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Starting strength routine: Advanced tips for 5x5 Stronglift program

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jan 2, 2015 10:08:00 AM



Starting strength routine: Advanced tips for 5x5 Stronglift program


The disheartening news is that i start the new year only with 10kg more on my squat then in September. The good new is that I actually get my butt down now and also have bumped up my bench to 90kg 5x5 and my deadlift to 140kg 1x5. If you do not know what the 5x5 Stronglift program is, look it up here.

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#1 Be honest to yourself


Do not let your ego get in the way of progressing on your lifting. This is especially true for the squat, as it is the easiest of the lifts in the 5x5 program to cheat on by not going all the way down. I cheated my way into believing that I could squat 140kg. After some sessions on youtube and with the barbell shrugged podcast I realised that what I was doing was far from a full squat. Therefore I decided to deload considerably and built it back up from there with better form. The result is that I get more out of workouts for my legs and avoid hurting my back less by loading too much onto it.


#2 Incorporate relevant stretching in the recovery times


This is something I started about three months into the program and should have done from day one. You will be waiting in the gym anyway for your next 5 rep set when using the 5x5 program so make use of the time working on your ankle mobility and stretch out your lower back. That is better use of the time as sitting on a bench looking at others doing their thing.


#3 Make use of the "Arms" addition in the app


Recently there was an addition to the 5x5 app for chin ups and dips. I highly recommend it as it only adds 15 miutes to the routine but makes it more complete. Especially crosfitters will find the 5x5 plus chinup/dips program highly effective for improving their strength with three gym sessions a week.


#4 Use a belt once you squat more than bodyweight


If you are a beginner consider using a belt after you move above the bodyweight mark on your squats. Literally there is another person sitting on your back whilst doing a squat now. Once you move up the weights you can leave out the belt in your warm ups and only use it for your highest weight set of the day. I personally leave the belt off for all of my warm up sets, do the first to third work set without it depending on the day and the last two work sets with the belt. 

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Topics: Starting strength routine, Stronglifts 5x5, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Strongman