You haven't exactly said so, but has the progression of stronglifts gotten to the "brutal" stage yet?
Well if we aren't related you sure can read my mind.
I don't know is the honest answer. ... I walk out pretty discouraged most days because I just don't seem to have it like I used to and I am looking for a way to get it back.
Well, regarding mind reading, credit goes to Mark Rippetoe who said something like this in an article, "If a person begins asking questions that indicate a change of goals, they may have hit a hard plateau and become discouraged." His words were very different, but that's what I took away from it.
But we miss the "I love deadlift day!" Diana, so moving on:
I don't know if I am lifting heavy enough weight to come off SL. My numbers seem pretty stuck but also lower than perhaps they should be. This is what appears to be my max and I don't know why the are so low. Is it my size, my age???
100 # on squat (still can't go parallel no matter what weight) and yes I do stretching and all of the suggestions so I have given up on parallel and do what I can (about an inch above)
135 on DL
67 on BP
As Jungledoc told me, "never apologize for your numbers." It is absolutely not about where the numbers are, but whether they are moving. If you have plateaued and deloaded more than once and hit a hard wall then that pretty much is the definition of finishing a beginner program. If you keep pounding it you just end up discouraged.
I remember when you posted a 95# deadlift, so you've gone up by 40%, not bad! Progress is still possible, but it won't be the 5# every session anymore.
My plan was to try and add the complexes and to still do the major lifts but increase reps to see if I can get some improvement on the numbers. Then go from there.
At this point everybody told me to try 5/3/1. I did. If you follow my threads you know I questioned every single aspect to the point of driving a few people crazy, but in the end it left me confident and comfortable with the program, and I highly recommend it.
5/3/1 makes it fun again!
Here is what might happen if you do 5/3/1, for example on deadlifts. We pick a "training max" and use it to calculate what weights to use. Let's say yours would be 140#, this means you would do this:
Week 1 you do 90# for 5 reps. then 105# for 5 reps. Then 120# for 5+, meaning at least 5 but as many more as you can do. This is the fun part. We know you can do 120# for 5 (you're doing 135 now after all), but how many more can you do? If you pull 7 reps, you have a new baseline 7RM of 120#. More on this in a minute.
Week 2 you do 100 for 3 reps, then 110 for 3 reps, then 125 for 3+. Same idea as 5+.
Week 3 you do 105 for 5 reps, then 120 for 3 reps, then 135 for 1+. Same idea as 5+ and 3+. If you are just really dead that day you "give yourself permission" to do maybe 3 reps. If you're feeling the fire, you say, "Hey I know I've done 135 for 5, can I do it for 6?"
Then you do an easy week, set the training max up by 10# and go around again.
Now a bit more about those "all-out" sets. Let's say in week 1 you pulled 120# for 7 reps. In the next cycle that will be 125# on that day. If you can make 7 again you've set a new PR! Your new 7RM. Same goes on the 3+ and 1+ days. This is where the magic comes in, because the program provides positive reinforcement on every single session.
Each day you do only one of the major lifts: press, dead, bench, squat (in that order). That takes me about 15 minutes and then it's "play time."
I do the four day/week variety, so I hit each major lift once/week, and Jungledoc (I'm pretty sure) is doing the 3 day/week variety, so his cycle lasts 5 weeks instead of 4. Both are perfectly valid.
So like I said, I've become an evangelist for 5/3/1 after doing it for only 1 cycle, it really is a great program, and works well after Stronglifts.