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Hi everyone. Been lurking around on here for a while, and finally decided to take the plunge and keep a blog. Maybe for me, maybe to keep me honest. But, definitely for all the great support I've seen on here. I was a bad lacto-ovo vegetarian for 7-years. I say bad because I felt I was a bad representative of the cause--relied too much on carbs, processed foods, and looked like hell. I was 5'10 and topped out at a bulbous 236 lbs on 9/12/10. That was the day I decided to take control of my life. I adopted a cleaner eating schedule, started exercising, and now I am 179 lbs and have decided it was time to bring weight-lifting into my life. I became fully vegan on the first of the year, and it has been the best choice I have ever made. After a bunch of research, I decided to do Stronglifts 5X5. In addition, I do Bikram yoga on the Tu/Thurs off-days because I enjoy the meditative aspects. I started last week, so I'll fill-in those days. My goal is to build strength and bulk and hopefully thin out the belly fat I'm still carrying around with me. Here we go:




Squat 5x5 @ 50

Bench 5x5 @ 50

Barbel Row 5x5 @ 65


I was tooling around with weights for a few weeks before I decided on this program, so I wasn't a complete weakling, and the yoga and exercise helped, too. So this wasn't difficult at all for me. I resisted the urge to go heavier, as if I've learned anything from reading blogs/forums about this workout, the weight progression becomes intense. Also, I recognized that I needed to practice my form as the BP was the only lift I was familiar with. I watched plenty of vids on the other two, though.



Squat 5x5 @ 55

OHP 5x5 @ 45

Deadlift 5x5 @ 90


Ok. I realized afterwards that I was supposed to do DL @ 1X5, not 5x5, but it still wasn't laborious for me to complete the 5x5. I also didn't recognize the warm-up sets, but I am a little confused on how to accomplish this. It looks like I should do a warm-up set at about 33-50% of max weight, then at about 65-75% max weight. Since the Olympic bar is 45-lbs alone, I don't know how this is possible for Squat and OHP. I would guess I could warm-up with body-weight squats, but the OHP eludes me. Any help? Anyway, this was all pretty easy for me.



Squat 5x5 @ 60

BP 5x5 @ 67

Row 5x5 @ 70


Again, pretty easy. The BP was still way too easy at a 5-lb increase, so I bumped it up to 67. I know it's an odd number, but the free-weights I have only could be configured to be 67-lbs since the smaller weights I have are 2.75 or 5.5, so a strict 5 or 10 lb increase wasn't possible.



Squat 5x5 @ 65

OHP 5x5 @ 50

Deadlift 1x5 @ 100


No problems today either. I warmed-up with just the bar on the first round of DL and at 78 (two 11s and two 5.5s) and with body weight on the squats. But, I still don't know about how to warm-up the OHP.


I also logged my meals for 9/24


6:00 AM Smoothie (banana, blueberries, strawberries, pea protein, almond milk)

323K 53gC 19.2gP 7.2gF


8:30 AM Orange

86K 22C 1.7P .2F


11:30 AM Brown Rice, Homemade Seitan Mock Chicken (Vital Wheat Gluten & Almond Flour and some seasoning), broccoli, and cauliflower

506K 66C 53.9P 6.4F


2:30 PM Vega One and Almond Milk

178K 13C 16P 7.5F


5:00 PM Post-Workout Meal Pea Protein and Almond Milk

110K 3C 16P 4.5F


8:30 PM Black Bean, Asparagus, Brown Rice and Red Bell Pepper Stir-Fry

709K 126C 35P 6.5F


2012K 283C 142P 32F


Any input on diet? I would like to be able to reach higher protein goals with less carb intake, but that seems to be difficult unless I eat nothing but the pea protein, as it's a 16:1 P:C ratio, and the Mock Chicken. All suggestions are gladly welcomed.

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Ok, day 5 of SL...


