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  • Ladies- 5x5 StrongLifts?

    what is the difference between this thread and the "fitness" thread?


    Who of the females have experience with 5x5 here?
    I'm 22 years old, and have been doing 5x5 for a little less than half a year now. I've seen better body comp, but my progress has been veryy slooww.

    I can't seem to add 5 pounds to each lift! That's so much each week! Isn't it?

    I've read of many comments saying that 5x5 felt very taxing to some of the females doing it. They switched over to 5/3/1 which I'm thinking of starting.


    Could anyone share their experience with 5x5?
    My Health and Nutrition Blog
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  • #2
    Sure thing. I am also in the early twenties and have been doing cardio/sprint-based sports since I started college. I started off with 5x5 Stronglifts and was doing part of the workouts wrong with the form. While the pictures and tips on the website were useful, I did not get a great handle on everything until I read Starting Strength. I changed my workout to a 3x5, and I saw better form and weight improvements. My stats went something like this:

    Stronglifts:

    Began at body weight 160lbs
    Squat: 85x1x5 (terrible form - probably didn't even get to parallel legs)
    Bench: 65x1x5
    OHP: 45x1x5
    Deadlift: 95x1x5

    Ended in 3 months, body weight around 165 lbs
    Squat: 185x1x5 (terrible form - probably didn't even get to parallel legs)
    Bench: 105x1x5
    OHP: 75x1x5
    Deadlift: 215x1x1

    Began Starting Strength for 8 months, and these are now my stats:
    150-155lbs body weight
    Squats: 170x1x5 (ass to grass)
    Bench: 100x1x5
    OHP: 75x1x5
    Deadlift: 265x1x1
    My chocolatey Primal journey

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    • #3
      I believe I offered my comments in the other thread. Please, let me know if you want any more information/experience sharing.

      I am 37, and my PBs for 1 rep at 120-130 lbs weight range were:

      SQT: 155 lbs (current ~ 145 lbs)
      DL: 205 lbs (wrong form) currently 165 lbs x3 with what supposedly is a correct form according to my PT
      OHP: 68 lbs
      PP: 75 lbs
      BBR: ~ 105 lbs but again, now since the PT corrected my form, it is 3x95 lbs
      BP: 92 lbs (awful form, though, still hoping for 95 lbs real soon)
      Last edited by Leida; 12-21-2012, 10:57 AM.
      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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      • #4
        Although I also do want to mention, now that you've entered the thread, Leida, that it also depends on how much you're eating in terms of strength gain. I'm usually eating at maintenance (or slightly below maintenance) at an average calorie intake of 2500-3000/day, while Leida is eating below maintenance, and she is constantly hungry, which probably takes a little away from strength gains. This isn't a negative towards you, Leida, but I just wanted to point out that food intake makes a difference too.
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        • #5
          I experimented with different food intakes, below, at and above maintenance. There was a slight strength increase at above maintenance caloric intake (~ 2000-2200 range), but I gained 75% of fat, and 25% muscle and then I stalled on the lifts after about 10 weeks of gains (gained about 12 lbs total, and improved lifts a wee bit).

          Interestingly, all my PBs were achieved on Madcow going on maintenance calories - at about 1600-1800 range with a stable weight. Madcow is the best protocol I tried, but I crashed like a broken doll after 3 weeks on it, right after all the wonderful gains, and had gym aversion for the first time ever.

          Below maintenance lifting is hard, and I normally did only one lifting session a week with 2 depletion and one more power lifting when calories overall come up to below maintenance (1200-1500 range on average). At those times, my lifts stayed the same, due to the feeding schedule being really crazy, but optimal. In about 4 weeks of that I would start losing muscle mass - so bm became counterproductive to goals.

          I am working maintenance right now, max/failure. I will probably do an AM stretch with this program once I get back from my vacations. I am thinking about ~ 2000 calories a day intake with ~ 200 g protein. I have not decided yet if I do that, or Madcow on AM.
          Last edited by Leida; 12-21-2012, 01:36 PM.
          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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          • #6
            What is your goal with lifting? Pure strength? Recomp?

            Personally, I found 5x5 too taxing. It was too many reps at too heavy a weight. My joints didn't like it. I wasn't getting the results I wanted either - which was recomp. I found lifting in the 8-10 rep range much more conducive for recomp.

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            • #7
              How many sets do you do with 8-10 reps, NDF?
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Leida View Post
                How many sets do you do with 8-10 reps, NDF?
                3-4

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                • #9
                  Leida, have you considered that you eat too much protein? (counterintuitive, I know!) I actually dialed back my protein intake, and not only did my overall calories reduce naturally, but my strength gains in the gym began to rebound upward.
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                  • #10
                    I also want to point out overtraining as a possible culprit. I think science is somewhat bunk sometimes when you calculate how fast your gains *should* be, since there's always some variable in everyone that unexplainably causes skews in data and your own n=1.

                    When I started Stronglifts 5x5, I was doing it 3x/week, plus 20-60 minutes of hard cardio almost every day in between. Right now I'm doing Starting Strength 3x5 2x/week, and sometimes a sprint session/week. It might just be tweaking, but everybody has different needs of rest before more growth.
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                    Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                    • #11
                      I think I have protein vary anywhere between 80 and 200+. If I do less, I am not a happy person - in my CW days that lead to a horrid results (I had something of a 70% carbs/15% protein, <10% fat thing going).

                      To be honest, I am pretty sure I just reached my ceiling. I am more interested in not hurting my wrist every few sessions, hypertrophy and overall high spirit.

                      I am trying that idea of 10 reps from 4 hour body book, where I warm up dynamically, go immediately to a relatively heavy lift for 2-3 reps, than do 7 very slow rep to reach as near a failure point as possible with a free weight. I jump rope in between. I am sure as hell gaining weight, not sure how much is muscle.

                      Just like sakura_girl I reduced the # of workouts per week. I do lifting every third day, and 1 or 2 sessions of support one-sided work with pulleys and KBs, again, per 4 Hour body.

                      3-4
                      NDF, could you comment on re-comp results if you invested enough time into the program to comment?

                      Because I am really, really tired of hurting the wrist, I am not sure if I want to continue with the strength-based lifting so hypertrophy style lifting is very tempting in combination with more intense swimming. Kindda joints saving approach, I guess.
                      I am pondering a new lifting ideas for the new year, and the only thing I know is that I would like to train Olympic lifts with the PT, keep my beloved KBs, but not sure what to do about the 5 main lifts.
                      Last edited by Leida; 12-27-2012, 10:22 AM.
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Leida View Post
                        NDF, could you comment on re-comp results if you invested enough time into the program to comment?
                        At the time, I was following a workout from the program called "Venus Index" which focuses on building an x-shaped body. I was also following a LG eating pattern, with higher carb "refeeds" only on workout days and was eating at or slightly below maintenance on non lifting days. I was also only lifting 2x a week.

                        I saw really good improvements. There are rep ranges that are specifically for hypertrophy(ie muscle growth). Those less than 8 reps generally aren't conducive to hypertrophy. Of course you also have to eat to support muscle growth and progress in your lifts(either in amount lifted or reps lifted).

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                        • #13
                          That's what I thought as well (or more correctly read about everywhere), but 4 Hour Body was using the BBS protocol with 7 lifts to failure. I am not sure there is such a huge difference between 7 and 8, but I see the difference between 1 set and the 3-4 sets.

                          I will see if I can look up Venus Index, it sounds intriguing.
                          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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