All Your Common Greyskull LP Questions Answered!
April 18th 2019
How good is Greyskull LP as a beginner strength training program?
Does it meet all your requirements?
Is it better than Starting Strength?
These may be some of the burning questions you have before trying out Greyskull LP.
Common Greyskull LP Questions
When the program says to do chin-ups, should I do them with my palms facing me?
Traditionally, chin-ups are done with your palms facing yourself.
This is a supine grip, which is opposite of a pronated grip of a pullup.
The reasoning behind this is because you get to work on your arms, specifically your biceps.
I cannot do a chinup. What should I do?
You should still try to go for a chinup.
If you are not able to, focus on doing chinup negatives.
Strive to do a little more everyday, whether it is longer chinup negatives or more chinup negative reps.
The key is to keep improving.
Be patient and watch your progress unfold.
If I'm doing a MWF workout, would I start the following Monday with my Wednesday workout and do that twice that week?
Greyskull LP has lifters squatting twice a week and deadlifting once a week.
All other lifts are alternating.
So if you chose their standard plugin with chinups and bicep curls, bench press/bicep curls on M/F and overhead press/chinups on Wed for Week 1, this means that on your Week 2 workout will look like this:
Day 4 (Monday)
- 2x5, 1x5+ Overhead press
- 2x6-8 Chinups
- 2x5, 1x5+ Squats
Day 5 (Wednesday)
- 2x5, 1x5+ Bench press
- 2x10-12 Bicep curls
- 1x5+ Deadlifts
Day 6 (Friday)
- 2x5, 1x5+ Overhead press
- 2x6-8 Chinups
- 2x5, 1x5+ Squats
Can I add tricep extensions to the starting routine?
Yes, you can add tricep extensions to the starting routine.
Johnny Pain designed the program so that you can add in plugins to better suit your fitness goals.
Instead of being trapped only doing squat, bench press, overhead press and deadlifts, you have the freedom to scratch your bodybuilding itch if you need to.
Just make sure you do not go overboard and add in a ton of accessories.
Any recommended accessory movements?
Addressed in his book, there are a ton of variations that Johnny Pain listed to fulfill many different goals.
Goals designed to help you in fat loss, crossfit, becoming a gladiator, etc.
Nevertheless, here are some great exercises that you can definitely add:
- Neck Extensions
- Row Variations
- Olympic Lifts
- Abs work
- Calf work
- Cable machines
What weights should I start with if I am a true beginner?
If you are confident and a beginner in lifting weights, you can work up to a set of 5 that is not too challenging.
It will be very subjective.
The key is to not struggle with your working sets because you need to remember that this program should last you at least a couple of months.
Remember that you will be incrementing in weight every session.
So, it would be a bad idea to immediately start off struggling with your working sets from day one.
Another option is that you can start off with the bar for everything.
Gradually, you can work your way up so that you know that everything is light from the get-go.
What warm-ups should I do?
Warmups should be done so that you stimulate blood flow and the neural pathways in order to get ready for your working sets.
This varies for all lifters.
While there are some calculators that try to organize a systematic way for all gym-goers to warm-up, the truth is that it really depends on your conditioning and strength as well.
So, many lifters will increment by 50lbs or 90lbs until they get close to their working sets.
If you are squatting 155lbs, your warmups could look similar to this:
- Empty bar - 1x10
- 95lbs - 1x5
- 135lbs - 1x3-5
- Working sets
In another example, if you are deadlifting 325lbs, your warmups could look similar to this:
- 135lbs - 1x10
- 225lbs - 1x5
- 275lbs - 1x3
- 300lbs - 1x2
- Working set
Is there a percentage I can use to calculate my warmup sets?
Sure! Here is an online calculator that you can use to calculate your warmup sets.
Click Starting Strength and punch in your working set weight.
Should I use the neck harness?
Neck harnesses are used for neck strengthening and development.
However, many modern lifters have not used the neck harness and actually skipped these exercises.
I am one of the lifters who skipped doing neck harnesses (partially because I was a rebel).
Some lifters claim that the neck harness does not help them develop any functional strength but it does help them grow their neck.
To each their own. You may find great benefit in the neck harness.
Alternatively, this could be one exercise you really find useless. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Do you just use the base program with one plugin? What if you do not use other exercises but just the base?
Yes, I have run the program with the base and the chinup/bicep curls plugin.
If I did not want to have extra plugins for arm work, I would have just done Starting Strength.
I wanted to work hard on my lifts by also working on my aesthetics as well.
Starting Strength did not provide that for me in the same way as Greyskull LP.
Many lifters also advocate that Greyskull LP for its slower rate of progression since you only squat twice a week and deadlift once a week.
This is good in that you can maintain progress for a longer period of time.
There are also a lot of other exercises that help push Greyskull LP to be a more favorable strength program.
In addition to the base barbell workouts, Greyskull LP also has implemented bodyweight exercises and cardio on and off workout days.
This will limit your fat storage and maximize your muscle development.
What makes Greyskull LP resets so special?
When you fail to get to 3x5 on your main barbell movements, you will take off 10% of your working set and work your way back up.
Here is the kicker. Now, since you did as many reps as possible (AMRAP) sets up until your failed working set, you will try to beat all of your old previous rep PRs.
This will present a unique challenge for you since you are making strength gains while hitting new weights AND while resetting weights if you failed them in the past.
During the AMRAP sets, do we use the same weight? What if we can barely get to 5 reps?
Yes, you will use the same weights to do your AMRAP sets.
This is where you try to push yourself and make more progress if you have the strength and conditioning to do so.
If you can barely get 5 reps in on your last set, you do not need to lower the weight.
Continue to progress until you fail to get 3 sets of 5 reps on your barbell movements.
How long should I rest in between sets? In between exercises?
In between sets, you should rest between 3-5 minutes.
The harder your sets get, the longer you will need to rest.
You can jump into your next exercise as soon as you are done with your last working set of the previous exercise.
If I do pushups and chinups on my on and off days, how many are too many?
Johnny Pain never specified how many pushups and chinups you should be doing.
The major takeaway is that you are getting in a lot of reps in without impeding your workout.
As long as you are not hurting yourself or fatiguing yourself so that you cannot hit the next workout hard, you can do as many pushups and chinups as desired.
What is my experience with Greyskull LP?
You can find my review of Greyskull LP here.
I breakdown month-to-month my exact progression from my workout journal.
I also added feedback on how the program can be improved so that you can run the program longer with more successful and powerful results.