T Nation

Lanky Me Just Trying To Get Stronger


Alright, got it.

Funny thing, I’ve actually never tried testing my maxes. I know it’s not needed and there are calculators, just that I’ve never tried testing maxes. Lol

Nice! How convenient that 85% is ~5RM. I’m more familiar with my actual 5RM

I see you’re a fan of supersets. Haha. Never tried them before. I’ll give them a go some time. Thanks!

Not a big deal for me. You’ll see in my other threads that I’m more than willing to drop weight just to fix form. I also understand Jim’s reasoning behind it. 2 steps back 10 steps forward :wink:


Sorry, I wasn’t being clear enough. No need to do an actual 1RM. Do the calculated max like you’ve read about.


Yup Jim ain’t that stupid.

Actually I’m a big fan of giant sets ala Brian Alsruhe.

I like the PR sets of 531 a lot.
With the goal of hitting at least 5 reps on the 531 day, makes it very easy to know when to reset the TM .


Not really sure what opinion people here have regarding Alan Thrall but I’d really like to emulate his Deadlift


14 February 2019

Squat 100kg x 5 x 3
Finally! Was really happy with this one. I know it’s not much weight, but I finally squatted two plates. Forgive the body building belt lol. It was the only decent one I could get my hands on here.

Set 1

Set 3

@chris_ottawa, @bulldog9899, @FlatsFarmer I hope you guys don’t mind me tagging you again
I think my hips are starting to rise a little faster than my shoulders in the third set. Is it that bad?
Stopped at three sets because I felt form was breaking down, bar path was going crazy, and felt like I couldn’t control the descent anymore.

Strict OHP 40kg x 5 x 5
4th and 5th sets felt like crap with crappy bar path. Will maintain weight for next OHP

Deadlift 95kg x 5 x 2
Getting a feel for when I lose tightness and when my lower back rounds. I can confirm the exact reps on the video right afterwards
Trying my best to feel my hamstrings getting stretched as I descend to get into starting position. Since I have tight hamstrings, I know my lower back has rounded when the stretched feeling is lost at the starting position

Sumo 95kg x 5 x 1

Standing Cable Face pulls 12 reps
Hyperextensions 12 reps BW x 3


I saw the video, it’s minimal. If your hips always rise fast then it’s usually a technical error, if it’s happening only with very heavy weights or when you are fatigued then it’s probably due to your quads getting tired which causes you to shift the weight to your back and hips.

I wouldn’t worry at this point, but some direct quad work (like leg press or hack squat) could be useful and SSB squats and front squats (which I hate) can help teach you to stay upright.


I think it wasn’t happening in the first set, so maybe the latter…hopefully. Notice anything else wrong with my squat? Btw, I agree with you on me divebombing some of the reps. I can feel the difference now.

I’ll try to learn front squats, but I got a feeling I’m going to hate it too. With the bar resting in front in OPH, I already get lightheaded at times. I imagine it’s gonna be worse in front squats.


You don’t need to do front squats right now, I mostly just saying they would be useful for someone with problems staying upright. If I was you I would just do some leg press. Your squat technique is fine, everyone’s technique is going to break down at some point.


Ohh alright alright. Thanks man! Really appreciate it


Yeah I have nothing to add


I agree with Chris, squat looks good and I wouldn’t worry about Phantom problems. Everyone’s technique breaks down. Keep up the solid work.

Regarding form breaking down/crazy bar path and not getting all your sets: this is a problem with your program. When you go straight linear, eventually you’re just Surviving your workouts. You’re not really “training” anymore. There is too much breakdown.

Other programs let you train with different combinations of weights/sets/reps so you can get more, better work in. Reps without so much breakdown. Or assistance lifts to try and work on stuff you need more of.


Oh. Thanks for pointing that out. More reason to transition into 5/3/1 earlier, then!

Btw Flats, you were right about not flaring my toes out as much. It’s still a little flared out, but not as much as before. The weight definitely feels more balanced over my foot. Thanks!

I still have this question at the back of my head. I don’t know if it’s a dumb idea but I’ll ask it anyway. Since squat is overtaking everything else because SL is a squat everyday program, I was thinking for just a couple of weeks, why not for example bench everyday and move squats to every other day just to bring up to par a lagging lift?

So it would look like this:
A: Squat, bench, row
B: Bench, OHP, deadlift

or for example
A: Squat, press, deadlift
B: deadlift, bench, row

Just to squeeze in some begginer gains for a couple of weeks before moving everything to a 5/3/1 scheme…thoughts?


