I really like Strong Lifts, but it isn't working well for me anymore. Too many resets and not making it past previous resets. Admittedly, my lack of progress is likely attributable more to my lack of proper nutrition and sleep than to a fault in the program. I've been told that Greyskull is a good intermediate program, so I reason that it requires less recovery than novice programs like SL. But I do wonder whether it is possible for someone who is still a novice to make progress on an intermediate program. Is the following enough stimulus to cause significant adaptation?

The reason for making a hybrid is that I like BB rows, but they are not feasible in GS. I would just include them as an add-on to bench days but, on days with bench, row and deadlift, my deadlift would suffer from fatigue from the rows.

A day:

  • Bench 2x5, 1x5+
  • Row 2x5, 1x5+
  • Squat 2x5, 1x5+

B day:

  • OHP 2x5, 1x5+
  • Some kind of curl in a 3x8
  • More?
  • DL 1x5+

Note: the 1x5+ set is an AMRAP set, with a minimum of 5 to be considered successful.

And these would be alternated on MWF, like SL. As in, one week, A on Monday, B on Wednesday, and A on Friday; then the opposite next week.

And I'll be using GS weight increments. That's 5 lb increases on Squat and DL and 2.5 lb on everything else. Weight is increased any time at least 5 reps are completed in every set.

About me: I weight around 200 lb at 5'8" and my current squat 1RM is 225 lb and bench is 165 lb. My goal is primarily strength.

1 Answer 1


I don't see the point in switching up your program instead of fixing your nutrition and sleep.

Moreover, I don't see the point in doing this specific hybrid. If you want rows, try Phrak's GSLP:

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As is, you're making a lot of changes to parts of the program that have nothing to do with your stated desires for customization. Many seem both arbitrary or misguided: why 5 pound increases if you're already stalling? Why StrongLift's ABA/BAB instead of Greyskull's ABA? Why curls if your goal is strength? Why not alternate Bench/OHP every day like Greyskull recommends? If you have reasons, state them, because right now these look like messing with things just for the sake of messing with things.

Why are you fiddling with these knobs when you know the issue is elsewhere?

  • 1
    Beat me to the punch. Changing the program will do little (if anything) to solve the underlying problem of poor sleep and nutrition hindering growth. The most it will do is add the illusion of progress in the short term, as you are effectively doing a deload on all of your lifts by dropping 2 sets across the board.
    – Moses
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 23:40
  • Like I said, deadlift and row don't seem to go together. That's the key issue for not just going with GS. I tried it, and my DL suffered significantly, even after waiting 15 minutes. The rotation I chose was chosen specifically to avoid DL and row on the same day. 5 lb because I think the decrease in squat volume alone should be enough to compensate for my limited recovery. Bench and OHP is alternated everyday.
    – Tyler
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 23:54
  • Specifically, I'm doing Pendlay rows, which are, in essence, an endurance exercise for your glutes and hams, since you hold weight on them for ~1 minute. Not following an endurance exercise with a strength one is common sense.
    – Tyler
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 23:57
  • And I threw the curls in because B day seemed empty and it would help me progress toward chin ups. Chin ups, though more of an endurance exercise than a strength one, are a goal of mine. Honestly, it was somewhat arbitrary.
    – Tyler
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 0:04
  • 1
    Reading your comments, I am now even more sure that you should either do Phrak's GSLP or re-invest yourself in StrongLifts. If deadlifting after rows is an issue then just do rows last on deadlift day. Every other reason you list is better served by the two programs I cite. Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 9:00

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