Concurrent Strength Training & Running 2015: Eight-Week Workout Cycle I

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Abide

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    Barefooters
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    Dang it my excel formula's are plugging the weeks for me. It looks like it thinks the first three days of Jan are the first week.

    Press 2 155
    Bench 3 233
    Squat 4 310
    DL 5 388

    I think 85% and 80% might be too high for your V & D days, I would probably go with 80% and 75%. Well maybe it would depend on which lift? I could probably get away with it on the bench but not on the DL or Squat.
     
  2. Bare Lee

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    Are those numbers projections? What lift are they based on, the OH Press? Looks like your bench press load is less than you can actually do, and your squat is more than you can actually do, right?

    Yeah, I thought about using Wendler's 90% training maxes, and even worked them out on a chart, but for the moment I'm going with a simple 90/85/80 percent scheme. It's been so long since I did a single on any lift that I have no idea if these rep maxes correspond to true 1RMs anymore, and I don't really care. (Maybe we should change the thread title?) It's all based more or less on what load I can do the overhead press for 4x5. I simply manipulate the 100% number for the OH Press until the 85% number is right, and then all the other numbers adjust according to the formulas.

    2015 VDI Percentages 15.02.17.jpg

    Right now I got the Upper Body Pulls at 3:2 ratios, but I'm allowing the Bench Press to be a little stronger, at 1.6 of the OH Press instead of 1.5. The Squat is currently set at 1.45 of the OH Press. Hopefully in a month or two it will be 2 times the OH Press where it should be, but 4x5x175 felt challenging yesterday, so it might take longer than that. I'm not in any real hurry to complete the hip/butt rehab. The last few workouts have felt pretty good, challenging yet workaday, so I'm in a good spot mentally and should be able to let the gains come to me again, instead of chasing after them.

    If the loads get to be too much, or I feel like I'm not recovering sufficiently, then yah, I'll take the volume and density loads down a bit. In the next cycle, I may stop doing the main lifts altogether on Density Day and just focus on assistance lifts or different versions of the main lifts, like their unilateral counterparts. I'm tempted to do that this week actually, but with just two more weeks left in this cycle, mis' well keep to a truer (yet still highly bastardized) version of the Texas Method to see how the different rep counts and loads work together in a weekly routine. Overall, it feels good to have established a decent 'program' that works for me, my goals and deficiencies, and allows for fairly mindless, punch-the-clock workouts.
     
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  3. Abide

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    Yeah that is kind of my assumed OH press max. But yes bench is low and squat & DL are high.

    I got your method now you are working your way to those points not the other way around. Sorry I'm a little slow lately.

    Yep once a week I wonder if I should just work in some assistance lifts at lighter weight? I am having trouble getting in more than twice a week lately. Maybe lifting in the evening might work? hmm.
     
  4. Bare Lee

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    Well, when things are written and read hastily in forum threads, some level of misunderstanding is inherent. You've also been really busy lately, right?

    Here's the order of formula feeding:

    OH Press 4x5 = 85% 1RM
    -->
    OH Press 1RM x 1.5 = Bench Press, Pulldown & Row
    -->
    OH Press x 2 = Squat
    -->
    Squat x 5/4 = Deadlift (OH Press x 2.5 = Deadlift)

    Current Adjustments:

    OH Press x 1.6 = Bench Press (a little out of proportion while I wait for the OH Press to catch up)
    OH Press x 1.45 = Squat (actual, while I build back up from the sacroiliac injury; Deadlift tied to this Squat load at 5:4, not OH Press x 2.5)

    So then the basic idea is to put the weakest lifts--OH Press, Squat, Pulldown/Pullup (& Row?)--earlier in the workout, when I'm freshest, at near maximal loads (per rep count) with more sets, and do my strongest lifts, the Deadlift and Bench Press, near the end, at maintenance effort and fewer sets, until the weak lifts have caught up. I'm convinced this will lead to greater muscular balance overall, which should:

    (1) boost the longterm performance of my stronger lifts, since the lifts I'm weakest in are the ones that tend to target the secondary muscles that support the stronger lifts, and their greater ROM targets the stabilizers better too; and, concomitantly

    (2) prevent niggles and injuries.