I guess I would have to ask what do you mean about squat “overtaking” everything else? What’s up with your bench press? Like its stalling so you want to give it more work? Or its going up every workout, so you want to add more sessions to add weight faster?

Also, what do your mean by squeezing in more beginner gains? Do you feel like your training weights aren’t really well matched to your strength?

Because, again, these could be problems with the program.


Well, before I started a training log here, I was using strengthlevel.com and symmetricstrength.com to keep track. Everything was roughly in the same neighborhood in terms of “score” at first, but now as you can see, squat is way ahead compared to the others, and bench is lagging. What I found more puzzling was that bent over row was stronger than the bench, which I know for the majority is the other way around. Actually, I really do have a harder time right now benching 55kg all the way touching the chest than rowing the exact same weight.

I’m guessing it’s not a good idea to use these sites as a rough guideline? They seem rather…arbitrary, come to think of it.

Well I’d like to give it more work in terms of doing it more often to be able to practice technique more. I’ll admit that adding weights is nice, but the at the end of the day, focus is still technique over weight on the bar.

Just taking advantage of being able to add weights linearly while it lasts for the other lifts.

But yeah, as I was writing my reply, I realized it all boils down to this


Surely the focus is on getting bigger and stronger? Technique and weight on the bar are just tools to achieve this goal.


Man, tough questions, tough answers!

In a nut shell, Strong Lifts is garbage. You’re super inexperienced and you’re already outgrowing it and finding all its holes and problems. Using your tracking web site charts reveals that the program is garbage.

Tracking websites are kind of arbitrary. But everything in this hobby, from the weight on the plates, the size of the barbells and how you measure them is arbitrary. You have to stay motivated and excited about lifting, so if the graphs help, why not use them. Internet tough guys might give you a hard time though.

Linear progression and beginner gains are kind of a fantasy fairy tale. It’s like a 5-6 week “quick fix” passed off as a real long term, all encompassing approach. The idea that every workout must be your heaviest workout ever, for 3 sets of 5, or its not progress is absurd.

If you need more practice/technique on bench, I would bench more. Maybe lighter on the 2nd day for a bunch of low reps sets. Like 8 sets of 3, sub maximal to work the technique. And after benching you could do some work for your upper body. “Dumb” stuff like Dips or pushups to bust ass without worrying about technique. Or dumbbell incline bench, close grip Bench, etc to press at more angles and learn technique through slight differences in execution of the bench press.

Now you could see this as derailing your linear progression and beginner gains. Or you could see it like prolonging and expanding your beginner gains.


Hahaha. Alright, I see. Yeah, stronglifts works for a short while then…poof.

Good point. The most compelling reason I use them now is in case I forget what weight I used last time, I can quickly see it. Lol

Good points raised here, Flats. I really should try to get into 5/3/1 sooner. Thanks, really!


You don’t have to…

If you motivated and liking SL you could easily go on.

The graph showing if you lifts is good or bad, good or bad compared to each other… well we’re all different, you’re still able to go linear progression so ride it out. Every lift evolves differently, when they all reach their end, your graph will probably tell you you’re all good.

This is hopefully a long long lifting journey, in 10 years time you’ll look back and think I did this or I did that, what really mattered was consistency and not doing something really stupid.

So keep grinding with whatever shiny program you find. One thing about 531 is that it is long term, you have to trust the program and ride it for a long time, it’s more of a principle than a program.
I’ve bailed 531 for a long time now, everytime I talk about it, I get all warm inside and want to come back, eventually I will.


I agree with Mort, you don’t really need to use 5/3/1. You could try any of these

Or anything else. The good thing about 5/3/1 is that it helps you transition around between routines. It gives you guidelines for what weight to lift and how much work to do when you switch “styles.” Like if you wanted to try infamous routines like 20 rep squats, conjugate style, Doggcrap, the Look of Power, etc, etc it’s really easy to follow Jim’s recipes. Get a taste then move on.

Also 5/3/1 teaches you how to load (select weights) and progress week to week. And to manipulate 3 week waves and use planned reductions in intensity. These concepts are useful to understand and you can incorporate them into any future program.


@mortdk Well I know I won’t be able to play my main sport the rest of my life. Probably just another 10 years. Big chance lifting will be my main physical activity after that. And that’s exactly what I like about 5/3/1. From a cookie cutter program, it’s evolved into an approach, a long term one.

@FlatsFarmer, thanks for the programs! The waterbury and the push pull legs look interesting. I’ll read up on them more.