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I did the 5x5 for about 6-7 months last year but only the 2nd half while following the PB. I have good experiences with both programs and gained a lot of strength while losing about 35lbs. The transition period when I was changing my diet while continuing the workouts were tough so be careful if you're already lifting heavy.
A friend of mine gave 5x5 a try last year and injured himself performing the deadlifts. He's had lower back pain since and recently found that he has a herniated disk (L5-S1) that may need spinal fusion surgery.
If you don't have experience doing deadlifts and weighted barbell squats I STRONGLY suggest you find someone that can provide ample instruction and guidance before jumping into 5x5 or any other similar program. Otherwise you may find yourself in a similar position - injured.
I haven't tried their suggested 2 day split but I did try doing 5 sets of 5 reps last week and I noticed I wasn't as sore as I was doing regular pyramid sets (as you increase the weight you decrease the reps) and I felt good, not as in I felt stronger, I just felt less inconvenienced by muscles that were basically useless since they were so sore.
I have just gotten back to weight lifting after a long hiatus though so it could also be attributed to that. I'm going to keep with the 5x5 approach and I was going to try their split starting next week.
They only suggest doing one set of deadlifts for 5 reps, so I think keeping the weight somewhat low and concentrating on form the chances of injury should be lower. I've been watching instructional videos on all the lifts and always go easy to get the form down and my muscles used to the movements before loading up.
I definitely want to try "The Bear" barbell routine as cardio after a workout. I'll be sure to keep it light it looks very taxing.
I like to do planks for abs, I don't mess with crunches and other exercises too much I feel they're not needed. I have nice abs I just need to lose the BF in order to showcase them.
I have a question about squats: is there anyway to avoid "the butt" ?? Will doing squats make my ass muscles bigger? This is not something I want... I know it's a bit of an odd question but I already have enough baby phat back there to get rid of, don't need to pack on muscle in that area. 5x5 Stronglifts suggest doing squats every time you work out. I'm not against it as I believe it's a great overall body workout but yeah, I'm worried about having... ass issues
Lastly, I've read that doing reps to failure can be very counter productive. "The problem with training to failure is that it is sending negative feedback to your nervous system. The next time you try to lift the weight, your nerve impulses to your muscles will be weakened a bit. This causes weaker contractions in the future" sort of makes sense to me, what do you all think? They only suggest training to failure on body weight exercises... and the article I took that paragraph form was an "anti pyramid sets" article that actually suggested the 5x5 approach ...
I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.
I started doing the 5 X 5 system about 3 weeks ago. I am in a leaning mode, but have been experimenting with this method and researched it quite a bit.
I realize the system is set for heavier weights, especially since you're only doing 5 reps per set. Because Mark recommended this program as a way to increase muscle mass I'm looking to approach it that way and so I'm purposefully starting at my bodyweight or a little less for the complex movements and I'm uppping weights from 5-10 lbs. concentrating on good form. The program recommends a 5 lb. increase each time until you can't accomplish the routines - and then you back down 10%. In that vein I see this as a periodized form of working out which I totally agree with. Going in every time to max out or push to fatigue is no good on the body.
I'm liking it so far and hope you can join me so we could support each other.
I guess I forgot to add this. While my weight has stabilized in the past few weeks, my bodyfat has decreased. ASSUMING I'm getting the right measurements, which is so difficult with bodyfat, that would mean I have gained some muscle. And who doesn't enjoy that?!
I guess I should have stated I've been doing Stronglifts for about 18months. It's the Primal Blueprint which is new to me. I've been following PB for the last month, but to be fair I wasn't that far off the "diet". Stronglifts has led me to belief Sat Fat etc is good combined with plenty of veg. I have though ramped up my Omega3 intake.
I have seen a large weight drop over the last month, 73kg down to 68kg @5'11 & 9%-11% BF -- I guess this co-insides with the diet & the fact I have laid off the squatting/deadlifting due to a groin injury I sustained pushing for a personal record on New Years Eve (Ironic hey Mark..). That'll teach me to not watch my technique. But, its a sign. Take note from what happend & learn from it.
I'm loving the PB, the rawness of it. It's Been a bit harder to fill out the calories needed to keep progress up, & to gain the strength back (Ideally gain the weight as muscle - but staying lean & building muscle is a LONG HARD game).
@jpickett - It's a great programme to follow & the forum members are very helpful. Especially if you run a training log & film yourself training for technique critque. It's actually the only training programme I've ever done & I started with empty bars.
@iniQuity - You want to loose your butt. I want mine back! I finally gained some shape but, my arse has disappeared over the last month. Seriously though, I reckon you'll develop the shape & loose the fat on your bum.
I'm hoping to lose the butt along with the fat around my midsection, all in time...
Do you do the split they suggest? I notice they are all mostly exercises that combine more than one muscle group and they don't do any isolation stuff (no bicep curl, tricep extension, etc) which I'm okay with but that would be new for me. On the site they suggest:
Bench Press 5x5
Inverted Rows 3xF
Reverse Crunch 3x12
Overhead Press 5x5
Prone Bridges (planks) 3x30sec
That's it! So every work out is a total body work out. I'm excited to see how it goes.
Is this what you've done for 18 months? any variations you'd like to share? I'm going to check out their forum...
I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.
I have been doing stronglifts for half year. I only stuck with a completely primal diet for a month and it worked fine. As long as you can get plenty of calories your fine. If I could afford to eat the 5,000+ calories and 200g of protein primal style all the time I would be doing it. Now I eat primal about 75-80% of the time.
Yes, you do have to be careful, but I'm self-taught lifter and I haven't been injured yet. Mehdi, the founder of stronglifts, has videos of himself performing some of the more technical lifts on the website along with instructions. My deadlift is only 315 x 5 but I think I would have injured myself by now if I was doing something wrong. So as long as you take the time to learn the form properly you should be fine.