It’s been a long damn time since we’ve done a mailbag, so we thought, what better time than now?! In this episode we’re gonna cover some form questions, some mindset questions and we’re gonna get nerdy on some fitness. Vamo.


  1. It is a no-go. Using a pad when you’re squatting makes it nearly impossible to have correct stabilization of the bar on your shoulders. 
    • If you’re using a pad for help, you need to work on building up your lats and traps. 
    • If you want to barbell squat and you’re worried about bar positioning, you can try the Smith machine… we don’t love the Smith machine for everything, but when you’re learning how to squat, it’s definitely useful as it helps take some of the stress off with pulleys and brackets and such.
    • We really don’t like using a pad because the bar has too much room to roll around and shit when it’s on your back… you don’t want that, you want that barbell to be locked in.
  2. If your neck hurts, you may want to look at the positioning of the bar. The bar should be nestled on top of your traps and your shoulders. There’s a nice, natural shelf there that the bar should be. 
    • You can do high bar or low bar, but if you’re a beginner, we suggest the high bar method.
  3. We do have a full episode dedicated to the squat if you want step by step pointers on mastering your squat form.
  4. TL;DR – We have a pad at Meathead HQ and it’s only useful on days where you’re doing hip thrusts.


  1. Getting out of routine can really be a bummer. I’ve recently struggled with this and I had to go back to step one. Do what works for you. Do what keeps you showing up for yourself.
    • I had stopped going early in the morning, which has always worked best for me and was trying to cram in sessions at the end of the day when I was already exhausted. It becomes easier and easier to make excuses not to do something, especially for myself.
  2. HAVE A PLAN. If working out 5 days doesn’t work for you, find a plan or a cycle that WILL work for you. Prep the meals you CAN prep. Tetris that shit together. 
    • Consider that if you tried something before and it didn’t work out, that you didn’t fail, but that what you were doing didn’t … work. It wasn’t sustainable, for you.
  3. Start slow and ease your way back in
    • Depending on what your specialty is at the moment, easing back in can look different.
      • Are you running? Start adding distance back in little by little… same with biking, rowing, etc.
      • Are you lifting? Take 5-10lbs off of your last recorded lift weights and start there again. 
      • BE NICE TO YOURSELF – give yourself time to get back to where you were. 
  4. We covered this on a few episodes back, but, re-master one thing at a time. 
  5. Remember how you started your journey in the first place, we’re willing to bet that if you did try to perfect everything at once, that it was overwhelming. Select an attainable goal with a specified amount of time and build on getting to that goal. Snowflakes are how we build snowballs.


  1. Very quickly, if you have no idea what periodization is, check out episodes 50 and 60, then this will make a lot more sense.
  2. There’s a really great and very detailed blog post from that we will post in the show notes (YO!) if you have more questions, and I could talk about this for like two hours and just scratch the surface, SO. Basically you are planning out a day-by-day and week-by-week plan for the next x months.
    • TYPICALLY your first week will be one rep max testing, then the following three weeks you will program lifts to build strength for those 1RMs you tested.
    • There are a lot of different methods of periodization, but for sake of discussion we are gonna do a non-linear plan based on percentages. As you go on week after week, you’ll bump up your lift percentages and drop the rep count.
    • After the second four week block, take a deload for where your lift percentages drop back down to 50-60%.
    • Once you’ve reached the end of your cycle, test your 1RMs and start all over again! 🙂
    • After your deload week, hop back into your higher percentage lifts.
    • You can build your cycles to be as many weeks long as you want, it’s easiest to keep it in multiples of four though… so 8, 12, 16, 20 week plans are all very common. It all depends on what your goals are.
  3. Basically you just want to build out a month’s worth of training at a time, it’s not super difficult after a little trial and error.
  4. You WILL have to be very particular about tracking your training tho. It’s super important to write down EVERYTHING when you’re doing a periodization plan, it all matters.



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