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Old 07-08-2015, 09:31 AM   #1
Kenneth Will Bass
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Stronglifts 5x5 Back AND Front Squats?

Hi,
So I just got back a month ago from a 2 year religious/service mission to Russia, and while I was there had 0 time in the gym to lift. Literally. I didn't lift at all.
So, now that I'm back I'm weak.
I wanted to use the Stronglifts 5x5 to get me back to at least where I was before I left, (if not stronger) but one thing that kinda dissapoints me about this system is it does not include front squats.

For those of you who are familiar with Stronglifts, what do you think if I did something like replacing back squats for front squats every other workout? Will that really significantly slow my gains?

http://stronglifts.com/squat/front-squat/

Seems that the founder really thinks so.

Suggestions?
Thanks
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:41 AM   #2
Matthew S Cooper
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Re: Stronglifts 5x5 Back AND Front Squats?

By inserting front squats in place of (back) squats every other workout, you are no longer doing StrongLifts 5x5 - you'd be doing K.W. Bass 5x5 or some other catchy name.

That said, each person's fitness and fitness goals are as unique as they are. If you feel you 'need' to incorporate front squats, whether for physiological reasons or simply because you like doing them and think it'd help keep you on track, then go for it!

I see nothing wrong with modifying a program within sound judgement, but upon doing so you make it your own. If it were to go horribly and you saw no gains (it won't, but still...) don't say StrongLifts 5x5 sucks, or is a joke because in reality you are doing your own thing.

I did SL5x5 as written for about 2 months, several years ago. It isn't perfect, but it's a nice structured way of getting you back into the swing of things. If the volume becomes too high, or your progress stalls almost every session then you'll know it's time to move on.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:45 AM   #3
Matthew S Cooper
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Re: Stronglifts 5x5 Back AND Front Squats?

I'd like to add, I don't think front squats will significantly slow your progress. At this point, progress will be driven more by consistent stimulus (doing your workouts) and proper recovery (nutrition, rest, stretching/mobility, etc.) than by exercise selection itself.

If you had asked "will replacing back squats with soup can curls significantly slow my progress?" I'd have answered differently.
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:07 PM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Stronglifts 5x5 Back AND Front Squats?

For getting back in shape and into the barbell, it'd be alright. Yes, you are bastardizing the program but no biggie.

Yes, it will slow your gains on the BS if your goal was to push the BS. OTOH, it'll keep you balanced a bit more and be lighter on those days than BS.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:04 AM   #5
Ludovic Deguy
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Re: Stronglifts 5x5 Back AND Front Squats?

My 2 cents:

It took me years and years of training to understand this :
If you want to get the most of any training program : FOLLOW IT TO T !
If a program doesn’t fit your schedule, your desires, your goals, … just don’t do it ! Find a program that is better suited at the moment.
I really think the only modifications you could do is scaling down because of limitations or/and injuries and as long as the changes are small.
For example if you suffer from a shoulder injury, then a program with a lot of overhead work cannot be modified without changing totally the nature of the program, so in this case you should pick another program.
Other example : you follow a crossfit based program, from time to time there is rowing prescribed in a metcon and you don’t have a rower. It is ok to substitute rowing with something else, you are not really changing the program if you look at the big picture.

Smolov or any other 5x5 variation is a great choice after a long period without lifting but you need to follow it as prescribed for a while before getting real results. When I say a while I mean that if you don’t plan to use it for at least 4-6 months, you should do something else.

Last remark : If you plan to follow Smolov for a while I hope you like monotonous programming ;-)
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