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Trillium's Stronglifts (+) blog


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Thanks! I will seek chewy's info on creatine out.

 

I guess I feel like I'm hitting a bit of a wall since I'm not able to do 5x5 of most exercises at max weight, adding 1.25k each workout. It's getting to the point where I have a few "warm up" sets, working the weight up, and then do the last set or two with the weight total increased (increased from my max the week before). I usually fail on the last rep or two of the final set with the extra weight. It is actually the bench press, overhead press, and barbell rows that are getting hardest. I haven't failed on any squats or deadlifts yet, so I feel there's still a decent amount of room for improvement. I guess I'll give it another couple of weeks and see.

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I guess I feel like I'm hitting a bit of a wall since I'm not able to do 5x5 of most exercises at max weight, adding 1.25k each workout.
There is not a single person this doesn't happen to, it's why Stronglifts has a deload procedure. But what you're not doing is trying all 5 sets at max weight. Whatever weight you're due to do, you attempt 5 sets at that weight. If you fail you get as many reps as you can each of the 5 sets, and you take the same weight next workout. Don't go down in weight for the last sets - you don't get stronger lifting a weight you can already do 5x5 for. And only after you fail a weight 3 workouts in a row do you deload 10-20% and work back up.

 

It's when you start to mess with these beginner progs that they usually stop working - different loading, incorrect deloading, different rep/set schemes, adding assistance exercises, tiring yourself out with assistance, not giving the main exercises the proper focus, doing too much outside of workouts, not enough (or worse - too many) days per week.

 

I looked at creatine the same way, looking for a way to push through a wall. It isn't a miracle cure, it makes a bit of a difference but not much. But the walls you're hitting will get broken down anyway if you're smart with your training, and also acknowledge that these are supposed to happen. You can't add weight every workout for ever, get that in your head early. Everyone stalls and it's part of the program.

 

If you feel like you're hitting a wall, drop the assistance (or do less - including kettlebell stuff) and see if that helps. Squats/Bench/Rows, Squats/OHP/Dead is plenty when you're trying to hit multiple sets of 5 maxes every workout. You sound like you're doing too much. After you deload 2 or 3 times properly on squats, drop it to 3x5 and when the same happens with that drop to 1x5 (drop the volume basically). If you're still stalling while gaining weight then, it's time to move onto an intermediate program.

 

Less is more.

 

(PS congrats on the weight gain)

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I guess I feel like I'm hitting a bit of a wall since I'm not able to do 5x5 of most exercises at max weight, adding 1.25k each workout.
There is not a single person this doesn't happen to, it's why Stronglifts has a deload procedure. But what you're not doing is trying all 5 sets at max weight. Whatever weight you're due to do, you attempt 5 sets at that weight. If you fail you get as many reps as you can each of the 5 sets, and you take the same weight next workout. Don't go down in weight for the last sets - you don't get stronger lifting a weight you can already do 5x5 for. And only after you fail a weight 3 workouts in a row do you deload 10-20% and work back up.

 

It's when you start to mess with these beginner progs that they usually stop working - different loading, incorrect deloading, different rep/set schemes, adding assistance exercises, tiring yourself out with assistance, not giving the main exercises the proper focus, doing too much outside of workouts, not enough (or worse - too many) days per week.

 

I looked at creatine the same way, looking for a way to push through a wall. It isn't a miracle cure, it makes a bit of a difference but not much. But the walls you're hitting will get broken down anyway if you're smart with your training, and also acknowledge that these are supposed to happen. You can't add weight every workout for ever, get that in your head early. Everyone stalls and it's part of the program.

 

If you feel like you're hitting a wall, drop the assistance (or do less - including kettlebell stuff) and see if that helps. Squats/Bench/Rows, Squats/OHP/Dead is plenty when you're trying to hit multiple sets of 5 maxes every workout. You sound like you're doing too much. After you deload 2 or 3 times properly on squats, drop it to 3x5 and when the same happens with that drop to 1x5 (drop the volume basically). If you're still stalling while gaining weight then, it's time to move onto an intermediate program.

 

Less is more.

