Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I really got burnt out on the StrongLifts program. After breaking 200 lbs on squat, I just wasn't going anywhere. It was deload after deload and I felt like I was actually getting weaker. I skipped a couple workouts, and then started looking for another workout program. I thought that there was a problem with the program not sufficiently tearing down my muscles.  Basically, I thought because I wasn't sore after the workouts, they weren't overcoming the repeated bout effect.  I looked for ways to increase workout intensity. However, in the process, I found a bodybuilder on that I think really knows what he's talking about and has had the kind of bodybuilding success that I want.  He follows a lot of the same principles as StrongLifts including the big one: size = strength.  But he said something that was really new to me. He said that if you're not going up in weight or reps every single time you hit the gym, you're not resting long enough. He said that over-training was the number one problem that natural bodybuilders faced.  In his workout, he trains body parts 2 weeks apart with bi/triceps being 3 weeks apart because that is how long it takes for his body to overcompensate.  He only does 1 working set of each exercise to failure, and only does a couple exercises for each body part.

He says that he started out training each body part twice a week, but quickly cut back to once a week, then eventually every other week.  I'm going to try to apply this resting principle to my workouts and see if I can increase my estimated 1 RM each workout by either doing more weight or more reps. I'm also going to do 1 set of 8-12 reps on all my exercises and try to choose just one or 2 exercises for each muscle. I'm going to start with 1 week of rest between exercises and increase the rest by 2 days whenever I don't think that my muscles did any overcompensation.


  1. Are you aware that after you deload twice on SL5x5, you're supposed to move to SL3x5? And later on to SL1x5 and other programs?

    SL5x5 is only for the beginning.

  2. Yeah, I was down to 3x5 on everything when I quit SL. Also, I didn't understand over-training properly when I wrote this article. It turns out that over-training is a system-wide failure of the nervous system and that over-training doesn't happen on a muscle-by-muscle basis as shown by research. Looking back, I think that my reason for feeling weaker was from lack of form and a mental block from too much going to failure. When I got close to failure, my form broke down and I stopped progressing. Combine that with slower and slower reps each workout and I forgot what it was like to complete a set and feel good about it.