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  1. #91
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Partyrocking View Post
    There are a few ways to handle this. One way, is to have rep ranges already in the program. E.g. for deadlifts do 3x3-6 reps. With this, you can pick weight you can do at least 3 times, keep that weight each workout until you get to a 3x6, and then up the weight and start at 3x3.

    Something like 3x3x100 > 3x4x100> 3x6x100 > 3x3x110

    You could also do the opposite, i.e. start with a weight you can do 6 times, add weight each session until you can't get a 3x3 and then drop the weight and go back to a 3x6.

    Something like 3x6x90 > 3x5x100 > 3x4x110> and if you fail 3x3x120, you would drop down to 100 and then aim for a 3x6. You wouldn't drop down to 90 because you already achieved the upper bound at that weight.

    The other method is having a straight sets, e.g. a 3x6 every week. With this you keep adding weight until you fail, take 10-15% off the bar and then continue, so if you fail 3x6x120, you would drop down to 100-105 and build your way back up. The problem with this is that you get the same weight you failed at 2 weeks later. If you had a form issue (or a diet issue) that you addressed, this is fine, but if not, you either fail the weight again or you'll succeed just to stall again in a couple weeks.

    This straight progression scheme pretty much only works for beginners and works better for lower reps than higher reps, which is why Starting Strength and Stronglifts are reps of 5.

    A hack you can use is to change the rep range after you reset. E.g. if you fail 3x6x120, drop down to 100lbs and change the rep scheme to a 5x5. The added volume can help you get past the plateau.
    Thanks for this Partyrocking - I had been looking at Starting Strength....and there's one called Wendler 5/3/1 although I'm not sure if that's for more advanced lifters. I'll see how I get on with what I'm doing now but I think I will eventually come to a point where I can't go much further with it and need to change things up. That might not be for a while but we'll see
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  2. #92
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Calories: Beats me
    Macros: How long is a piece of string?!

    It’s rest day today and first day of my holiday! That didn’t stop the fuzzballs waking us at 5.30am; their body clocks must be set to when we normally get up to train. After I get up I can’t get back to sleep, but I don’t mind the morning as it nice and quiet. Calories and macros are out the window today; we went out for dinner this evening and had lots of yummy things. I tried keep my meals more protein-based during the day to save myself for the meal but I was ravenous for most of the day :/

    I wonder whether I should have just said ‘s0d it’ and had a day where I just ate whatever. I’m not that brave at the moment though

    Roasted red pepper and tomato soup:


    Grilled salmon fillet with garlic and herb mash, rocket, and sweet chilli and balsamic dressing


    Christmas pudding with brandy sauce


    I’ve been weighing myself daily just so I can get a weekly average. My weight seems to have stabilised now around 114lbs so I guess this will be the point from which I hope to increase.
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  3. #93
    Registered User Partyrocking's Avatar
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    Talking

    All that food looks great. It took me forever to figure out what British people mean when they say pudding.

    In terms of programming. Starting Strength is a good program for getting your main lifts (especially squats) up fast. It's good for general strength, but not the best program for aesthetics if your bulking; for cutting it's great. Similar programs that would be better for aesthetics would be Fierce 5 or Greyskull LP with the right accessory work.

    I'm not in the GOMAD camp. You can definitely run SS without a crazy surplus, but you'll stall faster. 3 months would be a realistic time frame if you're not eating a ton. Teen boys looking to put on weight fast and who don't care if they get pudgy or fat, run it with a bigger surplus and may last for up to 6 months on it.

    5/3/1 is a strength program that I actually don't like for strength. IMO it doesn't give you enough reps at a high intensity to make good strength gains (for most people, some get great strength gains, but many do not). It does, however, work well for size, especially with the bbb template or the bbb 3 month challenge. In any event, I wouldn't run it as a beginner or as an early intermediate. It's better for intermediate/advanced lifters.
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  4. #94
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Partyrocking View Post
    All that food looks great. It took me forever to figure out what British people mean when they say pudding.
    Ha ha, what sort of things constitute pudding where you come from, Partyrocking? We also have something called 'Yorkshire Pudding' which isn't sweet. It's made from flour, eggs, and milk and it is usually served with roast potatoes, vegetables and meat. So pudding can mean different things here in the UK ha ha!