    Already, a decreased emphasis on the bench press, with some recent improvements in the overhead press and upper body pulls, has more or less eliminated the left shoulder soreness I always used to experience the day after benching. Improved benching technique has probably also helped.

    And tying the deadlift to the squats at a 5:4 ratio is so far preventing me from getting overenthusiastic on the former while I bring up the latter. Now that the deadlift is back over 200 pounds, I'm still getting something of a pump, so that feels good. But the squat loads are at close to my ability to recover. Once the quads, groin, and glute muscles have gotten stronger with the squats, then I'll be ready to work my lumbar muscles and traps better with heavier deadlifts.
    I think one volume day on Monday and one intensity day on Friday might be all the weekly work I need on the main lifts. Working in variations of the main lifts and some assistance in the middle of the week, with the option of skipping it altogether, might be more beneficial. It would help avoid physically overtraining, and really allow one to give a good effort on the volume and intensity days without getting burnt out mentally. And things like Russian Twists and Pullovers at lighter weights work the smaller muscles with a greater ROM, which should help overall mobility and keep us from getting too stiff from constantly patterning the main lifts' movements. I could also try to get in some of the plyometric stuff then. But I dunno, as long as I'm making good progress, maybe I should just stick to the main lifts and add in handful of assistance stuff on Wednesday?

    In any case, I think once my Squat is 2 times my OH Press, I might try to test my singles again. Probably sometime in the spring. My recent adoption of the Tall Kneeling Overhead Press has me thinking about doing singles on the OH Press too. It's a little easier to establish initial momentum compared to sitting (unsupported) on the bench. So, ultimately, I could go for total poundage on four lifts instead of three. And at some point I may loosen the Bench Press from a strict 3:2 ratio to the OH Press if I can do it without reawakening the left shoulder issue. I've already got it slightly higher and it seems OK. Then again, I'm kinda of enjoying getting away from the mystique of the bench press, and making it just another lift. Maybe the goals should be:

    2=160, OH Press
    3=240, Bench Press
    4=320, Squat
    5=400, Deadlift

    Instead of

    280, Bench Press
    320, Squat
    400, Deadlift

    Mostly I just want a strong back/posterior chain for a good quality of life, so the OH Press should more important than the Bench Press, right?

    Evenings might work if your family allows it. Personally, I have a hard time getting anything done when the family is around. I would actually consider trying your early morning lifting routine, but it's so hard to find the motivation at that time of day to lift heavy stuff. Running first thing is much easier--I can start slow or even walking and then increase the pace if I get in the groove. With weights it would be harder because I have specific loads in mind and need a certain amount of energy/concentration/motivation to achieve them. Late afternoon has always been my optimal exercise time.
     
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  5. Abide

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    Yeah thanks for the explanation above it makes very clear sense now. Those goals are very worthy ones. I have been easing up a little on my lifts to when it feels a little too heavy, whereas before I would have just pushed through it.
    About the bench press, I wonder if there is a limit correlation like 3:2 to the press once you hit max limits? Unless it was a very close grip bench then it might be more on the triceps.
    Someday I would love to get to 315 again, but that would be a 210 press, which I don't think would ever happen?
    It is like you say though just another one of the lifts. I do consider now the 6 lifts to be the bare fundamentals. I don't feel like I need anything in addition to these. But that Wednesday your considering sounds kind of like a good alternative? I need to be diligent about getting my Friday session in, or I guess I can work it in over the weekend? Russian twists, maybe some close grip bench, higher rep swings and maybe I could shift my farmers to that day? Well thanks for the thoughts.[/quote]
     
