Vulcan Nerve Pinch

2014-07-09 22_54_01-Breathe When Exercise _ Prefer Healthy Style

Tuesday (took Monday off so not too heavy)

Wt: 181.6

Manta Ray Squat: up to 375; 360x8x1

Bench: up to 335; 320x7x2, 320x1x3 (got a spotter for the last set)

Sumo+ avg bands: 4 sets, all PRs, up to 285 off 3.5″ deficit

Time: 2:10

A weird thing is going on.  On a few of my heavier Manta Ray sets, as I go to rerack the bar, the music in my left ear sounds like the “CD” is “skipping.”  My left hand starts to twitch.  After I’ve let go of the bar, my left hand continues to shake and my left leg starts to, well, dance around.  This goes on for like 5 seconds.  Afterwards, I’m fine i.e. I can do a heavy bench set 2 minutes later.

I thought that I either had some kind of neurological damage, or I was holding my breath too long.  But if it was a condition, it would occur after other heavy sets, for example low bar squats.  And I wasn’t holding my breath that long on subsequent sets when it reoccured.

I figured out what’s going on.  The manta ray is pressing on some artery/nerve/part of my neck.  By readjusting it slightly I could make it not happen on 5 of my last 6 singles with 360.  But I’m pretty sure that I’m either going to replace manta ray with high bar squats or just stop and do low bar every day, now that I have a closer stance with that anyway.


Low Bar Squat: up to 430; 405x20x1.  you read that right.

BTN Press: up to 165; 145x6x2

Sumo+strong band: 5 sets, all PRs, up to 190 off 3″ deficit

Time: 2:10

No St. Vitus’ dance today.

My MP3 player became sentient and now plays whichever songs it likes – including ones I’ve removed – at whatever volume it likes.  It’s set to random, on a playlist of about 50 songs, but it plays the same one several times in a row, and only the same ten for the workout.

So now I’ve got this stuck in my head after hearing it roughly 500 times this morning:

Here’s a list of MCs who can kill you in eight bars…

First one to finish the lyric in the comments wins.


35 thoughts on “Vulcan Nerve Pinch

  1. 20 of 405? Fucking hell I haven’t ever gone past 5 reps for squats. I hate them enough by that time and I wouldn’t have the willpower to hit 20. So if you’ve done 20 of 405 what would Paul Carter say you’re good for?

    I was only able to get four hours of sleep before waking up from a shit dream resulting in sleep paralysis so I’m less and less confident about this 200 kg squat. I probably won’t even have anyone to film it so the milestone will probably go unappreciated. Maybe I’ll just get one of the gym dudes I talk to to film it, then post it up on facebook before I add this cute geeky lifter girl. She won’t be impressed but at least it’ll look like I have more going for me than writing a dissertation and getting shitfaced. Then again, that’s pretty much all what students do.

    idk your song lyrics but I’m pretty sure I’ll be listening to Death Grips when I do that squat tomorrow cause it gets me hype dawg. I usually listen to podcasts when I lift unless it’s going to be a particularly brutal set in which case I’ll just put on a song or two to prep before going back to the podcast.

  2. i don’t know what podcasts are. don’t tell me I like not knowing

    that was 20 singles not a set of 20, I’m no ken leistner. and tell paul carter that I’m good for 405.

    you’re thinking too much about 200kg. you ain’t even squatted 180 kg yet, right. do that first. then 185.

  3. fuck how come everyone writes their set/rep shit differently. What’s your rest in between the sets then? Singles on the minute?
    Podcasts are amazing and with your two hours in the gym you would love them.

    Last week that 175 for 5 was easy so it would be 177.5 for 5 this week then 180 for 5 after that. I’d rather just try the 200kg since the walkouts of it on Monday didn’t feel all that heavy. I’ll be squatting 180kg as the last warmup to my 200kg I think? I’ve only ever done a max twice and both times were for deadlifts so I don’t know a good warmup rep scheme.

    This is the only thing I’ve looked forward to for like a month or two because I don’t have any other goals other than to graduate with this MSc.

    • americans like me put the sets first.

      they were every 4 minutes usually with a deadlift or btn press in between.
      between 2 or 3 of them tho i just used the time to set up the bands and mats for the deadlifts

      no imo that’s crazy to go 180-200

      i would do 140 (x2?) -160-180-190-195-200

      and look if you miss 195 or 200 bc you are allegedly worn out from the prior sets next time do one less.

