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    Stronglift 5 X 5 Journal - PrimalChat....and You?

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    After ramping up my push ups and pullups and doing some limited ring work, I'm ready to get on a more regimented schedule, so I'm going to give the next 12 weeks of my life over to the StrongLifts program. For anyone out there who doesn't know what that is, it's basically a routine of basic, compound movements using a barbell/free weights. It's composed of a squat, bench press and barbell row (the A routine) and the B routine is the squat, overhead press and the deadlift. You alternate these workouts so that you do one of them every other workout and you do this 3 times a week. So you're doing 5 sets of 5 reps, starting with the bar and adding incremental weight each time. It seems to have some real credibility based on those who I've heard use it. So I'm going to start this as my Log journal and hope that others who do the program will also post here or add comments on how they end up doing.

    Because you end up squatting every workout, by the end of the 12 weeks as you add 5 lbs. each workout, you are scheduled to be able to squat 225 lbs. How sweet would that be for me as I get back on the wagon?!

    I hope others can join me or motivate me with their own results.

    (For accountability sake, I'm 160 lbs. with 19.4% bodyfat; I'm the regular skinny fat guy. My overall goal is strength with a reduction in body fat. Whether I lose or gain weight is not of issue, but adding muscle and reducing fat would be nice although it usually doesn't work that way.)
    Resolve to Evolve

    Jeff

    Twitter: @jpickett1968

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    The stronglifts program, though nothing new, is a good one. I think Jake over there squats 600+ at 18 years old from basically doing that plus GOMAD.
    I used it for about 12 months but ended up switching to 5/3/1. I just had to much else going on and the volume and time it takes to complete some of the workouts was more than I could stand.

    Two things you must do to make it work - eat big and get plenty of rest. There's a lot of squatting involved, and once the weights start climbing you really that recovery time. Push through aches and pains, but don't push through if you feel genuinely fatigued - it just short circuits the program. Take a day or two when you need it.

    Eat your face off, sleep like a bear and stick with the program. If you put the work in, you'll be amazed at the results.
    Have at it.

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    Best of luck - a lot of us actually used or have used stronglifts or starting strength programs. After a while you might find that 5x5 is too much volume to recover from, I certainly did. Starting Strength worked better for me. Also, you might consider starting at a higher weight than Mehdi recommends, or increasing your squats and deadlifts by 10 lb per workout for the first several workouts, assuming you get some coaching in the lifts.

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    Frankly, you'd be better off with Starting Strength than Stronglifts. The volume of SL gets overwhelming in no time. Any guy or gal who squats a respectable weight and has been on the SL program, has switched to something else in some months. I don't see the point in this. As far as I can tell, you can stick with Starting Strength for a lot more time and actually progress quicker.

    Get the book and/or the DVD. The DVD will help you set your form right if you have the need to. Other than that, just visit their wiki page. Plenty of information there. There are some videos from the DVD, uploaded on YouTube, too.

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    good stuff. i loved doing stronglifts. i'm guessing you'll find that you will likely be giving more than just 12 weeks of your life to it. trying to beat your previous lifts is a great motivator to keep going. i didn't think i would stay with it for too long, but i went through the entire beginners program (1.5BW squat), then a little further...took nearly a whole year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post
    i didn't think i would stay with it for too long, but i went through the entire beginners program (1.5BW squat), then a little further...took nearly a whole year.
    Is the 1.5BW squat your one-rep max, or is that your working weight for 3 sets or however many you do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalo Chip View Post
    Is the 1.5BW squat your one-rep max, or is that your working weight for 3 sets or however many you do?
    that was a working set for me. i was right around 180 at the time, and i was pushing 275 for 5x5...that took forever, and i don't think i broke 280 for working sets before i switched to bodyweight. 305 was the last 1RM i tried...though i kept doing 5x5 after that. i thought about doing the intermediate program and going up to 2x bodyweight, but i got tired of being in the gym.

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    Did my first 5X5 today with just the bar for squats and bench press; did the prescribed 65 for barbell rows. I elected to just do 25 reps straight for the bench press and squats. I don't think that will kill my efforts, plus it saved some time. I'm in no rush since I'm also doing a push ups and pull ups challenge.

    Thanks for the advice from all - I'll have to research Starting Strength as well, but I'm content with 5X5 for now since I simply needed a plan. Anyone else who is starting - feel free to post your results here as well!
    Resolve to Evolve

    Jeff

    Twitter: @jpickett1968

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    Starting strength and another method were the two that Mehdi stole from reputable coaches when "designing" stronglifts, and it won't take you much research. Mehdi even recommends the book Starting Strength as the best single book for teaching the lifts. Buy it. Most people who start on stronglifts eventually move to starting strength when they see that 5x5 is unneccessary volume and the starting weights are too low, plus Mark Rippetoe is a very knowledgeable coach with a lot to offer on strength topics and Mehdi is not even a coach, just a website author.

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