  6. Bare Lee

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    Yah, I think they're very reasonable intermediate lifting goals for me. I don't see any need to be stronger than that. OK, I guess it would be cool if those weights were 3RMs instead of 1RMs. I'm starting to wonder if it's worth doing singles at all, but I'm probably just a little spooked from these recent injuries.
    Yah, while perusing the smut on T-Nation, this article by Wendler really got through to me:

    http://www.t-nation.com/workouts/531-how-to-build-pure-strength

    I haven't yet tried his somewhat complicated 5/3/1 percentages, because I don't have the patience to think that much from workout to workout, and for the time being I'm basing my rep-count percentages on my true maxes instead of Wendler's recommended 90% training max (which I might try if I start to feel overtrained), but this quote really struck me as I was beginning to rehab my sacroiliac injury:

    "As for the "build too slow" criticism, people tell me that they don't want to take three months to build up their strength. Where are you going to be in a year? Fuck that, where are you going to be in five years, when you're still benching 205 with your ass halfway off the bench?

    The pursuit of strength is not a six-month or one-year pursuit. It's a 30-year pursuit for me. You've got to be smart about it. But everyone wants everything right now."

    Although I don't think my injury was caused by overtraining, I do think I was given sufficient warning on the prior reps, and should've stopped immediately. Instead, I had that urge to push on through, and this set me back a couple of months. Obviously not worth the reward of whatever I would've gained if I hadn't injured myself while pushing through it.

    Today I feel awesome after Monday's workout, and I can hardly wait to get back at it later today. That feeling is reward enough. Screw whatever gains I make in the short term, or even long term, really.

    Well, I did some searching, and there seems to be a consensus that 3:2 or thereabouts is about the right ratio of bench to overhead press. Of course, individual differences in anatomy, goals, etc., influence the equation, but I think for overall fitness it sounds about right. I don't think I'm inherently stronger in the bench, it's just that during the times in my life when I've been able to lift consistently, the bench press has always been the centerpiece of my workouts, so it's no wonder it's the most advanced. Now I'm placing much more importance on a strong back and overall balance.

    Yah, for me, Density Day is still unsettled. I think I will begin working in some assistance and see how it goes, because doing our fundamental lifts at 2x7 doesn't take that much time. Then, later I can decide whether to work in even more variation. Some combo of main lifts, or, for example, unilateral alternatives, plus assistance lifts, and maybe plyometric stuff would be fun. I never seem to work in the plyometric stuff otherwise, so that would be the logical place for it. Probably a good plan for the next cycle.
    Likewise, these exchanges are always productive.
     
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  7. Abide

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    Dammit now you have me wanting to plan out my full years progress and keep it slow.
    As for the reps I am also going to skip singles for a while. The sets of 2 with the squats are ok mainly because I am not getting close to my max. The sets of 5 are getting a little cumbersome for the DL but I think it's ok for now, definitely dropping to 3's will happen in the future. Maybe once I am ready to go past 3 wheels? The press and bench work well at 5's though.
     
  8. Bare Lee

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    Ha, well, I think it's a useful exercise, if we take it as a projection of potential and not a strict performance plan. Once the squat has gotten back up to pre-injury strength, and/or it's double the OH Press load, it would be nice to add five pounds a cycle to the upper body lifts and ten pounds a cycle to the squat and deadlift. But if it takes longer, that's fine too. If I can maintain good depth on the squat, and continue to tie the deadlift load to the squat load at 5:4, I feel like I won't be in any danger of adding weight to the lower body lifts before I'm ready. If I do, then when I squat, my knees will try to cave, or my balance will be a little off, and I'll know it's too much, without any real risk of injury as long as I stay in the 3-to-7-rep range and don't cheat the depth. And I'm pretty sure I'll always be able to safely deadlift 1.25 times whatever I can squat with good depth.