I work out after work, so I'm usually a little fried in the brain by then. For some reason, when I was loading the bar in my head my math was ridiculously off (hey, I teach English). The bar had two 5.5s and two 2.75 on it already, so I had the idea to take those off and put on two 11s (for 67, which was what today should have been). When I went over to my rack, two 11s turned into two 22s (11X2 = 22? I'm guessing that's what I was thinking). Anyway, I put 89 on the bar. It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, these squats were insanely tough. I did them. Maybe not as clean as I should have, and with a 5-minute break between set 4 and 5. For my next session, should I go back to the 67 I was supposed to do, progress to 72, or simply make 89 my new starting point? Not sure I can hit 94 next time around, as I wasn't ready for 89, despite finishing the set. I'm guessing the smart answer is the 72, so I don't hurt myself.


Squat 5X5 @ 89 (I did two 3x5 with body weight and a 3x5 with the bar as warm-up???)

OHP 5x5 @ 50 (I warmed-up with dumb bells two 3x5 with 15 and a 3x5 with 25. Dunno if the dumb bells are a good idea???)

DL 1x5 @ 100 (warmed-up with bar)


No problem with the OHP. Still easy and I want to bump up quicker, but I'll stick with progression. The DL was fine, too. I think my form is really improving. Though now, about an hour after my workout that I am typing this, my lower left back is reacting a bit, to the squats, not doubt (I had some back surgery in the not too distant past, but I was cleared to exercise).




6AM: Green Smoothie (Spinach, parsley, celery, pear, ginger, jalapeno, homemade vegetable stock, flax seed, hemp protein)

409K 70C 24P 7.5F


8:30AM: Apple

84K 16.7C 0P 0F


11:30AM: Homemade hummus over mixed greens

258K 36C 15.1P 7.1F


2:30PM Blueberries

97K 25C 1.3P .6F


5:00PM Protein shake (Hemp, Pea and Vega One with Almond Milk)

418K 33C 41P 13.5F



8:30 2 Quorn Chicken Patties and Asparagus

360K 31C 20P 13.4F


Totals 1776K 218C 114P 62F 45%/24P/29F

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Hi Dylan, thanks. I'm Blaine. Still worried about my carb/protein ratios, though.




Squats 5x5 @ 72

Bench Press 5x5 @ 72

Rows 5x5 @ 75


Well, after my math problems on Wednesday, I was extra-diligent with the numbers. My back is still pretty sensitive to the squats after the mistake in weight jump, but it wasn't pain while squatting, just soreness afterwards. The urge to add extra curls or dips into the routine is definitely coming up. I have to admit that I snuck in a few dips and push ups today. I hope that doesn't complicate the integrity of the SL routine. Anyone have some input on throwing in a few cheat exercises?


7:30AM Apple


9:00 AM Vega One and Pea Protein Shake


11:30AM 1.5 cup of lentils


2:00 PM 2 smart dogs with soy chili and daiya cheese


5:00 PM Vega one and Pea Protein Shake


7:30 PM two lentil-olive burgers (homemade)


2065K 277C 149P 40F


Man, I ate a lot today. After lunch, I felt stuffed. It was difficult eating this much food. Until I started lifting, I ate on average about 1200K/day; oftentimes, 900K. Not healthy, I know, but I did lose weight (and muscle).

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@ CO I dunno. Maybe I'm reading too much into the carnivores and their go-go-protein mentality. I just want to make sure I'm maximizing my effort by dieting correctly. I'm finally at a decent height-to-weight, so I worry about my carbs being way above my protein. I don't want to gain fat-weight; in fact, I'm starting the training to try to trim that belly/chest fat.


10/1 Week 3!


I warmed up with 3x5 for all three exercises.


Squat 5x5 @ 77

Bench 5x5 @ 77

Row 5x5 @ 80


My attitude going in was great. I really look forward to this. I'm guessing it's no accident that this has gained popularity since it's easy in terms of time commitment and memorizing the routine and it has that great element of self-competition where you can't wait to add that extra weight. I'm disappointed I have to wait until Wednesday to lift again! It's going to be hard to resist sneaking in something.


