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  1. #1
    Registered User doughboy4's Avatar
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    Stronglifts, when to switch to 3x5, when to microload?

    TL;DR when should I switch to 3x5 and when should i go in smaller increments than 5lbs/workout.

    Here's the longer verson:
    I'm 45yo and have been overweight and primarily focusing on fat loss. I started strong lifts in Feb 2019 and went until Dec 2019 and while I didn't lose a ton of weight I felt so much stronger. At the end of 2019 I had a set back and got sick and then in 2020 with COVID I stopped working out since gyms were closed. in Sept I started back again with strong lifts from scratch. I've also been doing intermittent fasting which has allowed me to lose weight while doing stronglifts. Here's where I am now after 3 months going 2xs per week:

    Squat: 195
    BP: 115
    Row:120
    OHP: 90
    DL: 215

    The first time around I struggled with the BP around this same weight level along with the OHP. I can see with the BP I'm about to do my 3rd attempt at that weight. The 2nd attempt I did 3x5 but couldn't do 5 reps on the last 2 sets. Since I know I hit a wall last time. Also the first time around since I'd never done barbell weights I ended doing deloads on everything since I was cheating on my form. I guess my question is should I use my prior attempt at SL as a guide and start either microloading or deloading when I hit the same weights I struggled with last time around? Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by doughboy4 View Post
    Here's where I am now after 3 months going 2xs per week:

    Squat: 195
    BP: 115
    Row:120
    OHP: 90
    DL: 215
    Stronglifts is supposed to be 3x per week. I'm not a fan of microloading so I won't comment on that.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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  3. #3
    Registered User ampire's Avatar
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    I wonder about the effect of intermittent fasting on strength gain. As a guess, the best you might hope for is holding your current strength level.
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    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ampire View Post
    I wonder about the effect of intermittent fasting on strength gain. As a guess, the best you might hope for is holding your current strength level.
    That's my idea too. OP, what's your current weight, what's your goal weight, what's your tdee and what's your daily caloric intake?
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
    DL 205
    bw 88.5 age 43

    Currently cutting, workout journal: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1626795193&viewfull=1#post1626795193
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ampire View Post
    I wonder about the effect of intermittent fasting on strength gain. As a guess, the best you might hope for is holding your current strength level.
    I'm tending not to agree based on the lift numbers. There's a lot of room for increases even in a deficit.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by doughboy4 View Post
    I'm 45yo and have been overweight and primarily focusing on fat loss. I started strong lifts in Feb 2019 and went until Dec 2019 and while I didn't lose a ton of weight ... I've also been doing intermittent fasting which has allowed me to lose weight while doing stronglifts.
    IF isn't what's "allowing" you to lose weight, it's a calorie deficit which you can do without doing IF. SL wasn't intended to be done for fat loss, altho you obviously can do it on a cut if you want. But if increasing strength is your goal, eat at around maintenance or a very small deficit and do cardio on off days - if you're overweight, you'd likely lose fat and gain muscle in the process.

    Originally Posted by doughboy4 View Post
    Here's where I am now after 3 months going 2xs per week
    Eating at maintenance and doing the program as intended 3x/week would do likely do more for you than microloading.
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    Registered User tallbro's Avatar
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    If i were in your situation I would microload, as long my form on lifts are ok. Slow progress is better than no progress and also don't expect fast progress if you're in calorie deficit. What I like about SL & 5x5 sets is that you get a lot of time to practice on main lifts but SL aren't long term program, progress as long as you can and then move to something more specific.
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    Registered User doughboy4's Avatar
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    thanks for all the input. To answer some of the questions:

    I'm 5'8 and 207 (basically obese). My job is mostly at a desk with some walking around. My goal is to get down to 190 and not be flabby. At my heaviest I was pushing 230 but starting about 3 years ago I tried to lose weight since I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I got down to 200 in a few months and normalized my a1c. Since then I've yo-yo'ed between 200 and 215. The pandemic didn't do me any favors. I've tried different dietary things. I eat low carb because of the DM. About a month ago I started intermittent fasting (eat from 12pm to 8pm) found it tolerable and found that I'm losing weight slowly (1 pound a week). I'm not counting calories (I know I should!) but I figure it is working.

    Part of why I love stronglifts is that its the only workout program that's really made me feel good. I can see changes in the mirror and feel stronger in the "real world" when doing stuff around the house.

    Last time I did it I know I hit a wall around those numbers which is why I asked. I'm not so worried about putting up the numbers since my goal is overall fitness and weight loss.
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