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  1. #1
    Experienced Member Sean Steele's Avatar
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    Switching from splits to SL5X5

    I am currently doing a split routine that I got from BB.com. I have been at it for a month now and have been adding to my lifts. I feel stronger but my weight is slow to come off and my measurements aren't changing. I had no idea where to start with my lift weights so I am probably just getting to where I should have been to start. I am currently 5'11" and 275lbs but I am more interested in lowering my %body fat. I am also spending almost two hours in the gym on lifting days. I would like to switch over to the Strong Lifts 5X5 routine but I am not sure which of the exercises in the database are the ones that match the exercises in the routine. Also, I workout in a small town gym and I am usually the only one there. Is it safe to do bench press and squat with no spotter? I know I can handle the 45lb bar that the system suggests to start with but once I get to heavier weights I am worried about working out alone.

    Any suggestions or input would be appreciated. Which of the dozens of rows is the one used in the SL5X5?
    Last edited by Sean Steele; 12-15-2011 at 07:25 PM.

  2. #2
    I Am JEFIT Legend Deviation's Avatar
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    There's quite a few SL members here so I'll let them answer those questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Steele View Post
    Is it safe to do bench press and squat with no spotter?
    That depends. Are you squatting in a rack? If so and the safety bars are set right, then you're fine. For bench, I would get a spotter OR move a flat bench into a power rack and use the safety bars as a spotter. I workout at home and let me tell you no spotter on bench will bite you in the ass. I made the mistake of doing that before I got my rack. Nothing like trying to get a loaded bar off your chest with no one around. Even worse, people have had the bars fall on their necks killing them. Not trying to scare you, but just understand it can be dangerous.
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  3. #3
    Experienced Member Sean Steele's Avatar
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    The gym has a power rack that everyone uses for bench press as well as other lifts. It has what I assume are the safety bars that you are talking about. Can I assume that for a squat I would set the bars just below a full squat height and for bench press, just above my chest?

    I looked thru a few routines in that section of the forum and the majority were using the bent over row. One or two were using the upright row. The bent over gets more back so I am betting that is the one I want to use.

  4. #4
    I Am JEFIT Legend Deviation's Avatar
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    Bent over row is back so you're probably right.

    Yep. The power rack will do the trick. The safety bars just need to be below full squat so you make it all the way down. You want it to catch the bar if you fail at the bottom so you don't get squashed. For the bench, you can set the J hooks (where the bar rests) wherever is comfortable for you. You just need to be able to clear them when you start.
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  5. #5
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member amcredle's Avatar
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    Here are the exercises I use in the data base

    For Work out A

    Barbell Full Squat
    BArbell Bench Press
    BArbell Bent Over Row
    Push Ups

    Work Out B

    Barbell full Squat
    Standing Military press
    Barbell Deadlift
    Pull Ups

    As far as saftey... Deviation said it right. personally I dont Bench in the squat rack. But i only bench what im comfortable with. If i go heavy I can usually call for a spot. For sqauts if you just set the safety bars right you should be just fine.
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  6. #6
    Experienced Member Sean Steele's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the help.
    I think I will finish out the year with the split routine and start week one on week one 2012. Once I start, I will probably start a log as well.
    Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Steele View Post
    I have been at it for a month now and have been adding to my lifts. I feel stronger but my weight is slow to come off and my measurements aren't changing.
    Just to point out - that's probably normal. Initially you'll gain muscle/water weight at the same time as losing fat so don't expect to lose weight too quickly. Also remember muscle is denser than fat so your measurements perhaps won't change noticeably in the first few months.

    Sounds like you're doing everything right - just don't let the apparent lack of physical progress get you down, it will happen if you stick at it...

  8. #8
    More Experienced than a Senior decu68's Avatar
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    Come the new year I will switching to the Strengthening 5x5. I had done so many years ago and I always find that I circulate through my lifts having done many of them 2 or more times over the years.

    Also workout alone. When squatting I just ensure that on my last lift I know I can get it back in place. For bench pressing I do use the safety bars and has saved me more than once; I'd have it no other way. Only problem with working out alone is that you don't have somebody there to help/assist you for a "couple of more" which can help you get over humps or take you to the next level. However with the Strengthening Routine, you don't want to go to failure so it won't be as big an issue.

  9. #9
    Experienced Member Sean Steele's Avatar
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    I don't want to make it sound like I am quitting the splits routine just because I am not seeing progress after only one month. I just think that the 5x5 is a better routine for where I want to go.

  10. #10
    More Experienced than a Senior decu68's Avatar
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    So I looked at the Stronglift 5x5 and found some good information. I downloaded the spreadsheet and entered in my weights and reps and found that it notified me that I am beyond this workout and need to move to the next levels. I looked at those and have now moved to the Madcow 5x5 which I will do for the 12 week program before moving to the Stronglift Advanced 5x5.

    These workouts are a nice layout as you only enter in some limited information about your lifting weights/reps and it will calculate exactly what to do for each lift. It will start you lighter and than building you up. I will be giving this a go on Monday, January 2, 2012.

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