I didn't really think you stalled long on SL. I read this as if you should have departed ways much sooner, had you only felt the freedom from Mendhi to do so. How long is "well after it wasn't working"
hmmm (digging through old logs)
Made uninterrupted linear progress on all lifts for first 8 weeks, stalled on squat and row that week, and Press the next week. (Note: i'd worked up to a big bench relative to other lifts before doing SL, so it never stalled). Deadlift never stalled. After a stall I would deload 20% and resume, typically gaining 2-3 sessions past the stall point before stalling again.
Continued with Stronglifts for 7 weeks before Pete kind of broke the spell when I asked a question about it and I realized that going back 20% to gain another 3 sessions was getting me less than 5#/week on squat. I was better off on an intermediate! So I went to Madcow, which begins with a 4 week deload from the SL numbers, but soon realized it was "SL part two" and that's when I stopped looking to Mehdi for further programming advice.
So I think of it this way:
- 8 weeks of progress
- 7 weeks of progress slightly above what I might have made on 5/3/1 (to be fair I didn't know about 5/3/1 at this time and had not asked any question that would cause anybody here to suggest it)
- 4 weeks wasted on Madcow repeating the last 7 weeks of SL
I cannot and do not blame Mehdi for what I knew myself: I knew he was touting the success stories, "this guy kept with it for 9 months!" So I figured, "What does that mean for me, 6 months?" I never dreamed the answer was two.
I also cannot blame Mehdi that I had now caught "progress fever" and because of it I failed to do the most simple arithmetic and realize at the second stall
that this was now a very slow progress program for me.
The only thing I'm ranting about is that he tells you in his writing that he analyzes logs all of the time, looking for ways to improve the program. He also says he worked in IT, so he or somebody he knows could have run some basic bell curves on age, sex, weight and give us a clue how long we can expect the program to be optimal. Not only does he not do this, he does the opposite, telling everybody to stick with it as long as possible.
Also, doesn't he suggest going to 3x5, after a couple resets?
Yes he does, but once I hit the 3x5 stage he had lost credibility with me, and I was beginning to itch to get out of kindergarten.
And, were you eating enough to support a pure strength program? Maybe Mendi does not emphasis that like SS does.
I had modified sleep and diet long before starting Stronglifts:
- Aug 25th, 2010 beginning of "I ought to get in shape"
- November 2011 began "eat real food" diet
- Jan 2, 2011 log says, "diet, 2nd attempt, week 1". Ouch, guess I'd had some trouble!
- April 7, 2011, begin Stronglifts
You just discovered a bit later than some would, and earlier than others would, that one size does not fit all.
Au Contraire! One-size-fits all worked great, probably for about as long as anybody else in my age/sex/weight category. It's the lack of "exit" signs that cost me time, the sign that says, "For 45-50 yr old males who tend to the skinny side, average duration of optimal gains in this program is..."
From his point of view he needs to push us to stick with it to try to make sure we dont quit before we really should. He realizes those that give it 100% may still have to seek another program, like you did. But if he says:
"give it a whirl, it should work for quite awhile, or not so long, not sure, keep at it, see what ya think.... post on forums, help older ladies with the program, converse about results, find out about 5/3/1, its more fun... but yeah, stick with SL5x5 for a bit, or so.." Most all would quit way before potential reached. For what he is trying to do, I cant fault him, much
I don't know. I tend to be in the crowd that figures the quitters are going to quit anyway and the determined ones are going to learn what's BS and what's real and keep going. He helps a lot with that by clearing away huge amounts of BS and giving you just what you need for a foundation, but then he tosses his own bs in front of you: "everybody everywhere of every sex, age, and weight should do this absolutely as long as possible." It just ain't true.