Archives For paul carter

Happy Chinese New Year!

Last week I only managed 4 reps with 315 lb on the bench press. This week I got 5!

Missed out on the 6th rep though. Felt like I almost had it, but it ended up drifting backwards a bit and hit the J-hooks.

Not a big deal. For next Friday, I might try a regular grip bench press and maybe a 2RM at 340 lb.

Also, lowered the volume on my volume days (Monday). My body has been aching more than normal lately (mainly lower back) and I don't think I need tons of volume in 1 day to progress.

I did end up squatting 5x this week however. They were high bar squats. I feel I can squat more often and more frequently with the high bar squat, whereas low bar squats seems to beat me up if I do them too much.

I do recall I squatted frequently (4-5x/week) back when I hit 500+ lb. Might have to squat more often in order to get back to that level again.

For OHP, I have a feeling it's going to be a while before I hit 260 lb. In the mean time, I'm going to increase the volume a bit for overhead presses and do sets across. I also experimented with behind the neck presses (standing) and they felt not too bad.

Anyway, check this out:

  1. Dan Green Interview
  2. A Few Words On Keeping The Shoulders Healthy by Paul Carter

Well, I only got a 4 rep max on the bench press this week while aiming for a 5RM:

Out of all the 4 major barbell lifts that I do, the bench press benefits most from a little bit of psyching up and aggression. At least for me. I'll inject more of this next week when I attempt 5 reps again.

Other than that, my lower back seems to be aching more than normal, so I might "de-load" this week. We'll see.

Anyway, try this out:

And listen to and watch these:

  1. Interview with Captain Kirk by Paul Carter
  2. Deadlift Technique: How to Take the Tension Out of the Bar by Eric Cressey


Well, I found out this past week that I passed the NCSA-CPT (National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer) exam!

I wrote it in December and just got the results via email after submitting my CPR/AED card. They'll be mailing the certificate to me in the next few weeks.

As for the exam itself, it was really a pain in the ass to write. The exam location, which was York University, was in another city, and the time started at 9:00 AM ending at 12:00 PM. Meaning, to make sure that I could make it on time, I had to stay overnight at a hotel to write this exam.

The desks were tiny, probably the smallest desks I've ever used as an adult. The width of the writing surface of the desk was probably as wide as a single sheet of paper. Sitting in a chair made of wood for 3 hours was literally a pain in the butt, and having my head down looking at test for 3 hours was a pain in the neck. I train my neck on a regular basis, but this was tough, even for me! My neck was sore after, and I'm pretty sure I had a neck pump after the exam.

As for the test itself, it was challenging. It was a 150 question multiple choice test, with about 35 questions that required you to watch a video before answering the question from the exam booklet. There is no practical component like the Can-Fit-Pro Personal Training Specialist, or PTS test (I was required to train a mock client in front of another trainer).

Unless I'm mistaken, the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) exam is the same way (all multiple choice with no practical component), meaning just about anybody who is a good text book reader and test taker can obtain these certifications, with the exception that the CSCS has a requirement of a bachelor's degree in any subject.

This would be the second training certification I've obtained in the past 10 years. The first one was Can-Fit-Pro PTS. I let that one expire because of a career change. I really should have kept up with it though.

I also obtained a 3M National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) many moons ago during the dot-com bubble in 1999. Yes, I am probably older than you think 😉

As far as my opinion on certifications go, in the end, they're really just a piece of paper saying that someone has paid the appropriate fees and have managed to pass a multiple choice test (or whatever the test format and requirements happens to be) that is based off of the textbook and other materials provided by the certifying agency. It doesn't mean that they actually workout train themselves on a regular basis, or have worked with clients in the past (unless those happen to be required for the certification).

It is what it is.

Now I have to keep up with these CEU (continuing education units) that continue to make money for the certifying agencies will...err...continue my education.

However, I suspect that most of my "education" in the future will come from under a heavy barbell, and coaching others.

Anyways, check out these articles!

  1. Knowing Squat About Squats by Alex Schuld, Howard Hensen and Ryan Atkins
  2. Why I Train by Charles Staley
  3. Fuck Your Forum by Paul Carter


Got a 240lbs OHP this week, a weight that I've been wanting to press overhead for a while. Missed on 245lbs though, but I'm going to attempt it in a few days.

Also, this past week marks the 2nd year that I've been taking this whole "lifting weights" thing seriously! Here's some stuff I learned from 2 years of strength training. It might resonate with some of you.

And came across some good articles and a podcast this week:

  1. Comparing The Biomechanics Of Conventional And Sumo Deadlifts by Chris Beardsley
  2. More On Bands, Chains, And Weak Point Training by Paul Carter
  3. The Purpose of a Program by Justin Lascek
  4. Olympic vs. Power Lifting (Podcast) by Bret Contreras

Well, I finally hit that 495lbs high bar squat! I think I missed that weight 2 or 3 weeks in a row. I think a 500lbs high bar squat is just around the corner.

And also nailed a 510lbs low bar squat the next day. Short-medium term goal: 550lbs. Long term goal: 600lbs. Still a long way to go...

Anyways, here's some of my blog posts you might have missed:

  1. Q&A About My Heavy Warmup
  2. Ironmind Neck Harness Review
  3. Cardio Equipment worth $400+ that I scored for $120. Time to burn some fat!

And here are 3 solid articles I came across this week that I think you should check out:

  1. What Differentiates The Chinese? by Kirksman
  2. 3 Press Fixes by Justin Lascek
  3. Reps: Strength Training Pixie Dust by Paul Carter