    For the upper body stuff, there's no real risk of injury so I don't have to be so cautious. Either the bar will go up or it won't. If I stall, I just have to come down, and put off the increase till later in the cycle or later in the year, but it's not like the deadlift where you can really screw up your back for life if you over do it. I suppose some might say it's risky doing bench presses alone without a spotter, but I have a real good feel for it and I have safety bolts. I rarely fail a rep when benching.
    Yah, doubles are a nice alternative to singles. You kind of have a built-in safety net. I remember straining mightily deadlifting 365 and I wasn't able to lock out at the top. Now that this sacroiliac injury has put the fear of god in me, I don't think I will ever allow myself to strain that much again. Just not worth the risk of something popping. So if I do a single, it will be close to a double load. That's the beauty of basing things on 1RM percentages. It gives you a good idea of what's reasonable/doable.

    For the other lifts, I guess I might see true singles in the future, but squats are also kind of risky. I've only failed a squat rep once or twice, and it's not pretty. The safety bolts aren't nearly as handy as the safety bolts on the bench press. You have to do a bit of a controlled fall, which is kind of scary with a heavy bar on your back. Doubles might be the way to go there too, but not because of the risk of straining something too much, as with the deadlift, but rather of simply failing. With the deadlift, if you fail, you can just drop the bar, right? I guess it would be easier to rely on safety pins/bars/bolts if I were inside a proper power cage while squatting.

    I think I agree with you that heavy lifts are more naturally suited to lower reps, but I dunno, it will take a few more months of working through three, five, and seven rep-counts systematically on all the lifts to see if this really is what's best for me. It's worth noting that it was on the fourth or fifth rep of the deadlift that I tweaked the sacroiliac joint, so there might be something to be said for always keeping the rep-count low, but for the moment, I'll keep everything five-rep on volume day and three-rep on intensity day. Still not sure whether seven reps is needed on density day, but it's definitely challenging in a different way.
     
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  9. BroadArrow

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    yikes! looking at my log, i realized that today's run comes 5 days after my last one and today's lifting occurred 11 days after my last one. and apparently, i do deteriorate a little bit if i don't keep it up. at this point, i guess the right course of action is to skip the whining and just try to briefly reintroduce some consistency so as to make it not brief but rather protracted.
     
  10. Bare Lee

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    Slacker!

    Yah, the secret after taking time off, I think, is to not jump right back to where you were, but give yourself a few workouts, or weeks, depending on how long it's been, to get back to it. I've been getting in and out of shape for over a year now, so I'm starting to get good at it.

    This week for running I think I'll continue to do fartleks at ultra pace with walking breaks. Then maybe next week at the beginning of the next cycle try to start implementing something like the same easy/medium/hard effort variation I have for weights. Hard would be hills or intervals, medium would be tempo, and easy would be aerobic pace. I would think it'll take most of the cycle to get these alternations up to reasonable efforts. The goal is to be running decently by summer, 3-6 miles on Tuesday and Thursday, and 6-10 miles for the weekend aerobic run. I think that will be plenty.

    M: ST - Medium
    Tu: Run - Hard
    W: ST - Easy
    Th: Run - Medium
    F: ST - Hard
    Sa: Run - Easy

    On a side note: http://www.scienceofrunning.com/201...paign=Feed:+stevemagness+(Science+of+Running)
     
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  11. Christian Lemburg

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    Bare Lee,

    About that squat (and other lifts) fail thing - get your own space, an oly bar and bumpers, and just drop the stuff. For back squats, some sand bags are handy to keep the bar from rolling too far after dropping. For front squats, well, learn to drop them, and don't catch your elbows on the knees. If you are doing reasonable weights, a pair of 15kg bumpers will last a long time, and you can put a lot of iron on top of that. If you need more, a pair of used 25kg pro weights (not full rubber bumpers, but with that thick rubber coating) can be dropped from squat height no problem if not done continuously. For racking up, a standard pair of hardware store racks will carry more than you will ever lift back up again.

    It is noisy to drop, though. And frightens the family. But really, it is much safer than any weight room squat rack.

    Maybe you have a crossfit box near you? They should normally have the stuff and allow dropping.
     
