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    tom05's Avatar
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    Question Feel the burn?

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    is feeling like your legs are wet spaghetti after a heavy squat a good thing or a bad thing? i always thought that "the burn" was a good thing, signifying your muscles tearing under the load, which is what you want (right?) .

    the reason i ask is that over the last 4 weeks ive switched to the stronglifts 5x5 protocol suggested by Mark in order to gain muscle. im making strength gains and feel like im seeing improvements in the mirror but the truth is after just 5 reps im not getting that burn in my quads like i used to when i was doing say 8-10 reps. Im lifting fairly heavy: im a 65kg guy currently lifting 75 in good form as the last 5x5 set, but i dont walk away with my legs on fire.

    Could i be doing more? or is the burn CW?

    thanks for the feedback!

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    Personally, I like to mix up the reps and weights. I work up to a max weight that I do for 5 or so reps, then take off around 10% of the weight and try to get at least one more rep than on the previous set. I got the idea from Martin Berkhan (Leangains). It's called a reverse pyramid. Anyway, it's just a thought. You can stick with 5x5 and probably get good results if you keep upping the weight. If you stall, try something else.

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    i did stronglifts for a little over year before i finished the beginner program. i felt the burn at first, but it sort of went away until after i passed 100kg...and even then that burn was short lived and i was never sore. but, i always got stronger. i would stall, deload, and break through the weight i stalled at. so, i don't think that burn is telling you much about muscle fatigue or tear; i think it's just saying, 'hey, your glycogen is getting low'

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    The "burn" is just an accumulation of metabolic waste -- research isn't totally confirmed whether that causes hypertrophy or strength gains. Interesting reads on lactic acid and the fallacy of where this "burn" comes from....

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/16/he...New York Times
    10 things you should know about lactic acid
    Glucose paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    js290's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom05 View Post
    Could i be doing more? or is the burn CW?
    Go beyond the burn until the muscles fail. All the previous reps are leading up to the last impossible one, which is the one that matters.

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    tom05's Avatar
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    thanks all for the response.

    i understand completely the importance and potential gain that going to failure represents, but failure on squats is a little dangerous no? I train in a cage so i could put the guides at a level that would catch the weight if i was to go down and not be able to get back up again, but i see there being a major risk, particularly to the knees, and no real comfortable way to drop the weight the extra few centimetres to get to the guides.

    i might start training with a four second movement like the video above suggests, and see how that goes.

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    lactic acid buildup is a strength endurance issue
    lack of it is fine for that pure strength program
    if it does happen you're probably not resting enough between sets

    don't do 4-4 reps in a 5*5 program, that would just create a crappy endurance program
    both approaches do good things
    pick one at a time
    i'd push on with what's going well

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom05 View Post
    thanks all for the response.

    i understand completely the importance and potential gain that going to failure represents, but failure on squats is a little dangerous no? I train in a cage so i could put the guides at a level that would catch the weight if i was to go down and not be able to get back up again, but i see there being a major risk, particularly to the knees, and no real comfortable way to drop the weight the extra few centimetres to get to the guides.

    i might start training with a four second movement like the video above suggests, and see how that goes.
    if you train in a cage or squat rack you'll be fine. do a few squats with nothing on the bar and set the guides just below the bar at the bottom of your squat. when you hit failure, you'll be able to drop a little more and slide out from beneath the bar. i went to failure all the time during stronglifts...you think you're going to have to drop the weight kind of far, but it really only works out to be an inch or two. practice dropping the bar with a weight you're more comfortable if you think you need a practice run.

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