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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. 

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andygates

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