10 Simple Answers To 10 Simple Questions; Fitness Edition

r/Fitness has a daily thread to ask about all things fitness. Here are the ones that stuck out to me.

Juha Juppi
6 min readDec 23, 2020

As I write this I am finishing up breakfast. Homemade muffin, banana, darkroast christmas blend and water. Let’s dive right into this list!

I’ve seen many videos that say for squats and deadlifts, the bar should move straight up and straight down. That a deviation from this is bad form that could lead to injury. I’ve always wondered, is there some thinking behind this?

Let’s look at this in terms of ‘zones’. If you do a squat with your toes pointed forward, is it considered a squat? Yes. How about if you turn your toes out 30 degrees? Yup. The more time you spend training one specific variation, the more your body will adapt to that specific variation. If you spend time in a variety of positions, you will adapt in multiple positions. When it comes to adding weight, you need to take careful consideration of risk of injury. While it’s true there is greater opportunity for adaptation, there is also greater opportunity for injury. So because of that, when doing weighted squats & deadlifts it’s recommended the bar move straight up and straight down.

That being said, there are a ton of benefits to training your squat/deadlifts/etc. in different ‘zones’ (ie. angles, positions, etc.). This kind of training can often challenge you in end-ranges you may not have much experience training. It’s for that reason most of that training is done with bodyweight or light resistance.

So what should you do? When doing weighted squats & deadlifts try to move the bar straight up and straight down. If you plan on training in other zones, experiment with your bodyweight at first. That would be the safest way to explore and train in new end-ranges.

My local gym is closed this upcoming Friday. I do full-body workouts MWF. Should I come back tomorrow, do an at home workout Friday, or come back on Saturday and resume a normal the following week?

If you have a specific program or specific goals, let that be the north star that guides your judgment on this. If you won’t have access to the gym for a while because of quarantine, then just have fun with it. Over the long term, consistency will be more impactful than what you do in this final workout. If it were me, i’d chose full body every time because you don’t know when you’ll have access to the gym next.

About how many times a week should I be OHP or doing shoulder work? (If I’m running a 2–3x a week Full Body split)

It depends. Are the joints involved in that movement internally or externally trainable? Aka Do you have the prerequisite movement capacity for OHP? If you don’t, then your number one priority should be internally training your shoulder until it’s ready to accept the demands of an OHP. If your shoulder is ready for OHP, then your answer is based on your goal. A volleyball player needs to do more overhead work than an office worker for example. Let your goals (strength, endurance, hypertrophy, etc.) dictate reps/sets/TUT/etc. Then apply progressive overload to the above guidelines.


Train 8 reps 4 sets 30s TUT, 45s rest. Repeat 2x per week. Add 2.5–5lbs to OHP each workout

Continue step 1 until you hit a plateau, then assess your 5 rep max (5RM)

Chose a % of your 5RM relative to your goals then repeat above steps

Photo by Gordon Cowie on Unsplash

How much does tapping your toes at the bottom of a pull up rep hurt your gains? I kinda picture it like rows where you let the barbell hit the floor before the next rep. Is this related to “time under tension”? is TUT b.s.?

  • Time under tension IS NOT b.s.
  • Use tapping your toes to enforce strict form
  • Tapping your toes a little is no issue
  • Clean reps are better than sloppy reps, tap your toes if you need to

Since gyms are closed again and I’ve got basically no equipment, my current plan is to just do a set of pushups every hour and then the next day a set of pullups every hour, can I alternate these every day or do I need a rest day? Is this an effective method in the first place?

Set clearly defined goals for yourself. The more random your workout, the more random the result. In order to know if any routine is effective you need to know the goal of the person and the readiness of their body. Doing something like this might be a fun challenge, but I would not recommend it as the sole source of someones exercise. It’s too vague.

I’m in lockdown and filled a backpack with sand bottles and small weights up to a total of 37kg. I rely on weighted bodyweight exercises but can’t figure out how to train my lower body effectively, should I do a lot of unilateral exercises? I follow a PPL for 6 days a week any tips for lower body exercises?

  1. Try a free ‘Kinstretch’ class online and try it. It’s bodyweight focused and that will both challenge you in new ways and teach you about yourself
  2. If you want more lower body exercises, google ‘knee dominant’ or ‘hip dominant’ lower body exercises. Options include: Split Squat, Goblet Squat, Overhead Squat, Jump Squat, Sumo Deadlift, Good Morning, BB Hip Thrust, Single Leg Deadlift, Piston Squat, Fire Hydrants, Cossack Squat, etc.

Why is my deadlift so low?

Too vague a question. Instead consider asking:

  1. Do my joints have the prerequisite movement capacity involved in doing a deadlift?
  2. How does my form look during a deadlift?
  3. Am I using progressive overload? aka is each deadlift session a little harder than the previous?
  4. Are you fully recovering in between deadlift sessions?
  5. Are you deadlifting at least 2–3x per week to elicit change?

What’s great about being on a good program?

A great program helps you achieve a goal faster than you would have yourself. An appropriately timed program takes the guess work out of; what to do, when to do it, how hard to work, when to rest, where to train, what to eat, etc. Can you figure all that out yourself? Technically, but a good program fast tracks your journey to ‘figuring it out’.

Photo by Gordon Cowie on Unsplash

Due to injury can I build a good back just through machine work? Also due to the time that I go to, I usually end up on the bench press machine. Would it still build decent mass as long as I progress overload?

  • You didn’t share details about the injury, so the safest option is to see a medical professional

Would i benefit more from doing bodyweight calf raises (one set of 50–100 reps) daily or barbell weighted calf raises (3–4 sets of 12–20) 2–4 times a week?

You would benefit from progressive overload. Options include…

  1. High Reps/Low Weight →Low Reps/High Weight
  2. Low Time Under Tension → High Time Under Tension
  3. Low Frequency Per Week → High Frequency Per Week
  4. High Rest → Low Rest
  5. Low Set Amount → High Set Amount



Juha Juppi

🔻 Improving fitness with mobility training 🔻 FRC® FRA® 🏋️ 🔻The Juha Juppi Podcast🎙️ 🎧 ⤵️ podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-juha-juppi-podcast/id1492722292