T Nation

Threshold from Beginner to Intermediate

at what point would one consider a program like starr 5x5 ineffective?

I’m still making steady gains but it seems as the weeks progress, i need to take out more and more stuff. First i had to remove the deadlifts on day 2 entirely, they just killed me, now i think the heavy triples on day 3 needs to go. But i’m still making progress on my squat and bench, barely. I read somewhere that they programs are no longer effective once you can squat 1.5x bodyweight, but I’ve made more gains on this program than previous more advanced programs.

5"10 200ish lbs
this week i hit
320x5 low bar narrow stance with oly shoes (weird i know)
220x5 touch and go bench (shit, but up 20 lbs in 5 weeks)

I’ve made huge progress on the bench, but my squat and deads have been and utter grind with 5x5, i just finished week 6. My weak point is shoulder strength, and the bottom of a deadlift. i was thinking something like a westsidy heavy/light day for overhead press and deficit deads for a few weeks after this like the following:

Day 1
Overhead Press up to a heavy triple
Close Grip Bench 4x6-8
Triceps 3 sets

Day 2
Deads with 25lb plates up to a heavy triple
Split Squats/Lunges 4 sets
Pullthroughs
Abs

rest

Day 2
Overhead Press 5x5 straight weight
Pushups 5 sets
Upper back 4 sets
Biceps whatever

Day 3
Box squat 5x5 straight weight
Weighted Chins 4 sets
Pullthroughs
Abs

Im doing tons of pullthroughs to really get my hips firing again, i was stalling on squats because my form was poor from using only quads and back. how does doing this sound for a few weeks then diving right back into conventional squats and flat benching?

my goals are to have a bigger total, and gain about 20lbs but only if massive stength gains come with it. like 80lbs on each lift

I’ll be interested to hear what some other more advanced lifters have to say, but my gut reaction is keep doing it if it’s working (and if it’s not taking too much of a toll on your body).

That said, you could completely revamp the deadlift portion, without changing much of the bench/squat stuff.

how should i revamp the deads?

i’m trying to get more hip recruitment and strength + shoulder strength and stabilization, the upper back set will be something involving external rotation/lower trap, and the pushups are to get the serratus strong.

[quote]schultzie wrote:
how should i revamp the deads?

i’m trying to get more hip recruitment and strength + shoulder strength and stabilization, the upper back set will be something involving external rotation/lower trap, and the pushups are to get the serratus strong.[/quote]

Hey schultzie,

I forgot about this thread. Too bad others never chimed in. Maybe they will now and tell me I’m an idiot with my thoughts.

I’ll give you my thoughts on both your options.

If you decide to stay with the 5x5, you could simply replace the deadlift work with something else. I don’t know exactly what you’re doing as there are a number of 5x5 programs out there. But you could just reduce the volume if it’s too taxing and/or switch it up and do deficit pulls one day and rack pulls the next. This will change up the stress on your body.

If you decide to go with your alternative program, here are my thoughts on it.

First, it looks good overall. Most of us (including me) tend to through in everything, including the kitchen sink, when we set something up. I like it’s simplicity.

Second, I think you may lose some bench and deadlift strength on it if your shoulders are significantly weaker and/or your bottom portion of the pull is much weaker.

Here’s my reasoning. The program is essentially designed to address your weak points, so what about your strong points?

Here’s a sample of what I’d suggest:

Day 1
Overhead Press up to a heavy triple
Close Grip Bench 4x6-8
Triceps 3 sets

Day 2
Deads with 25lb plates up to a heavy triple
Rack Pulls (added in - every 2-3 weeks make this the 1st movement and deficits no. 2)
Split Squats/Lunges 4 sets
(Delete Pullthroughs)
Abs

rest

Day 2 (3)
Bench
Bradford Press instead of Overhead Press 5x5 straight weight
(Delete or just do a couple sets as a warm-up or near the end Pushups 5 sets )
Upper back 4 sets
Biceps whatever

Day 3 (4)
Box squat 5x5 straight weight
Weighted Chins 4 sets
Pullthroughs
Abs

The reasons for inserting rack pulls (vary the height) is to allow you to stress your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Also, if you focus on using your glutes on rack pulls you should really be able too feel it.

For Day 3, I added in Bench since if you ignore it for long you very well may lose the gains you just achieved. Also, as an alternative to a 2nd shoulder press day, I thought maybe try something a little different such as bradford press, or possibly dumbbells. Mainly just something to hit them differently.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Take from them what you will.

this looks much better, the upper days were a bit messed up. I’m really enjoying standing 1 arm db presses, could i do those instead of bradford press?

[quote]schultzie wrote:
this looks much better, the upper days were a bit messed up. I’m really enjoying standing 1 arm db presses, could i do those instead of bradford press?[/quote]

Sure. Actually the only reason I put in Bradford Press was that it seems to require more stability in the shoulder. The DB would do that as well.