  12. BroadArrow

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    in theory, we will be moving to a new house this summer and my "workout space" will switch from being hardwood floors in an upstairs bedroom to being concrete floors in the basement. my wife was already talking about building a "platform", so i, for one, will likely be taking this advice into consideration when arranging/constructing the new indoor exercise area.
     
  13. Bare Lee

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    Hey Christian, thanks for the input. Have you considered joining our little group of virtual gym rats?

    I have my own garage gym. It's a little cramped, but it has everything I need. I don't like working out at university or commercial gyms and having to wait for equipment, deal with other people's sweat and stink, or waste time chatting. My workouts are pretty efficient when I work out alone.

    As for dropping/failing, for the time being, I'm subscribing to the Wendler/Dan John idea that one should always do a little less than one is capable of, in order to avoid overtraining and injury. So, ideally, there will be no failing in my squatting. I do have some long bolts attached to my rack that I use as safety pins though, so when I get back up close to 1RM weight, I'll make sure to position myself close to those. If I can't make it back up, I can lean forward and drop the bar on those. A little scary, but I'll practice deloading from the bottom position with lighter weights before attempting any kind of 1RM. These days, however, I mostly work in the 3-5 rep range, so technical failure, rather than physical failure, is my only real concern.

    For plates, I have rubber grip plates and rubber mats. The rubber grip plates I picked up used. The guy who sold them to me told me they had been used as bumper plates, so one or two have little cracks in the hole, and one of the 25-pounds is missing a few chunks in the middle. I think, like you said, I could occasionally drop those without any problem, if need be. The cracks probably took hundreds or thousands of drops to appear.

    BTW, congrats on passing my old (5C>) Winter Challenge mileage record!
     
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  14. Bare Lee

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    Sweet, I really enjoyed putting together an improved home gym last year. For the weights we're doing though, I wonder if you really need a proper platform? Maybe just thick rubber mats are enough. I read the rubber mats used in horse stalls are cheap: http://www.garage-gyms.com/garage-gym-flooring-options/
    I kinda wish I would've gone that route.

    Unrelatedly, here's an article espousing our minimalist lifting approac: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online...erformance/hacking_your_strength_training&cr=

    Maybe we should change the thread title to "Minimalist Strength Training," since we seem to have lost interest in singles? Would fit in better with this site perhaps.

    More and more, I find it funny that I was trying to follow a bodybuilding approach all these years without even realizing there were other ways to lift weights. I'm very happy with a basic strength approach now. According to Cosgrove, by varying my rep-counts, I'm doing more of a "Undulating Periodization" protocol than the Texas Method. But I also try add volume to my weakest lifts on Monday, so time for a new name I guess . . .

    As for not getting wet in the cold, you really need to check out Merino wool. Getting soaked and wet in my own sweat while wearing cotton in the winter is a distant memory now.
     
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  15. Christian Lemburg

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    Hey Bare Lee, thanks for the invitation and congratulations!

    As visible in the winter challenge, I am currently very focused on the running part, and don't do a lot of oly lifting ... need to get back into it :) ... well, spring is coming.

    On the platform topic: I am using two MDF boards with old carpet on top and bottom and stand between them when lifting. This way, I can move the boards and stand them up against the wall to gain the open space for other things. Works very well for me, no damage to floor or equipment, despite years of use and many drops of 70+ kg from overhead level (with bumpers, of course). Dirt cheap, and no smell from rubber floor as well.
     
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  16. Bare Lee

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    Cool, yah, if you're doing Oly lifts, I can see the need for bumper plates and a platform. Maybe someday when I've met my basic strength goals, I can think about doing some Oly lifts, but it would have to be in a different venue. I can't do overhead stuff while standing up because my garage ceiling is too low. A good excuse not to do those harder, more technical lifts I guess.

    Aachen sounds like a beautiful place, and you're lucky to have such mild winters! We've been having a crappy winter--pretty cold at times, and just enough snow to make barefooting difficult, but not enough to make landscapes pretty.