      • “Allegedy” I see what you did there fella.
        I’m so gung ho about this because I turn 23 next week and I would like to give myself this birthday present. Maybe after this I’ll go buy a belt and sleeves as a physical present but I’d rather spend the money on a vacation or something. I can fly to Ireland for like 15 pounds and stay with a friend because it’s really cheap to travel in Europe. I haven’t done any of that though because I was never much of a vacation or traveling guy so I’m probably just going to spend it all on booze and ground beef.
        I got 180 as a last warmup set because I thought I would just take 90% of 200 but I also agree that 20 kg is a pretty big jump and my back probably wouldn’t feel warmed up enough for me to be comfortable supporting it.

        • i used to like to go places, then i realized that 95% of things I supposedly liked to do – talk to people, drink to excess, travel – were just things I did in the pursuit of women. now i’m left with reading, writing, and lifting. I’m kinda into yams now. I never ate them before except gobbed with butter, cinamon, sour cream, etc. They’re good with eggs, and hotsauce tho.

          Broz says the same thing he says to take 5kg jumps to a new pr

          • Exactly. I didn’t touch alcohol for almost the entirety of my last long term relationship. Reading and writing is my job so unfortunately I don’t read as much non-academic stuff as I would like, but even when I do I rarely enjoy it as much as I would like to because I’m worn out from reading all day.
            You’ve mentioned Broz before but I don’t know much about him other than what you’ve written in your programming. I’m still trying to get familiar with more people and methods even though I still haven’t swayed from SS -> TM because I haven’t been lifting for a year yet. The way Rippetoe wrote Practical Programming makes it seem like I can run TM for a while too. 5/3/1 seems popular but I’m not going to do one top set of a lift a week are you kidding me. I’m pretty sure the only reason it is as popular as it is on the internet is because of the skinny kids who have infinite free time on their hands are fascinated by the Boring but Big template. I’ve never met anyone older than their early 20s and none of them are big.
            Speaking of that, I’m pretty lucky to be training at this gym and there are a lot of knowledgable guys there. We have some national level competitors and it’s actually legal to use gear in the UK. Plus, the gym was really smart in creating an area of the gym dedicated to serious lifting. I’m never going to be able to find another gym that has 4 racks and 6 platforms in the same area again for 104 pounds a year which comes out to 15 USD a month.
            I love hash browns and since there’s like one diner here that serves anything american style I made my own sweet potato hash browns with eggs and bacon one time last month. It was fucking awesome but I don’t like waking up and grating potatoes. I would eat them more but I don’t actually have an oven, just this combo microwave/convection oven thing because this flat is small as fuck. I end up using a slow cooker for making a lot of the meals a week thank you 70s Big. Is Justin still doing paleo? I read Paleo for Lifters on scribd ( and that kind of made me more conscious of focusing carbohydrate consumption around lifting sessions but it’s not like I do carb backloading or anything.

          • 5/3/1, ss, and texas method are fine. As long as you make progress they are all good, as are variants.

            you’ve done great for only a year lifting unless you weigh 400 lbs.

            practical programming however, I feel is kind of a shitty book. Just too much emphasis on deloading and fancy periodization. I liked supertraining and science and practice much better.

            i am liking the paleo e-book but the yam comment was just made to show you that eating yams was the most exciting non-gym thing to happen to me last week.

          • That wiki article is talking about import/export. Possession for personal use is legal in the UK. People will openly talk about the gear they’re on. Some guy got a 6-8 week supply of test for like £40 and it was good quality according to one of the trainers.

          • “then i realized that 95% of things I supposedly liked to do – talk to people, drink to excess, travel – were just things I did in the pursuit of women.”

            I still drink to excess at times, and traveling in one of the biggest little joys in life for me. If I were more serious about lifting, I would probably not enjoy it so much tho, because it messes with gainz if you do it too often.

            But otherwise I agree, once women ceased to be a factor my need for socializing and “going out” declined like 95%.

      • Its always made more sense to me to put the reps first then the sets. I feel like I’m betraying my country.

        • Coach is doing it wrong.

          When there’s no weight, just reps and sets, you write it sets x reps (I.e.: 20×1) but as soon as you add the weight in there, you write it weight x reps x sets (405x1x20). If you’re being a real math nerd, you use parentheses: (405×1) 20. That’s how Takano writes his stuff, but he’s an Asian Biology teacher.

          • This is how does it now it all makes sense. I was wondering why.

          • First of all, you’re a communist.

            Second of all, if you count things in kilograms you can do it your way. Parenthesis are fucking insane though.

            Third of all, I do it like the American muscle magazines showed me in the 1990s. They also taught me that preacher curls would make my biceps longer but whatever.

