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  • Nearing the end of SSLP?

    Hey guys,

    I've been running SSLP for 3 months now (I've missed 4 workouts, so not a perfect 3 months) and are starting to have a hard time increasing the loads.

    Some stats:
    BW: 76 ==> 89 kg
    SQ: 50 ==> 102.5 kg
    BP: 35 ==> 58.75 kg
    OHP: 22.5 ==> 38.75 kg
    DL: 70 ==> 122.5 kg
    PC: 30 ==> 50kg

    I've been eating 3800 kcal 220P/100F/500C and just lowered it to 3500 kcal 220P/90F/450C because my waist size has reached 41-42 inches. I'd like to try to maintain weight while reducing waist size.

    I use 2.5 kg jumps for squats, DL and PC and 1.25 kg for the presses.

    I de-loaded my squat once for form issues at 102.5kg, but once I got back up to 102.5kg, I failed the jump to 105kg (only 4 reps on the first set, bad form on the last rep). It's really starting to feel heavy and generally my back angle changes when I come out from the bottom because it feels so heavy. Should I switch to 1.25 kg jumps like on the presses and see where I go from there?

    Also, I've missed a few reps on my previous bench and OH presses even though I'm doing 1.25kg jumps. I still lift the same weight the next workout to try to add reps at the same load rather than de-loading. Do you think I should carry on like that? Should I add two sets of 5 before upping the weight?

    Is it too early to be stalling like this? The weights are pretty low which is kind of discouraging, even though I've been running the program pretty well for 3 months. I think I eat enough and rest enough between sets (7 - 8 mins). I can't get more than 7-7h30 mins of sleep on weekdays unfortunately, that might explain why I'm having trouble progressing. (I've had form checks, my lifts should be fine, but I can post some videos here if necessary)

    I'd really appreciate some tips from you guys, thanks so much for your time!


  • #2
    Is it too early to be stalling like this? The weights are pretty low which is kind of discouraging, even though I've been running the program pretty well for 3 months. I think I eat enough and rest enough between sets (7 - 8 mins). I can't get more than 7-7h30 mins of sleep on weekdays unfortunately, that might explain why I'm having trouble progressing. (I've had form checks, my lifts should be fine, but I can post some videos here if necessary)
    You didn't tell us how old you are, but this is a very common situation. People think "the weights are too light for me to be done with the LP", probably because they've heard hyperbolic descriptions of the typical LP outcomes. There is a "population average" ending point on the novice program, and it's not at 3 x 5 x 375 after 9 months straight of novice programming.

    Furthermore, there is a wide inter-individual variation in response to training, so whereas some people make fantastic progress (i.e., they are highly sensitive to the training stimulus), others get far less progress, and need to move on to intermediate programming sooner rather than continually reset, spin their wheels, and gain more weight that they don't want to gain.

    Your presses in particular are quite low, and if you are in fact stalling out on those with good technique, it looks like you will need a lot more training on those to make them increase the way you want them to.

    You should probably get a form check, and if things look reasonably good, just move on. Especially since you will need to reduce that waist circumference in the long run for health purposes.
    IG / YT

    Comment


    • #3
      I have only 8 months of training experience, so I would defer to more experienced lifters but:

      I had a similar experience as you, and I didn't want to move into "official intermediate programming" with exercise variations yet, but save them for future adaptations. So what I did was increase my warm-up volume a lot. This has a few advantages: because they're warm-up weights, the intensity of effort did not increase much, the rest intervals are shorter so my workouts didn't take a too much longer, plus I get to practice the lifts more. I found I responded very well to the increased volume and started progressing again.

      My warm-up protocol is as follows:

      First exercise of the session: 2 sets with the empty bar.
      Divide the difference between your starting warm-up weight and your working weight by 6. This is your increment weight. It's fine to round up to the nearest convenient number.
      Now do 6 warm-up sets of 5 reps, adding the increment weight after each set, approximately.

