Jeremy -

I've had recurring issues with my pec tie-in, or whatever that area is that people always seem to hurt (let's just call it my pec for the purposes of this email). For as long as I've been lifting, whenever my bench starts to really get strong and feel great, either my left or right pec strains. It's like my body only has the capability to lift X amount of weight and not a single ounce more. While I know this isn't the case, I'll be damned if it doesn't happen every time things start to get going really well.

I've run various programs throughout the years, but I've been consistently on 5/3/1 for the past three years. The same issues occurred. I've tried regular BB bench, CG bench, DB bench, floor presses, etc., and it doesn't seem to matter. Whenever things get heavy and I'm feeling strong, shit just falls apart.

I know it's nearly impossible to diagnose through a vague email, but do you have any idea what direction I can take to prevent this from continuing to happen? Does the "pec tie-in" relate to a particular issue that you see regularly, such as rotator weakness?

I'm looking for any bits of wisdom you can offer. Also, I'm looking forward to you getting that log back up and running. I thoroughly enjoy following your training.

Take care,



Honestly, you have your answer in your question and the way you wrote this. Every time you start to get stronger and get heavier, something happens. Just stick to submaximal weight and don't get too heavy—just add a little more volume overall and stay there using medium loads. I would say, without knowing, you do way too much pressing work and are probably getting over-trained during these times. A well thought out program will be needed. Without knowing exactly what you do, it's hard to know. I would simply say, though, that you should only go heavy for a short period. Then, you need to back the weight down again and use more volume. Also, warm-up, stretch, and keep your body healthy. You probably don't do anywhere close to the amount of mobility work you should.

-Jeremy Frey


I’ve been looking for a different program to use. I belong to a powerlifting crew and every Sunday is bench day. However, I’m also a career firefighter, so I beat myself up on a weekly basis without training. I know that everyone trains differently, but I would start benching and see guys triple what used to be their single. So, in an attempt to keep up week after week, I would lift my 90-95 percent range. My shoulders were killing me day-in and day-out until I finally hit rock bottom. The best thing that happened was when I came across your log, and I loved that you updated it to show the percents you use in that workout. When squat day came around, I used the 2x4 @ 70, 2x4 @ 74, 2x3 @ 77. What a great workout. I felt good and defiantly got the work in. The true test came the next day when it was time to bench. I used your 3x4 @ 77, 3x3 @ 82. It was my best bench workout in a few months. I went back and took out all of your workouts that used percents in order to get an idea of your training cycle. I would really like to put together or see your progression for all three lifts. Do you go up every few weeks to hit a heavy weight and then go back down in the 70 percent range again? Any help would be great. I would like to do something like a six-week cycle and maybe up the percentage week by week, working up to a heavy double and then backing the weights off again. I would appreciate any help and thanks for your log. They really do make a difference for people looking to train the right way. I look forward to hearing back from you.



Try this:

Week 1: 70-74%, 3x4, 3x4
Week 2: 74-78%, 3x4, 3x3
Week 3: 77-80% 2x4, 3x3
Week 4: 70-75%, 3x2
Week 5: 77-81%, 2x4, 4x3
Week 6: 80-84, 2x3, 4x2
Week 7: 83-87%, 2x3, 3x2
Week 8: 75%, 2x2
Week 9: 88% max reps

Try this out and see how you like it. This is just a start. Main movement volume only.

-Jeremy Frey

Hey Jeremy,

What's your take on warm ups before lifting and before sports practices? Some coaches seem to do up to half an hour of foam rolling mobility and activation. Do you do that much? What about in a team setting? Would you use it as a time to address weaknesses? Do you have a really set routine, or do you just go by feel?




Do you do that much?

My personal warm up takes roughly 15 minutes, not including cardio. I do not do 30 minutes of foam rolling or other work. You can take that long, and you should do post work. You can do 30 minutes, but I do not.

What about in a team setting?

My warm up with teams lasts roughly eight minutes, and we are working. I block out an hour for each team, so efficiency is everything. The foam rolling and static stretching of certain areas after training is completed, so I do mostly dynamic work beforehand. I would have some foam rolling before, but I just don't usually have the time. The collegiate setting has limitations.

Would you use it as a time to address weaknesses?

The warm up that I implement is there to not only get them prepared for their training session, but to also address mobility issues, which is a weakness of most collegiate athletes. True weaknesses are worked on during their program and post work. These times address individual issues.

Do you have a really set routine, or do you just go by feel?

I have a 100% set routine, and I go off feel. If something is a little more tight or sore, for example, I will spend a little more time in that area or warming up. The same thing goes for my athletes.

-Jeremy Frey


I have a comment/question combo.

First, I'd like to give a HUGE thanks to the entire elitefts™ team for everything that you guys (and gals) stand for and do! Having played sports at a very small high school and college, I had to teach and train myself when it came to the weight room. Not knowing any better, I wasted a solid five to six years in fitness magazine purgatory. Long story short, when I finally came across elitefts™ a little less than two years ago, I devoured every article, log, and Q&A that I could. Not only did it make a huge difference in my own training, but with some help from my old anatomy textbooks and a few other resources), I also recently passed my CSCS exam. So, in no small way, thanks again to the whole team here at elitefts™. Your desire to pass on is definitely making a difference.

Now my question: I'm looking to pick up some more comprehensive S&C resources to add to my library. From all the comments and things I've read here, Supertraining seems like a can't miss; however, I'm curious about Verkhoshansky's Special Strength Training: Manual for Coaches as I haven't seen much, if anything, written about it. Does anyone have any experience with the material? Does the content build upon that from Supertraining, or are the two self-contained? If there is significant overlap, is one book recommended over the other? As a relative newcomer to the strength coaching game, I don't know what my exact niche will or should be, but I want to be as prepared as possible to give back and pass on in whatever doors might open.
Thanks again, Happy Holidays, and early Merry Christmas. God Bless!



  • Super Training
  • Starting Strength
  • Science and Practice of Strength Training
  • Principles and Basics of Advanced Athletic Training
  • The Weight Lifting Encyclopedia

Just to name a few.

- Jeremy Frey