I tried to really take things slow and concentrate on form. I recognize that, at week 3, the weight is going to start getting into zones I've never lifted before, so I want to make sure I'm as clean as possible with my movements. Although none of the lifts were difficult individually, I did notice that I was activating some muscles that I haven't felt activated in the previous workouts. During the squats I could really feel my bi's being worked...dunno if that's unusual or not...and after the squats, when I went to the bench, I could feel some burn in my abs. I guess this might be attributable to the total weight of the workout getting higher. Out of the three, the rows gave me the most trouble. I finished, but the on #4 and #5 of the last set I was working hard.


8AM Vega One/Pea Protein with Almond Milk


11AM Almonds and Walnuts


4PM Vega One/Pea Protein with Almond Milk


5PM Dates and a banana


7:30PM Tofu Stir-Fry with corn, black beans, and tomatoes served on a bed of spinach


Totals: 1879K 193C 159P 67F 38%C/32%P/30%F


Too much fat, I think, but none of it was bad fat. I was happy to be at 122% of my required iron intake, as I struggle to hit my daily goals with that. No carbs from anything white, so that was good (well, almond milk is white, but that doesn't count). Again, I feel really sated. Nearly 1900K is still a lot for me. I wonder on my off days if I should dial down a bit, or do I need to maintain the calories even on those days to maximize growth gains.

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Squats 5x5 @ 83.5 (5x5 Warm-up with 45 3X5 warmup with 67)

OHP 5X5 @ 60 (5X5 Warm-up with 25 dumbells)

Deadlift 1x5 @ 110 (3x5 Warm-up with bar)


Well, nothing again was too hard. The squats were still manageable. I am working out at home, so I'm fearing I'm starting to near a weight that will become difficult to sort of clean and jerk over my head. I really don't want to join a gym solely based on squats, as my time is very limited, and I'm afraid it'll be an excuse for me. I'll keep my eyes on Craigslist and try to buy one if the price is right. I was focusing on keeping my back in-line and I could notice that but more burn into my abs. The OHP was nominally difficult when I got to the 5th set. I lost my balance a little bit on #5. I think I may have done 6 sets of this. I really need to mark the sets as I go along, as I think I've done 6 on a few occasions. Although I know it's not that heavy compared to some numbers I've seen on here, I was stoked to deadlift 110. I've never dead lifted in my life, so it was exciting to load two bigger plates on the bar. I work out after work, and before my night teaching gig, so when I came home at 9:00 I threw in dips @ 2x25. I cheated on the program a bit, but I've never done 25 solid, consecutive dips in my life, so that was cool. I am only three weeks in, but it looks like my body has changed a bit; I don't know if this is me projected hoped for gains on myself, or if this is enough time to actually see some results. Now, I am only three-weeks in to the SL program, but I was lifting for three weeks prior to this using a split routine, but I was still clueless as to a bonafide program.


8:00 AM Dates and Bananas

10:00 AM Hummus and Spinach

12:00 PM Strawberries

1:00 PM Soy crumbles, pinto bean, corn, and tomato concoction over a bed of spinach

4:00 PM Vega One/Hemp Protein/Pea Protein with Almond Milk

8:00 PM 2 Boca burgers with Daiya and spinach


1576K 219C 110P 36F 53%C/27%P/20%F


I have been relying on soy a little too much lately, but I've been so busy, it's been hard to play catch-up and construct homemade meals that meet my protein requirement. Things should calm down after this weekend (fingers crossed).

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10/5 Last day of Week 3--25% through the 12-week program!


Been a long week where the periods I work out are my only downtime which, in a way, is good since I look forward to that time.


