StrongLifts 5x5 - question about recovery

2»

Replies

  • DanaDark
    DanaDark Posts: 2,187 Member
    The other programs aren't necessarily tougher or more rigorous. They are structured differently. For example: Wendler 5/3/1 I believe is considered an intermediate program but each of the main lifts is done once a week which allows for more recovery before hitting it again.

    I can see suggesting a different program that allows for more time between working each muscle group. But they are not suggesting that. They are saying she is not a beginner. Despite the fact that she hasn't even completed the time period Strong Lifts 5X5 is designed for or achieved the stated/written lifting goals.

    I am not as privy to weight lifting information as many guys are, but I think it'd be better to fix what she's doing wrong now (HIIT before weights, low protein, lack of logging, unknown water intake), before dramatically switching up her weight training program.
  • slowcheetah16
    slowcheetah16 Posts: 21 Member
    Cut the program back. 5x5 is very taxing on the body. Go to 3X5. Do squats once a week and never ever perform squats and deads on the same day. Cut out HIIT completely, it is killing your recovery. Go for a walk on rest days. You may want to consider going to a Reverse Pyramid training style. 4-6 reps, starting with your heaviest weight and peeling off weight to complete the next 2 sets.
  • bostonwolf
    bostonwolf Posts: 3,038 Member
    I speak as someone who is 42 years old and has lifted for the better part of 20 years.

    I love the 5x5 program, but I simply can't recover enough to do it Monday, Wednesday Friday. I generally do it Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and then start the program the next Tuesday.

    The program I'm on is three separate workouts and I find Monday's to be the easiest to recover from. #2 is tough and #3 is a bear.

    10-15 years ago I could easily have done in MWF. You need to be willing to make accommodations for age and ability IMO. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly.


    and FWIW, I do light cardio (30 minutes elliptical) before lifting to get my muscles loose and do some light stretching to get my hamstrings and groin loose, as I find if I don't the squats/deadlifts really get me there and slow down recovery.

    Doing HIIT before a 5x5 program seems to be a recipe for failure to me. Do HIIT as its own workout on a separate day.
  • DaveRCF
    DaveRCF Posts: 266
    I had the same issue. Like it or not, age has an impact on recovery. We both have a 4 at the front of our age. That makes a difference. I would be willing to bet that if you looked at the Stronglifts demographics they are skewed to the young bucks. All you have to do is look at the testimonials, which are riddled with 20-something guys who have had amazing gains.

    I was following the program to a T, injured my right quad twice and finally decided to cut back to 3X a week but 3X5 and not as many sets on warmups. Solved my problems. I would recommend cutting back on volume during a workout but not the number of days. See how that goes and then if that isn't working, you may have to cut back to 2X per week.

    I was worried that cutting back volume would limit my progress but the opposite happened and I continue to set new PR's.
    3X5 is what Rippetoe recommends for working sets and it is working for me.
  • DaveRCF
    DaveRCF Posts: 266
    Cut the program back. 5x5 is very taxing on the body. Go to 3X5. Do squats once a week and never ever perform squats and deads on the same day. Cut out HIIT completely, it is killing your recovery. Go for a walk on rest days. You may want to consider going to a Reverse Pyramid training style. 4-6 reps, starting with your heaviest weight and peeling off weight to complete the next 2 sets.

    I respectfully disagree. Squats and dead on the same day are fine for a beginner. I have set PRs for both on the same day. I agree on 3X5 but would squat every day, even if you aren't adding weight to the bar every day.

    BUT, I think what I have learned is that you need to tailor programs such as Stronglifts to a degree so they work for you. It is tempting to think that one size fits all but it doesn't. Also, you aren't "cheating" if you go 3X5 instead of 5X5. I felt like I was until I realized it worked better for me.
  • DaveRCF
    DaveRCF Posts: 266
    It takes minimum of 48hrs to recover from a heavy weights session, and sometimes a lot longer for the legs as much larger muscles, some top weight lifting trainers say can take up to 10 days for some people to recover. Really you shouldn't do more than 2 max legs sessions a week. Id suggest braking it down over the week, Like ... Day 1 Legs (5x5 Squats then 3 Sets of Lunges and Step ups lighter weight for say 8 reps each leg) then day 2: maybe shoulders (5x5 shoulder press, followed 3 sets of late raises, Cable Rotations, pull ups) then day 3: chest and back: (5x5 bench, then flys, pull overs ect). using this method every muscle gets a good workout and time to recover.

    I squat 3-5 times a week, and 3 of those are 5x5 style progressive loading.

    I have no problem with recovery. I do sprints tue and thur, lift heavy mon - wed - fri, and HIIT on saturday with sprints if i feel like it lol. Sundays a rest

    I do yoga too, and stretch ALOT. Maybe you need to do more stretching, healing. I take Fish oil and other things for my joints, and make sure my protien is WAY more then adequate.

    Days I feel drained after the workout, i make sure i stock up on a TON of protien (not too successful with carbs) and the next day I am fine.

    I've always worked out when I am/even if sore, but I suggest stretching or iceing and up your food intake if you have trouble recovering.

    ^^^^^
    Age: 23
    'Nuff said

    Oldtimers can't get away with this.
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
    With stronglifts once you reach this point it's time to move on you have out grown the program.

    This. While it is a great beginner's program, it's a *beginner's* program. Way too many people on MFP seem to using it as a long term solution. There's a reason why Starting Strength, an identical program, isn't called Intermediate Strength, or Absolute Strength.