    It's good for general strength, but not the best program for aesthetics if your bulking; for cutting it's great. Similar programs that would be better for aesthetics would be Fierce 5 or Greyskull LP with the right accessory work.
    Thanks for this...yes, as vain as it sounds I am training primarily for aesthetics - maybe in the future this might change to strength but right now it's aesthetics - so I will take a look at those workouts thanks


    I'm not in the GOMAD camp. You can definitely run SS without a crazy surplus, but you'll stall faster. 3 months would be a realistic time frame if you're not eating a ton. Teen boys looking to put on weight fast and who don't care if they get pudgy or fat, run it with a bigger surplus and may last for up to 6 months on it.
    Yeah I'm trying to stick to about a 10% surplus so not going mad with it as want to minimise fat gain. Plus, if I have too much dairy this sets of my IBS so GOMAD is definitely not an option ha ha!
    Last edited by FallenAngel80; 12-24-2015 at 12:35 PM.
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  5. #95
    Registered User Partyrocking's Avatar
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    For me, pudding is a milk based dessert (akin to a custard) which is usually thickened with eggs if made at home. Commercial ones are usually set with cornstarch or gelatin.

    They look like
    You can't help the hopeless.

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  6. #96
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Oh wow, they look delicious. I'm feeling hungry again and I've only just eaten!
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  7. #97
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    MERRY CHRISTMAS, FA!!!!

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  8. #98
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Thank you, Swooshie!
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  9. #99
    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    Popping in to admire the food. Merry Christmas.
    PRs: 95lbs/126lbs/212lbs
    Next Goals: 100lbs/150lbs/215lbs
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  10. #100
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    He he, you too Luna
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  11. #101
    Da fuk is this. Echo814's Avatar
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    When I say ques, it's mentally checking that the bar is in the right place right under my neck, the elbows are up not tucked, having to move the head back shoving the bar almost behind the head. Glad the video helped with making them fell better, lowering weight and correcting form should have you progressing again in no time

    Have a great Christmas!
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  12. #102
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Thanks, yeah I realised some time after I'd asked that that's probably what you meant. I'm checking my ques more and more and it's making a real difference to my form.

    Hope you have a good Christmas too
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  13. #103
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Calories: 1900
    Macros: 205g Carbs/ 120g Protein/ 63g Fat

    What better way to kick off Christmas day than with an arm workout?! I didn’t bother setting the alarm but we still got up at 6am partly due to the fuzzballs, but also because my blocked nose needed some more nasal spray!

    Santa brought me some more strength gains as I upped most of my weights. Reps on the dumbbell curls increased too so I'll increase the weight on those next week

    Had a great day today; we watched a Christmas film, watched The World’s Strongest Man, slobbed about and grazed on food. Some really good mental ‘downtime’

    I had my usual oats for breakfast, and we cooked some salmon fillets for our Christmas lunch (I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of it!), but generally the day was made up of stuff like this:



    Jamaica Ginger cake with custard. Heat the custard for 1 minute in the microwave, add slices of the cake and microwave for a further 30 seconds. Gooey goodness


    Barbell Curl(3 warm-up sets first)
    33.5lbs x10 reps (2 sets)
    35.5lbs x8 reps

    Close-grip Bench Press
    51.5lbs x10 reps (2 sets)
    55lbs x7 reps

    Alternating Dumbbell Curl
    15lbs x10 reps per arm (2 sets)
    15lbs x9 reps per arm

    Seated Tricep Press
    26.5lbs x10 reps
    26.5lbs x9 reps (2 sets)

    Ab Circuits
    15lbs Russian Twist x40 reps (3 sets)
    11lbs One-arm Otis Ups x15, x12, x12 reps per arm
    Air Bicycles x30 reps (3 sets)
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  14. #104
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Calories: No idea!
    Macros: La la la la la

    Leg day today. Not feeling 100% with this cold so I dropped a rep on my squats; only felt I could do 7 reps in each set. It was probably more psychological than physical but I’m just glad I got it done.

    Increased my weights on my front squats although I can feel the bar slipping slightly on one side. I lifted my chest a bit more which seemed to help with this. Went back up to 82lbs on the RDLs and filmed myself to check my form. My back position was much better although I did wonder whether or not I was bending my legs too much. I could still feel the stretch in my hamstrings though and checked it against some youtube links from this site and they look okay.

    Seated calf-raises are getting easy so will up the weights next time.

