Reader Q&A: November 2017

I'm just kind of cruising through training right now after Reebok Record Breakers, so no cool updates there. I’ve HAVE got some great questions from readers lately, though, so I wanted to share some of my responses, in case other people are struggling with the same issues. If you’ve got a question, shoot me an email:!

Can I add conditioning to (XYZ) powerlifting program?

The answer’s almost always yes, as long as:

  • You’re more than 4-6 weeks away from a meet
  • Said conditioning is low-intensity, low-impact, and about 20 minutes per session

Once you start to up the duration or intensity, or are close to a meet, you need to think pretty carefully about how it will impact your recovery.  This is always going to be highly individual, but my general recommendation is that you stick to a max of two LISS conditioning sessions per week, 20 minutes max, during your offseason, and cut back to one or zero sessions about a month out from a meet.

How can I fix my shoulder/elbow problems in the squat?

Try dropping your pinkie under the bar when you take your grip.  This is a very easy way of allowing your to get your elbows under the bar without stressing them or your shoulders.  Yes, it looks sketchy, but it’s very secure and may well help to alleviate some of your squatting-related aches and pains.

And you can always try some capsaicin:

Do I have the genetics to lift (XYZ) weight or look like (ABC) person?

Look, there’s no way to tell unless you try, but I bet if you give it your all, you can get pretty damn close to whatever you want to achieve.  Worrying about genetics will only hold you back.

Check this out for more: Are Your Genetics Holding You Back?

Which ebook should I buy?

This one is easy.  Are you at least an intermediate lifter and do you care about size?  Then get Think Big.  Otherwise get Think Strong.

Can I add (XYZ) accessory to Think Big?


I have (XYZ) injury.  Can you help me?

Unfortunately, no.  It’s pretty much impossible to diagnose any injury online -- that’s a case where you absolutely need to work with a professional in-person, preferably one with experience in strength sports.  If I tried to help you, I’d just be guessing, and I’d probably do more harm than good.

Again, short one this time. If you've got specific topics you'd like me to write about for next month, leave suggestions in the comments!

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