    I am puzzled why several of the people here have suggested the OP move on to a more rigorous program. The OP is not saying they find everything too easy to lift... on the contrary, the OP has said they are having trouble lifting and are taking longer to recover than the plan calls for.

    I do not see the logic behind abandoning a program the OP is finding difficult to maintain due to recovery issues and going for a harder program as a viable solution to reducing recovery time.

    I also do not see her lifted weights as being overly high at all. Even the Strong Lifts 5X5 PDF doesn't classify them as high.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't read all of the the OP's post, so I'm clearly in the wrong here. I was agreeing with the statement that SS and SL are beginner's programs. Total goof by me.
  • n0ob
    n0ob Posts: 2,390 Member
    Agree with the 3x5 recommendations for working sets. I'd kill myself trying to do 5x5 at a weight that I actually almost fail with on squats...and that's for one day, much less multiple days of the week.
  • DanaDark
    DanaDark Posts: 2,187 Member
    I can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't read all of the the OP's post, so I'm clearly in the wrong here. I was agreeing with the statement that SS and SL are beginner's programs. Total goof by me.

    Oh. And I hope I didn't come off as "YOU ARE ALL WRONG" or something. I was seriously quite interested because I am actively trying to get into lifting weights. I definitely don't want to get something crucial wrong to begin with he he.
  • nexangelus
    nexangelus Posts: 2,081 Member
    I ran with it for the full 12 weeks, although at about 8 weeks or so I needed to do madcow for the upper body lifts as I stalled. My gains are still there...I am on a deficit now and am doing Wendler's 5/3/1 with assistance or fill in strength training. My squats and deads are still inceasing as are the upper body lifts (apart from the barbell row which seems to be stuck at 70kg/154 lbs)...I am finding it tougher on a deficit but am pushing through the fatigue.

    p.s. I did 5 x 5 for 3 days a week and still do strength training this often...I work full time and some days am tired, but one day's rest between each workout in the week and the weekend off suit me fine (4 days' rest in total) and I recover well...maybe check you are eating/drinking enough...I find when I eat more I lift way more...
  • FullOfWin
    FullOfWin Posts: 1,414 Member
    I didn't know Stronglifts was a 12 week program
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,406 Member
    I can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't read all of the the OP's post, so I'm clearly in the wrong here. I was agreeing with the statement that SS and SL are beginner's programs. Total goof by me.

    Oh. And I hope I didn't come off as "YOU ARE ALL WRONG" or something. I was seriously quite interested because I am actively trying to get into lifting weights. I definitely don't want to get something crucial wrong to begin with he he.

    You didn't come off that way at all. You and FoW both pointed out my mistake in a way that I could see it. I stand by the statement, but it definitely doesn't apply to the OP's question. Can't win all the time. I was more thinking about some people on here that seem to be doing SS or SL for like 30 weeks, but that's not what's going on here.
  • newmooon56
    newmooon56 Posts: 347 Member
    Hey all - thank you so much for the great advice.
    To answer a few questions- I eat well, I believe- been logging for months- but yes, I have stopped that - played out- and I think I "get it" now. I eat at least 120 grams of protein a day - sometimes a lil more. I do eat "good" carbs- sweet potatoes, quinoa, whole grains, etc.

    I drink a TON of water - and drink whey protein mixed with almond milk almost daily- but def. on lifting days after the lifts.

    I want to continue to add weights- I see no reason why I cant- except - it got harder to recover.

    I DID take out HIIT - I figured that would need to go eventually- and it is gone. I warm up with a 5 min. walk, some dynamic stretching and of course warm up sets with bar only.

    And yes- I am 40- not totally new to weight training- but totally new to the whole "lift heavy" thing. I LOVE IT- and cant wait to break some personal records.

    I do listen to my body- and thats why my last workout was Tuesday. Im not in a race with anyone or myself- and I think slowing the program down might be right for me. In other words- take 3 or 4 days to recover on the tough days. Maybe remove squats from 1 workout a week so they are only twice a week instead of 3x.

    By the way Im not actually in a deficit these days- Im eating at TDEE - which Ive tooled with over and over and feel I have figured as close as I can with these online calculators, though I know its not perfect- but I have getting almost 1900 cals a day- every day.

    I went from 152 - to 130 while doing a ton of cardio and some weights- now Im almost cardio free (maybe one day of a long walk/run) and otherwise - lifting 3x a week and feel GREAT. I do waitress 4 days a week- so thats a run run run type job and I included that fact when figuring TDEE.

    Im not scared to eat more and gain a lil- I know I can get it off- but Im also not trying to be a body builder. I want to find the right balance that lets me continue feeling fab while working my way to higher weights. I know theres women who squat way more then their body weight and at 90#s I have a lot of room to grow with this. I love DL- and am proud to be able to do my body weight +5, yet know for sure next workout Im adding 10 and will do it.

    Im still toying around -figuring what to do next- but will re-read these posts and cherry pick ideas out.

    As always - you MFPers rock! I found SL 5x5 here and my motivation to lose the 20# and start working out like a beast.

    THANK YOU !!
  • nexangelus
    nexangelus Posts: 2,081 Member
    I didn't know Stronglifts was a 12 week program

    Well, yeah it can be run several times in batches of 12 weeks I presume, but 12 weeks is the initial phase...from what I have read and understand, but as long as you are increasing weight and still lifting it, then it can be run for as long as, until you hit plateaux or stalls or whatever *shrug*