member
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    Hey bro, don't sweat the squat number. So your 385 was ugly, so what. You could've easily gotten 375 or 380, right? Still a 10-15 pound increase over your previous max, not too shabby of a gain.

    I have the same problem with squats ... if you tell yourself the $hit looks heavy, it will be. I try not to look at the weights on the bar before I step under, helps a little bit with concentration. I'm a close stance squatter too, but I'm adding box squats into my regular squat workouts to try and strengthen my hips and glutes so I can spread my feet a little more and bump my max up.

    One more thing ... go kill your bench and deadlift and you won't even remember what happened with the squat, you'll be too jacked. Best of luck!

  11. #10
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    My head is my biggest barrier to a big squat. The 365 was heavy, and a strain, but went up like I had another 100 pounds in me. Added 20 pounds, and as soon as I had it on my back, questioned coming up with it.

    Then my form went all to ****.

    FAngel - I'm getting it from the Q&A at elitefts.com.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  12. #11
    Bespoke Super Mod
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    Cheers, its been a while since i've checked that section out
    "A + B + C = Success if, A = Hard Work, B = Hard Play, C = Keeping your mouth shut" -Albert
    Einstein


    I've always gone to the gym with the conviction that I'll be the hardest working mother****er in the joint. Make that your credo, and hope we don't lift at the same place.
    -- Adam Fahy


    "Fran is a double-hard bastard"- Clint Brewer 31/12/02

  13. #12
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    6/7, Bench ME

    Tried to test my bench max. Worked up to 275, missed twice.

    I shouldn't have been there, though. I've got a strain in my neck that regular doses of 800mg of advil isn't fixing.

    Going to the chiro on Thursday.

    Skipped DE squat Sunday due to the pain in the neck.

    DE Bench is supposed to be tonight. I might go just to do something.

    ME squat is tomorrow. Depending on how I feel, again, I just might do some light ab, lowback work.

    Off the diet a little, but weight is holding pretty steady around 207. Noticed last night that I feel a little more comfortable at this weight than 10, 15 pounds heavier.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  14. #13
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    What kind of pain is it, Pauly? And where abouts in your neck?
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  15. #14
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    It is severe pain.

    Right at the base of my neck, radiating out to about mid trap.

    It feels like I slept on it funny (AAMOF, that's what I did), but it won't go away.

    I can't look all the way to the left, and have limited ROM at my left shoulder.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  16. #15
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    Could be a nerver problem.

    Sciatica is a bastard.

    edit: Siatica is too.


    I so know both of them are spelled wrong. ~sigh~
    Last edited by The_Chicken_Daddy; 06-11-2002 at 09:03 AM.
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  17. #16
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    I get a pain like that often from wrestling. I think it's just a strain. I usually just move around through as much ROM as I can and it slowly goes away after a few days.
    Deadlifts are like women, they'll hurt you everytime, but they'll also make you a man. - Me

    Friends don't let friends do dumbell kickbacks. - Me

    ElP is the smartest man in the world. - Gyno Rhino

    A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls. -- Dan Quayle

    If do right, no can defense. -- Mr. Miyagi

    Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey:

    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

    Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk.

    Current FFFA Enforcer

  18. #17
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    That's OK. I know what you meant.

    Hopefully my chiro will fix it with a crack or two.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  19. #18
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    Injury update

    Chiropractors ROCK.

    Went last night instead of the gym. Got my normal pops and cracks out of my back, then went to work on my neck.

    He first turned it to the left with a quick snap - the sound was the loudest crack I've had.. he said "sounds like it needed it".

    Same to the right.

    A good stretch, and off I went.

    Took 800mg of advil when I got home, and 800mg when I went to bed, along with applying some cool heat (a pain gel).

    Got up this morning, a little stiff, but feeling better. More advil (800mg), more cool heat.

    Currently, I have a little twinge of pain if I turn my head all the way to to the right. Other than that, I feel great.

    ME squat/dead tonight. I think I'll pull.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  20. #19
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    Good job with the neck.