Squats 5X5 @ 88 (2x5 @ 45 / 1X5 @ 67)

Bench 5x5 @88 (2X5 @ 45 / 1X5 @ 67)

Row 5x5 @85 (2x5 @ 45 / 1 X 5 @ 67)


Well, I am sort of glad that I miscalculated last week and inadvertently squatted 88lbs instead of 72 because it helped me gauge my strength this time around. When I mistakenly put that weight on the bar, I finished all 5 sets, but man it was difficult. I was pressing. This time around. It was worked the 88lbs with relative ease. So, that was cool. It was a tangible representation to me that I am doing something right! I notice that set 1 is always tight and getting my butt below my knees sends me into a bit of a groan, then sets 2 -3 (sometimes even 4) I seem to be popping up and down smoothly, then the groans return for 5. The bench, easy, and I am considering moving up 10?? Though, once again, I can see the strength gains. I fractured my sternum years ago, and my chest atrophied quite a bit and I was always reluctant to BP afterwards. Even 2-3 years later an audible pop could be heard when I BP'd. Anyways, my chest was always weak and even 4-weeks ago I couldn't bench 88lbs 5X, let alone 5X5. Rows still the toughest of the three exercises. By exercise three I'm struggling with #4 and 5.


1976K 249C 145P 55F 49%C/27%P/24%F

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Week 4




Squats 5x5 @ 93

OHP 5x5 @ 60

DL 1x5 @ 120


I had written this all up, then I was called away from the computer. When I came back, it said I had to re-log-in...so I'm just posting the short version! I did 3x5 warmups and 1X5 warmups for all three.



Squats 5x5 @ 100 (3x5 @ 56 / 1x5 @ 78)

BP 5x5 @ 95 (3x5 @ 56 / 1 x 5 @ 78)

Row 5x5 @ 90 (3x5 @ 45 / 1 X5 @ 67)


It was cool squatting a 100. Every day the routine is setting new records, so that's a great motivator. Finally got the squat rack figured out. I was nervous about the weird clean-and-jerk-like maneuver I would have to do to get the bar onto my shoulders, especially next week when the routine is going to be up at 120#. I think on Monday's routine I tweaked something doing it because my right shoulder hurts. So the problem is solved now. Got the rack. Bench, no problem. And, the rows, which had given me the most trouble, were easier today, too.


Not gonna post calories today, yet. I am on fall break (as a teacher, not a student), so I promised myself that I wouldn't leave the house at all today and focus on getting much needed chores done; that said, I need to go grocery shopping badly, and haven't had a lot to eat around. Honestly, I like workout more than eating. It's extremely difficult for me to get those calories down. On Monday I was more worn out trying to get food down my throat to meet my 2000K goal (which some tell me is still too little), than from the workout. I'm probably only at about 600/700K (2X vega one / pea protein with almond milk and two boca burgers) for the day, so it's going to be hard to hit 2000 without stuffing myself. I have one room left to paint to keep my promise to myself, so if I get that done sooner than later, I should be able to hit the Sprouts by 8PM.


I started working out with weights religiously about 7-weeks ago. When I began, I would fluctuate between 173-175lbs/daily. I weigh myself at least 3x/day (don't worry, my shrink works on my body dysmorphia issues!); currently, I bounce between 179 - 181.5. Of course, for me, that freaks me out, so I was wondering if putting on 6-lbs of muscle is possible in that time frame. My waist isn't any bigger, so that's good.

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If you are working out regularly, which you are, your body needs the carbs and is using them. There are a lot of very cut people that take in very small amounts of protein and very large loads of carbs. From what you have posted it sounds like your ratio is pretty decent. I wouldn't stress over ratios. Just make sure your body is getting a variety of whole foods. It will preform better on real foods than if you are mostly just eating and drinking supplements. Supplements can be helpful but try not to focus or rely on them for the bulk of your intakes.



