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SL 5x5 Now Beating Me Up

Well, it’s not quite as simple as the title suggest as my life has been unpleasantly surprising in all the bad ways and one of the few things I’ve been able to focus on is strength training, although I now believe SL is counterproductive to other stressors I currently have.

Anyway, so I began in June 2018 at Squat 50kg / 110lb, Bench 45kg / 100, Row and OHP both 30kg / 65, DL 40kg (lumbar disc issues).

By Feb 18 I had deloaded several times for form, missed reps and was now running 3x5;
Squat 135kg (298lb), Bench 87.5kg (192), Row 80kg (175), OHP 60kg (132lb) replaced DL with RDL 105kg (230), plus 2 sets of box squats and arm isolations.

Then caught the flu, big time and missed 6 weeks, came back last Saturday and ran at around 20% deload and have felt like boiled crap ever since, yet to make it back to the gym.

Also had bloods with high SHBG and raised E2, raised liver function

Where to go from here with regards getting back into a regular program that isn’t going to wreck my HPA?

These novice programs have a 3 - 6 month shelf life. Pick something that pops off the page at you, have a look at the Beyond 5/3/1 1.1 to 1.4 programs on this website.


You need to switch to intermediate programming. You could try 531, cube is good, the Calgary barbell program is free and pretty good too.

That sucks about you getting sick. 5/3/1, Cube, or any number of other templates would serve you better than SL 5x5. Solid progress though!

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Good job with your strength gains! SL 5x5 beat me up after a few months, too.

Perhaps doing full-body workouts three times a week is too much for your recovery. I love full-body workouts, but I’ve learned I don’t recover super-great from them any more. Another poster here, whose name I can’t remember, said he also found them to overly tax his recovery.

What are your goals for lifting? That’ll determine which program to run next, and knowing that will help the members here give more focused feedback.

I had to go look it up. Not surprised it beats you up. It’s too much volume to recover from before the next bout once the weights get up to an appreciable poundage. I’ve had to go to a split myself just recently and I’d only been doing 3x3 full body.

5x5 works very well if you use an intermediate program after your done with the noobie stuff. A simple 5x5 program with a day each for squats, dead’s and Bench, squatting every session will have you strong as fuck if you eat well and stick to it.

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I used to train for all round fitness - martial arts, cardio and weights, I was down to around 15-16% body fat at one point, forced to take a complete break in 2017 and lost a lot of leg muscle and put on body fat.

I saw stronglifts as a way back, especially to rebuild legs / hamstrings, in all honesty I was hoping to get definition and strength, maybe even see abs for the first time in my life. I now realise that a pure strength program won’t give me that, especially as it requires to eat a lot, which means I’m never in a deficit to burn fat at anywhere near the rate needed.

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Thing is, I’m not used to eating in a surplus.

In fact in 2010-2011 I had ballooned from 87kg to 119kg at 175cm, it took 3 years of eating at below maintenance or sometimes close to BMR to get down to 80kg - this included thai boxing, cardio and freeweights - not programmed, just doing what I had always done - upper body with some occasional legs. I used to ignore legs as they had got huge from years of serious road cycling.

I started stronglifts at around 23-24% body fat I was hoping to achieve a slow recomp by eating at 2500 cals, when the weights started getting heaviey I upped to around 2700 and eventually 3000 cals with 40% protein. I’ve basically not hit my lean goals because of eating above maintainance and poor sleep due to a noisy living environment.

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