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  • Considering SL 5x5

    After reading up on the SL 5x5 program, I am strongly considering using it for myself. For anyone else who has used this program, can you tell me which form of bench press you use? Flat, incline, decline or all?

  • #2
    I am familiar with this 5x5 program and to be quite honest, I dont think its worth your or anybody's time.

    Everyone has there own opinion and some might not agree with this, but I am a true believer of working each set to failure. If you are trying to building muscle, what is the point of stopping at 5 reps when you have the output to do more? Wouldn't you just be working within your strength?

    Muscle growth can be achieved using 5x5, but it is a slow process. My two cents.

    For bench, I usually do flat for a few weeks (6-7 weeks), then switch over to incline for a few weeks. Don't bother with decline. Dips are A LOT better.

    Hope that helps you.

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    • #3
      I think a program like Strong Lifts is fine for a beginner, just know that at some point things get a bit more interesting in terms of what you need to do to continue improving. I'm considering Strong Lifts and Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. Rippetoe seems to be very highly regarded by people a lot smarter and more knowledgeable than myself. Again, it's a starting point and he flat out says you will need to change when you get to the intermediate level. Of course for someone like myself who is starting with no weight lifting experience that might take awhile

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      • #4
        I did SL5x5 for awhile and I liked it's simplicity. The main drawback, unless you're pretty young (I'm 43), is that squatting heavy 5's 3x's a week takes it's toll. I've since switched over to Wendler 5/3/1 and am loving life.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lior View Post
          I am familiar with this 5x5 program and to be quite honest, I dont think its worth your or anybody's time.

          Everyone has there own opinion and some might not agree with this, but I am a true believer of working each set to failure. If you are trying to building muscle, what is the point of stopping at 5 reps when you have the output to do more? Wouldn't you just be working within your strength?

          Muscle growth can be achieved using 5x5, but it is a slow process. My two cents.

          For bench, I usually do flat for a few weeks (6-7 weeks), then switch over to incline for a few weeks. Don't bother with decline. Dips are A LOT better.

          Hope that helps you.
          Well, the idea appears to be to add 5 pounds to each exercise with each successive workout. With that in mind, I can understand how it could build good muscle. But, you do make a good point about the 5 reps because even when you add all the sets together that comes to 25 total reps. I had recently been doing 4 sets of 8 reps with each exercise I was performing for a total of 32 reps. But then again, is it not true that quality, not quantity, is what makes the difference? I would like a program which isn't too complex and that will give attention to all of the muscle groups, but do so without exhausting them. Most others seem to prefer combo exercises over isolation exercises. And if I can get more done in less time, but still get great results, I will be happy.

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          • #6
            Just do it.
            If anything 5*5 3 /wk is too much volume.
            If most of it wasn't sub failure it would crush you in 2 weeks.

            I can't see much reason to do inclines with overheads in the program
            Unless you really love declines just do flat.
            If you REALLY have trouble with overheads maybe decline and incline
            Dips are a great exercise but probably not for a single progression 5*5 program

            It's a progression program, flip flop exercises and you mess that up.

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            • #7
              I love 5x5, did it for about a year, then switched to 3x5 and now doing a Madcow version. I use straight Bench Press, but I spent some time figuring out the best grip for my arms. What I like about the programm, is that it does not consist from 26 different excersises done in 17 different ways. I do 1 KB workout and body-weight support excersises in addition to the big lifts. It is PLENTY!
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lior View Post
                I am familiar with this 5x5 program and to be quite honest, I dont think its worth your or anybody's time.

                Everyone has there own opinion and some might not agree with this, but I am a true believer of working each set to failure. If you are trying to building muscle, what is the point of stopping at 5 reps when you have the output to do more? Wouldn't you just be working within your strength?

                Muscle growth can be achieved using 5x5, but it is a slow process. My two cents.

                For bench, I usually do flat for a few weeks (6-7 weeks), then switch over to incline for a few weeks. Don't bother with decline. Dips are A LOT better.

                Hope that helps you.
                I think the general idea is that you pick a weight with which you'll fail at roughly 5 reps.

                For the OP - the best advice an old lifting coach ever gave me was "if you are unsure about a particular program, do it for a year and then answer your own damn question".
                Sandbag Training For MMA & Combat Sports
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lior View Post
                  I am familiar with this 5x5 program and to be quite honest, I dont think its worth your or anybody's time.

                  Everyone has there own opinion and some might not agree with this, but I am a true believer of working each set to failure. If you are trying to building muscle, what is the point of stopping at 5 reps when you have the output to do more? Wouldn't you just be working within your strength?

                  Muscle growth can be achieved using 5x5, but it is a slow process. My two cents.

                  For bench, I usually do flat for a few weeks (6-7 weeks), then switch over to incline for a few weeks. Don't bother with decline. Dips are A LOT better.

                  Hope that helps you.
                  you do work to failure...just not at first. SL has you start doing 5x5 with low weight, adding weight each time. it doesn't take long until the weight gets heavy enough for you to start failing on some of the exercises (probably the overhead press first). i did stronglifts for just over a year, and once i started squatting greater than my body weight, my sets would look like 5-4-3-3-2...so i deloaded and worked back up to that weight until i could hit 5x5. that got me up to over 1.5x BW when i decided to try a new program.

                  to the OP, stronglifts is a pretty good program. start at the beginning and get used to the exercises and work on your form. pull a 300 lb deadlift wrong and you be lifting anything for a while.
                  use the flat bench...i'm pretty sure that's what medhi suggests. if you want to add in a set or two of the incline or decline, do it if you've got the strength.
                  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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