The Next Step.What comes next?
Posted 28 July 2011 - 06:43 AM
I have been thinking quite a bit lately about what comes next. After Stronglifts 5x5 and our other respective weightlifting routines, we have many many options and most of us have varying goals. Strength is a big one that most of us have in common, I would say that a lot of us don't mind looking good either
I personally have never been a very big person, I am 5'9" (173-174cm) and currently 69kg (152lbs). I have been fairly active throughout my adult life and always been lean. Some people call me lucky, in someways I guess so. But it has always been tricky for me gaining weight. Not only cause I am usually too poor to buy 4000cal of food a day, but also cause deep down I do care about my body image. Despite this body image isn't in my actual goals. Strength and Functionality are, I want to lift more weight, compete even and I want to Rock Climb... Not exactly 2 sports that go hand in hand, but oh well.
Now, the whole reason why I started this Topic. What comes next. There are a few folks on this forum that have started hitting the Weight and Volume barrier in 5x5 Squats, most of us have either stalled out to 3x5 or chosen to drop to 3x5. Either way that means we are heading to the end of life in the SL 5x5, from what I can see most of those people are squatting above bodyweight too.
I have been tossing and turning over what to do next. I am currently feeling stronger then I have in a while, but I am noticing that outside of working out I am generally less active then I used to be. Most intermediate programs have a lower volume of heavy lifting to allow for greater recovery. So I thought I would put it out there and see what people think about their future options in regards to their future goals.
The main selection of Intermediate plans that I know of is:
SL 5x5 - Advanced
Wendler's 5/3/1 -- Wendler Spreadsheet
Smolov Squat Cycle
Faleev's 5x5 (odd russian varient)
So..... I could type up a bit of info on all of these programs, but I figure you are better off just clicking links and reading. Plus I dare say most of us have read these pages before. I'll throw a few of my own thoughts in though.
The most popular of these seems to be Madcow, the most challenging would have to be Smolov and one of the better long term programs would be 5/3/1.
I have always wanted to complete a full Smolov cycle simply because it appears to be so crazy arse insane. Lots of people argue that you need 'Chemical Assistance' in order to get through the program. I have no doubt that it is intense but I feel it is truly doable.
5/3/1 appeals to me personally due to the ability to focus the Assistance exercises on possible sport specific goals. A long distance runner could effectively do 5/3/1 without hampering their daily training if they so wanted. Without the serious assistance work and big diet you would simply gain strength where it counts without gaining large amounts of weight. This also allows people to use Kettlebells, gymnastic rings, Metabolic Conditioning and other such 'Non Standard' assistance exercises in order to achieve a slightly broader goal and possibly leaner physique.
Madcow allows the next highest rate of progression for all of the prime lifts. For a guy squatting 270lbs twelve weeks gets you to 330lbs (1x5) vs 297lbs (1x1)... Of course you can't stay on Madcow forever I guess. But you can run back to back cycles, but I imagine it would get less and less effective.
For me personally I may choose Madcow followed by 5/3/1, although I would love to throw Smolov in there for the challenge.
In the end though, I want to bring Kettlebells and Gymnastic rings back into my regular training schedule as these bring me much joy and relate a little more to the type of strength needed by a climber. But I want to still improve my overall strength.
Posted 28 July 2011 - 11:56 AM
I'll also throw out that the 5/3/1 method has a whole book to more deeply explain it. There's also Practical Programming book by Dr. Kilgore and Rippetoe that will help you tailor your own programs for yourself.
Posted 28 July 2011 - 03:46 PM
Personally, i have no goals of competing in a Powerlifting meets. I am lifting just to feel and get Stronger..and ofcourse to feel good about it.
I started on SL basically bcos, my lifts on the Isolation routines werent making me any stonger (the Rep range did not allow me to increase my lift poundage). SL Helped me overcome that barrier.
Yes, Smolov seems to be a perfect recipe for real bad (and hard) asses...I think i would take it up when i plan to commit suicide...Kidding..The Program's layout itself looks so intense that i need balls of steel to take up that one and stick to the 13 weeks.
Posted 28 July 2011 - 11:27 PM
The 5/3/1 book is a good little read, it explains various assistance ideas and give examples all the while letting you make up your own thing too.
I have been thinking of going Madcow first and then Wendler and save Smolov for the Wet Season... When it rains here there is no Outdoor activity that is safe for around 3 months .
I want to start implementing Gymnastic ring exercises during Madcow, just easy going Static Exercises. But in Wendler I want to get back into Kettlebells and more active Ring workouts. Mostly cause they are fun.
I also found some of the Boris Sheiko routines...... These things scare the crap out of me more then Smolov, they seem to be more serious 'professional' routines for people that don't work, have meals and all daily needs catered for or just plain rich people with too much time. Some of these routines have you Squatting TWICE in one day.
Some of them are a bit tricky to read as they are semi translated from Russian. There is a special translation link there, but the core ones are in full english.
Posted 29 July 2011 - 07:45 PM
- Starting Strength until I hit Intermediate stats
- Smolov (if it burns fat like they say I'll be one happy camper)
- Wendler 5/3/1
Posted 29 July 2011 - 11:51 PM
I am pretty interested in Olympic Lifts, and I have the basic idea, but no one where I am actually knows anything about them. Ironically I am going to Tafe (Collage of sorts) studying fitness and exercise. Looks like I have to go and get my Weightlifting Level 1 Couching certification to learn any of that properly or just teach myself.
Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:50 PM
I don't fancy smolov because of no deadlifting.
I reckon it would be SL advanced after Madcow - then after that I would devise my own plan, because it would basically be heavy squat/deadlift/bench once a week and pad it out with OHP, tricep work and assistance exercises - you only need a spreadsheet to do monthly increases instead of weekly.
Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:00 AM
+1 on Smolov if you really want to increase your squat. Another plus is, if you are working toward body recomp, squatting that much will burn a lot more calories.
With the results I've gotten from doing something hard, I'm thinking the results after Smolov will be equally good. I'm planning on doing it once. I may change my mind at some point in the future, but once is enough to think about for now.