    Anyway, it would be fun if an Oly lifter joined our group. Happy trails!
     
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  17. Bare Lee

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    Wow, highly relevant article in T-Nation with respect to my whole 'ratios' approach, just in time as I plan out the next cycle:

    https://www.t-nation.com/training/know-your-ratios-destroy-weaknesses

    Apparently, I had the military press and upper body pulls a bit off. That'll be a nice tweak to my chart, as it will make my bench press a little less out of proportion. In fact, the OH Press is almost in line with my Bench Press now, and the upper body pulls would be more realistic.

    Maybe I should also loosen up the squat-to-deadlift ratio a bit too, since I'm going below 'legal depth,' as CT puts it. Maybe go from 1.25 times the squat to 1.4 would be a more realistic "deep squat" to "powerlifting deadlift" ratio?

    Oh crap, it's getting a little too nerdy now.
     
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  18. Abide

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    I just ran across it. Strangely coincidental.
     
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  19. BroadArrow

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    indeed, i think the full depth squat screws everything up (along with lack of 5 spotters, platforms, droppable weights, people slapping you in the face, swedish deathmetal at insane decibel levels, etc). also, i'm a little skeptical of the "supinated chin-up" numbers. just this morning, i happened to be crazy and did two weighted pullups with a total weight of 195lbs. ok, so my chin cleared the bar but i couldn't quite pull it to my chest. anyways, close enough for the government (as we said back in the 80s). based on that, i get the following ridiculousness:

    weighted pullup = 195lbs total
    equivalent back squat = 195/0.675 = 289lbs
    military press = squat * 0.45 = 130lbs
    powerlifting deadlift = squat * 1.2 = 346lbs
    bench = squat * 0.75 = 216lbs

    awesome! i've become bare lee! none of that is going to happen any time soon. maybe i'm a little imbalanced, but i think you'd have to get out a magnifying glass to find any muscles on my arms or back, or anywhere for that matter. using, say the pressing motion as the basis:

    based off of press
    press = 90lbs
    equivalent squat = 90 / 0.45 = 200
    weighted pullup = 200 * 0.675 = 135 (i.e., not even an actual pullup)
    powerlifting deadlift = 200 * 1.2 = 240
    bench = 150

    i guess this means that my imbalance goes something like pullups [not sure what happened] > press [last overly strong] > deadlift [roughly correct] > bench [first pathetically weak] > squat [ridiculously weakest]. you know, precisely the opposite order that i would have guessed prior to falling in with you crazy guys.
     
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  20. Bare Lee

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    I wonder if pullups can be unique like that. I remember in junior high school we had to do those fitness tests and one of my skinniest, least athletic friends killed the chinups, doing something like a dozen with ease. He instantly gained respect and admiration from the more jockier types. I'm not saying you're unathletic, but if you're as skinny as you say you are, then you would seem to fit that profile.

    Anyway, I liked how the article pointed out the ratios not only between lifts but also between lift variations. I already knew that my squats had become lighter due to my renewed commitment to full/deep/AtG squats during my sacroiliac rehab, but I think I may now have the courage to loosen the link to deadlifts a bit without fear of reinjury. Over a month or so I think I'll try to go from a 5/4 ratio of (conventional) deadlift to (full) squat to something approaching 3/2. We'll see. Right now the formula is squat x 1.25 = deadlift. Next week I'll start increasing the percentage by .o5% per week for a few weeks and see how it goes. Plus, I guess my longer limbs are biomechanically more suited to deadlifts than squats.

    Here's an argument for full versus half (parallel) squats: http://www.oneresult.com/articles/training/deep-squatting-101
    Parallel squats are popular because they allow for greater weight while still being amenable to judging standards in powerlifting competitions. This has no relevance for those of us who are strength training for general fitness, right?

    I should note that I'm defining 'full squat' as me going as low as I can before I hit the stretch reflex.
     
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