      Now do 3x5 of the working weight. E.g. for squat, with a working weight of 225 lbs:

      45 x 2 x 5
      95 x 1 x 5
      115 x 1 x 5
      135 x 1 x 5
      155 x 1 x 5
      175 x 1 x 5
      195 x 1 x 5
      225 x 3 x 5


      I got the idea for more warm-up volume from reading the warm-up protocol described in the bridge (which is different to this, as its RPE based).

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey guys,

        Thanks for the input!

        Yes, sorry, I forgot to mention I'm 26yrs old and 6'1 tall.

        I think I'll lower the jumps on the squat and try to milk the LP some more and I'll keep adding reps to my presses as mentioned above.

        One thing that might explain some lack of progress on the presses is that my left arm is about 1inch longer that the right one. I use a FatGripz for my right arm to balance it out, I think that works pretty well but there still might be significant asymetries that are costing me.

        But of course I was never expecting to end LP with a 100kg bench after 6 months. I was pretty sure I was nearing the end but I just wanted to see if I could push it a little longer.

        I'm not sure why Rip sometimes mentioned that LP lasting less than 4 months is not really normal...

        Anyway, I'll move on to the bridge pretty soon!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lifter2017 View Post
          So what I did was increase my warm-up volume a lot.
          I'm sure that will work for some people, but for the most part, it just seems like a good way to get tired prior to your work sets, which should be the primary stress that drives the adaptation. You're essentially adding volume at a lower intensity, so I would just write that into my work sets for the day and leave warm-ups as warm-ups.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Austin Baraki View Post

            People think "the weights are too light for me to be done with the LP", probably because they've heard hyperbolic descriptions of the typical LP outcomes. There is a "population average" ending point on the novice program, and it's not at 3 x 5 x 375 after 9 months straight of novice programming.

            Furthermore, there is a wide inter-individual variation in response to training, so whereas some people make fantastic progress (i.e., they are highly sensitive to the training stimulus), others get far less progress, and need to move on to intermediate programming sooner rather than continually reset, spin their wheels, and gain more weight that they don't want to gain.
            This is not emphasised enough.

            The weight gain is something I have a real problem with as well. I am 90 kgs (200lbs) and I don't want to gain more weight. My waist is circa 36 inches, but SS constantly tells everyone to eat more and more. I want my press and bench press to go up, but I don't want to get any fatter - period. So volume and BBM it is.



            Separately, having had a random think this morning while in the shower (#showerthoughts), why is it that when the gym bros who never squat and only bench and do arms move to SSLP, their bench almost keeps up with their squat despite squatting 6 times a fortnight and benching 3 times a fortnight? I always figured it was due to the massive volume of benching done in their early training career (for want of a better term). That is why I don't understand TM as its volume across the fortnight is the same as LP yet increases are expected. I am being simplistic but you get my drift.

            Thanks guys for all you do.
            Log

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by teddyd View Post


              Separately, having had a random think this morning while in the shower (#showerthoughts), why is it that when the gym bros who never squat and only bench and do arms move to SSLP, their bench almost keeps up with their squat despite squatting 6 times a fortnight and benching 3 times a fortnight? I always figured it was due to the massive volume of benching done in their early training career (for want of a better term). That is why I don't understand TM as its volume across the fortnight is the same as LP yet increases are expected. I am being simplistic but you get my drift.

