T Nation

Continue with Linear Progression, or Move On?


So I've been following StrongLifts for the past 5/6 months and progress has been good. Unfortunately, I took about 3-4 weeks off from training (due to sickness and pure laziness thereafter) and have been slowly working my way back up to my original strength levels.

Here are my 5-Rep Maxes so far (which I'm unfortunately working back up to due to time off):
200-lb male; 6'0"
Squat: 270 lbs
Bench: 200 lbs
Deadlift: 335 lbs
Press: 125 lbs

Personally, I feel like I could continue with StrongLifts for another couple months (my personal goal is 405/315/225 for the big three). However, here's the problem: I'm having a hard time continuing with the workout out after squats. I put so much physical/mental energy into squats that I'm so exhausted afterwards, and I feel that my performance in my other lifts is limited. On top of that, I no longer look forward to lifting anymore (hence why I took time off in the gym).

I find programs like 5/3/1 interesting because I'm able to devote an entire day to just one main exercise. However, at the same time, I don't feel that I'm advanced enough for it (or in other terms, I don't think I've run my course with linear progression quite yet).

What should I do? Any and all help is appreciated.


Move to Madcow.

Eat more.

Take a deload and do another 12 weeks of SL5x5, then move to Madcow or 5/3/1.

Change to 5/3/1.

In the end, doesn’t matter. Just be consistent and eat for your goal.


I as exactly your build when I started lifting a couple years ago. I starting with linear progression and yea I got to where I stalled. So when I did I backed off %10 of my 5 rep maxes and started 5/3/1. Depending what u wanted to do body wise, getting bigger and stronger, if worked and still works great!! But if u don’t have a good deit then you won’t get big with the program. U will find similar symptoms ur having like fatigue and wore out.

So what I do is before I workout, in the mornings, I get up and slam a protein shake then eat a lil bit of oat meal and some fruit, wait 30-45 min then start ur workout. If u feel like ur still getting tired then u may need to sip on a protein shake while ur working out. I am now 225ish and my strength gains have went up a lot! Depending on your goals I suggest getting Jim wendlers 5/3/1 book(s). He explains and covers everything. And even Jim will tell u, if u want to get big and strong(er) eat. Hope it helps.


It sounds to me like you are getting bored pretty easily from your workouts, so 5/3/1 might not be perfect because it is repetitive and you have to do it for a while (The most popular variation is called “boring but big” which is saying something).
It is a great workout, but if you are gonna get bored and skip workouts, then something else might be better. I would do bill starr/madcow, but WSBB might be good later on down the road because of the variety.


move on to madcow or 5/3/1