Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 29, 2011 Workout Summary

My 11th StrongLifts 5x5 workout.

StrongLifts 5x5 Progress 6/29/2011
StrongLifts 5x5 Progress 6/29/2011

LiftStart (6/6/2011)Current (6/29/2011)Gain
Squat135 lbs185 lbs+50 lbs
Deadlift185 lbs225 lbs+40 lbs
Bench145 lbs165 lbs+20 lbs
Rows60 lbs85 lbs+25 lbs
Overhead Press45 lbs65 lbs+20 lbs
Calves90 lbs110 lbs+20 lbs
Abs0 lbs7.5 lbs+7.5 lbs
Weight154.6 lbs162.2 lbs+7.6 lbs

I completed 5/5/3/3/2 at 185 lbs. I've always been bad about not squatting down as far as I should. I've been a lot better, but I started off with the advice "you should try to go down to parallel". I ended up doing sorta parallel squats. Then I started StrongLifts and I've been doing squats that are just on the edge of good form.  But I've seen videos of other StrongLifts members going what looked like below parallel to me. So then I learned about having the hip joint go below the knee joint before squatting back up. I realized that I don't go down far enough.  I figured that 185 lbs was a good weight to stall at since it looks good with the 25 lb weights on each side. So this workout I made sure that every squat down was far enough. I was pretty optimistic after the first 2 sets that I wasn't going to stall even with better form. But then the third set came, and it was all down hill from there.

I completed 5/3/2/1/0 at 165 lbs. Of course, right after LoneWolfArcher comments on how high my bench is, I stall out, hahaha. I'm sure this was actually a combination of being tired during my workout and wearing myself out from squats. When I did my warmup set at 135 lbs, I thought, "Man, this is heavy. I'm going to add 30 lbs to this?"

I completed 5x5 at 85 lbs. I've been using the straight curl bars for these so that I don't have to wait on/take up a squat rack. They didn't have an 85 lbs straight bar so I ended up doing 90 lbs, but for the sake of progression, I'm pretending that it was 85 lbs.

I completed 5x5 at 110 lbs.

I completed 5x5 at 2.5 lbs

I weighed 162.2 lbs. I finally broke 162 lbs, but it's only been a 0.6 lb improvement over the number last week. Increasing my calorie intake is looking more and more inevitable.

If you're looking for another StrongLifts 5x5 blog to follow, check out Lone Wolf Archer's blog. This guy has been following the StrongLifts 5x5 workout for 15 weeks now. It's nice to be able to read about his success, not only where he's at now, but the challenges he's been through.  It's encouraging to read back through posts where he previously stalled, but then broke through the plateau.  It keeps my morale up on days like today when I'm stalling all over the place.


  1. Had the same thing happen on my bench press on Monday. After having no problems at 155lbs the session before, couldn't even get a full 5 on any set at 160lbs. Weird how it goes like that sometimes.

  2. Yeah, I saw that. It's a bummer. Maybe 5 lbs is just too big of an increment for bench, because I would guess that the overcompensation that muscles do would be proportional to the size of the muscle group. I wonder how it might have been different if we had 1.25 lbs plates so that we could increase by 2.5 lbs each time. I wish Mehdi had given more advice on when to switch to using fractional plates. I'll probably try them out after having to deload.

  3. I think it's also a mental thing. Doing Sl 5x5 I have gotten so used to setting new PRs every session that when I don't it seems like such a let down. As we get up there, just going to have to accept that gains will come, but slower.

    I've also read on SL and other places that people see stalls on bench until their rows catch up.

  4. That's interesting. I never did rows before StrongLifts, so I started out and am still low in rows. And it could definitely be a mental thing for me. 165 lbs was my plateau before StrongLifts. Technically, I broke through that plateau when I completed my first set of 5, but that 165 number is probably pounded into my brain as being my failure point.

    Anyway, I was looking at pg 87 of the e-book and you can see a graph of someone's bench. It looks like he switched to fractional plates after his first deload and had really good success from there.

  5. I am also considering fractional plates. I also think that deloading twice then going to 3x5 will make a big difference on both presses (bench and overhead). The fewer reps will lead to better recovery and therefore plateaus should be easier to break through. But fractional plates for the smaller muscle groups makes a lot of sense.