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Old 05-27-2012, 03:06 PM   #1
bamazav
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Default Starr's 5 x 5 or 5/3/1 Fullbody

I am done with the cut and split. I want to get back to training for strength and am considering Starr's 5 x 5 and Wendler's 5/3/1 Fullbody. I have done both and love them both. Looking for some input.

If I run Starr based on percentages it has me taking almost every lift up over 100 lbs in 12 weeks. Starr based upon pounds takes me up about 50 lbs in 12 weeks. 5/3/1 has the increases equal to Starr based on pounds but over 24 weeks. Here are my questions:

At 48 yrs old, what gains are realistic? Is it really realistic to think I can take my Squat and DL up 100 lbs in 12 weeks? Long term, am I better served by the slow and steady increases of 5/3/1 or the more middle of the road approach of Starr by the pounds or the aggressive approach of percentages? Does any of this make any sense?
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OBX Open August, 2014:
Squat 308 PR
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Deadlift 402 PR
Total - 886 at 50 yrs 199.6 lbs

Shooting for a 900+ total for next meet. (see quote below)

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1Co 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bamazav
At 48 yrs old, what gains are realistic? Is it really realistic to think I can take my Squat and DL up 100 lbs in 12 weeks?
I would say no, in any trained individual 48 or 28 I would say 100lbs in 12 weeks is very good progress. Unless starting from a very low standard already, that is tremendous progress.

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Long term, am I better served by the slow and steady increases of 5/3/1 or the more middle of the road approach of Starr by the pounds or the aggressive approach of percentages?
One important lesson to remember throughout your lifting career is that you should never count on guaranteed linear progression. Linear routines often give the impression *on paper* that things will go completely according to plan, this gives false hope and often an unrealistic idea of what to expect.

It is easier in the long haul to allow yourself some leeway and progress session-to-session. If your workout was great and you got all the reps, congrats! Increase the weight by 5lbs next time. If it was a struggle then perhaps sit at that weight for another session to really own it. If you start a session and it feels tough then feel free to gut it out and stick to the same weight next time or even just take it easy.

Programming months in advance isn't a more sophisticated or well thought out approach, it is entirely the opposite, it is self-limiting and unsophisticated compared to a more fluid session-to-session analysis. So whether it is 5/3/1 or Starr's full body approach I feel you shouldn't constrain yourself to percentage based increases, add poundage as your body dictates. Neither routine should 'force' you to add weight when not ready. In that case neither 5/3/1 or Starr's Full Body is better than the other.

I hope that wasn't too cryptic of an answer. My point is merely that either routine will do just fine and that you shouldn't decide based on projected progression but rather on how you prefer to train.

Good luck.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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Thanks Fazc, you actually confirmed what I was thinking.

Last edited by bamazav; 05-27-2012 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:18 PM   #4
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Thanks Facz, you actually confirmed what I was thinking.
So what are you going with Bama?
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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So what are you going with Bama?
As I said, I have done them both. I enjoyed 5/3/1 more and am leaning that way. At least at this moment, this morning I was leaning toward Starr 5 x 5.
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OBX Open August, 2014:
Squat 308 PR
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Deadlift 402 PR
Total - 886 at 50 yrs 199.6 lbs

Shooting for a 900+ total for next meet. (see quote below)

"If there is nothing you can improve on, your standards are too low!" - BAMA Strength Coach Scott Cochran

1Co 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:51 PM   #6
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Given your age (same as mine), I don't think 100 pounds in 12 or 24 weeks is realistic. At any age, really! I'm right with what Fazc said. I wish though that I could embrace the fluidity of training that he speaks of.

In a year? Maybe.

By age 50? Possible.

Eventually? Yes, sir.

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Old 05-28-2012, 06:29 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input men! After some thought and a poor attempt to "sleep on it," I have decided to go with the Starr 5x5 pounds. IMHO it allows the most fluidity that Fazc was speaking of earlier. My back is always a concern, this plan starts a more back friendly progression than the others, not pushing the PR range until week 6. This will give my body time to adjust and me time to workout kinks. I will also be employing a micro loading progression, again, more fluid with this plan than the others in my opinion.
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(Yasen Miroslav Zavadil)

OBX Open August, 2014:
Squat 308 PR
Bench 176
Deadlift 402 PR
Total - 886 at 50 yrs 199.6 lbs

Shooting for a 900+ total for next meet. (see quote below)

"If there is nothing you can improve on, your standards are too low!" - BAMA Strength Coach Scott Cochran

1Co 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:32 AM   #8
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Starr style 5x5 is my vote.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bamazav View Post
Thanks for the input men! After some thought and a poor attempt to "sleep on it," I have decided to go with the Starr 5x5 pounds. IMHO it allows the most fluidity that Fazc was speaking of earlier. My back is always a concern, this plan starts a more back friendly progression than the others, not pushing the PR range until week 6. This will give my body time to adjust and me time to workout kinks. I will also be employing a micro loading progression, again, more fluid with this plan than the others in my opinion.
Interested in seeing how this works out for you. Starting a new log for it?
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:43 AM   #10
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Gl, that is all the input I need! 5x5 starts in about 15 minutes!
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