    Time for some DeDLiFtS!!
    Best Meet Lifts(Raw w/wraps):
    @165- 435 SQ 270 BE 560 DL.....1255 total
    @181- 535 SQ 300 BE 570 DL.....1400 total
    Best Meet Lifts(Multi-ply):
    @148- 575 SQ 315 BE 515 DL.....1400 total
    @165- 680 SQ 380 BE 540 DL.....1555 total
    @181- 700 SQ 375 BE 535 DL.....1605 total
    Best Gym Lifts(Raw w/wraps)
    545 SQ 305 BE 585 DL

  21. #20
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    It's downright remarkable.

    Yesterday, I could barely function, let alone try to lift.

    Today I feel like setting a deadlift PR.

    Pulling it will be.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  22. #21
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    Best Meet Lifts(Raw w/wraps):
    @165- 435 SQ 270 BE 560 DL.....1255 total
    @181- 535 SQ 300 BE 570 DL.....1400 total
    Best Meet Lifts(Multi-ply):
    @148- 575 SQ 315 BE 515 DL.....1400 total
    @165- 680 SQ 380 BE 540 DL.....1555 total
    @181- 700 SQ 375 BE 535 DL.....1605 total
    Best Gym Lifts(Raw w/wraps)
    545 SQ 305 BE 585 DL

  23. #22
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    6/12, ME Squat

    Deadlift
    135x8
    185x5
    225x3
    275x3
    315x3
    335x1
    365x1
    385x Miss.

    Damn. Got some form help, though, from a really good guy in the gym. I need to work on getting my hips down a little lower, and not pull so much with my back (I still tend to make a deadlift an ugly SLDL). I think I may experiment a bit with sumo. Didn't set the world on fire, but I'm not terribly dissapointed. Neck/trap still a little tweaked, so I didn't *really* strain to get the 385 off the floor... I started the pull, it didn't pop up, so I left it at that.

    1 Leg press
    2x6 @ 180

    Just wanted to get the feel for these.

    Leg press
    1x12 @ 180

    Hypers
    3x20

    Leg raises
    3x15

    That's it.

    I'm going to put some deads on speed day, alternating heavy squat singles or doubles with some pulling to practice form.

    All in all, I'm actually getting more motivated after being very dissapointed in my performance. I've been lifting far too long to not be able to bench 300, squat 400+ and pull 400+.

    Being pretty isn't everything.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  24. #23
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Paul Stagg
    Being pretty isn't everything.

    *cough* That's what ugly people say *cough*
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  25. #24
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    Pauly- The form I have been having great success with on the conventionals is with my feet very close together. I have my heels about 3" apart and my toes pointed out slightly. I have my shins about 3 or so inches away from the bar at the beginning of the pull. I always seem to figit around and take like 20 breaths before I actually go down for the bar. Once I take in my biggest "air" I reach down for the bar with a little knee bend. Once I have my grip(which is very quick) I kind of swing my hips down and forward. Kind of give you some momentum to start pulling back. Usually it turns into a mostly back lift as that is where I am strongest. At the top if you can just remeber to stop thinking about pulling back so much, but just thrust the hips forward you should lock it out. I also rarely let my air out until the very top or even after lokout.


    I know a lot of that was basic, but I just wanted to explain my form in detail. Of course if your legs aare a strong point, you may want to get a little lower and use more leg. Hopefully I'll have some pics and someone is helping me get the proper software/equipment to post videos, so I should be able to post some from me pulling big on Saturday.
    Best Meet Lifts(Raw w/wraps):
    @165- 435 SQ 270 BE 560 DL.....1255 total
    @181- 535 SQ 300 BE 570 DL.....1400 total
    Best Meet Lifts(Multi-ply):
    @148- 575 SQ 315 BE 515 DL.....1400 total
    @165- 680 SQ 380 BE 540 DL.....1555 total
    @181- 700 SQ 375 BE 535 DL.....1605 total
    Best Gym Lifts(Raw w/wraps)
    545 SQ 305 BE 585 DL

  26. #25
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    You may have noticed a lack of posting for the last few weeks...

    I needed to take a little time off, both due to scheduling issues, as well as a need to take a break from the iron. I was extremely frustrated. I think I've got my mental game back on, and will start back up with a ME squat workout on Wednesday.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

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