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StrongLifts and similar programs


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First off, apologies if this has been asked before.

 

I started exercising nearly two months ago. Everything so far has been bodyweight exercises, and though the results are there I don't think I'm making the best use of my time and effort. The simplicity of working out at home with nothing but a pullup bar appealed to me, but now I think I let my own bias get in the way of choosing a more effective method of training. My goals are fat loss and strength gains.

 

So I've been looking up some of the more popular programs, like Starting Strength and StrongLifts. Surprisingly they offer pretty simple and quick routines that interest me. I have free weights in the garage, some experience lifting, and like to try StrongLifts 5x5. But first I need advice from a community I can trust (that's you guys and girls). So a few questions:

 

-Are these programs advisable for my goals?

-What kind of build can I expect from following the routine?

-Will lifting weights this way equate to better bodyweight performance? (more pushups, pullups, etc.)

-Is there an even more effective routine you know about?

 

All opinions are welcome. Help this loser make something of himself!

 

EDIT: Second this was posted I noticed like 3 threads asking the same thing. I am error -_-

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1) Yes. Combined with a good diet (read eating a caloric deficit you'll gain strength and lose weight. 

 

2) By build you mean? 

3) Yes and no. There is some crossover since the more strength you have it will be easier to handle certain types of movements. But high rep pushups (think 30+) can really be gained with practice. Pullups, yes there are some crossover but both SS and SL5x5 call for adding chinups/pullups into the workouts. 

4) If you are just starting with weights a novice program like SS and SL5x5 is all you really need. After about 9-12 months when novice gains wear off you can look into different methods of weight training. 

"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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Ive been lifting for years but just started doing Stronglifts. I watched the long video on the site and it seemed pretty good to me. At least something new. i also have some reoccurring back pain so the idea of starting light to work on proper form appealed to me.

 

I would think this would be good for a beginner. Just make sure you have a proper squat rack. Steve's workouts on the NF youtube channel are also pretty good for fitness beginners if you do not have a real squat rack.

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Hello - I've posted on several of these stronglifts threads, so I'll summarize. lol.

 

- Stronglifts is awesome and I'm a girl who's gotten stronger while losing weight on a calorie deficit

- You HAVE to do some strength to consistently lose weight. For me, this was/is the program that keeps me going.

- Just make sure you have good form from day one - I launched right into it then had to deload to get the form right.

 

Good luck - keep us posted. =)

Level 3 - Half-Elf Warrior, STR - 5 | DEX - 1 | STA - 6 | CON - 5.5 | WIS - 3.5 | CHA - 5

I know where I'm going, and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want. ~  Ali

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1) Yes. Combined with a good diet (read eating a caloric deficit you'll gain strength and lose weight. 

 

2) By build you mean? 

3) Yes and no. There is some crossover since the more strength you have it will be easier to handle certain types of movements. But high rep pushups (think 30+) can really be gained with practice. Pullups, yes there are some crossover but both SS and SL5x5 call for adding chinups/pullups into the workouts. 

4) If you are just starting with weights a novice program like SS and SL5x5 is all you really need. After about 9-12 months when novice gains wear off you can look into different methods of weight training. 

 

 

Thanks to NF and some research, my diet's as close to clean and healthy as I can get it. Those paleo guys were right, diet really is 80% of the battle. By build, I meant will I get lean or bulky? Lean is more appealing right now, what with me still packing too much fat. 

 

Ive been lifting for years but just started out on Stronglifts. I watched the long video on the site and it seemed pretty good to me. At least something new. i also have some reoccurring back pain so the idea of starting light to work on proper form appealed to me.

 

I would think this would be good for a beginner. Just make sure you have a proper squat rack. Steve's workouts on the NF youtube channel are also pretty good for fitness beginners if you do not have a real squat rack.

 

Don't have a squat rack, but I do have my brother. There were times the squat rack in my local gym was unavailable, so I had a friend assist me with the barbell. Do you think this will do or should I really get a rack? I know a guy selling one used for cheap.