            Fourth and most important, my way is just plain better because you don’t say “I’m going to do 8 reps each in 3 sets.” You say, “I’m gonna do 3 sets of 8 reps.”
            6 cars with 4 people each
            3 jars with 100 marbles each
            4 girls, 2 tits each


          • Hey, I said, sets x reps, until you add weight to it. So, three sets of eight with 405 works, but if you put the weight in front, then 405 for eight reps, three times. Mmm?

  4. easy peasy. “50, ummm… jay-z and nas / imma say this shit now and never again”.

    20 singles at 405 lbs, jeez. impressive, and more so than usual. keep it up, role model!

  5. @sohart,

    5/3/1 is only for 20-somethings with infinite time in the gym? I’ve gone with BBB for assistance and rarely used more than 45 minutes per session. now that I’ve switched to the triumvirate template, things are even quicker.

    I am not really qualified to have this kind of discussion, but I hope some more experienced lifters will weigh in (your cue, coach). periodization of one kind or another seems to be the way to go for many people (for instance, look at and their arguments). 5/3/1 is merely one way of many to achieve this.

    with regards to just one max set per week, I cannot say whether or not more max sets are directly correlated to greater strength gains at all levels of lifting experience. if you have more information here I would be happy to read up.

    • My criticism isn’t based on anything other than personal preference. The infinite time thing is because I go to a university gym so there are guys there who are doing it because it’s 4 days a week and they get to do more sets. I think it’s popular on message boards too? I don’t do a lot of online community stuff. I also have infinite time because with no other responsibilities (or girlfriend) I can make my own schedule and “work” when I want to.
      The reason I knew TM was right for me is because I like to squat every time I lift and that’s programmed in it on the MWF scheme. Sometimes if I’m feeling recovered enough I will use my tuesdays for practicing olympic lifts and any light assistance that needs to be done. Same thing for saturdays. 🙂

    • Also I was just mentioning about how 5/3/1 seems to be the most popular intermediate programme and I was attributing that to the marketing. I was even considering doing it. I don’t think poorly of it at all even though it was mentioned in my rant

      • “5/3/1 is only for 20-somethings with infinite time in the gym?”

        I did 5/3/1 for a year and a half and got pretty good gains on most lifts. Would recommend 10/10. FWIW,I was in my late 20s, and the sessions took no longer than 1-1.5 hrs. Just do your own stuff for “assistance” and don’t take deload weeks.

        • That line is out of context because I’m one of those aforementioned 20-something infinite time dudes, hence why a volume day on TM is feasible. How the hell else are you going to do 5×5 of 90% intensity of Friday’s lifts? Squatting alone takes 45-60 minutes. I like TM because of the philosophy of the volume day being a “dose” to drive the intensity day which tests to see if the dose is correct. Then you tweak depending on what worked. I’m a rookie so it helps to be able to take the guesswork out while also being able to have full body days. I much prefer full body sessions and squatting in every main session.
          5/3/1 looks like a solid programme and my 20-something line is because I’m the only other person I’ve met IRL doing TM and I’m pretty sure that’s because Wendler is a heavy metal badass that looks good as opposed to a guy like Rippetoe. side note: I am a metal badass, which I guess is odd because the whole macho tough guy element of lifting really fucking annoys me.

          • SS to TM is also a solid progression.

            Interesting take on the popularity of 5/3/1. Rip has less face bloat (and overall bloat) than Jendler, but Jendler looks more like he lifts (or used to lift) weights. Jendler does market better tho, especially since becoming a Biotest snake oil salesman.

            “whole macho tough guy element of lifting really fucking annoys me”

            Amuses rather than annoys me. Even more amusing – when the tough lifting guys also try to sell their emotional side, or try to wax philosophical about life. But I guess it works well with their target audience, i.e. insecure teenagers and dudes in the throes of midlife crisis.

            BTW “heavy metal badass” is an oxymoron.

    • changing your email address every comment will be the end of you. vaguely meanacing comments will be the end of you.
      This is that Raymond guy who I’ve trolled before. It’s fine. He doesn’t even speak English.

  6. Have I talked about my time on 5/3/1 yet? I’ve done it twice and even on a variation where I simply alternated the 5s weeks and the 5/3/1 week(kind of like a volume/intensity alternating thing) I still got very little progress, if any, and then stalled.

    If I did 5/3/1 again, I’d do it like sets across. ie 5s week would be 85% for 3×5, 90% 3×3, 100%(of TM) for 3×1. I’d also do something like First Set Last in order to get in sufficient volume at a decent intensity.

    My body just needs more volume at a higher intensity in order to progress. It’s in love with homeostasis a bit more than average I think.

    I lost 8# and an inch off my waist over the long weekend. I’ve also somehow lost my appetite, so I’m just going to spin this into an impromptu cut.

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