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Old 11-08-2009, 08:17 PM   #1
Colin McLafferty
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A Question on SS and Stalling

Hi everyone. I started at 70% of my 5RMs on 9-25. I did not want to wait four-six weeks in ramp up mode, so I reached my former 5RMs in just two weeks on the program. I am 6'0 tall, 188#.

Today, I couldn't even get one rep at the prescribed squat weight. This surprised me because I had just gotten 5# lighter a few days ago with only failing on the third rep of the third set. Below are my starting (70% of my former 5RMs) and current lift numbers:

Starting - Current
Squat: 3x5 150# - 260 (failed at 265# today)
Press: 3x5 85# -127
DL: 3x5 185# -270
Bench: 3x5 130# -195
PC: 5x3 95# -125 (been working on form and not weight)

I believe Rip's standards are written for 1RMs. Thus, a 269# 1RM squat for someone at my weight would put me at the low cusp of the Intermediate level. Since I'm doing 3x5 260# and my 1RM is normally 15-30# heavier than my 5RM, could it be that I'm no longer a "Novice" Squatter? Same question goes for those other lifts?

My main concern is that I still lag well behind in the DL department. I actually started doing CFSB first (dumb, but I didnt want to lose metcon) in June. I've been doing SS now since 9-25. I want to continue getting stronger, but I realize that a lot of times people will reset or have a non-strength period of their training (in which they'll do normal CF for example) and then go through another strength cycle later on.

Do you think I'm far along enough to reset / switch back to CF and then do another cycle?

The general recommendation is that you keep going linear until you can no longer do so. It seems that may be happening to my squat. I won't be able to do strict SS if I'm only doing a few of the lifts in the program.

Would you recommend I keep going on as if I'm doing SS but only for the lifts in which I am still a novice? (my 5RM press is also not far from the 1RM 138 Intermediate weight).

I am excited to get back to swimming, running, and regular CF but I want to make sure I'm not cheating myself out of strength gains I could still make on this cycle of SS. This cycle is supposed to end November 25th. I plan on returning to CF and swimming and running should my gains stop by that date.

Thanks very much.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
Jakub Kruhlik
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Re: A Question on SS and Stalling

you didnt mention your eating habits. so my answer is eat more.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:07 PM   #3
Frank E Morel
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Re: A Question on SS and Stalling

take a few days off, maybe its time for a rest cycle. Then reset by dropping 5 lbs on your all your lifts and try again.

Your not stalling not at this early in the game, if you were 10 mths in then maybe you are.

consider uploading a video of your DL.. most likely its a technique thing that needs tweaking.

I still think you have alot of work still ahead of you to make more weight move.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:11 PM   #4
Dave Winchester
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Re: A Question on SS and Stalling

Also is the 3x5 work sets for DL a typo? SS only prescribes 1 workset at 5 reps on the DL.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:27 PM   #5
Frank E Morel
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Re: A Question on SS and Stalling

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Originally Posted by Dave Winchester View Post
Also is the 3x5 work sets for DL a typo? SS only prescribes 1 workset at 5 reps on the DL.
if your doing 5 lbs jumps vs 20 lbs jumps on dl ... doesnt really matter.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:18 PM   #6
Júlíus Magnússon
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Re: A Question on SS and Stalling

Eat more. Sleep more. Only do one set of deadlifts.

Drop your work weight on the squat down 20lbs and keep doing 5lb jumps from there.

P.S.
People shouldn't read too much into Rip's standards (according to Rip himself). In my experience, most people are able to continue linear progression well into the intermediate range.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:15 PM   #7
Colin McLafferty
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Re: A Question on SS and Stalling

Eating habits: I'm currently hitting barely 4K and rarely 5K a day. Sleep is probably an average of 8 per night.

The DL thing is a typo. I only do 1x5.

Julius and Frank,

Frank you said I should drop 5 # on all my lifts and reset from there, but Julius says 20#. What's the rationale for those numbers, if you don't mind? Thanks.

And Frank, by rest cycle do you mean rest week?
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:28 PM   #8
Frank E Morel
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Re: A Question on SS and Stalling

My rational is because you failed once on one movement and if you take a week off your just treating it as if you missed a workout... if you had failed 3 times on the same lift, then you should drop it 20 pounds. I say go 25 pounds and re eval your technique, re adjust not tweak and go again.

You should be correct your problem ( if any) with a 20-25 lbs fifference. The 5 pound drop is just a compensator for a bad day, poor sleep, poor intake ... or just a scapegoat for you to blame.

rest week... take some time off, maybe you body needs to replace its energy stores. Whether its sleep, or a surplus of calories, mental break... its called over reaching. Especially if you have been hitting it hard.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:03 AM   #9
Júlíus Magnússon
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Re: A Question on SS and Stalling

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Originally Posted by Colin McLafferty View Post
Eating habits: I'm currently hitting barely 4K and rarely 5K a day. Sleep is probably an average of 8 per night.

The DL thing is a typo. I only do 1x5.

Julius and Frank,

Frank you said I should drop 5 # on all my lifts and reset from there, but Julius says 20#. What's the rationale for those numbers, if you don't mind? Thanks.

And Frank, by rest cycle do you mean rest week?
I didn't mean 20lbs off all your lifts. Just your squats. My rationale is that since you didn't get a single rep at your squat weight it's definitely not just a bad day. A bad day would be 5/5/3 or 5/4/4 or such. (Going by what Rip says in his books and his forum.)

If you only drop your squats down 5lbs, you're probably going to be struggling and failing in a couple of workouts. A 20lb drop will serve you better in the long term.

As long as you're progressing on your other lifts, there's no reason to do anything but keep them going.

Eat a lot and sleep a lot. This cannot be stressed enough.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:16 AM   #10
Joe Bernard
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Re: A Question on SS and Stalling

Make sure you are hitting depth on your squats. Rips says that if your squat and deadlift are close (or if squat > deadlift), then you are not squatting deep enough. That, plus your deadlift form, is probably why your deadlift is not higher.
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