Figured I’d start off here, since I’m thinking of going for the stronglifts 5x5 methodology.
Stats: 20 Y.o., 5’10, and 150 lbs. I used to weigh 135, and weigh 142-145 during race season (you’ll see in a sec).
I’m a senior in college. Freshman year, I got into cycling after I decided that rowing wasn’t quite for me. I started racing my sophomore year. While training in april of my sophomore year I got into a crash that literally broke my face (orbit, nose, 5 teeth, and I needed to be stitched back together). The rehab was pretty long, but I got back to training and racing in the fall of my junior year.
I had a good season racing and did pretty well, but towards the end of this summer, I started having knee pain in my right knee. Well after many doc visits etc, they still don’t know what’s going on. After being inactive for a month (hard when you ride 200 miles a week), I decided to start lifting again. It’s been a while since I haven’t done it since freshman year. I figure that my knee pain might be caused by muscle imbalances so it’s time to start strengthening.
My body self image is a little out there because I’m a cyclist. I have a pretty defined lower body, but a relatively weak upper body. I’m looking for a program to add some muscle and definition to my upper body. 5x5 is the first ‘complete’ program I’ve found, so I want to go for it. I’m not a newcomer to pain.
I’m a sprinter so I have good neuromuscular power. I started weight training to stop myself going insane from boredom, but I actually like it so I’d like to start doing it a little more seriously.
I will admit that I have a goal to change my body shape by my birthday in march and get bigger, and I’ll have more numerical definitions once I start to see what I’m capable of.
I lift 3x a week, basically doing the same thing or variations of the same exercises. I do bench press, dumbbell overhead press (seated), dumbbell flyes/reverse flyes (super light weights like 10 lbs, do this as warmups), pullups/chinups, a core routine I made up (i love it), back extensions, calf raises, shoulder shrugs, and a couple of other things.
I’m against supplements that are prohormones etc, because that shit sketches me out. I do take whey.
I can currently squat like 120lbs (I do 3x10 because of my knee), and bench 155 (I do 3x7 with this weight).
I have a few quick (I think) questions:
If I do 5x5’s with squats and use lower weights and build up slower (because of my knee) will I still see gains albeit slower?
I have my own core workout that I love, can I do this in addition to the program?
How do additional exercises fit in?
I ask because I want to learn to power clean, but do it with lighter weights for weeks till I learn how to do them properly.
I also have other exercises that I like doing, and I’m wondering if I’ll lose anything if I do these, but do them after the workout so I don’t lose out on the 5x5s.
Overhead presses scare me a little bit. Can I do seated dumbbell presses instead till I get comfortable enough? Or atleast start with a lighter weight barbell till I get the hang of it?
I’m young and because of my endurance background, my muscles recover pretty fast. Can I do 2 blocks a week, I.e M/T on W off, R/F on, weekend off?
I’m going to try start cycling again a little bit at a time as well. Will I be able to do this program at the right level if I’m riding easy endurance rides on my ‘off’ days. I want to keep at it to see how I can rehab things and how building leg strength with 5x5’s etc will help me with my riding.
I want to gain strength and muscle mass/definition, but I don’t want to gain too much weight. I would like to settle in around 160-170 (at the most). Hoping closer to 160ish though. Maybe this will change in time, but I’d like to concentrate on strength as a % of Body weight instead of as the empirical number. Is this feasible?
Thanks for reading and all the help. I just wanted to put a bit of a personal perspective to my starting the program.
PS: This is me in a race. See, I can take some suffering.