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10/12 End of Week 4


Squats 5x5 @ 105 (3x5 @ 56 / 1 x 5 @ 89)

OHP 5 x 5 @ 70 (3x 5 @ 45 / 1 x5 @ 67)

DL 1 x 5 @130 (3x5 @ 67 / 1x5 @ 100)


Squats are getting tough. I was struggling through them. I finished, and it felt good, but I gotta say, I was pushing. I essentially did 6 sets of OHP since the warm-up set was only 3 lbs difference and higher than Monday's reps (65#). I thought I might not be able to finish them, but ironically, I seem to get stronger as I move on. Always on the first set, regardless of the exercise, I seem to struggle and think, "Oh crap...I'm never gonna make 5." But, I always have.


9AM Almond Milk, Vega One, Pea Protein


11AM Apple, almonds


1:30 PM Sprouted bread, almond butter, banana


4:00 PM Almond Milk, Vega One, Pea Protein


8:00 PM Mixed mushroom stirfry with spinach and quinoa


2323K 287C 136P 86F 47%C/ 22P/ 31F

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Week 5 10/15


Squat 5x5 @111 (Warmup 3x5 @ 56/67/89)

Bench Press @ 100 (Warm 3x5 56/67/78)

Row @ 95 (Warmup 3x5 @ 56/56/67)


Got a late start today, as I worked out my son at third-base for about an hour after school. Normally, I hit my workout at around 4PM, but that got delayed, then I had to teach my night class, so I didn't get it in until 9PM. Now I am kind of wired, and there's no way I am getting in 8-hours of sleep. My sleep is notoriously poor. I have never been a good sleeper. I think this will be my next goal--try for 8-hours/day. My hip has been a bit tender, but I've been able to work through it. I don't actually feel pain while squatting, but it is stiff afterwards.


7AM--Gala Apple

9AM--Navel Orange

Noon--Vega one/Pea Protein

1PM--Sweet Potato

5PM--Brown Rice, mushroom, broccoli, and chicken seitan stir-fry

9PM--Vega One/Pea Protein/Almond Milk


1325K 164C/117P/26F 48%C/34%P/18%F


Yeah, my calorie intake was on the low side today. This is actually closer to what I am used to eating each day. I like my splits more today. Maybe I am subconsciously on the low side because I weighed in at 184.5-lbs today which is about a 10-lb increase from when I started back in late August. I am sure some is water weight and some is muscle gain, so I shouldn't obsess, but that is my nature. I am willing to play this out because I know I am not even 50% through the program. My biceps are noticeably bigger. Which, considering I am not doing all kinds of isolation exercises on the biceps, is awesome. I'm not really sure how they are increasing so, since I never experience any sort of burn or strain in them. I was wearing a short-sleeve shirt at work today and one of the (female) co-workers commented in quite the exclamatory manner that my arms looked big(ger). So that was cool. And, my legs...well, there's no doubt they have increased in size. My hamstrings are at a size that they've never been before and the vastus medialis (yeah, I Googled that) is bulging (well, at least in my mind!). I'm digging it. I am curious about proportions: my right bicep is bigger than my left, but my left tricep is appreciably bigger than my right, as is my left pectoral muscle. Is my body just gonna play catch-up?

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Week 5 10/17


Squats 5x5 @ 116 (warm-up 1X5 @ 56/1X5 @ 67/ 1x5 @ 89/)

OHP 5x5 @ 78 (warm-up 1x5 @ 45/1x5 @ 56/ 1x5 @ 67)

DL 1x5 @ 140 (warm-up 1x5 @ 78/ 2x5 @ 111)


Ok, first-off, coolest thing was loading the two 45's on either side of the bar. Have never busted out the big guns before. This is the first day-after where I feel a bit worked over. The weights are getting officially heavy at this point for me. Still need to work on getting more sleep. 6-hours last night. And, maybe 5.5 the night before. I was extremely tired for yesterday's workout.


