Emilio eyed one of my bench sets. “You’re doing 300 lbs for close grip?” he said, somewhat enviously.
“Actually it’s 305”
“I need to increase my bench,” he said. “It’s plateaued. Actually, everything has plateaued”
I think he likes training 4x a week, so after some discussion, I recommended he give Westside a try – though modify it for raw lifters. I sent him my collection of 80 Louie Simmons articles – a number of which contradict each other – and will bring my Westside manual for him on Sunday. I also recommended a number of alternate programs, some of which I am very familiar with (some I actually designed, lol) and some that I know nothing about, but he could check out if he wanted.
I watched a guy come in with one of those binders that college strength coaches like to hand out. He was doing squats. His first set, with 135, was almost legal. Successive sets became increasingly disgraceful. At 285, he barely dipped a few inches. I dunno why, but I asked him if he played a college sport. Turns out he played soccer collegiately, but it was several years ago. One of the trainers at the gym got him started on 5/3/1 (though he admitted he hasn’t been to the gym in a week or two). Dude, Matt Hoff called and said your squats were high.
Has nothing to do with Westside, but there is this desperately weak guy who has been training here for several years, fairly regularly. He is probably 5’9, 145 lbs. He used to just screw around. Then he had several appointments with the same trainer mentioned above. (As a side note, this trainer is a nice guy who also manages the gym and has always been friendly to me and all powerlifters/meatheads in general. He once looked on approvingly as I told some high school kid not to drop his 225×8 deadlifts with metal plates from the top position. However, he also is 5’9 and 145 lbs and I’ve never seen him lift weights).
Anyhow, after that, he performed a more legitimate selection of exercises with passable form. However, after 1 year he is still using the most laughable of poundages (145 lb squats, 105 lb deadlifts, I’m not joking).
This guy comes up to me and says “How often do you squat 500 lbs?”
I didn’t know exactly what he was talking about How many reps I could do with it? One. How many times I had ever acheived that? Once. How often do I squat a weight, that, to the idiot eye, looks like 500 lbs? Daily.
So I mumbled something about how I was using 580 the other day, but it was for quarter squats.
He then said something like “Well why would you need to lift that much ever?”
Finally I got what he was talking about. I remembered him asking me the same thing a year ago.
I just talked about how I compete, and the world record was 650 (i dunno, it’s something like that for raw, no wraps, tested 181, whatever). Then I put my headphones back in.
I was mostly just puzzled. I mean I understand why someone might think lifting weights was stupid or pointless, or might choose another physical activity like swinging a kettlebell, or running. But if you’re gonna lift anyway, wouldn’t you want to be better at it? I hate distance running, but if I ran 5Ks, I would want to run one in 13 minutes. Even if that would never happen because I just did it recreationally, I would still see the point of trying to reduce my time!
When I told Emilio what the guy said, he exploded and said something like: “What kind of stupid question was that? You should have asked him why he wanted to be so weak.” Which the guy may have heard as he was returning from the water fountain – but probably not.
When I told Karena, she also was outraged and said that I should be offended. I said, “I dunno, maybe he was in a crippling car wreck or something.” For example, there is this poor bastard at my gym (the bf of the girl whose squat rack position I corrected the other day) who has tried squats and deadlifts and real lifting three different times in his life – and is currently recovering from his third hernia operation (at least he is dating the sexiest girl in the gym).
So she thinks that the next time I see him lifting, I should innocently ask, “Are you recovering from an injury?” I will probably do this.
High Bar Squats: 45×4, 115×3, 185×2, 255, 325, 350, 375, 385, 395
Box Squats (3): 135×2, 225, 295, 325, 330
High Bar Squats: 265,315,335,345,350,355, 265,270,275,280,285,290×2
Closegrip Bench: 45×10, 95×3, 135×3, 175×2, 215, 255, 285, 305, 315, 325; 265,270,275,280,285,290, 265,270×2, 275×4
Pecs were sore. I dunno. Emilio was still impressed, I guess.
RDL: 135×3, 205×2, 275, 300, 325×3; 230×5, 235×4, 240×3
BB Rows: 135×5, 155×5, 160×8
Did band work and tried some mobility stuff @ home.