 

(PS congrats on the weight gain)

+1

 

It would also help to read the SL 5x5 report. It explains everything said here and more. I made the mistake of lifting for 6 months before reading it.

http://stronglifts.com/5x5-report-too-late/

http://stronglifts.com/when-to-switch-from-stronglifts-5x5-to-other-programs/

Explore the site and read up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, after two weeks off I finally got myself back in the gym this morning and it felt GREAT. I wasn't feeling very well for a couple of weeks, but I took the time to read the stronglifts report that gsop linked me to above, and it cleared a lot of things up for me. I wasn't too ambitious with starting back, since I'd been doing some weird things with my sets before, and hadn't been in full health for a little while, but I'm pretty pleased with how I did:

 

Stronglifts #20 (Thu 21/04/11)

Squat: 30kx5, 50kx5

60k 5x5

Press:20kx5

22.5k 5x5

Dead: 50kx5, 62.5kx5

 

I also decided to give it a shot to make it to the gym 3 times a week and stick to this program without other training in between (means I'll have to cut back riding my bike around since my legs feel like dead weights if I try to ride the same day as squatting). So far today I had a smoothie with rolled oats and spelt for breakfast. Post-workout just now (11:00am) I had another smoothie with rolled oats, spelt, pumpkin seeds, cooked brown rice, linseed, and a scoop of protein powder. Will have more solid food later in the day

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Glad to hear you're feeling better and back in the gym, Trillium! Also, good to see that you've made the decision to run the SL program straight up.

IMO, it should pay off some great dividends for you! ...and as the weights go up, start foam rolling if you aren't already.

Also, check out this link for building a BIG squat.

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=23315

All the best to you!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I haven't been posting much, mostly because my workouts have been more sporadic than I would like. This morning I went to the gym and warmed up on the rowing machine for 5 minutes, then warmed up on squats, doing 5 at just bar (20k), 5 with 50kg, then onto 90kg (I have been doing this method with two warm up sets consistently right up to 90kg) which was 2.5kg heavier than last session in accordance with the stronglifts program I'm doing. (In my log here I hadn't been counting bar weight since I wasn't sure how heavy it was). My hamstrings were a little sore from my workout on Monday (today is Thurdsay), but I got through the first two sets no problem (they were hard, but I made it). On the third rep of the third set i felt/heard a loud popping in my back and immediately rested the bar down on the pins (first time I've failed on squats, and was really glad I set the pins up every time). It didn't hurt straightaway but I could tell something was wrong, so I packed up the weights and went home. My back felt stiffer and stiffer on the way home so I went to the doctor straight away. By the time I got there it was so sore I couldnt sit down, so I stood waiting for half an hour or so, then a nurse saw me, since there were no doctors around. She listened to my account, then basically said take a panadol (paracetamol), some voltaren maybe, and move my back around.

 

A few hours later now it is killing me to sit or lay down so I have to shuffle around the house or sit and deal with the pain. I'm going to see the doctor tomorrow about it. Any advice in the meantime would be appreciated. Cheers.

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Sorry to hear about your injury =[

 

In my opinion you're not warming up enough. I don't think cardio machines prepare you for squatting, and you're not doing enough warmup sets.

 

Examples of how you can ladder up are here - http://stronglifts.com/5-rules-to-find-your-perfect-warm-up-weight/

 

I highly recommend this warmup, or something along the lines;

http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask_joe/archives/ask_joe_08-10-03.html#question04

 

In addition I do a shoulder warmup as well before squatting.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for the advice. I will start trying the warmup you linked, as well as doing some pilates before lifting each time (which I stopped one or two weeks before injuring my back).

 

I'm back in the gym again, but squats and deads are not feeling so good, so I'm going to make some changes to how I work out as well as drop the weight on squats and deads and work back up. Because I used to feel so ruined after just the squats and not have much energy for other exercises, and so that I can ride my bike around again (without my legs feeling like lead from squatting several times a week), I've decided to workout three times per week, and break it up like:

 

1) Squats, pull ups

2) Bench press, overhead press

3) Rows, deadlifts

 

This way I'm in and out of the gym in under an hour, so I don't feel stressed about spending extra time warming up/cooling down, and my body doesn't feel as wrecked afterwards. I know it isn't supposed to be a good idea to alter the 5x5 program, but I'm still doing all the core exercises, I'm just doing less each workout and progressing more slowly.

 

Monday (06/06/11)

Squats: 20x5, 40x5, 50x5, 70x5, 80 4x5, 70x5

The last set at 80k didn't feel so great, so I dropped back down for the last set.

 

Wednesday (08/06/11)

OHP: 20x5, 30x5, 40k 5x5

Bench press: 20x5, 30x5, 40x5, 50k 5x5

 

Friday (10/06/11)

Row: 20x5, 30x5, 40x5, 50k 5x5

Deadlift: 40x5, 60x5, 80x5, 87.5x3

 

I stopped short of the last two deadlifts because I felt a tweak in my lower back, I'm going to drop the final weight back to 70k or so next time, same deal with squats. Advice on this new plan appreciated!

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