T Nation

Athletic Lifting for Strength & Power

I’ll try and keep this short and simple.

Lifting in a gym for 3 years, 1 year bro lifting, 2.5 years of SS/5x5/531.

Found my form to not be so good, so now I’m doing SS-intermediate (bodyweight exercises after) with strict form.

I don’t know my 1RM, nor do I feel like I should but here are my stats:
All squats/DL are on barefeet.

Squats: 235x5 with maybe a bit of butt winking
Bench: 155x5
Deadlifts:265x5 (This is my current work weight, but I feel like I can do more)
Press: 95x5
Power Cleans: 115x5

Age: 25
Height: 5"10
Weight: 170
BF: Guestimate of 15-18%

I’ve been around this weight for the last year and haven’t been able to get passed this for some reason. I’ve been doing the traditional SS workout regimen ABA/BAB.

Important things I need to consider are: Cardio. I don’t do any cardio unless you count KB workouts. Variety, other than the compound workouts, body weight exercises (pullups, dips, leg raises, etc.) I don’t do anything else, moreover a weak core, and stretching, I stretch before and after, but I’m tight in a lot of places as well as have muscle imbalances, IE my anterior pelvic tilt.

My goal is to become stronger, faster, and more powerful. I like MMA and basketball when it comes to sports. I don’t care about having that beach body, just want a more healthier and stronger body and mind.

Should I start doing upper and lower splits coupled with assistance exercise to help the areas that I’m weak at? Or should I begin 5x5/531 again with proper form? I’m not sure what to do and would love advice and words of wisdom.

P.S. I also have many form videos dating from when I began to now if anyone wants to see them.

I don’t know if anyone knows what you should do but I’ll give my suggestion. I play basketball 3-4 times a week and do 5/3/1 because of it’s versatility. It’s never came down to this yet, but worst case scenario I could get all my lifting done in 2 sessions, 40ish minutes per session and depending on my final sets, still have an excellent week.

Also, I’ll be honest I don’t know what the hell “anterior pelvic tilt” is but I’ve always thought I was too young and cool to use the foam roller, LAX ball and agile 8 but since I’ve been doing it it’s helped a TON. Also in Beyond 5/3/1 there’s a daily stretching routine that’s fast, easy and doesn’t have big words.

I plan on going to 5/3/1 as soon as I start rolling in either BJJ or judo again. It’s just a great program that doesn’t place all that much stress onto your body if you program it right, while still allowing gradual strength gains.

SS and SL5x5 are both too much work for anyone planning to do MMA, I think.

That being said, 265x5 deadlift is awful low for someone who’s been training for 2.5 years. Mind posting videos?

And you should absolutely do cardio. Walk (ideally imo) on off-days, hard conditioning work on lower body intense days. I’ve seen myself get significantly stronger and capable of pushing through hard sets once I started doing hard conditioning work, and I’ve seen my ability to maintain a good work ethic throughout the entire session go down as I lost my ability to easily walk at least on a 4.2 speed with 3% incline for an hour on a treadmill machine. I also got fatter. I plan on regaining this particular ability asap.

Ignore the naysayers who say cardio isn’t important. You’re not a BBer, so don’t train like one.

As for stretching- Where are you tight? If it’s anything in the lower body, start just randomly kicking higher and higher. It’ll help, so long as you watch it and don’t pull a muscle or something.

I’ve found static hip flexor stretch variations, quad stretch with a bench, hip hinge holds, hamstring stretches with a band, static lunges, good mornings, proper squat form all help tremendously for flexibility.

You want to be working the muscles in a manner where it needs to stretch, not just holding static stretches. You’ll probably see significant improvement by doing lifts that require a good bit of stretch (good morning, squat, lunges) under even a light load while you also let the involved muscles get significantly stronger. My ability to do an ATG body squat just appeared out of nowhere once I got to squatting wide-stance over 225lb.

[quote]magick wrote:
You want to be working the muscles in a manner where it needs to stretch, not just holding static stretches.[/quote]

This. Flexibility is good, but before you start squatting and/or in between warm-up sets, mobility work is better.

Also, post a video. It’s quite likely that there are still form issues present, which could be causing or contributing to it, especially if you spent 2.5 years reinforcing crappy form. Even if not, it’s not a bad idea because if you spend that long greasing a shitty groove, you won’t change overnight.

I did Sl5x5 to get my form right. Nothing wrong with that.

Hopefully your form is better now, so get on an athletic program.