    We went out for a three-course lunch with Alan’s mum today. I still put estimates of my macros into myfitnesspal when we go out to eat. It’s only an approximation, but it gives me an idea of what other meals I can have during the day and I still like to try and get my minimum levels of protein and fat. Here’s what I had:

    Smoked trout with beetroot carpaccio and horseradish crème fraiche


    Grilled fillet of sea bream with crab and tomato risotto, and samphire and rocket salad


    Christmas pudding with brandy sauce (third Christmas pudding in the last week!)


    Barbell Squat(3 warm-up sets first)
    89lbs x7 reps (3 sets)

    Front Squat
    67lbs x7 reps (2 sets)
    67lbs x9 reps

    Romanian Deadlift
    82lbs x9, x8, x10 reps

    Barbell Hip Thrust
    71lbs x10 reps (3 sets)

    Seated Calf Raise (weight is each dumbbell)
    38.5lbs x15 reps (3 sets)
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  15. #105
    Swoosh swooshie's Avatar
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    Nice workout, FA! And an awesome looking feast! What are the red berries (?) on the Christmas pudding?
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    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Thanks Swooshie

    I am assuming that the berries would have been cranberries. However, I have an aversion to most things fruit/berry based, unless they're whizzed up in a blender, so I didn't eat them ha ha!
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  17. #107
    Team Ogre FallenAngel80's Avatar
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    Calories: 1958
    Macros: 214g Carbs/ 123g Protein/ 62g Fat

    Wow, I’m not sure what happened to my attitude today, but looks like the positive one did a runner and left me with the ‘I really couldn’t give a rat’s a$$’ mentality.

    We normally have a rest day but Alan’s son is staying over tonight, and I really didn’t want to train with someone else in the house tomorrow morning; although I don’t mind talking about it I don’t really want someone watching me! He’s in the army too so he’s super fit and perhaps I’m worried that he’ll laugh at the low weights I can lift compared to him.

    Anyway, so I woke up today in an okay enough mood, had a banana protein smoothie – it was really nice to have something nutritious after the holiday eating – and started training about 40 minutes later. Physically I think this cold has taken it out of me a bit, I was feeling slightly shaky even when doing warm-up sets and my energy levels were low.

    My incline press weights were increased from last week and felt okay. I also added more weight to my flat bench press but think I went too high as just couldn’t get past 6 reps. I dropped down and it felt much better. Managed to increase my reps on the incline dumbbell press too which was good as those muthas are hard!

    As for the dips, I felt angry just thinking about doing them so decided to do some full push-ups instead. I haven’t done any in a while and I was able to go lower than I had done previously, which I’m guessing means my upper-body strength has improved.

    Now that I have written it all down it doesn’t seem like such a bad workout, but psychologically I just felt really p!ssed off and low in motivation. One more week and it’s deload week; might be the right time for it!

    Incline Barbell Bench Press(3 warm-up sets first)
    51lbs x7, x7, x8 reps

    Incline Dumbbell Bench Press(weight is each dumbbell)
    25lbs x8, x9, x7 reps

    Flat Barbell Bench Press
    57lbs x6, x5 reps
    55lbs x8 reps

    Press Ups
    Body weight x13, x9, x11 reps

    Ab Circuits
    Hanging Leg Raise x15, x12, x10 reps
    Air Bicycles x30 reps (3 sets)
    Russian Twist x40 reps (3 sets)
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    Rest day today…back to work tomorrow for a couple of days and then 4 days off over new year. I’d like to say I was looking forward to returning to work properly and also to university, but I’m really not. I’ve had a lot of thoughts recently about whether or not to continue with my doctorate; I just feel there must be more to life than all this studying. I will persevere though, because at the end of it I have more choice as to where I work. I certainly won’t be staying where I am. It’s one of the most soul-destroying places I have ever worked which I guess isn’t helping, but I need to stay there to finish my course.

    So over these holidays there have been days where I’ve eaten out and not been able to exactly track my macros, but I have still tried to track to some extent. I’ve decided not to track anything on new year’s eve. This is a bit of a big deal for me; tracking macros and using IIFYM has enabled me to have a much healthier relationship with food in that I eat the ‘naughty’ things too and no longer feel guilty about it. But it’s also a bit of a safety net and I feel I need to step outside of this from time-to-time to enable me to enjoy life in the moment and not develop an obsessional relationship to food tracking.