7AM Apple


9AM Sprouted bread with pumpkin butter and almond butter


11:30 raw revolution bar, almonds


4PM Dates


6PM Almond milk, pea protein, Vega One


8PM Mushroom, spinach, carrot and tofu stir fry


1746K 170C/106P/81F 37%/23%/40%

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Week 5 (2.0?) 10/22


I didn't skip a day, well I did, but not out of sloth. My hip was hurting after Wednesday's workout. I thought it could clear up by Friday, maybe just a little soreness, but it really didn't snap back. Had back surgery in June, so I figured I would err on the side of caution. It killed me to skip the workout as I was on the verge of being on Week 6. But, I guess being careful is better than being prostrate on the floor screaming in pain. I wasn't sure if I should continue the 5# increase after 4 days off or re-lift the weight from my last workout. Call it determination or call it ego, but I decided to continue with the increase.


Squat 5x5 @122 (due to my configuration of plates, I had to go up 7#) (Warm-up: 1x5 @45/ 1x5 @ 60 / 1x5 @ 98)

BP 5x5 @ 105 ((I lost count, I may have done 6x5) 1x5 @ 45/ 1x5 @ 55/ 1x5 @88)

Row 5x5 @ 100 (1x5 @45/ 1x5 @56/ 1x5 @89)


I can't say it was too much of a struggle. I was worried going in, but tried to clear my mind and just focus on the exercise, not the prospect of failing. Of course, the fact that my sciatica is flaring up was always in the back of my mind.


1226k 93C/134P/43F 29%C/41%P/30%F


Not making good on my 8-hours, yet. Really, I just work too much and need my awake downtime at night. Maybe I'll sleep in 2013.

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Week 7 10/29


Wasn't slacking, my friggin' hard drive fried on my laptop. Still waiting for the replacement drive to come in, but I dragged out my old laptop when I finally found it in a box inside a box inside a box. Getting to Mars might've been easier. Anyway, it's intolerably slow, but I wanted to get this up before I forgot. I wont bore you all with the tedious review of my past exercises, just catch you up to date with what's going on. I'm still on track and enjoying it.


Squats 5X 133 (1x67/1x89/1x111)

OHP 5x 78 (1x45/1x56/1x67)

DL 1x160 (1x100/1x100/1x122)


My last go round with the OHP I struggled with my form. I completed the 5x78, but I wasn't happy with how I struggled on #4 & #5 later in the set, so I decided to do an ego check and stick with 78 for this go round. It was much smoother and was probably the best idea. Man, those squats are getting killer. By week 10 I'll be at bodyweight (180) unless there's a set back. It's funny how with all the other lifts they get harder as the sets go on, but with the squats it always seems like set 1 and 2 are the most difficult. The idea that I'm not going to make it always creeps into my mind. Then, the stiffness seems to shake out of me and they actually get easier. I'm still feeling some discomfort, but most after I re-rack the weight and get it off my shoulders.


The DL...oh boy. The grip is getting difficult at 160. I think I will go with 160 again on Friday, as on #5 I kinda stumbled (well, no "kinda," I did) backwards. With the form being lackluster, I shouldn't reward myself with a bump. I'll hold off on food since entering the data on this laptop is like trying to enter it with an abacus.

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Week 7 in the books 11/2


Squat 5x5 @ 143

OHP 5x5 @83

DL 1x5 @ 160


My hard drive hasnt arrived in the mail, yet. So I'm still stuck on this slow ass old laptop. I'll eschew the warmups, as I have a date, but I promise all the commensurate ones were included. To catch you all up on Wednesday: I have now failed on 3 of the 5 lifts. The DL, as noted in last post, I failed on Monday. But I re-upped the 160 and passed with flying colors, though the grip is getting extremely hard to maintain. I failed on the OHP a few sessions ago, reset the 78, and today did 83, so that's back on track. Plus, I reviewed Mehdi's book the other day and read that that lift is normally the first to fail. My ego isn't as bruised as it was before. On Wednesday, I failed on the BR at 111. #5 on each of my last sets I failed to bring to my chest. I dunno if that is important, but that is how I have been doing all of them, so I want to keep the consistency.