              Thanks guys for all you do.
              I was in that demographic, and that wasn't really my experience. My bench didn't really see much in the way of significant gains after switching to barbell focused training until I did Jordan's 4 day split version of TM on the 12 ways of skinning TM article, which has significantly more upper body volume than standard TM.
              Forum topics and other links I've found useful

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Austin Baraki View Post

                You didn't tell us how old you are, but this is a very common situation. People think "the weights are too light for me to be done with the LP", probably because they've heard hyperbolic descriptions of the typical LP outcomes. There is a "population average" ending point on the novice program, and it's not at 3 x 5 x 375 after 9 months straight of novice programming.
                Austin,

                I've heard you and Jordan say numerous times that your own LP ended around 285 pounds on the squat, and that this was "right at the top of the bell curve". Where does this data come from? Does this data include males of all age groups? Does it include the advanced novice (2x per week squatting with middle light day) or is it based on squatting 3x per week?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ringer333 View Post

                  Austin,

                  I've heard you and Jordan say numerous times that your own LP ended around 285 pounds on the squat, and that this was "right at the top of the bell curve". Where does this data come from? Does this data include males of all age groups? Does it include the advanced novice (2x per week squatting with middle light day) or is it based on squatting 3x per week?
                  It's from data presented from two separate sources (one from SSOC, the other from Dr. Petrizzo's study at his university) at the SSCA conference last year.
                  IG / YT

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just an idea as to what could skew those high 'end of SSLP' numbers to some extent.

                    There is a possibility that some of those numbers reported could be from previously trained individuals...

                    Take me for example, I have trained for several years (previously using sub-optimal programming) but still accumulated a decent amount of strength along the way. That was until I hurt myself, life got busy, and I made the poor decision to stop training for almost a year. Fast forward to about 3 months ago and I decided to try starting strength to get back in to lifting.

                    After 3 months of SSLP my numbers were mid 300s for 3x5 on squats etc. because of my previously built strength/musculature and practice/efficeincy with the movements (This may all be BS, so correct me if that is not a feasible hypothesis).

                    I guess my point is that not all people running novice LP may be true novices.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Austin Baraki View Post
                      Your presses in particular are quite low, and if you are in fact stalling out on those with good technique, it looks like you will need a lot more training on those to make them increase the way you want them to.

                      You should probably get a form check, and if things look reasonably good, just move on. Especially since you will need to reduce that waist circumference in the long run for health purposes.
                      Considering how low my presses are, would you recommend a different program than the bridge moving forward after SSLP?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by UserName View Post

                        Considering how low my presses are, would you recommend a different program than the bridge moving forward after SSLP?
                        I don't think it's appropriate to specialize at this time.
                        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This may be a stupid question in light of your response Jordan. Is there a way, or a method, or is it incorporated into BBM templates and programs to bring the upper body up considering (from my limited experience) that some come off SSLP with disproportionately stronger/larger lower body squats and deadlifts as compared to bench press and press? I am not referring to bench or press specialisation, but upper body vs lower body lifts and TBH size.
                          Log

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by teddyd View Post
                            This may be a stupid question in light of your response Jordan. Is there a way, or a method, or is it incorporated into BBM templates and programs to bring the upper body up considering (from my limited experience) that some come off SSLP with disproportionately stronger/larger lower body squats and deadlifts as compared to bench press and press? I am not referring to bench or press specialisation, but upper body vs lower body lifts and TBH size.
                            I think when the volume is correct, the upper body will grow. Most of the time our programs have enough volume to make this happen, but sometimes people will need even more than we prescribe. I do not think that is your case, however.
                            Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                            ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post

                              I think when the volume is correct, the upper body will grow. Most of the time our programs have enough volume to make this happen, but sometimes people will need even more than we prescribe. I do not think that is your case, however.
                              Sorry Jordan, do you mean my case or teddyd's case?

                              In any case I have no problem sticking to a good general program such as The Bridge. I really have no particular desire to get a huge upper body or anything (for example I only just recently started chinning because I didn't want to reduce my DL and PC frequency since they were going up as planned), I am perfectly happy sticking to the valuable info you give here. I was only having doubts as to why I was stalling so early, just making sure it was possible.

                              I do think however that I overshot the nutrition part, I did gain weight and was happy to but really my waist is way to big now. I just didn't want to risk hindering any gains on the program so I just kept the macros during the whole three months.

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