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wells101

Speeding up SL 5x5?

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So, i've only been at SL 5x5 for under two weeks, but i feel like I can handle more than my current weights.

Is there a problem with stepping up the weight intervals from 5lbs to 10 lbs once or twice in there if you feel like you're outpacing the rate you're adding to the lifts?

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Don't. Right now you are learning form and grooving motor patterns that are very important. If you rush it, you will get hurt. It's not a question of maybes, it is a relative certainty. Titrating in the beginning when you have some degree of strength is one thing, but progressing faster than indicated without someone cueing form at the very least is a bad idea.

 

This comes from the guy who got laid up in my third or fourth week of SL with a strained lower back from a 135 pound squat I shouldn't have done for another month or more. Then, when I was feeling a little better I tried pulling 165 and reinjured myself.

 

This is not a sprint, this is a marathon. What you learn about yourself in the next year will fundamentally change how you see and move through the world. Don't rush this.

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I'd second what EE says. 

 

See my thread on DL woes. I fear this is a direct result of adding too much weight to quickly. 

 

Just stick with the planned progression. When i'm up and running again i'm gonna do a 50% de-load. Lesson learnt. 

 

Cheers

 

Karl

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Just to clarify... this isn't a 'Keep adding 10 lbs any time thing' this is a 'add 10lbs once to make it a little harder' thing.  Its literally a one off because i'm currently crushing things a little too easily for my liking.

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Yeah, but there will quickly come a point where you aren't crushing it so easily. At the moment, it's form you are getting, not strength. It really isn't that long before the weights start piling on. 

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Trust me.  Enjoy the current lifts.  Once you start getting heavy, you'll wonder why you rushed through the easy days.  :)  

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Is this something specific to SL? When I started SS with my mates we all had different starting weights and made gains in sometimes significantly different increments.

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Adding the 5lbs to your lift every time will catch you up to your maxes faster than you realize.

 

I would second what everybody is saying.  Also you are strengthening everything at the weights you are currently using, not just muscles.  You are strengthening muscle, ligaments, bones, ect.  Just be patient and give them the time to adjust even if it doesn't "feel" heavy. 

 

Strength training is definitely a marathon and not  sprint.  You have many years ahead of you to reach your strengthliness potential.

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I'm also doing StongLifts, I started in January and I had some of the same thoughts.  "ehhh why bench with just the bar it's so easy!  Why squat with 50 lbs I feel like such a weenie with these tiny 2.5-lb plates on the bar!"  But I was patient, I listened to the advice of people here, and the weights kept going up.

 

I got to have the pleasure of seeing steady increase in weight before starting to stall.  If you increase the weight by more,  you're going to stall out that much sooner.  And building up the weight gradually has definitely made me stronger than I was, back in December I could do 5x5 with 65 lbs and not 70, and 80 was my one rep max.  I dropped back to the empty bar with this program, blew past 5x5 on 65, 70, and 75, brief stall on 80, now I'm doing 85.  I definitely credit the incremental increase for this.

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Leave your ego at the door.

 

You've been doing it for under two weeks. I highly doubt you could add more weight and continue to squat with correct form and depth.

 

Enjoy the light weight, make sure you're hitting that full ROM so when it starts to get heavy you're not cheating yourself.

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Wells, I can tell you from experience that adding weight is a mistake. I did exactly what you are describing. I threw 10 extra pounds on my squat for just a couple sessions, then went back to 5 lbs increments. (at least, this is was I am understanding as what you want to do) Things seemed to be going well until I hit about 200 on my squat. I had a sudden realization: I couldn't squat properly. That extra week or two that I skipped by adding weight? Pretty important for practicing technique. I had to drop my squat down to 120 lbs just to get to a spot where my form didn't look like an abomination. If I had just kept up with the program, I would be squatting heavier today, and with good form to boot.

 

So, please DON'T DO IT.

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I'll also echo them.

 

I started SL in December and did it empty bar.  I'm now squatting what feels like a challenge to me and I'm so thankful that I worked out a lot of the bugs in my form before it got hard!  I really think I'd have folded myself in half by now if I didn't.

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Is this something specific to SL? When I started SS with my mates we all had different starting weights and made gains in sometimes significantly different increments.

 

It's called linear progression for a reason. The periodization works because you're slowly and consistently ramping up your weight. If your buddies were making gains at different increments, then they weren't doing SS. 