143 on the squat! Crazy, to me at least. I never squatted anything other than bodyweight before this work out. I was convinced today was going to be the day, as #1 and #2 seemed dicey. But, as per usual, the squats grew easier as I went along. That fascinates me. I know I've belabored this point, but it's the only lift where I seem to get better as I go along. My diet was the worst today in a long time. A girl who came to my office hours brought me a vegan burrito from her work. Who am I to refuse a young lady bearing gifts of food? Sure it was vegan, but it was a flour tortilla and had white potatoes inside. I've felt guilty all day because of that. But, I also felt elated that an early twenty-something was plying me with food. No stories fellas--I kept it all above board--professional ethics and all. Sure they're only 13.5" biceps, but this workout must be showing improvements! Again, I'm skipping the macros and breakdown because entering the data in the calorie counter website is painfully tedious on this machine. Let's hope my hard drive comes tomorrow.


A question...I'll be going out of town for T-giving and am not sure I will have access to weights that week (I'll be there for both Wednesday before and Friday after T-giving)...I will try my hardest to get a friend to get me a guest pass, but who knows. Ok, the question is, will missing two days kill my progress?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haven't been slacking. I had to take the Wednesday and Friday off because my hip just couldn't take the weight on the squats. I actually tried to reinitiate the workout on Saturday, hoping I could get back on track.


I completed the warm-ups of the squats 1x45 just to get the kinks out. 1x100 and 1x120.


I did 3x155 with some discomfort, but on #2 of the 4th set, I was in real pain and I had to quit.


I waited a good hour and decided to at least get the OHP in, but I wasn't physically able to jerk the barbell from the bar---I just had no lower body strength.


Here I am on Wednesday, and I still have some tenderness when I get up out of a seated position. The problem with the hip is that it eliminates all the lifts in the routine except the bench. I did bench on Wednesday 5x5 @ 122 without incident.


I have a few questions that hopefully someone out there can help with:


Is there maybe some pre-routine stretching I need to initiate more vigorously (or post)? Honestly, I don't do either. Anyone have some ideas for some stretches that could loosen up the hip?


Obviously, I can still work most upper body muscles for the time being (curls, bench, dips, etc.) without hip pain. Should I focus on some of those iso exercises until things repair themselves?


Missing 3 workout days (and presumably a 4th today) is getting to me mentally. Or, should I try sticking with weight below my current schedule for the ones that seriously press my hips (I'm 155 on squat and 170 on DL)? Is going lighter on the squats better than nothing at all? Will the regression be severe? I doubt I can do 155 on the squat or 170 on the DL, but I am guessing I can do 120 or so for each. Or is just leaving the hip be the best idea? I'm stubborn when it comes to this stuff, so I will always try to push myself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Dylan, thanks for checking in.


Yeah, I'm all cool with my diet. I've actually been using the Thrive diet. It's time-consuming, so to streamline things a bit, I only make a few of the recipes and master those, but I feel great on that, even after only a few weeks.


The lifting, on the other hand, has been frustrating. I had back surgery back in June and though I was cleared to exercise, I really tweaked my hip when I hit 155 on the squat. Since I was doing Strong Lifts 5X5, it's basically taken me out of all the lifts. The only one I can do without discomfort is the bench press, as with my set up at home I have to clean the OHP, which hurts my hip. I've been kinda depressed about it since I was 8-weeks in and seeing awesome results.


I've been researching some dumbbell routines, as they are less demanding on my hip. I think I've found something that'll work for me. I'll continue with the squat and DL, but I'll have to drastically reduce the weight.


