Myfitnesspal

Message Boards Fitness and Exercise
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Progressive Overload Question

SilentpadnaSilentpadna Member Posts: 1,305 Member Member Posts: 1,305 Member
I recently started Strong Lifts 5x5 and am now in my 2nd week. As one who has not lifted for several years and never really worked in a structured lifting program, I have started at the beginning. I have no idea what my max squat would be as of today. I would guess a 1 rep max of maybe 175 on the bench. No idea on the other lifts either. (25 years ago I had that at about 250).

I understand the general concept of progressive overload and how it builds strength, endurance, etc. However, with the weights so light at the beginning, am I getting any benefit at all other than just working on form? Because right now, even though I'm doing empty bar warmups and light weight work sets with suggested rest in between, I can probably do all of the reps without stopping if I wanted to.

At what point does the overload part kick in? My intuition tells me that's where it starts to work.

For context, I'm a 54 yo male, 5'11", 203 lbs. I'm eating at a deficit targeted at 1.5 lbs per week loss. I've done some cardio and resistance training with dumbells and have lost 37 pounds so far - a little more than half way toward my goal weight - which I expect to modify based on whatever fitness level and body composition I end up.

It's hard to imagine that the SL routine is burning much in the way of calories, or building any muscle at this point. It seems like keeping a fair amount of cardio in my routine would still be beneficial. I understand I should change that at some point as well.

I am not expecting immediate visual results in SL and I would like to consider weight training to be a long term proposition. My question is not one of "why don't I see any results?", it's more like "when does the program really start the process of overload"? I hope my questions make sense.

Replies

  • Muscleflex79Muscleflex79 Member Posts: 1,899 Member Member Posts: 1,899 Member
    I totally see what you are saying. I think the official answer is you are supposed to follow the program as it is written starting with the empty bar.

    My unofficial answer - I had also been lifting for years before I started and found the same thing - it really wasn't doing anything (doing anything meaning working much of anything because it was so light) so I just started at a higher weight for each lift. I found that much more challenging from the beginning and felt like I was actually doing something. I think for people who have never lifted it is great to start low and work up in weight, but for others who have lifted it isn't ideal.
  • slaite1slaite1 Member, Premium Posts: 1,313 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,313 Member
    Yea, it's a beginner program. Technically that includes people that haven't worked out in a very long time (you-you're a beginner). You may feel it's not doing anything, but it is also getting your body and joints used to the exercises before piling on the weights. If it jumped right in you would be injured in no time.

    That being said, I found it way too boring anyway. I've lifted a lot in the past, but never a simple strength program. Thought it would be good coming back from an injury. Meh. I kind of adapted this program with another and like that better, but again I worked it around an injury and some other issues. And I've been away from lifting like 6 months-not 25 years.

    If it's been years since you lifted I would just wait it out. The weights will increase dramatically in just a few months. Somewhere on the site he tells you what you will be lifting in 3 months. And I think you can increase your larger lifts in greater increments at the beginning (and can start the deadlifts heavier than the bar anyway). Be sure to read the whole website. Give it time. It's a smart program.
  • TR0bertsTR0berts Member Posts: 7,785 Member Member Posts: 7,785 Member
    Yeah, what slaite1 said. If you want, and the weights are currently "easy," you can up them by 10 lb per workout, as opposed to 5. That said, it won't take long for you to get to the point where you'll feel like you actually got a good session in.
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Member, Premium Posts: 28,074 Member Member, Premium Posts: 28,074 Member
    I totally see what you are saying. I think the official answer is you are supposed to follow the program as it is written starting with the empty bar.

    My unofficial answer - I had also been lifting for years before I started and found the same thing - it really wasn't doing anything (doing anything meaning working much of anything because it was so light) so I just started at a higher weight for each lift. I found that much more challenging from the beginning and felt like I was actually doing something. I think for people who have never lifted it is great to start low and work up in weight, but for others who have lifted it isn't ideal.

    Same.
Sign In or Register to comment.