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Old 09-11-2013, 07:30 AM   #1
Maz
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Default Beginner PL Routine that isn't 5x5?

I have been lifting since April doing Stronglifts 5x5, going down to 3x5. I was extremely weak at first but built up some strength. I'm still not where I should be, and deloaded many times on the program. Right now my 5RMs are:

Squat - 225
Bench - 160
Deadlift - 295

I got bored with SL and the constant deloading made it seem like I was getting nowhere. I haven't been able to get too far past these numbers on a couple months. So I quit that routine and the past couple weeks have been trying out the Layne Norton PHAT routine, which is more for BB. It turns out I miss doing mostly heavy barbell movements and don't enjoy all the cable flyes and such on PHAT. I'm not really interested in Madcows or TM, they are too similar to SL and I need to try something new for awhile. 531 is too slow progression because I'd like to work towards 1000 total asap, preferably before the beginning of 2014. I like the single minded training of 531, going in to do one primary lift each day, plus accessories. I was thinking the BBB template would be decent since I can do the BBB squats on DL day, BBB press on bench day, etc giving me more frequency. But my lifts aren't yet heavy enough to move to 531, they're still beginner weights. So what options are there besides the typical 5x5s that are suggested everywhere online? I'd like a higher volume routine but I'm open to anything. I jut want to bust past these plateaus ASAP and progress as fast as possible.

As for diet, I get 4000 calories a day with 200g protein, and I'm 195 lbs at 5'10". I got a good amount of body fat but I really don't care about that. I want strength and mass, not really trying to look like a fitness model or whatever. My plan is to reach 1200 total ASAP before hitting my first meet.

I train alone but have been looking at some other gyms online that are more geared towards strength training and powerlifting. I might hold out until March when my one year membership at my current gym ends. But maybe lifting with some stronger guys and getting a little coaching could help.

What should I be doing at this point?
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:31 AM   #2
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Shit, I wrote a lot more than I planned.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:42 AM   #3
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So since April you have added:

180lbs to you squat
115 to your bench
250 to your deadlift

I say added because SL starts you with an empty bar. Great progress in 5 months. i would love that progress, ride it! I would also note that you have not yet reached the strength goals that Mehdi recommends before changing things up. At any rate, It appears that you ARE progressing well. I would stay with what is working. The deloads and resets are part of the process. You could micro load for brief stalls, but I wouldn't change anything until I have gone at least a month or more with no forward progress.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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Routines like PHAT are simply too much and aren't needed. If and when you do make a change, best going with something like 531. That way you can structure assistance work to reach your goals.

Also note that strength gains slow over time. This is normal, and not a plateau. The stronger you get, the slower gains come. Best to fight for additional reps than 5 pounds a workout.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:59 AM   #5
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Korte 3 x 3? Plenty of frequency. Or is that a mad suggestion for a relative beginner?
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamazav View Post
So since April you have added:

180lbs to you squat
115 to your bench
250 to your deadlift

I say added because SL starts you with an empty bar. Great progress in 5 months. i would love that progress, ride it! I would also note that you have not yet reached the strength goals that Mehdi recommends before changing things up. At any rate, It appears that you ARE progressing well. I would stay with what is working. The deloads and resets are part of the process. You could micro load for brief stalls, but I wouldn't change anything until I have gone at least a month or more with no forward progress.
I've had no significant progress in 1-2 months. I've lifted a little more on those random good days, but those are the numbers I can't seem to get far beyond. I deload and end up stalling at the same weights. The deadlift still seems to be going well though. I read logs of other people who have done SL or Starting Stength for around the same amount of time and are lifting much more, at less bodyweight too. I have worked on my form a lot and while it may or be perfect, I'm sure it's not primarily what's holding me back.

PHAT is indeed too much volume, but SL is too little. I don't like not focusing on the main lifts either. But it's a good change for a couple weeks until I can find something new to continue progressing. That Korte 3x3 looks gnarly... all three lifts three days a week? Youch! I like doing some alternate lifts on PHAT, ie dumbbell press instead of OHP, but think I should be doing those to supplement not replace. 531 looks good but I think I could make faster progress. If I can reach my 1000 goal by January maybe I can start 531 then.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
That Korte 3x3 looks gnarly... all three lifts three days a week? Youch! .
Yeah, but the poundages are pretty low, in the 58-62%s if I remember correctly. But it may not be appropriate for you anyway. Just throwing it out there. It does get boring really fast.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:16 PM   #8
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I went through the same thing with SS/SL when I began lifting. I felt like I stalled after awhile and started questioning what I was doing. Truth of the matter was I just wasn't eating enough. In my opinion, it is a great way to make a lot of strides quickly as a beginner, but make sure you're getting enough fuel for the workouts in your diet.

If you do go with 531, I'd recommend picking up the Beyond 531 book and exploring some of the ways to get more volume in the workouts.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tannhauser View Post
Korte 3 x 3? Plenty of frequency. Or is that a mad suggestion for a relative beginner?
A fine suggestion,
I would definitely second this motion,
I've run it a few times now and always find myself drifting back towards it.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:12 PM   #10
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To confuse you even further, I would not do Korte unless you are certain your form is really good on each lift. Lots and lots of reps each week with poor form might not be a good way to go if you are relatively new to lifting. And the lighter weights in the beginning would let you get away with poor form pretty easily.

I would go in a different direction completely than fullbody. I'd go to something along the lines of BIG where you hammer the crap out of one lift a day each week. 5-3-1 would work too, I'm not sure why you think the progress would be too slow. I think Wendler himself says something like, well you're not making any progress now, so how will it hurt?

That and eat more. WHoever pointed that out is right, if you aren't eating enough you'll stall on almost any routine.
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