It's kind of a mix of the two routines. Here's what I had in mind


Day 1: Chest


Barbell Bench (I wanna stick with that)

Lying Fly

Incline BP

Decline BP (not sure if I wanna do DB or BB with these)


Day 2: Cardio


Day 3: Legs



Calf raise

Weighted Crunch


Day 4: Shoulders


Rear Deltoid Row

Front Raise

Lateral Raise


Day 5: Cardio


Day 6: Arms

Hammer Curl



Alernating Curls

DB side bends


Day 7: Back

Bent over row



Weighted Crunch


Any ideas?

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Just happened upon your log and thought I'd offer some suggestions. I followed Stronglifts for about a year with great results, and there are a bunch of others on the forum here with similar experience. I'd definitely recommend checking out some of the longer running logs and ask questions of those that seem to have similar strength goals.


First off - on your hip issues: I'd definitely hold off on increasing the weights until you can get that pain taken care of. You should definitely do something to warm-up before lifting. The fact that the squats get easier after the second set might indicate that you need to warm up a bit more than just doing a couple lighter sets before your work weight. Try doing 5 minutes on a bike, or 5 minutes of jump rope, or some similar activity to get your blood flowing and heart rate up a bit. Also throw in some squat-to-stands stretching to work on hip mobility before every workout.


Stretching! Do it!


Check out Joe Defranco's Agile 8 stretches for lower body:

The Agile 8


1. Foam roll your IT band — Start just below your hip and roll up and down to your (outer) mid-thigh ten to fifteen times, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform ten to fifteen "rolls" starting at your (outer) mid-thigh and rolling all the way down to the outside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight areas.


2. Foam roll your adductors — Start just below the crease of your hip and roll up and down your (inner) mid-thigh ten to fifteen times, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform ten to fifteen "rolls" starting at your (inner) mid-thigh and rolling down to the inside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight areas.


3. Glute/piriformis myofacsial release with a tennis ball — Take the tennis ball and sit on one your left butt cheek with a slight tilt. Cross your left leg. Roll for 30 seconds or so. Switch cheeks and repeat. Feel free to cry.


4. Rollovers into "V" sits — Perform ten reps.*


5. Fire hydrant circles — Perform ten forward circles and ten backward circles with each leg.*


6. Mountain climbers — 20 total reps.*


7. Groiners — Perform ten reps. Hold the last rep for ten seconds. Make sure to push your knees out with your upper arms while dropping your butt down.*


8. Static hip flexor stretch — Perform 3 sets of 10 seconds on each leg. Complete all three sets on one side before moving to the other.



Stretch before and after every workout to increase your flexibility. The foam rolling and tennis-ball work can be very helpful.


As for eating, I think 40% protein is a bit much at this stage, but if it seems to be working for you then stick with it.

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Thanks for the input. I have read your blog quite a bit. I will definitely review those stretches. I think they may offer a big improvement. Time is usually at a premimum for me, but my teaching load ends this week, so I'll be able to dedicate more time to the non-lifiting aspects of my workout. I'm thinking of switching to the 5/3/1 for the time being, considering that it still targets the main lifts, but with less frequency on the squat.

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If you can get your hip issues settled, then I'd recommend a more vigorous starting program than 5/3/1. 5/3/1 is better for intermediate lifters as the progress is considerately slower than Stronglifts 5x5.


That being said, you could try doing the same split as given in 5/3/1 (Monday - OHP, Tuesday - Deadlift, Thursday - Bench, Friday - Squat), however increase the weight by 5 lbs each week and do 5x5 sets for the same weights you would be lifting under stronglifts. If you are doing 5x5 sets, your accessory work should be minimal. That would also give you a bit more time to incorporate a solid pre- and post-workout stretching routine. This is only an idea, I don't know if it would work for you or what your progress would be like. Keep in mind I am not a fitness expert or trainer or any such thing.


What level do you teach at? I work at a University as a Lab Manager and have just this past semester taught my first lab class.

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