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Switching from Stronglifts 5x5 to SL3x5


Hey y'all I've been doing Stronglifts 5x5 since the end of February after I had done a 6 week hypertrophy program known as German Volume Training (GVT).
I've been able to add a lot more weight since starting the program, my current stats:

Squat: 280 lbs 5x5
Bench: 175 lbs 5/5/5/2/4
Deadlift: 240 lbs 1x5
Overhead Press: 115 lbs 5/5/5/2/2
Barbell Row: 5/5/5/4/3

My body weight is 175 lbs and height is 5'8" and I am 19 years old.

I've only had stalled once on squat at 280 lbs but I will be moving on to 285 lbs on the squat for the next workout. My only concern is that I feel like the volume is getting too much for such a heavy weight because on my previous workout yesterday, after I completed my last set of squat of 280 lbs, my legs felt like they were on fire and it stung to the point where tears mixed with sweat covered my face and it was not fun. And when I mean my legs were on fire, I meant it hurt to walk and my back felt a little fragile. I do stretch in the morning and before and after working out thoroughly because I know I have tight hip flexors. I also work out my abs just so I don't have a muscular imbalance. I was able to fix my hyperlordosis (curvature of the back) through stretching and working out my abs. Primarily my legs are my main concern.

And following the SL5x5 protocal, the only way to switch from 5x5 to 3x5 is that the following has to happen:

For example on the squat,

Stall 3 times in a row at the same weight like 280 lbs ---> deload 10% and work my way back up to 280 lbs.
Stall 3 times in a row again at the same weight like at 300 lbs ---> deload 10% and work my way back up to 300 lbs.
Stall 3 times in a row again at 315 lbs ----> switch to 3x5

I feel like this seems like a setback. My goal is to squat at least 315 lbs by the end of this month or early to mid May, but if I'm going to have to stall stall stall and deload, then stall stall stall and deload, then stall stall stall and then switch to 3x5, I feel like that would push my goal further back to about early July.

On top of that, I feel as if the volume will destroy my legs once I go past 300 lbs. My legs are getting much more sore after the end of every week. Monday, my legs are recovered because of weekend recovery, but by the time I work them out Wednesday it begins to be a struggle, and by Friday, it's hell.

Keep in mind, I don't use a weight belt or knee wraps or any kind of equipment, which I know will make a difference, but I don't want to use them for personal reasons. I do have an average of about 6 hours of sleep (this is due to college and work) and I do take advantage of eating a lot.

My question is, should I just switch straight to 3x5 on squat or follow the protocol and stall 3 times and deload twice then switch to it?

If you have anything to recommend for me to do, I'm open-minded on this subject. I just want to prevent myself from hurting myself.


I would wait until you stall 3 times at a weight, then deload 10% and switch to 3x5. I don’t think you need to deload 3 times before switching. This is based off of my experience with linear progressions.


With the discrepancy between your squat and deadlift, I strongly suspect you are squatting a few inches too high.

Can you post video of your lifts?


Yeah I’ll try to get a video and the reason for the difference in my deadlift and squat is that when I started 5x5, I started squatting at 185 lbs because I was already doing 175 lbs with GVT and I thought I would just start at 10 lbs higher. I also switched from high-bar to low-bar squat.

For the deadlift, I started at 155 lbs because I haven’t deadlifted in over 2 years and totally disregarded it when I used to do an upperbody and lowerbody split routine. And since starting at 155 lbs, I increased the weight by 10 lb increments until 225 lbs in which the protocol called for me to only raise the weight of the deadlift by 5 lb since I hit 225 lbs. That’s why my deadlift is lacking behind. I just wanted to start at a low weight for that exercise so I can get my form down at least. And I feel entirely fine when I deadlift. It’s just the squat that’s my main concern.


loads of people hit a wall around those numbers -move on to madcow/texas method