 

Hello - I've posted on several of these stronglifts threads, so I'll summarize. lol.

 

- Stronglifts is awesome and I'm a girl who's gotten stronger while losing weight on a calorie deficit

- You HAVE to do some strength to consistently lose weight. For me, this was/is the program that keeps me going.

- Just make sure you have good form from day one - I launched right into it then had to deload to get the form right.

 

Good luck - keep us posted. =)

 

That's good to hear, fat loss right now is my primary concern. Getting stronger at the same time is a big plus. A bit worried about proper form though (been a while since I even looked at a barbell!).

 

All this talk of lifting heavy things is strangely exciting.

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Thanks to NF and some research, my diet's as close to clean and healthy as I can get it. Those paleo guys were right, diet really is 80% of the battle. By build, I meant will I get lean or bulky? Lean is more appealing right now, what with me still packing too much fat. 

 

 

Don't have a squat rack, but I do have my brother. There were times the squat rack in my local gym was unavailable, so I had a friend assist me with the barbell. Do you think this will do or should I really get a rack? I know a guy selling one used for cheap.

 

 

Excellent, leanness/bulkiness is also based on diet. I'm a gorram stick compared to other people who lift, but I can put up a 1000lbs+ total. (seriously I am a stick ask any NFer). But remember genetics plays a role as well. There are some people who are just built stocky-like. 

 

Squat rack definitely. The weights will get heavy to the point where you won't be able to take it from the ground. Also, it's not safe to take it from the ground and put it on your shoulders. 

"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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Excellent, leanness/bulkiness is also based on diet. I'm a gorram stick compared to other people who lift, but I can put up a 1000lbs+ total. (seriously I am a stick ask any NFer). But remember genetics plays a role as well. There are some people who are just built stocky-like. 

 

Squat rack definitely. The weights will get heavy to the point where you won't be able to take it from the ground. Also, it's not safe to take it from the ground and put it on your shoulders. 

 

He is, he is not lieing. Think of Woody from Toy Story, or Treebeard, or one of those clowns on stilts.

 

Definitely get the rack or build one (after building one I prolly coula bought a chepa one for the same amount).  THe weight will quickly get to a point over a few months that no one is getting that weight on your shoulders easily.

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"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Woah, that's quite the mental image there. Do you make this face when you squat, bigm?

 

Just double-checked my free weight situation; roughly 100kg available, and can get 80kg on the bar (it's a bit mix and match with them). Will this be enough to get me through the first six or so months?

 

How much do you weight? If you are diligent, eat enough, sleep enough, and lift 3x a week for 6 months, it is possible to be able to dead lift and/or squat over 1.5x your bodyweight in that time. I outgrew 80 kg weight within the first month, but I'm a big guy and started higher.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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How much do you weight? If you are diligent, eat enough, sleep enough, and lift 3x a week for 6 months, it is possible to be able to dead lift and/or squat over 1.5x your bodyweight in that time. I outgrew 80 kg weight within the first month, but I'm a big guy and started higher.

 

Around 90kg, but that was before I started exercising and eating right. I'm 5'10, and if I can remember right between 70-80kg is the ideal weight for my height and sex.

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Around 90kg, but that was before I started exercising and eating right. I'm 5'10, and if I can remember right between 70-80kg is the ideal weight for my height and sex.

 

Ignore those ideals, if you lift and gain muscle you'll never be anywhere near them. I believe if I had 0% body fat I'd still be considered overweight with my current lean body mass.

 

But yeah, I'd be concerned about outgrowing those weight very fast, especially with deadlifts and squats.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Ignore those ideals, if you lift and gain muscle you'll never be anywhere near them. I believe if I had 0% body fat I'd still be considered overweight with my current lean body mass.

 

But yeah, I'd be concerned about outgrowing those weight very fast, especially with deadlifts and squats.

 

So don't worry about numbers on the internet and go by how I look and feel?

 

Hopefully 80kg will do for a month or two. When that's not enough anymore guess I'm heading to the gym.

