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TOPIC: Stronglifts 5x5? Pros? Cons?

 
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August 17, 2012 7:51 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I see. So you can pack on some mass with Stronglifts, then cut later?


5x5 is a strength building routine, not a hypertrophy routine. You will build strength, and dense, heavy muscles, but you won't build body builder type large muscles. Pretty much you'll be able to bench press a Buick, but throw a shirt on and you'll just look like a regular guy, you won't have huge muscles bulging out of your shirt.


Lol! Basically, it's easier to maintain your mild mannered alter ego :)
  7072758
August 17, 2012 7:56 AM
I love SL5x5 myself. That, along w/MFP and biking on my off days, I managed to drop 30lbs and 6% body fat in about 6 months. I dropped off for the (extended) winter and gained back 18lbs and 4% body fat. 4 weeks back in and I've dropped 5lbs and lost 2% body fat. Right now I'm looking to maintain wait and drop about 5% more body fat.
  7072758
August 17, 2012 8:03 AM
I've been doing it for a little while, on a calorie deficit.

There are definite strength and visual improvements, but they aren't what you'd call "striking." They say that it's tough to build muscle on a calorie deficit, and it appears to be true at least for me. On the other hand, I haven't been shedding muscle along with the fat, and that's a very good thing.

That being said, I do expect that it will build a strong foundation for more focused lifting once past the fat loss stage.

Optimal muscle mass increases seems to reside more in the 6-8 rep range, as well as having a 500-1000 calorie surplus daily.

And the usual bulking/cutting regime.
  17400561
August 17, 2012 8:08 AM
If you lift a lot of weight it can be tough, particularly deadlifting and squating on the same days 3x per week, but I think the program addresses this.

I tried it for a month or so, and the lifts in it are absolutely the cornerstone of any strength training routine.

I still do the lifts, but I just don't do them as often as 3x week.
March 21, 2013 9:50 PM
This is incorrect. Bodybuilder before the steroid era used 5x5 routines to build impressive physiques. This is a body builder routine. It's definitely not a power lifting routine. Added strength will add mass.
March 22, 2013 3:50 AM
QUOTE:

This is incorrect. Bodybuilder before the steroid era used 5x5 routines to build impressive physiques. This is a body builder routine. It's definitely not a power lifting routine. Added strength will add mass.


?? 5 rep sets are exactly in the range most often recommended for pure strength improvement, as is rapid periodization.


I did SL for 12 weeks, and think that it was good for me. That having been said, I wish I'd done SS instead. I believe that the Power Clean is a superior exercise when compared to the BB row for overall strength and athleticism, and I think 3x5 @ a reasonable weight determined by bar speed after learning form is a way better and more useful, sustainable format than 5x5 starting with an empty bar.

TBH, I fully believe that Mehdi uses the "start with the empty bar" gimmick solely so that he can show emails from people saying "I increased my squat by 100 pounds in x weeks!!"

Lastly, and I can't believe I'm the first to bring this up, but Starting Strength is a full, highly detailed book, quite possibly the best you will ever read on the topic of the biomechanics of barbell compound lifting, with excellent pictures, diagrams, detailed explanations of proper form and WHY one form tweak is more desirable than another. I still go back and read sections of that book to this day.
  4826377
March 22, 2013 7:03 AM
It's a good program to build your base on- learn the lifts, work on form and technique, build strength. It will put size on as well if you are not eating at a deficit. From 5x5 you can branch out to whatever your goals are- powerlifting, bodybuilding, etc. 5x5 is a good base program for powerlifting, I used to do a 5x5 based routine (not the Stronglifts one, but something similar) between meets, and then use my meet prep routine to train for 1 rep max performance.

After 15 years of heavy solid lifting, I took 2 years off. I still ate like a powerlifter and subsequently gained a lot of weight. I went on a diet, lost 50lbs, but lost a lot of muscle mass during that time since I wasn't lifting as I dieted. I began lifting again about 6-7 weeks ago, and I am using the Stronglifts program, with 1 tweak, I only do 2 workouts a week. Workout A on Monday, B on Thursday. This is because of my schedule and I know what my recovery time is. Since I already had a good background and knew how to perform the lifts, I didn't start with the empty bar, but picked weights that were a reasonable challenge to complete 5x5 on, while still giving me room to grow before stalling out. 6 weeks completed, and the weights feel about the same as they did on week 1, which is a good thing- I'm getting stronger and the heavier weights are the same challenge that week 1 was. I should be able to go for several more weeks before missing a rep. Squats and bench actually feel easier each week. Deads are a challenge but each week feels like the prior week once I get going. I'll continue on this path until I start to miss reps, then drop down to 3x5.

