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Squat & SL 5x5 Questions

Hi everyone!

I have some newbie questions, hopefully you guys can answer.

My first question is about squat technique.

I’m fairly tall (about 6 feet) with long legs, so I read that a slight wider stance with a low bar position would help me out. At first I couldn’t help but round my back when I got to parallel. I have been trying to improve my form with hip/ankle mobility to give the hamstring a bit more flexibility.

I’m doing a lot better not rounding my back but have some other body pains. Should my hips be a bit sore after squatting? Or is this from bad technique? It’s about 60-90min after my workout and they feel okay again but for a while there they really felt sore.

I know I don’t have a video to upload to show technique but I will hopefully have one Monday. I also have a trainer session on Monday, maybe you guys can suggest some ways to get the most out of my session.

Second question:

I have been doing Stronglifts 5x5 for about 11-12 weeks and I’m starting to stall a lot more often. On the website they suggest a progression of lifts that go from SL5x5 to SL3x5 to SL1x5 to Madcow 5x5. Should I look into the SL 3x5 program? Current lifting stats from last sessions are as follows

Squat 200lbs 5x5 (first stall on this weight today)
OHP 112.5lbs 5x5 (second stall last session)
Deadlift 235lbs 1x5 (difficult to get the last 2 reps)
Bench 125lbs 5x5 (still okay)
Rows 125lbs 5x5 (okay, challenging to keep form)

Short term goals, hopefully in 3months:
Squat 225lbs 5x5
oHP 125lbs 5x5
Deadlift 275lbs 1x5
Bench 155lbs 5x5
Rows 135lbs 5x5

Where would I get a temple for the SL3x5 program? Or is it better to look into SS/ 5/3/1?

Sorry for making such a long post, but thank you for your input!

Where exactly do you hold the bar on your back? If you hold it too low, with long legs, you’re going to have to bend farther at the hips to keep the bar over the mid-foot. The more you bend over, the more hip mobility you need and the more likely it is for your back to round.

If you’re stalling at those numbers, I’d suspect you aren’t eating enough. What did you eat yesterday (list everything, including what you drank)

I guess the best way to describe it without photos would be if I held my thumbs to my shoulders and tightened the back, just across the clavicle bone on a shelf of muscle (I think they are delts)

Yesterday, Breakfast 1.5 cups of oatmeal, oatbar & banana for snack, lunch was baked yam with baked chicken breast. Dinner was also a chicken breast and baked yam and pre-bed snack was 4 scrambled eggs and about 1 cup of yogurt. For drinks I would say about 6 cups of water, 1 cup of 2% milk and 1 cup of coffee (no sugar just milk).

When you write it all out, it doesn’t seem like much actually, but then again I work a deskjob and getting up for food all day won’t work. Maybe increase what I eat for each meal?

Today for squats it might have been just a bad night of rest, but the OHP seems unable to get the numbers up.

Thanks for the input.

[quote]vancouvernewbie wrote:
I guess the best way to describe it without photos would be if I held my thumbs to my shoulders and tightened the back, just across the clavicle bone on a shelf of muscle (I think they are delts)[/quote]
That’s fine. I’ve seen some guys hold the bar under the delts. Wouldn’t be great for you.

Yep, here’s the problem.

Good idea. Also add meals before and after lifting. Simple/complex carb heavy about 45min before lifting to keep you fueled, and protein/fat afterward. You’ll notice the difference on the very first session.

OHP is one of the slowest lifts to make progress on. Don’t let it get you down.

As far as stalling out on your lifts, you could potentially switch to a program designed by someone who is strong and actually looks like they lift weights like 5/3/1 or the Juggernaut Program. You will find there are very few programs out there that actually ever used the same weight for 5 sets of 5. Most 5x5 programs were acutally only 3 work sets of 5 at the most.

5x5 is a classic strength rep scheme and works well especially for beginners regardless what others may say. No matter the fact that Mendhi seems like a total douche, the program is solid and although we call it SL 5x5 he didn’t invent it the same training ideology has been around for decades.

What is your weight and age? It is hard to understand your progress with out that.

As for SL 3x5 there is no template, just use the 5x5 template but drop it to 3 sets of 5 reps with the same weight across. SS is very similar to SL 3x5 with the biggest difference being you add in power cleans. 5/3/1 is a great program but your progress is slower since you only bump up your weight every month as apposed to every workout (SL) or every week like Madcow or Texas Method. For me I moved to 5/3/1 after 5x5, but I later realized that I could have made faster newbie gains by doing something with weekly progression such as texas method or Madcow. Currently I am running madcow.

As for the pain in the hips, it’s hard to say without seeing it, but I know for me when I started I was squating too wide and this caused me hip pain. I moved my stance to be alittle more narrow and focused hard on pushing my knees out to ensure I hit proper depth. Also get a foam roller if you don’t have one, they can help work out the hip pain.

[quote]Re.po wrote:
5x5 is a classic strength rep scheme and works well especially for beginners regardless what others may say. [/quote]

That is true, but as I pointed out most people are mislead in believing that most 5x5 rep schemes meant 5 sets of 5 reps at the same weight. A lot of the classic 5x5 programs were really 3 work sets of 5.