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I've done both bodyweight stuff as well as StrongLifts.  There is some crossover, but I feel that lifting weights will not give you the full-body tension skills that bodyweight stuff requires, or not to the same degree.  They are just different skills.  I can do a handful+ of 1-arm pushups, often several more than people who can bench way more than me, simply because they don't have the core strength/tension.  I can do more pistol squats than people who squat more than me, because I've worked on the flexibility and balance that is also needed.  Bodyweight rows are fixing shoulder problems that I couldn't figure out how to fix with weights.

 

However, if you are trying to increase bodyweight exercise reps, you have to do lots of reps in order to increase your reps.  Building strength with barbells is far more clear of a path, especially in the beginning.

 

I'm leaning more and more towards bodyweight for most things, and deadlifts once or twice a week for something really heavy.

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So don't worry about numbers on the internet and go by how I look and feel?

 

Hopefully 80kg will do for a month or two. When that's not enough anymore guess I'm heading to the gym.

The ultimate secret to good fitness and a happy life :D

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I was at my happiest and most fit doing 5x5's twice a week, bodyweight once a week, and greasing the groove on pullups and pushups every day.

 

If you want to increase number of bodyweight exercises, there is no substitution than actually doing them. If you want to build strength and health, you can use either, but be ready to ramp up your bodyweight exercise (think gymnast training).

 

Mostly like others say, really define your goals and do what's most enjoyable. Enjoying your workout improves the progress (yay chemical science!)

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I've done both bodyweight stuff as well as StrongLifts.  There is some crossover, but I feel that lifting weights will not give you the full-body tension skills that bodyweight stuff requires, or not to the same degree.  They are just different skills.  I can do a handful+ of 1-arm pushups, often several more than people who can bench way more than me, simply because they don't have the core strength/tension.  I can do more pistol squats than people who squat more than me, because I've worked on the flexibility and balance that is also needed.  Bodyweight rows are fixing shoulder problems that I couldn't figure out how to fix with weights.

 

However, if you are trying to increase bodyweight exercise reps, you have to do lots of reps in order to increase your reps.  Building strength with barbells is far more clear of a path, especially in the beginning.

 

I'm leaning more and more towards bodyweight for most things, and deadlifts once or twice a week for something really heavy.

 

It's that kind of skillset I'm after, but given my current weight and level of (un)fitness bodyweight just isn't practical for me. Starting with weights now seems like the smart choice, then moving to bodyweight once I'm at a decent level of fitness.

 

But who knows, maybe I'll fall in love with barbell squats?

 

The ultimate secret to good fitness and a happy life :D

 

When I think of all the spreadsheets and meticulous planning that went towards the Perfect Routine now it makes me feel like an idiot :P

 

I was at my happiest and most fit doing 5x5's twice a week, bodyweight once a week, and greasing the groove on pullups and pushups every day.

 

If you want to increase number of bodyweight exercises, there is no substitution than actually doing them. If you want to build strength and health, you can use either, but be ready to ramp up your bodyweight exercise (think gymnast training).

 

Mostly like others say, really define your goals and do what's most enjoyable. Enjoying your workout improves the progress (yay chemical science!)

 

Thanks for the advice. I'm going to finish up my bodyweight routine for the month, then have a serious think and define my goals. Come to think of it, 'strength gains' is vague as hell.

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If you're worried about how your form looks, the NF community can help. My squat form sucked majorly. Over the months I kept practicing and it's improved. Which reminds me.. I gotta put up my latest video. lol.

 

They will help you fix form on anything you need help on!

Level 3 - Half-Elf Warrior, STR - 5 | DEX - 1 | STA - 6 | CON - 5.5 | WIS - 3.5 | CHA - 5

I know where I'm going, and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want. ~  Ali

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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If you're worried about how your form looks, the NF community can help. My squat form sucked majorly. Over the months I kept practicing and it's improved. Which reminds me.. I gotta put up my latest video. lol.

 

They will help you fix form on anything you need help on!

 

Sounds like a good idea. How did you do it? Just setup a webcam and upload it to youtube?

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