reps and sets
Right, I'm still relatively new to this weight lifting malarky. I've been doing the stronglifts 5x5 programme for 6 months now, and the time it takes me to complete my workout is stretching out somewhat. I have a very fixed length of time I get to go to the gym, from when I get back home, to when I have to go and pick the wife up from the train station.
One of the ways to cut time would be to reduce the number of sets I'm doing, but I don't know the benefits/downsides to this. I am currently doing 5x5, what would be the affects of going to 3x5 on my lifts?
A dramatic decrease in muscle gains. I suppose if you have to, you would be better cutting to 3x10 or so, but I'm no expert.
How long is it taking you to do your workout?
I have the opposite problem. Usually I do the 5x5 in about a 1/2 hour, then I have all this extra time to spare so I throw a bunch of accesory excercises together that fit the same muscle groups so I can stretch it out a bit.
Takes me about 1 hour 15 minutes to do the full workout, plus 10 minutes before hand for warm up stretches.
Wouldn't 3x10 go into sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which would increase muscle size and not strength? As I said I'm new at this so I could well be completely off base here.
I dunno about that one bud, let's wait for macho, russ, emevas or one of them to get here and fill you in. Anyhow, why would you wanna do something that didnt affect strength?
I'm trying to figure out how it takes you so long to complete the 5x5. Maybe it's because of some of the supplements I'm taking but I find nowadays I don't need to rest as long, so whereas before where I would have to rest 1-2 minutes between sets I now rest only about 20-30 seconds, and that goes a long way. Usually, the 5x5 goes like this for me:
(just an example of chest day)
Squats 5x5 (around 250lbs currently)- about 10 minutes
Benchpress 5x5 (165-200) - 10 minutes at most
Bent over rows5x5 (145-185 depending on soreness from jits) 5 minutes or so
3xFinish Dips- 5 minutes
Yea, so about a half hour in all, and then I do accesory work like decline BP, flys, skull crushers, pulldowns, etc.
How long are you resting, and what supps do you take (if any)?
Its the squats that are a killer. My next session (tomorrow night) will be at 291.5lbs. I start with a few warm up reps which take a few minutes, then takes about 30 minutes to do 5x5. Bench is less time intensive 181.5lbs took me 15 minutes (maybe 20...) yesterday. I've switched to inverted rows from the new programme and these take about 5 to 10 minutes, and dips with 28.6lbs takes again between 5 and 10 minutes. Finally prone bridges take about 5 minutes.
Rest between reps depends on the lift, but probably about 5 minutes between squats at the moment. All other lifts, more like 2 to 3 minutes.
Just started taking BCAA and creatine, along with glutamine and protein I was already taking.
I should say on all this my body weight is 230lbs.
I don't know as much as the guys that BM mentioned but I was taught that 10 Reps is ideal for muscular size rather than strength.
From what I remember, you should be lifting 80-90% of you 1 rep max 6-8 times for strength gains.
What are you trying to do? What I mean is, what sport is the strength training supporting? The needs of a striker are a little different then the needs of a wrestler. El macho can answer the question better than most, once we know what you are asking.
Well, at the moment its supporting lifting. I'm not sure I agree with you there, whilst sports specific training is going to be more beneficial than none sports specific, I'm don't see how more or less sets is going to differ for grapplers and strikers.
Are you squatting 1.5x your bodyweight for your workout yet? If so you should move to one of the intermediate workouts, which may take less time (or may not, haven't gotten there yet). Sounds like your rest time is what's getting you, although I think even the stronglift site states that as your workout weight increases you will need longer rest times.
Are you having a time problem with both Workout A and Workout B? I've found that B takes much less time since there is only one set of deadlifts. So maybe you could do sets of 3 on the A workout since it's a longer workout, and sets of 5 on the B days. Set of three should still work to gain strength.
Or you could just do supersets. Do a set of five squats and then immediately jump to the bench for a set of 5, and then rest. That will cut down your rest time considerably, and the two lifts should affect each other two much, so you should still be able to do the same workload.
As a side note, I've been doing the stronglift 5x5 for a little over two months, and I have made incredible gains. I've never been on such an effective lifting program. I have yet to face a workout where I wasn't able to use more weight than on the previous workout. :)
Yeh its workout A that seems to take the longest. I'm just approaching 1.3x body weight on squats.
As an aside, I'd agree with you there, it is a fantastic programme and I have made significant gains on my lifts.