What you say about Medhi is true, though, he didn’t invent concepts. I looked at his site years ago and once I realized he wasn’t very strong and didn’t look like he lifted weights I pretty much disregarded everything he had to say.

If you are truly trying to get stronger I don’t know why anyone would spend very long trying to use the same weight for five sets and then only raising the weight when they got all 25 reps. That seems like a very slow way to make progress as opposed to ramping the weights up a top set.

[quote]ryno76 wrote:

[quote]Re.po wrote:
5x5 is a classic strength rep scheme and works well especially for beginners regardless what others may say. [/quote]

That is true, but as I pointed out most people are mislead in believing that most 5x5 rep schemes meant 5 sets of 5 reps at the same weight. A lot of the classic 5x5 programs were really 3 work sets of 5.

What you say about Medhi is true, though, he didn’t invent concepts. I looked at his site years ago and once I realized he wasn’t very strong and didn’t look like he lifted weights I pretty much disregarded everything he had to say.

If you are truly trying to get stronger I don’t know why anyone would spend very long trying to use the same weight for five sets and then only raising the weight when they got all 25 reps. That seems like a very slow way to make progress as opposed to ramping the weights up a top set.
[/quote]

The volume of 5x5 doing the sets with the same weight is what causes the body to adapt. With 5x5 you start light and add weight every workout, it allows you to delay stalling and continue to add weight and take advantage of newbie strength gains. I would say it is one of the fastest ways to make progress.

In my post above, I meant to post simple/complex carbs + protein before training. That’s probably obvious, but it was bugging me.

[quote]Re.po wrote:

The volume of 5x5 doing the sets with the same weight is what causes the body to adapt. With 5x5 you start light and add weight every workout, it allows you to delay stalling and continue to add weight and take advantage of newbie strength gains. I would say it is one of the fastest ways to make progress. [/quote]

Blanket statements are almost never accurate. A new lifter’s body will likely adapt whether they are doing 5 set of 5 or ramping to a top set. Gains are going to stall at some point no matter what so what is important is what continues to work. I guess my point was, don’t follow a program designed by someone who isn’t very strong and doesn’t look like they lift, i.e. Medhi.

As far as the magical 5x5, I have seen very, very few programs, beginner or otherwise, that advocated a true 5 sets of 5 reps with the same weight. Almost all the 5x5 programs I have seen were actually 3x5 or ramped sets of 5. Now, I am not an expert and I am definately not familiar with every major training program ever designed.

Continued linear progression is impossible so that is why I suggested he may want to switch to a better designed program by someone who actually looks like they lift weights. Medhi is a guy who read a bunch of other people’s stuff and then created his own program and named it Stronglifts. Anyway, not trying to start an e-argument.

Smh…

More retards stealing Reg Parks original program and calling it their own with a different name.

Shaking my head furiously…

This crap was invented back then in the days of Reg Park and possibly even Hepburn.

[quote]Ethan7X wrote:
Smh…

More retards stealing Reg Parks original program and calling it their own with a different name.

Shaking my head furiously…

This crap was invented back then in the days of Reg Park and possibly even Hepburn.

[/quote]

True, but my previous point was illustrated in this article:

Many people assume 5x5 (including that Medhi guy) that 5x5 means 5 sets with the same weight when many programs meant two warm up sets of 5 and then 3x5. I made the same mistake when I was younger. It makes a huge difference in the volume of a workout (especially a full body workout) when the weights start getting heavier.

[quote]Ethan7X wrote:
Smh…

More retards stealing Reg Parks original program and calling it their own with a different name.

Shaking my head furiously…

This crap was invented back then in the days of Reg Park and possibly even Hepburn.

[/quote]

Yep exactly, this stuff has been for along time, that guy just figured out a away to market it to the 21st century masses.

Meh. There are no magic programs. Just hard work and food.

thanks for all your replies guys!

@Jaypierce - I lift in the morning. Usually wake up at 6, food/change, gym at 6:45. I will add some protein and maybe some simple carbs tomorrow before I work out and see how it goes. But it does feel like I needed to just write it out, and see how little I’m eatting.

@Re.po I’m 28 years old, about 165lbs. Lower end on body fat %. I have only been lifting for about 5 months. I will try to get someone to video me when I go in on the weekend, but its a commercial gym and I’m pretty sure they don’t like video taping or photos being taken. I will try to focus more on pushing those knees out next time too.

@Ethan7X - I know you have had great success with the Reg Park 5x5 program from your progress photos. I just happen to pick a different starting program that felt more in tune with my goals.

Vancouver, At that weight I would suggest that you probably need to up your food intake. If your main goal is strength I wouldn’t worry too much about fat gain, at 165 lbs you could use more calories to help your body recover. Add in some higher fat foods to your diet, milk is a good place to start, Peanut butter sandwiches are easy and quick aswell. Getting enough food and sleep are what your body needs to keep from stalling.

Vancouver, there’s nothing wrong with your program, in fact…it’s like literally the same as mine.

I wasn’t talking about you, I was directing my “Shaking my head” at StrongLifts creator because I just find it so ridiculous he took a program that has been made like 10x over, and just gave it a new name then became known for it, lol wtf?

That’s like me creating a 5x5 routine right now and calling it GetSwole 5x5 and then suddenly tons of people follow it under this name and I get known for it. Lol I just think it’s ridiculous