Training Updates and Blog Ideas

Wanted to write a quick update as to what I’ve been up to. I’ve been using the progression I wrote about last week for about a month or two now and have been having pretty awesome results. My Squat went from 415×3 to 445×4. To put this in perspective, I’ve never squatted over 455. Bench has responded pretty well to. In the Deadlift I’ve just made some technique changes so it’s all about giving it time to catch up. I’ve got amazing forward momentum all around. Unfortunately, my old foe, elbow pain, has decided to pay me a visit.

I’m so used to recurrent elbow pain that it’s become a predictable pattern. Every 4-5 weeks into a cycle I’ll usually run into some kind of elbow pain. This time I believe it’s due to the Squat. I tried to train through it, hoping it’d go away but it’s gotten so bad that any kind of training now aggravates it and I need to take the rest of the week off. I’ve literally tried everything in the book up to this point. That said, if anyone has suggestions outside of curls, high-bar squatting, widen squat grip, elbow sleeves, voodoo flossing, etc. I’d be interested to hear it.

Really the only thing I haven’t tried is altering my programming. So my plan going forward is every four weeks, switch out the Low-Bar Squat with the Front Squat for a three week block. Literally just replace every slot with it’s corresponding Front Squat variation. I’m currently doing Belted Squats, Paused Squats, and Beltless Squats and so instead I’d use Belted Front Squats, Paused Front Squats, and Beltless Front Squats. I’d also use the same exact progression.

I fully realize this won’t be at all optimal from a specificity standpoint but if I can preemptively prevent elbow pain by doing this sort of rotation it’s going to be a lot more optimal than just dropping Squats all together. Why not switch to High-Bar Squats? Well, I’m worried that pushing those could still incur some elbow pain. I tried to High-Bar Squat this week and it still hurt. I definitely think it’s worth pushing a quad-dominant movement as I’ve felt my low-bar squat get more and more quad dominant recently and it’s subsequently felt better.

Future Blog Topics

I still have to finish up my Autoregulating the Texas Method series. There’s more to be said there. I’ve also been thinking about writing an article in regards to how we qualify “what works” in our training, be it new accessory movements, progressions, etc.

That said, if anyone has any ideas for blogs I’d be interested in hearing about them!

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6 thoughts on “Training Updates and Blog Ideas

  1. Shane says:

    I don’t experience elbow pain with frequency, though it does occasionally happen. I’m a basic Texas Method guy, doing a 4 day split. I rarely do assistance work because I’m so beat from working manual labor, though I try to get some lying tricep extensions in on bench intensity day as regular as possible. Premis set, when I do 1-2x/week curls consistently… I can expect elbow pain to not be far away. The kind of elbow pain that puts an absolute halt to all pressing movements, and that I feel in the squat as well. So now I only curl about 2x/month. And if I curl 1x/week, I only do so for a few weeks.
    That, plus I do almost no additional tricep related assistance work. Just standard bench pressing, standing presses, and lying tricep extensions.

    I would consider how high you are getting your elbows during the low bar squat. I have better results from hiking them up pretty high and tight behind me, making that shelf, where little bar weight is transferred to my arms. In other words I contract my lats, but not to the effect of pulling my elbows tight to my torso.

    I also sort of do a curl while squatting. No, not really. More so I activate my biceps and jam my forearms into my biceps in nearly a fully contracted position. This helps me keep the bar weight on my rear delts.

    27, 6’1″, 195
    Squat 435×3
    Bench 300×1
    Deadlift 530×1

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    • chadhydro says:

      Thanks Shane! Really appreciate the thoughts

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      • Shane says:

        Another potential culprit of aggravation that I incidentally ran across today is wrist position during the squat. I was reading that a bent wrist has propensity to cause/aggravate elbow tendinitis.
        I use a thumbs-over-the-bar grip and I also have pretty darn good shoulder flexibility. In helping other folks learn to squat it seems good shoulder flexibility and straight wrists are a rarity.
        Good luck.

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      • chadhydro says:

        Much appreciated Shane. I had been using a slight bend to the wrists because it seemed to allow for better upper back tightness for whatever reason. Probably need better shoulder mobility

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  2. Rob112 says:

    Have you ever tried a pinkieless grip?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qFjQjZZMABk

    Being that I have 3 squat spots a week I also am not hesitant about using a SSB or front squating in the non-comp spots. I’m managing at the moment.

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    • chadhydro says:

      Hey Rob, no I havent actually. Thats an interesting idea, thanks! Wish I had access to an SSB. Unfortunately this seems to be something that comes around eventually if I train the low bar for a certain length of time. Did some high bar squats tonight without any pain

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