T Nation

5x5, Lifts Not Able To Go 2.5%

I am about to start Bill Starr’s 5x5, but here are my stats:

6 ft, 175 pounds

5-rep max
ATG squat: 150
Deadlift: 190
Power Clean: 115
Bench: 115
Incline Bench: 105

For every lift, it is impossible for me to go up 2.5% a week. I can only go up 5 pounds mininum because thats the smallest weights I have (2.5 pound weights). Is this going to be a major problem? I have been lifting for almost 2 years, so im not really a beginner, though I am a beginner to weekly lower reps/higher set programs.

(What my school does is go 3x10 for 3 weeks, then 3x8 for 3 weeks, 3x6, then reset) Should I get Starting Strength instead? Would a normal bookstore have Starting Strength?

Chains, caribeaners, whatever. Weigh them, link them and then wrap/hook them to the barbell. I suggest you label them so you remember the weights.

If you’ve been lifting for 2 years and you still have numbers like those I think that you’re making mistake somewhere, probably diet.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

Don’t quibble over the percentages too much. Just add weight when you can.

[quote]LiftSmart wrote:
If you’ve been lifting for 2 years and you still have numbers like those I think that you’re making mistake somewhere, probably diet.

Correct me if I’m wrong.[/quote]

My starting numbers (started when I just turned 14, just about to turn 16 now)

1-rep max
Bench: 50
Squat: 70
Clean: 55

But yeah, my diet did suck up until 2 weeks ago. I changed it around. It’s not perfect, it’s probably not even great, but I am eating 5 meals a day now with a lot more protein and very little unhealty snacks.

ya dont worry about the 2.5% thing (have no idea where you seen that personaly)
what I do is Iadd 10 pounds every other workout untill i can no longer add 10 pounds then I add 5 pounds

when i cant add anymore weight I try adding 1 more rep
when i get to 5 more reps I then add 5 pounds for the 5x5 again

if you are really stuck and cant add anymore weight or reps then what I do is I lower the weight a few pounds usually 10 pounds and then I bust out for 2 workouts as many reps as i can do untill I fail
after my rest day that failure weight is my new starting weight?

was that too confusing?

[quote]fisch wrote:
LiftSmart wrote:
If you’ve been lifting for 2 years and you still have numbers like those I think that you’re making mistake somewhere, probably diet.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

My starting numbers (started when I just turned 14, just about to turn 16 now)

1-rep max
Bench: 50
Squat: 70
Clean: 55

But yeah, my diet did suck up until 2 weeks ago. I changed it around. It’s not perfect, it’s probably not even great, but I am eating 5 meals a day now with a lot more protein and very little unhealty snacks.
[/quote]

I didn’t know that you were so young when you started. You’ve doubled your strength. Good work so far.

[quote]LiftSmart wrote:
My starting numbers (started when I just turned 14, just about to turn 16 now)

1-rep max
Bench: 50
Squat: 70
Clean: 55

But yeah, my diet did suck up until 2 weeks ago. I changed it around. It’s not perfect, it’s probably not even great, but I am eating 5 meals a day now with a lot more protein and very little unhealty snacks.

I didn’t know that you were so young when you started. You’ve doubled your strength. Good work so far.
[/quote]

Thanks. I usually post what age I started at when I talk about my strength, but I forgot to mention it on the first post.

I’m doing a 5x5 programme, that started out as Madcow x Bill Starr’s 5x5, though I’ve changed it up beyond recognition by now. Here’s what I used to do before I got fractional plates: just increase the weight by whatever is available, and do 5 sets, working up to 5x5.
Example (not my own, but just to give you an idea)

Bench Press, Week 1:
Monday - 75kg - 5x5x5x5x5
Friday - sets of 5, 60, 65, 70, 80kg x 3, 75 x 8
Bench Press, Week 2:
Wednesday - 80 kg x 5, 4, 3, 2, 2
Bench Press, Week 3:
Monday - 80kg - 5x5x4x4x2
Friday - 80kg - 5x5x5x5x5

Basically, whenever I increased the weight, I’d keep going for 5x5 on it, instead of increasing my weight further with the 5-5-5-3-8. It worked pretty well for me; my lifts when I was starting out were slightly below your current ones, and I added 50 pounds on most of them in 3.5 months. Nich also has some good ideas

[quote]fisch wrote:
LiftSmart wrote:
If you’ve been lifting for 2 years and you still have numbers like those I think that you’re making mistake somewhere, probably diet.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

My starting numbers (started when I just turned 14, just about to turn 16 now)

1-rep max
Bench: 50
Squat: 70
Clean: 55

But yeah, my diet did suck up until 2 weeks ago. I changed it around. It’s not perfect, it’s probably not even great, but I am eating 5 meals a day now with a lot more protein and very little unhealty snacks.
[/quote]

It’s probably just a case of you needing more food and more sleep. Add 500-1000 kcals a day (assuming you’re not an endomorph), and an hour or two of extra sleep at night, and it should do you wonders. Good job on progress so far, but you can do better.