179 lbs (currently trying to drop to 165)
I lift for exercise. My main goals are aesthetics, to look lean and in shape, followed by raw strength.
Have been practicing with SL 5x5 since March 2015. I lived a mostly sedentary life before that (lifted some in my teens but largely forgotten about).
SL 5x5 since March.
HOW EACH PROGRAM WENT FOR YOU
SL is going well. I like the program a lot and love using the app. my biggest problem is being confident in my form. I have a hard time with Pendlay Rows and I question my squat a lot even though it's the one I've worked the hardest on.
I've seen reasonable gains in strength (I could barely squat the empty bar in March) but I've stalled on weights a lot due to discomfort with form and feeling like I wasn't so sure what I was doing.
WHAT DID YOU LIKE/DISLIKE MOST ABOUT EACH PROGRAM
I find only the one rest day to be difficult, often I will still be sore from squatting 48 hours before.
I loved using the app and the fact that it did all the thinking for me.
The program seems to be missing accessory work (no arms or core). Mehdi's argument is the compound lifts work all of those but I don't know if that's enough by itself.
Squat : 77.5kg
Bench : 50kg
DL : 80kg
OHP : 35kg
These are not my 1RM (I have no idea what those are) so these are the weights I'm at in 5x5
HOW MANY DAYS CAN YOU HIT THE GYM AND FOR HOW LONG EACH TIME?
I go to work at 6 every day and am normally home for 4:00 - 4:30, there's no reason I can't hit the gym a few times a week and for extended periods of time.
WHAT AREAS OF THE MAIN LIFTS YOU'RE WEAKEST IN
Pendlay Row : I find the movement odd and difficult to do consistently without leaning forward and I often feel my back isn't straight.
Bench : I train alone and once I started hitting close to 100lbs there were many sets that I felt I would fail which caused me to want to rack it whereas if I had it in a power-rack with safety pins I would have gone for it knowing it wouldn't hurt me. Often the gym is empty and there's no one I can ask to spot for me. I tried dragging a bench into the squat rack but it's safety bars are too high and catch the bar before it comes down to my chest so I'd only be doing half reps.
Squat : I think my form here is okayish but I probably have bad habits I need to work on, I try to low-bar squat leaning forward and keeping my back straight, hitting below paralell and bouncing out of the bottom explosively. I exhale at the top, inhale, squat and exhale again. feet are point out at an angle, knees follow them. Once I unrack the bar I try to minimize the amount of time I stand there, and just get the reps done and rack it again.
OHP : A difficult one. I lock my knees and squeeze my glutes, hold the bar with a medium grip and press from my collar bone to locked elbows above my head, try to minimize leaning back and avoid it. I inhale on the way up, exhale on the way down.
DL : Used to suck at this but I've gotten better. Point feet out lightly, bar over mid foot. I bend down and grip the bar with a medium grip, push my elbows into the insides of my kness. While gripping the bar I raise my hips as much as I can and look forward pulling my chest up. I lift it to a standing position trying to not roll my shoulders back or thrust my hips forward.
If I'm uncomfortable with form I tend to skip adding weight which is why my numbers are way out of whack. I'm still a beginner but I enjoy it.