As far as the comment about not getting enough core work- stick with it. When you get to where you are squatting 100+ lbs over your bodyweight, your core is going to get worked pretty well.
  32996501
March 22, 2013 4:24 PM
QUOTE:

As far as the comment about not getting enough core work- stick with it. When you get to where you are squatting 100+ lbs over your bodyweight, your core is going to get worked pretty well.


Not to mention the deadlifts. Deads and Squats are the best core work on earth.
  4826377
March 31, 2013 10:03 AM
I am going to start this programme tomorrow. At the moment my Mon Weds Fri have been spent doing hi intensity circuit training. Which is shredding the fat nicely. I also do cardio on tue, Thursday.

I want to lose 14 more lbs

I am wondering how this will effect my bf% loss???

My eating is generally good an I'm losing 2lbs a week with this program I'm hoping to improve strength and the muscles under the last bit if fat I want to get rid off..
  16531917
March 31, 2013 10:55 AM
QUOTE:

I am going to start this programme tomorrow. At the moment my Mon Weds Fri have been spent doing hi intensity circuit training. Which is shredding the fat nicely. I also do cardio on tue, Thursday.

I want to lose 14 more lbs

I am wondering how this will effect my bf% loss???

My eating is generally good an I'm losing 2lbs a week with this program I'm hoping to improve strength and the muscles under the last bit if fat I want to get rid off..


From my understanding and personal growth so far, this program will assist in your fat loss efforts. More muscle = more calories burned. I have a similar goal and since starting this program, I've gone down from 25% BF to 24%.. I only lost 3lbs this month but my body looks different.
  19593344
March 31, 2013 11:56 AM
Welldone Dixie...

Thanks for the advice

Had my bodyfat measured with calipers and it says 16% but I think I'm more near 18%

I am hoping with this an also with my cardio to be down at least 5% in the next 12 weeks.
  16531917
March 31, 2013 12:04 PM
To borrow a quote from the guy who introduced me to Stronglifts, invest in a copy of Starting Strength to learn all you need to know about Stronglifts. :p

They're both good. Starting Strength gives you a LOT more technical information about form. I'm doing Stronglifts myself, as I started it before I got SS, and what I've learned from reading SS has helped me do SL a lot better. They're definitely both great for beginners.

The biggest con to SL is, like someone said above, Medhi can get a little used car salesman-ish at times, but the guy knows what he's talking about. It's solid, and the fact that he makes it available for free is a huge bonus!
March 31, 2013 12:06 PM
Pro: simple, effective

Con: T Rex mode

How to prevent T Rex mode, add pull ups to workout A and dips to workout B
March 31, 2013 1:13 PM
Do you have a link to starting strength.

Not a beginner but ill still check it out.
  16531917
April 1, 2013 8:52 AM
What do you mean by TREX mode?

I do pull ups on both days..(right after squats)
Edited by brod2point0 On April 1, 2013 8:56 AM
  33228856
April 3, 2013 12:27 PM
I am looking at starting one of three programs, Stronglifts, Starting Strength, or the New Rules of Lifting. I have seen a lot of debate between SL and SS, but little talk of NROL. I have the NROL book and it looks great. Has anybody out there tried it? I know the NROL for Women is wildly popular. I don't know what differences there may be, but the regular version looks solid to me.

Also, I noticed some folks wanting to add core work and/or pull-ups/dips/push-ups to SL. But the pdf file for Version 3 includes push-ups and reverse crunches in workout A, and pull-ups and prone bridges in workout B. Am I missing something or are is there an older SL 5X5 that did not include these?
  5809008
April 3, 2013 12:37 PM
QUOTE:

What do you mean by TREX mode?

I do pull ups on both days..(right after squats)


WHta is T-rex mode?
April 3, 2013 12:37 PM
QUOTE:

I am going to start this programme tomorrow. At the moment my Mon Weds Fri have been spent doing hi intensity circuit training. Which is shredding the fat nicely. I also do cardio on tue, Thursday.

I want to lose 14 more lbs

I am wondering how this will effect my bf% loss???

My eating is generally good an I'm losing 2lbs a week with this program I'm hoping to improve strength and the muscles under the last bit if fat I want to get rid off..


Careful with that. You'll likely need to significantly increase your calorie intake once the weights start getting heavy, or your overall exercise load is going to kick your ass. I learned that one the hard way when I added it opposite my martial arts classes (2hr/day, twice a week, with sparring).

