StrongLifts 5x5 - Not as strong as I thought I was lol...

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    Dec 21, 2011 7:54 PM GMT
    After about a year or so of doing mostly Kettlebell workouts, I figured I'd try my hand at some straight-up lifting.

    I found the Stronglifts 5x5 appealing, but I'm a little bummed that I am not as strong as I thought I was.

    While there are more particular exercises, these three seem to be the "foundation" exercises that are also a bit of a metric of overall strength:

    1.50 BW Squat    @ 175#  ~ 265# :: Current weight - 205#
    1.25 BW B.Press @ 175#  ~ 225# :: Current weight - 165#
    1.75 BW DLift      @ 175#  ~ 310# :: Current weight - 225#

    My numbers at the far right are from my last session (20 Dec 2011) and haven't changed substantially from my workout a few days prior.

    They are not my 1RM, not sure how to extrapolate that.

    Granted I'm only a couple of weeks into this, but yesterday I had to do the "Roll of Shame" on my third or fourth Bench press set (oddly getting all my reps on the last set), and roped the squats on two sets (meaning I couldn't push off from the bottom of the squat, and rolled the weigh off on to the retaining ropes).

    But my squats from the week before I completed all sets/reps at the same weight.

    I hope I'm not hitting a plateau this early into the programme...
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    Dec 21, 2011 10:52 PM GMT
    You either a) need a spotter or b) need to lower the weight and build your way up. Failing on these exercises should not happen without a spotter. You're risking injury to yourself and others.

    Kettlebells are not going to prep you very well for powerlifts like squats... squats prep you for squats. I would just recommend lowering the weight some and getting all your reps in. To ensure progression, start out with 4x4-6. So do the max. weight you can w/ out failing at 4 sets, 4 reps. Next session do the same at 4x5, then 4x6. The following session increase the weight by 5-10 lbs. and do 4x4 again, 4x5, 4x6, and so on.

    also make sure you're eating right and have plenty of energy when you're starting your workouts. Good luck man.
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    Dec 22, 2011 12:00 AM GMT
    go easy on yourself man...it's about building muscle,not powerlifting..work your way up to the very heavy stuff..don't forget to look at your progress once in a while too....keep your mental image of yourself up..you are getting stronger all the time...
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    Dec 22, 2011 1:57 AM GMT
    I've been looking at Stronglifts 5x5 myself. From my memory of the program, it seems like you started out at higher than recommended weights if you're only a few weeks in.

    What are your other impressions? I've been getting some coaching on squat and deadlift form from a trainer before I start since I know I am damn sloppy, But this seems like a really good back-to-fundamentals approach.
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    Dec 22, 2011 9:58 AM GMT
    AlphaTrigger said
    They are not my 1RM, not sure how to extrapolate that.


    There are quite a few max rep calculators on the web, but this is one of the more popular ones:

    http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html
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    Dec 24, 2011 1:42 AM GMT
    They seem fine to me. The real question is how safely and effectively are you executing these exercises without a spotter?

    I feel better with a spotter, even though my "gym" (home) has safeties to catch the bar so I don't get hurt.

    How much weight do you add per week? My general rule is to add 5lbs each week, and when I add that if I can't keep decent form than I make a note to stay at the weight the next week until I get adapted to it. It's worked really well for me.
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    Dec 24, 2011 2:51 AM GMT
    adam228 saidThey seem fine to me. The real question is how safely and effectively are you executing these exercises without a spotter?

    I feel better with a spotter, even though my "gym" (home) has safeties to catch the bar so I don't get hurt.

    How much weight do you add per week? My general rule is to add 5lbs each week, and when I add that if I can't keep decent form than I make a note to stay at the weight the next week until I get adapted to it. It's worked really well for me.


    This is pretty much what I am going by - I move up 5# if I can more or less do my sets with ease.

    If anything I generally stop short of absolute failure, and I do my best to observe strict form.