    We won’t be going out anywhere to eat for new year’s eve so it would be perfectly feasible for me to track what I eat. But I want to prove that one day of ‘letting go’ is not going to bring the world crashing down round my ears and I’m not going to wake up a stone heavier. The freedom of ‘just eating’ will challenge me but will also be psychologically beneficial. I guess this is just a further part of my personal development. I believe that eating disorders leave ripples which can extend outwards indefinitely and impact on various areas of your life, and I think it’s important for me personally to keep challenging potentially damaging mindsets towards food.

    Speaking of food, it was a bit of a grazing day today. Here is my fourth Christmas pudding! I have one left in the cupboard which I’ll eat on new year’s eve

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    Back to work today for a couple of days...I was really not looking forward to going in, but I only have tomorrow and then another four days off. It’ll be less of a shock when I go back properly on 4th January I guess.

    I’m really struggling with the squats. I used to love them but right now I am having problems motivating myself to do them. I could barely do 6 reps at my current weight this morning. I have been watching more videos on form and the need to push the knees out at the bottom in order to get lower into the squat. I wasn’t sure whether or not I had been doing this so I made a real effort to push my knees out and it made it so much harder! I guess that’s the whole point. So, I dropped my weight for the final two sets which felt better. Psychologically though, I just wanted them done. Increased my weights on the deadlifts and filmed myself to check my form which showed that I needed to adjust my back again to ensure it wasn’t rounding. I have to feel as though I am exaggerating the arch in my lower back in order for my back to be flat.

    Deload week is scheduled for next week in the program; however, next time I am going to listen to my body as I reckon I could have brought it forward to this week given how I am feeling. Lesson learned for the future and I guess it’s all part of the process of learning how my body responds, being more flexible in my training and taking care of myself. I start back at uni next week and have to go in for 3 days which will make training in the morning impossible anyway, so it ties in well with the deload week. I've been wondering whether nutrition has a part to play in how I'm feeling. Due to the holidays I've had a few days where I haven't been getting most of my calories from nutrient-dense foods (I have eaten more 'naughty' things than usual). I'm not sure if this is playing a part or whether a longer period would be needed to start having an impact. Anyway, I had some good meals today including a higher amount of protein which has left me feeling much more satisfied.

    This time of year always leaves me a little deflated due to difficult family dynamics, missing more than usual those family members who are no longer alive, and then having to go back to work in a job you’re only doing to get through a uni course. Hmm....perhaps I need to be a bit more compassionate and understanding towards myself!

    Barbell Deadlift (3 warm-up sets first)
    82lbs x10 reps (3 sets)

    Barbell Squat
    89lbs x6 reps
    83.5lb x10, x7 reps

    Barbell Row
    71lbs x10 reps (3 sets)

    One-arm Dumbbell Row
    25lbs x10 reps each arm (3 sets)

    Seated Calf Raise (weight is each dumbbell)
    44lbs x15 reps (3 sets)
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  20. #110
    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    Honestly, I'm not hyped on squats either. I don't look forward to them, and I'm glad when I'm done with them. They are a great exercise though, so they stick in the routine. Nice on the deadlift increase, but definitely make sure to get the back straight. The heavier you go, the worse you can get injured, and back problems suck.

    I think once you're clear of the holidays, and get back to your routine you'll be feeling better. I don't feel as great when my diet suffers either. I mean, I usually have some form of crap on a semi-regular basis anyway, but if 80% is good, I feel good. It may be partially mental too, but mentality plays a huge part. Cut yourself some slack, I think a lot of people get in a post-holiday slump. There's that awkward transition from holiday fuss to your normal routine, but sure enough everything evens out again, and gets back on the rails.
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  21. #111
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    Thanks Luna, yeah I definitely want to be careful with the deadlifts. Glad I filmed myself and it's given me more idea of how my lower back should 'feel' in order to get the correct angle.

    I think you're right about things evening out again after this holiday period. Things will return into a more natural routine again and hopefully won't feel like such a struggle!

    Glad I'm not the only one struggling with the lack of squat love!
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  22. #112
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    There are a lot of cues given for how to squat. Unfortunately, they don't always work depending on the mechanics of the lifter or the type of squat you're doing.

    My two cents is to just squat how it feels naturally and ignore most of the cues. Unless your knees were caving before, I wouldn't think too much about pushing your knees out. Just make sure they're tracking your toes.