You'll still lose weight as long as you don't go overboard with your calorie increase, but 2000/day won't keep up. So make sure you eat back your exercise calories, and be ready to decrease your goal weight loss per week to something less than 2lbs.
April 3, 2013 12:40 PM
QUOTE:

Pro: simple, effective

Con: T Rex mode

How to prevent T Rex mode, add pull ups to workout A and dips to workout B


Agree. I added pull-ups & push-ups to the routine.

Loved 5x5- felt badass being the only girl in the gym lifting in the "boys" area. I'd still be doing it if I could just get into the gym 3x a week instead of working out at home!
April 3, 2013 12:43 PM
QUOTE:

I have been running strong lifts for 7 weeks now... and I started with a "cut" earlier this week. I am aiming for a 1/2 lb loss each week to try and shed some of this 21% bodyfat. The lifts are getting quite difficult now, and I hope at just over 2000 cals, I can still press forward while seeing more physcial changes in my body. at 202 lbs today, I would like to get down to 185.

Strong lifts is a great program, but I find that I need to supplement core movements at the end as I don't see much in change in my midesction at all.


You're not seeing much in the core section because it's still covered in fat. Keep following the program and your core will get all the workout it needs, as long as your form is good. Lose that extra 17lbs and you'll likely start seeing a difference, since it's very likely that most of that weight is in your midsection (it's where it is for most people, and is often the last to be lost).
April 3, 2013 12:50 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I am going to start this programme tomorrow. At the moment my Mon Weds Fri have been spent doing hi intensity circuit training. Which is shredding the fat nicely. I also do cardio on tue, Thursday.

I want to lose 14 more lbs

I am wondering how this will effect my bf% loss???

My eating is generally good an I'm losing 2lbs a week with this program I'm hoping to improve strength and the muscles under the last bit if fat I want to get rid off..


Careful with that. You'll likely need to significantly increase your calorie intake once the weights start getting heavy, or your overall exercise load is going to kick your ass. I learned that one the hard way when I added it opposite my martial arts classes (2hr/day, twice a week, with sparring).

You'll still lose weight as long as you don't go overboard with your calorie increase, but 2000/day won't keep up. So make sure you eat back your exercise calories, and be ready to decrease your goal weight loss per week to something less than 2lbs.


How would it work to eat at or above TDEE on lifting days and rest days (one or two a week) but below on big burn cardio days? As the weather improves I'll start doing some two/three/four hour bike rides with 1,500 to 2,800 calorie burns. It's pretty easy to eat at a deficit then. And yes, as you say, last year I got my butt kicked in mid summer. I'll be sure to take rest days as needed. This year lifting is going to be a priority.
Edited by johnwhitent On April 3, 2013 12:53 PM
  5809008
April 4, 2013 3:31 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I am going to start this programme tomorrow. At the moment my Mon Weds Fri have been spent doing hi intensity circuit training. Which is shredding the fat nicely. I also do cardio on tue, Thursday.

I want to lose 14 more lbs

I am wondering how this will effect my bf% loss???

My eating is generally good an I'm losing 2lbs a week with this program I'm hoping to improve strength and the muscles under the last bit if fat I want to get rid off..


Careful with that. You'll likely need to significantly increase your calorie intake once the weights start getting heavy, or your overall exercise load is going to kick your ass. I learned that one the hard way when I added it opposite my martial arts classes (2hr/day, twice a week, with sparring).

You'll still lose weight as long as you don't go overboard with your calorie increase, but 2000/day won't keep up. So make sure you eat back your exercise calories, and be ready to decrease your goal weight loss per week to something less than 2lbs.


This was my worry, I abandoned doing this till I reach my goal weight.

I am concerned with starting to light and the intensity not being enough also can you believe my gym doesn't have a squat rack. I will continue my strength circuit training and HiiT treadmill workouts until I reach my goal then once in maintenance I can look at the programme again. (hopefully by that time the gym till have a squat rack)
  16531917
April 4, 2013 3:36 AM
Pro: get strong as fock...

Cons: possibility of snapping allllll kiiiiinds of stuff up...
April 4, 2013 3:46 AM
It's a good, simple program.

Lifting on a calorie deficit is tough. Progress will stall. You will get frustrated and want to push through and end up injuring yourself.
  14240730
July 5, 2014 4:56 PM
This is quite an old thread now, I am just hoping someone can tell me how they went following this program? I have just started and would love to hear more reviews from real people.

Thanks :)

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