andygates: (Default)
[personal profile] andygates
I'm in week 9 of this 12-week Stronglifts 5x5 programme, and things are starting to stall out a bit.  It's taking several goes to make a weight, and the progression is losing its relentless linearity. According to my stats, I'm as strong as I've ever been, and all at once. 

The 5x5 rep/set structure and big compound lifts have, very effectively, taken up all the muscle memory I laid down in the past.  This is awesome for a re-starter, but I think it means SL5x5 isn't a lifetime plan.  Well, it was never meant to be: I'm looking now at cutting the number of sets to 3x5 in the monster lifts, where the volume (weight x reps) gets absurdly huge and hard to recover from.  The warmup weight starts to be considerable, big enough to factor into recovery, so it's not "air squats then 5 x 60kg" (which is how my SL started, cripes!) so much as "60, 100, and then 3x 127.5" (this evening's bar-bending fun).

Itching to do some heavy singles, too, but that's for week 13, which is "Let's Pretend: Powerlifter" week, chasing PRs.  Chasing that thousand.

What comes after that?  I'm considering an actual (gasp) intermediate strength program -- something like 3 full body workouts with Heavy, Light, Medium instead of linear progression, sawtoothing the max up once a week).

I'll call SL5x5 a huge success for what it is: a beginner-to-intermediate strength program that's really hard to screw up, and well suited for restarters who can gorge on muscle-memory newbie gains for a couple of months. 

Date: 2011-08-16 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So, it sounds pretty awesome for you with that muscle memory; what do you reckon for a complete noob like me? Worth a shot?

Date: 2011-08-17 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't see why not! The program is noob-to-intermediate, and lots of never-lifted-a-barbell types do it. It is very easy to do, hard to screw up, and by starting light it teaches success and technique. Two thoughts:

"Newbie gains" come on fast too, and they look a lot like the re-gains you get from muscle memory, so you'd expect to see the same sort of early boost. As a veteran athlete you've probably got more muscle memory than you think too!

And this is a strength program -- force, not power. There's no onus on speed in SL, and when you're maxing a big load it's a great gurning grind. If you want power (force x speed) for explosive sporty stuff, then something like Crossfit, or Olympic lifting, may be more appropriate.

I'd certainly consider it going into the offseason. If nothing else, it's an excuse to do deadlifts with chalk and scare the pretties.

I'm just enjoying the morph into Mighty Glacier. :)


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