1. Have you installed the new JSF Mobile app? Check out all the details here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. One account & one avatar for all of JSF. Unified login and profile. Forum alerts on the main site, and more. Check out the details here: Forum & main site unified account feature is live!
    Dismiss Notice

3 x 5 (Starting Strength) vs. 5 x 5 (Stronglifts)

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by KT Monahan, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interested in hearing people's results and stories regarding a 3x5 compound routine like Starting Strength versus a 5 x 5 compound routine like Stronglifts. What gave you the best strength gains in what amount of time? In which did you plateau earlier? Did either give you significant hypertrophy? If so, which?

    Just interested in hearing what people have to say about these two very similar, yet different approaches.
     
  2. Sparx88

    Sparx88 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Messages:
    792
    Likes Received:
    3
    I would like to know other opinions as well. My direct goal is hypertrophy.:flex::bb:

    I reciently started a 5X5 program. My thought was more "time" under load = more fiber damage. Of course I have no evidence proving my logic true. Would definantly like to hear from someone who has done both.
     
  3. anfeyd

    anfeyd Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    6

    Stronglifts is basically just a rip off of Starting Strength. Starting Strength (squat, bench, press, power clean, deadlift, pull ups), for a novice, is a superior program.

    The only reason (in my opinion) people embark on Stronglift's program is because they're caught up in the 'more is better' philosophy.

    5x5 squats 3x per week will be too hard to recover from eventually, and you will stall a lot earlier as compared to three sets of five. If you don't follow my advice and embark on stronglifts, once you plateau you will find that if you drop down to three sets of five you will continue to make progress.

    Both routines follow the premise of adding weight to the bar in a linear fashion (every workout). In which case the only missing part of the equation as far as hypertrophy is concerned is caloric excess. This is why many people who want to gain bodyweight are advised to drink a gallon of whole milk daily. Those who aren't afraid of fat gain make miraculous transformations on starting strength.

    If you want size, take the six or so months and do SS, and eat. If you're really skinny, when I say eat, I'm talking 7000 kcals/day. If you don't gain size on this program, don't blame the program, blame yourself for not eating enough.
     
  4. roger_mexico

    roger_mexico Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've done both.

    Starting Strength was the first program I ever tried, and, yeah, like everyone says it's great. Definitely do that if you're just starting.

    Just recently I tried the Stronglifts 5x5 Advanced because I figured, hey, I've done Starting Strength and I can squat 1.5x my bodyweight so why not give it a try.

    It's a tough program. It's worth noting that, for me at least, their spreadsheets massively overshot my weekly numbers. Actually, really what happened was that I was way too ambitious in my starting numbers. I was doing PRs in Week 3, but my legs were toast by Week 4. Basically, the advanced version of Stronglifts has a four week volume phase (at 5x5) followed by an intensity phase (at 3x3). I just couldn't continue with the squats (at least not at any meaningful depth) by Week 4.

    Still, I definitely improved on squats and bench on this program, so it wasn't a complete waste by any means. I'm definitely going to give it a try again in the future. Still, you should know that the Advanced version at least is tricky. Rippetoe is less so.
     
  5. Timbermiko

    Timbermiko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,416
    Likes Received:
    2
    And Ripptoe, I dare say ripped SS from a few Hardgainer authors such as John Christy.

    Christy was using this protocol before Ripp "mainstreamed" the philosophy.
     
  6. chris mason

    chris mason Well-Known Member
    Official Sponsor

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Messages:
    2,161
    Likes Received:
    3
    and someone else was using all of the strategies outlined long before anyone named here...

    Ok, first, the concept of more fiber damage and TUT equating to greater hypertrophy is valid, but it is complicated by the ability to recover from said exercise. That is the problem with set routines, your ability to recover can really vary from day to day, week to week etc.

    If forced to choose, I would always pick the lower volume routine especially when a relatively high intensity of effort is involved.
     
  7. Dizmal

    Dizmal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Once getting into the PR territory where you're pushing your 5 rep max every other day and trying to add weight to it. The 5x5 gets to be killer on the joints.

    I also stalled out, as does everyone. I never really deloaded, which maybe I should have. I just kept pushing through untill I could complete the full 5x5. But I usually got it by the 3rd workout and theat's when the hard deload is called for. So... Maybe I could have done some things differently. But I really encourage the programs excersizes.

    I gained some good mass and strength in 3 months off of the 5x5. I'm going to go to the 3x5 now and I should be able to make gains again hopefully without killing my joints and in turn, not kill my will to keep adding weight. But, I found that incorporating LISS which I didn't before. Has helped keep things lubed up and flowing quite well. I can run up stairs again, skipping steps. Before I hobbled up them like an old man. It was depressing and hurt me mentally as well.

    After all. What good is size and strength when you're decrepit?
     
    #7 Dizmal, Nov 24, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  8. Timbermiko

    Timbermiko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,416
    Likes Received:
    2

    You're right. Peary Rader, Brad Steiner, Ken Leistner ..to name a few....
     
  9. anoopbal

    anoopbal Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    1
    Volume is a matter of gradually improving you conditioning.

    With 5 sets you are just getting a lot of practise on that particular lift. But the downside is the fatigue if you don't pick the right weights.

    Bill Starr's 5* 5 is the original program. The rest are just variations of it.
     

Share This Page