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It's called linear progression for a reason. The periodization works because you're slowly and consistently ramping up your weight. If your buddies were making gains at different increments, then they weren't doing SS. 

 

SS starting weights are determined by present capabilities in comparison with bar speed, and recommends different increases over the first few weeks to few months for different populations.

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While I appreciate the feedback, I went ahead and cheated up the weight.  Things turned out fine, and my form actually got a little better (my butt suddenly found the right place to go on the squats).  While i'm not going to run out and tell everyone to go do 10 lbs increments, I think that this was a good time for me PERSONALLY to do this.While Medhi is a good guy and all, sometimes we have to take matters a bit into our own hands and adjust according to how our body do.

 

Now, could this be an every-two-weeks increase? I'm not sure.  I'm suspicious that my load-bearing abilities may go up at a different rate than the average human beings (my muscles are a bit odd in their fiber distribution, favoring Type IIs by a long shot), I'm going to play it by ear and see what I can handle.

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I honestly hope it all goes well for you... but this is exactly the way I felt when I jumped up on my weight, and it turned out bad. Hopefully history does not repeat itself! Keep up the hard work.

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I feel you.  I'm going to keep an eye on it, and I'm already aware that there's no shame in deloading.

I will probably be immediately dropping the deadlift weight though, because I decided I was a badass and could do 95lbs.  I did, but i think i tweaked my back a little.

I'm becoming very fond of the strangely philosophical end of weightlifting; The Iron and the Soul is a great read.

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You moved too fast and hurt yourself? That sounds familiar...

 

While you're laid up not lifting...

The Iron by Henry Rollins

That's the one i'm talking about!

 

And it wasn't teh actual lift.  Like a moron i'm trying to move the bar and lifted with my back. X_X y'know. nothing else.  Just the bar, nothing on it.

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I started SL 5x5 a month ago. It was painfully light, I had already been doing heavier weight but I went back and followed through with the program regardless.

 

GIve it a fair chance the way it's written. Eventually it will get heavy again. Focus on form and lift the light weight like your life depends on it. Revel in the free time from a short workout. Add in some cardio or body weight work to burn off energy if you want, but don't cheat your weight up. It is frustrating at first, but only 1 month later I can tell you it'll be decently heavy, takes me a decent 45 minutes per workout and I'm still making progressive gains with no sign of a stall in my future.

 

 Think of it this way, the worst that can possibly happen is you will be out 1 month of training if you think it doesn't work for you. What's one month? 

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I find it helpful to think of that period as "runway". Shortening the runway won't get you off the ground any faster, and could be pretty risky.

 

Stronglifts by-the-book is kind of conservative when starting out; some people can start heavier than an empty bar and do fine. But this is less of an advantage than it seems - it just means you'll run out of newbie gains that much sooner.

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Stronglifts by-the-book is kind of conservative when starting out; some people can start heavier than an empty bar and do fine. But this is less of an advantage than it seems - it just means you'll run out of newbie gains that much sooner.

 

I would look at it as wasting less time. The thing about linear progression is you want to spend the least amount of energy/time needed to spur progress. You may run out of newbie gains sooner but it usually ends up around the same weight. For example say lifter A does SL and runs their squat up to 3x5 for 315. From bar (45) to 315 is a 270 increase. Say lifter B does SS and runs their squat up to the same 3x5 for 315 but starts out at 135, making it a 180 increase. That 90 difference between the two could equal a couple more weeks for lifter A to reach the same place. Within that time lifter B could have already moved on to a more intermediate program. 

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:\  I could care less about the newbie gains.  I know that's a temporary thing, and I'm fully expecting to hit a wall sooner rather than later.

 

I'm kind of on Chairohkey's side with this.  If i'm able to handle more gains, and get onto an intermediate program sooner, i think that's a more efficient use of my time than putzing around with weights that don't challenge me.  Careful use of jumps is probably okay.  Going full-out 10lbs a session is probably a recipie for trouble.

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It's your life, do as you please. There's no use arguing a point with someone who already has their mind made up. There is also no need to justify your stance to anonymous voices on the internet. Advice was given, advice was ignored, injury occurred, I walked away.

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EE there's nothing wrong with what Wells did. Correlation does not equal causation. Injuries, stalls, etc. are all a part of the game. The only way to learn is to do. 

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