    Do keep your back tight though- that's a cue that always applies.
    You can't help the hopeless.

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    Thanks Partyrocking.

    No my knees weren't caving...perhaps I am over-thinking things. I do tend to worry that if I'm not doing it 'right' then I'll get stuck in bad habits. I guess there are fundamentals to follow but we're all built differently so there's bound to be individual differences in how this translates into the movement.

    The decrease in weight did feel better this morning though so maybe it's an energy thing. I'll start at 83.5lbs after the deload and work back up.
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    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    I hope that helps for you. I'm so bummed about not being able to workout, I even miss squats. Lol. I feel there's an energy component as well squats take it out of me more than anything else. Plus my breathing sucks... I breathe properly though the lift, I just mean in general.
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    Macros: 200g Carbs/ 120g Protein/ 61g Fat

    I felt much more full of energy and motivated this morning. I reckon that positive thinking definitely has an impact; I sat down last night and read through how many more essays I have for uni this academic year and how many more weeks I have left of going in each Thursday. It actually made me feel better and I am more confident that I can get through it

    So tomorrow is our rest day and will be a non-tracking macro day. Kind of excited, and kind of nervous as I don’t want to use it as an excuse to go mad and eat everything in sight, but equally I kind of just want to eat if I fancy eating something. I’ll see how it goes anyway. It will be a useful experiment.

    Made a chipotle chilli tonight, this time using Quorn mincemeat. It was really nice, if a little spicy as I used a different paste. Still very nice though



    I upped my weights on the side lateral and rear-delt raises so they were a bit tougher this morning. Stayed with the same weight on the military press, but it feels as though it's getting easier.

    Standing Military Press (3 warm-up sets first)
    35lbs x10, x9, x9 reps

    Side Lateral Raise (weight is each dumbbell)
    15lbs x10, x8, x9 reps

    Bent-over Rear Delt Raise (weight is each dumbbell)
    19.5lbs x10, X8, x10 reps

    Barbell Shrugs
    71lbs x10 reps (3 sets)

    Ab Circuits
    55lbs Cable Crunch x13, x10, x10 reps
    Hanging Leg Raise x10, x11, x9 reps
    Air Bicycles x30, x40, x34 reps
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  26. #116
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    Originally Posted by LunaLifts View Post
    I feel there's an energy component as well squats take it out of me more than anything else
    I really feel this...definitely think squats take it out of me the most. Plus under this current program I am doing back squats twice a week, plus front squats. I'm wondering if it's a bit over-kill, hence me looking at other programs. Going to take my time reading through Greyskull LP while I decide what to do.
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    Originally Posted by FallenAngel80 View Post
    I really feel this...definitely think squats take it out of me the most. Plus under this current program I am doing back squats twice a week, plus front squats. I'm wondering if it's a bit over-kill, hence me looking at other programs. Going to take my time reading through Greyskull LP while I decide what to do.
    I'm all for high frequency squatting. It's not for everyone, but imo, it takes a long time to get comfortable with the movement, so it's worth it to do it more frequently at the beginning and then to taper down later on as the weights get heavier. I'd set twice a week as the minimum for new lifters, well if I were in charge of the lifting world.

    I'd also keep front squatting- even if it's just part of your warmup when you back squat. I just learned how to front squat properly, and I'm kicking myself for it- wish I had paid attention to them earlier.
    You can't help the hopeless.

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    Dammit, looks like I should keep doing them ha ha! Yeah they are hard work but I guess this isn't meant to be easy; just feeling a bit 'meh' about them right now. The front squats can be difficult to balance but I do like them weirdly enough, more so than the back squats. The front squats are in addition to the two lots of back squat workouts I do each week. I'm sure I saw that the Greyskull LP program has squats down for twice a week (one back and one front) so either way I need to persevere.

    Deload week will hopefully see me coming back with more energy and motivation in general. It's up and down at the moment.
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    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    Maybe it's my arm/grip position, but I've never been able to hold the bar comfortably for front squats. I've tried clean grip, and crossed, and both feel kind of awkward.

    I'm sure you'll feel ready to get back into it full force before the deload is even over. lol. It always helped me get out of those funks, and by the end of the week I'm dying to pick stuff up, and put it down.
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    Very true, my impatience will probably get the better of me ha ha!
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