Questions about current program

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Dub
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Questions about current program

Post by Dub » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:59 am

A small introduction could be useful, since this is my first post on this forum.

I'm soon-to-be 20-year-old male from Finland, and I just started my studies at the Rovaniemi University of applied science: Sports and Leisure. My studies last about 3 and a half years, I practically get qualifications to work as a Personal Trainer/Coach/Fitness instructor etc.. The best translation for the studies would probably be a Bachelor of Sports and Leisure.
Anyway, eager to learn more and be more aware of what the hell I'm doing, I would like to start clearing some things puzzling me with the program I'm currently using. I weight around 165 pounds and I'm about 5,9ft tall. I have been working out for some years now, sometimes more actively, sometimes less. I tend to switch programs often, and test different strength training methdos and such. Now my focus has turned to the Stronglift program which I found from this forum. The 5x5 -idea as whole sounded nice but there's just few things I would like to ask.
My first question is about the length of the set. My first week of the program is over, and I was just wondering, have I done enough in sense of working out. The sets lasted only from 30 to 40 minutes. I'm used to work out somewhere around 45 to 60 minutes, even without warm-ups. I have this feeling that I haven't done enough, as the workload is very very light also. For example I shoulder pressed only the barbell this week. I can't say it was heavy or even tiring to do a set of 5x5 with that. I know the point is to start slowly and progress from that on, but still I can't help to think that it takes weeks to get to weights that are even remotely heavy. I'm just used to harder work outs, as I mostly prefer hypertrophic and maximal strength training. I'm also left with the feeling that I'm not getting all the important muscle groups worked with this program. Take abs for example. I know they are participating Squats and DLs, but aren't they only supporting and stabilizing the body? Will there be enough progress with that kind of work?

Shortly, should I just carry on with these under-45 minute workouts with low weigths and just believe the hype, or change the program. I had my doubts since I'm not a total rookie with strength training.

The other thing is about nutrition. I'm not counting the calories I'm eating, not even the carbs and proteins. I exercise alot and have some kind of clue what to put on my mouth. I've been using some protein supplements after working out, especially when I was in the army, as there the nutrition I was getting wasn't clearly enough, and it helped me to recover. I've heard so much comments from both sides of the following issue: Do I need these supplements, are they really helping me progress and recover? Or I just have another glass of milk per day. It's usually the bodybuilders who recommend the use of protein supplements, but so many other people, even highly educated fitness instructors are telling the opposite, that supplements are useless and a waste of money for an average gym monkey like myself. This question came into my mind again when I started this 5x5 program. I sure as hell haven't been too sore or powerless after these workouts. I didn't feel the need for extraprotein, but could there be some benefits if I used it nonetheless?

And sorry for the clumsy english, I'm a bit rusty with it at this moment. I hope the points are still there to be seen.


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KenDowns
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Re: Questions about current program

Post by KenDowns » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:55 pm

Dub, my own experience with stronglifts went through these phases:

1) I'm not even working out, 2 weeks
2) Well at least I'm warming up, 2 weeks
3) Now maybe I'm working out, 2 weeks
4) Aarrrrrrg!, rest of the program.

The SL author, Mehdi, says that the purpose of all of those early weeks with light weights is to learn form. If you are absolutely sure your form is sound, you might consider doing a "fast forward", where you set the weights as if you'd already been doing it for a 2 weeks, 3 weeks, whatever. That's what I did. Funny thing, my form was not as good as I thought, but it all worked out.

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Re: Questions about current program

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:53 pm

Your English is bettter than my Finnish, or whatever it is you all speak.
Dub wrote:I had my doubts since I'm not a total rookie with strength training.
Then why don't you have a better idea about how to adapt to the SL protocol? (1) or adapt it for you?
I mean, yeah it feel really light, now. Are you just loking for permission to break the "rules" of the program?
Feel free to tweak and reacess. But be mindful of the time you allwo something to work and the relative knowledge you bring about lifting and your own response.

Welcome
Sometimes my writing causes others to think I'm being offending but really, I'm not, it's just a language bearier







(1) using "rookie" to apply to your time under the bar (as I presume you intended), not the often used similar language to describe one who is still progressing linearly

edited for some spelling
Last edited by Oscar_Actuary on Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Questions about current program

Post by Nevage » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:05 pm

Wow your English is excellent.

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Re: Questions about current program

Post by Jungledoc » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:38 am

It sounds like you may be fairly experienced for using the SL program, which is designed for beginners. If you know yourself well, and think that you can still make progress with a linear program like SL, just set your weights higher and go from there.

You can't generalize about all supplements. Many products sold as supplements are useless.

Protein powders are just a way to conveniently get adequate protein in your diet. You can get the protein in lots of other ways, including milk. I agree that it's a pain to count calories, or estimate macronutrients. But you might want to just go ahead and do it for a few days to decide if you are getting adequate protein. If not, using protein shakes may be one way to correct the deficit.

Don't apologize for your English. There are participants on this forum from many places, and English is not the first language for all of them. And even native English-speakers don't always use perfect English either!


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Dub
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Re: Questions about current program

Post by Dub » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:18 am

Yeah, I've actually got the feeling I need acceptance and some experiences about the program, and wether or not to temper with it. There is this feeling in my gut that it could be good to go slow, because I might not know enough, even though I think so. I usually get it right after I get it wrong. The first week was kind of useful in sense of form-checking, and I really have the feeling I got it right. Maybe I'll borrow some video equipment from our school and film the sets first, before I shall do anything with the program.

Thanks for the answer on the protein-issue, maybe I'll just do some investigating around the issue. We'll see. It probably comes around sooner or later.

On another note, do you have anything to say about the length? I often hear that a good workout is somewhere around 45 minutes, sometimes an hour. I'm not looking this "30-minutes a day in 10-minute sections" -type of health advice, as I think it doesn't get me to the point where I want to be.

And yeah, it's finnish that we speak, but it's utterly complicated and a messy language. I also speak swedish and german, but poorly.

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Re: Questions about current program

Post by stuward » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:56 am

Something is better than nothing. That's why you see the 30 minutes in 10 minute segments advice. For people that don't exercise, that's less daunting to them. It's far from optimal. For building strength, 30-45 minutes, 3 times a week is all you need starting out. Over time, you may need more in order to continue making progress. Adding other activities like sports or hiking, etc is a good thing.

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Re: Questions about current program

Post by Jungledoc » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:59 am

Well, as you go on you may need to spend more time resting, and that will lengthen the program a bit. I can't remember what he says about assistance, but if you add more assistance lifts, that will add time.

Yeah, most non-Americans speak 2 or 3 languages well, and a few more "poorly", but usually not all that badly. Americans speak one language, often poorly, and feel offended by anyone who doesn't learn English!


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