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  1. Back on the track (hopefully)

    Sounds like a good plan!
  2. Back on the track (hopefully)

    Holy crap, it's Guru!
  3. coming back

    Welcome back, Jamie! Good to see you again. How have things been? Yes, it's quieted down around here quite a bit, but most people still pop in from time to time.
  4. Sure, warming up is definitely a good idea. Do what you need in order to train as safely as possible.
  5. Warm-up routines are usually pretty personal, but the warm-up sets would usually follow something like Mark Rippetoe recommends for Starting Strength. A set or two with empty bar, then a set of 5 at 60-70% of the scheduled work weight, and maybe a set of 3 at 80-90% of scheduled. You want to groove the movement with a light weight, but not burn yourself out too much. That's a balance each person needs to find themselves. I personally enjoy using an over-warmup. Work up to a single that's ~10% above my working weight. This gets my CNS firing and my focus up, and makes the working weight feel light when I unrack it. That approach doesn't work for everyone.
  6. Confused

    First, doing sets of 5 is not working at your max. Maxing out would be trying to go for a personal best for 1 rep every session. In addition to this point, StrongLifts, Starting Strength, and AFP are meant as novice linear programs. Once you are reaching the upper limits of the programming and you're unable to continue adding weight to the bar each session, you would move to an intermediate style program which will lower intensity or frequency to allow recovery (usually the latter), or will cycle intensity (a heavy day, medium day, and a light day are programmed). Wendler's 5/3/1 is a good example of an intermediate program, and is a very popular next step. Also Texas Method (Rip's favourite). Starting Strength uses 3x5. Stronglifts has you start at 5x5, but you will eventually lower to 3x5, then 1x5. In reality, neither is really better or worse. Higher reps early on in SL will add volume and allow you to practice the movement (given you are doing them correctly), but the real reason these programs are successful is because adding weight each session is a good motivator to get back into the gym, and being consistent is what drives progress. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find something that works perfectly for everyone. Everyone is different in work capacity, recovery ability, mobility, injuries, etc.. Trial and error is pretty big in this sport, but that takes experience. You could try to work with a coach who will monitor progress closely and devise a program specific for you -- they will do the analysis of your work and modify programming based on your results. That isn't accessible to everyone, so this is another reason why SL/SS/AFP were designed. They give a good base for inexperienced people to work with. They are simple, motivating, and effective enough across the spectrum. You will always get stronger running them, but it may not be the optimal rate of progress for every individual. The number of reps you use in your set will have an effect on how you progress. Longer sets will allow your muscles to grow in volume, but aren't necessarily optimal for strength. You will get stronger if you're adding weight, however. Alternately, shorter sets will build more strength but less size. These are general 'rules.' Sets of 5 have been found to be a good balance between the two (really sets ranging between 4-6 reps). You can build size with short sets if you keep your rest times between very low -- it ends up having a similar effect on muscle development as longer sets. 3x5 at 95 kg is 1350 kg total volume, and 3x8 at 75 kg is 1800. That's only a difference of 350 kg, which isn't super significant but could add up over time. It may be more difficult to continually add weight on 3x8 though. I would probably recommend staying the course and continue to push. If you find recovery difficult or you are stalling, you can try to mix up the rep scheme for a month or two as a break, but 3x5 is likely good enough.
  7. Working to get Stronger

    Dude, that's awesome. Keep up the good work.
  8. Outside the risk of salmonella contamination, you get a much bigger benefit from eating cooked eggs compared to raw. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/10/1716.full (bold emphasis is mine)
  9. Yes, I was more adding to what you were saying. There's no doubt bacon fat will taste better, but if someone is sensitive to high sodium it would be something to keep in mind.
  10. Bacon renderings probably have a fair bit more salt than unsalted butter or coconut oil. Some people have issues with high sodium intake. Calories are probably similar, but make sure you're measuring quantities so you know how many extra calories you're adding. By weight, fats have the highest calorie density (9 calories per gram, compared to 4 for both proteins and carbs). A small amount of fats goes a long way from an energy standpoint.
  11. Working to get Stronger

    I would say swimming is probably one of the better things for recovery, as it is nearly zero impact. There is no strain on any joints while doing it.
  12. Barbell Rows = elbow pain

    Where on the elbow is it hurting? What if you use a much wider grip on rows? Do you still have the same pain? Or what about rows with dumbbells (where your hand can be in a neutral grip). Or supinated (underhand) rows?
  13. Complexs with SL5x5

    You can do them, for sure. Same day as your session, and do them lighter than you normally would if you were rested. If you're comfortable with 95, do 65 lbs, that sort of thing. The point is more to get your heart moving, so the weight on the bar doesn't matter much.
  14. Need a laugh?

    That is pretty awesome.
  15. Question Re Stalling.

    A stall would be failing to complete the required reps for three consecutive sessions. You don't have to dump the bar, but if you don't get five sets of 5 reps, you repeat the same weight the next session. Three consecutive sessions where you fail to get 5x5 would be considered a stall, and you'd want to deload 10-15%. This isn't a hard science. Say you went 5, 5, 3, 2, 2 on the first day. Then 5, 5, 5, 3, 2 on the second. Finally, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3 on the third session, you may want to try that weight a 4th time. You've been consistently getting more reps in each session, and you're close to 5x5. Maybe rest and/or diet hasn't been on point, or it was a stressful week at work. You can keep pushing that same weight indefinitely if you feel confident you'll get it, but it's generally a good idea to deload if you miss on 3 consecutive sessions.