Chewy, I agree on ALL accounts!
I think getting away from the SL5x5 beginner has helped me see that maybe I should move on from it to at least madcow's or SL advanced. I think my body will thank me in the long run. They both still squat 3x per week like I want to do, but they're periodized and not all heavy, all the time. I really don't plan to gain much more body weight and with where my numbers are on the bar, I think it won't hurt to change gears. So, I'm not overly concerned with squeezing everything I can out of the beginner program. After all, this is a lifelong race we're running here...much bigger than this or that program.
Just a recap of where I came from to where I am now (6 months):
BW/AGE/HT: 31yrs. young, 5'8" - 173cm
78kg @ 21+% bodyfat => 84kg @ 15% bodyfat
60kg - 6 reps => 95kg - 5x5
75kg - 10 reps => 123kg - 8 reps, 5x5
35kg - 5 reps => 65kg - 5x5
85kg - 5 reps => 155kg 5 reps
Along the way, I've done little cardio work and zero speed or agility work, thinking I needed to build a base of strength first and then worry about those things. While I'm not the strongest I could be at this body weight, I think that I want to start doing the other things, too. Perhaps, 5/3/1 without any assistance exercises - JUST the 4 core lifts, will allow room in my recovery ability to do just that.
Just thinking and typing here...Throwing it out there for suggestions or comments.