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Thread: Stalling, deloading, or another approach.

  1. #1
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    Default Stalling, deloading, or another approach.

    Okay, so I've been doing Starting strength for a while. I wanted to take a new approach to stalling and I wanted your guys opinions on my programming. So pretend you've been progressing on squats at 250 lbs for 3x5. Your following workout, you get 4 reps on your first set of 255. Instead of deloading, how about you do 4 sets of 4. 16 total reps compared to 15. And you continue to do 4x4 until you hit 3 reps on your first set. Then you switch the rep/set scheme of 5 sets of 3 reps (5x3). The totals reps are about the same for every variation, except 4x4 that has 16 total reps.

    I wanted to hear people's feedback on this approach. I feel like volume is the main factor that drives progression.

  2. #2
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    I think that is a good idea. I've done progressions like this: 3x8 (3 sets of 8), 4x5, 5x3, 5x1... etc. Sometimes it doesn't hurt to just keep taking the weight up. Once you hit the top at a true max, then you can deload a little and start again.

  3. #3
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    IIRC Callador thinks people on this site deload way too often and never get anywhere.. I'll be trying some new things next time I stall too, fuck deloading

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    I do that sometimes when I can't get a weight I want, I'll just get all my reps however I can. I can't vouch for the intelligence of this method though since I'm not very strong, just stubborn.

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    I've been doing the "add-a-rep" method since last year. It works really well for me. I track my progress using the total lifted on a given exercise, including all warmup sets (I keep them relatively the same in order to have a basis for comparison). Using your example, 250x5x 3 sets = 3750lb, and 255x4x4 = 4080lb. You would have increased the total weight lifted by 330lbs. I also keep track of how long my training sessions take, so I always have a number of total lifted per time it takes - the higher the ratio of weight/time gets - I'm getting stronger.

    I would say to try it for at least a month or two.

  6. #6

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    generally, if you only miss a rep or two, you will hit those reps the next workout

    SOP is to repeat a workout that wasn't completed, unless it was abysmal

    if your only goal is strength, then your method of increasing sets of lower reps to make up volume would probably be fine

    if you want to use the 5-rep scheme for the reasons Rip outlined in SS, then you're going to start missing out on some of the benefits at some point -- certainly when you're doing sets of 3

    SS shouldn't be a lifelong routine/program/template... it's best used as a 3-9 month balls-to-the-wall approach to get the most out of being a newbie and build a base of strength from which to work

    2-3 resets and then moving on to intermediate programming is not going to be a big deal or waste much (if any) time, since it's not meant to be a long-term prescription for strength and mass... it would behoove people to think about whether their training regimen is worthwhile more often

    for example, when people post about micro-loading their squats or deadlifts, i cringe.. if they have been following SS correctly and have exhausted most of their novice gains, micro-loading is not really efficient, and they would be better off using intermediate programming, which at the worst would increase the weights at the same rate as micro-loading



    also, just as an aside, usually when you miss reps (if they are attainable next workout), making up the lost volume by doing what you're saying is just going to beat your dick into the ground, because it's generally a recovery issue (lack of sleep or food) and not a true plateau

  7. #7
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    Great comments, you guys!

    I've been doing the "add-a-rep" method since last year. It works really well for me. I track my progress using the total lifted on a given exercise, including all warmup sets (I keep them relatively the same in order to have a basis for comparison). Using your example, 250x5x 3 sets = 3750lb, and 255x4x4 = 4080lb. You would have increased the total weight lifted by 330lbs. I also keep track of how long my training sessions take, so I always have a number of total lifted per time it takes - the higher the ratio of weight/time gets - I'm getting stronger.

    Exactly, man! I recently began doing this concept. I don't add the volume of the weights of my warm-up sets, I just calculate the total volume of my works sets.

  8. #8
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    You could continue to increase the load even if you only get a heavy single and then reduce the load on subsequent sets to get your volume in, try things out and discover what works for you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipbeat View Post
    IIRC Callador thinks people on this site deload way too often and never get anywhere.. I'll be trying some new things next time I stall too, fuck deloading
    Heh, I don't know if I would say it like that, but I sometimes think that there are better options than just resetting all the time.

    Stonerider made some good points. If you are running SS for the first time and want to do the program, then you should use the protocols set forth for it. If you just miss one rep, it doesn't mean the deload is going to happen next workout. Try again and see what happens. Even doing the 3 deloads before switching to intermediate probably wouldn't burn all that much time in the grand scheme of things. I am thinking about the second set of people he mentioned. Some people try to microload for too long when an intermediate program would probably be a better option. Others deload all the time and stall out around the same time they did previously. For those folks, changing up the sets/reps would not be a bad idea. Another advantage is that you get to learn more about how your body likes higher/lower reps. Finding what works best for you is a big part of continued progress. Even then, you can't run that forever, but when you do decide to cycle on to something different, you will know what works best for those occasions.
    Last edited by Callador; 06-12-2012 at 11:02 AM.

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