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Stronglifts questions

BlackJack96BlackJack96 Posts: 35Member Member Posts: 35Member Member
I started Stronglifts about 2.5 months ago and have been making progress. I've lost zero weight. However, I've lost inches (I haven't measured but I can tell on my clothes). People around me notice that I'm looking better as well. A few questions:

1. Warm up sets?: Is there a good reference for warm up sets? According to the website all the calculators online sucks (haha). I don't want to buy the stronglifts app since I use JEFIT on my phone and have been using it since before I started strong lifts. My weights are increasing and I've hit a few plateaus so I wonder if my warm up sets are too much or too little. I've been winging it and basically starting with the bar for 10 reps and then going 1/2 way to my current weight for the 2nd set and then doing the actual workout sets.

2. Smith machine for a week?: I'm going on a cruise next week and they only have a smith machine on the boat. Should I adapt the workout to the smith machine for that week and then switch back to barbells once I return? Can I advance weights based on my smith machine workouts or will they not count.

fwiw, I really like this program. I started at the minimums (although I had been doing a mix of dumbells and machines for 2 months). Right now I can squat 210, bench 140, deadlift 240 (one rep maxes). I weight around 200 pounds with a BMI around 30 (so I need to lose some more weight).
edited April 16


  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Posts: 4,333Member Member Posts: 4,333Member Member
    I don't do much of a warm up. I do 5 squats and 5 bench press with just the bar, and then get started. Your warmup sounds fine, if it's working.
    Since you will only be gone one week, do whatever feels comfortable. Go ahead and try out the Smith machine if you want, but realize that the range of motion for squats is different than with just the bar. You could also just try out some body weight or dumbbell strength training. Or just take the week off. You won't lose much, if any, progress by not lifting. Enjoy your vacation.
  • hlr1987hlr1987 Posts: 54Member Member Posts: 54Member Member
    Just take the week off from lifting and treat it as a de-load week? Mostly a suggestion rather than knowledge, it usually helps me when I've hit any sort of wall-to the extent that I've planned weeks off over the next six months training.
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Posts: 24,940Member Member Posts: 24,940Member Member
    The Stronglifts app is free... ???

    I warm-up doing the same exercise with less weight.

    If you only have a Smith machine, I'd do that. But if there are dumbbells, I would use those before the Smith for squats, personally. Goblet squats.
  • ExistingFishExistingFish Posts: 698Member Member Posts: 698Member Member
    The Stronglifts app is free... ???

    I warm-up doing the same exercise with less weight.

    If you only have a Smith machine, I'd do that. But if there are dumbbells, I would use those before the Smith for squats, personally. Goblet squats.

    The basic app is free, you can pay for the full version which includes a warm-up calculator and accessory lifts.
  • shor0814shor0814 Posts: 559Member, Premium Member Posts: 559Member, Premium Member
    After 5-10 minutes of easy rowing, or cycling or some other activity to warm the body the calculation below is a decently worded summary from Starting Strength.

    The idea, for all lifts except the dead lift, is to take your working weight minus the bar (20kg/45 lbs) and use this as the weight to add. Then follow the scheme below:

    2×5 with just the bar
    1×5 with bar + 25% of weight to add
    1×3 with bar + 50% of weight to add
    1×2 with bar + 75% of weight to add
    3×5 at full working weight

    And the dead lift is similar except you only perform single sets and instead of subtracting the bar, you subtract the bar plus two 45lb plates (135lb).

    The spreadsheets are gone but easy to whip one up on Excel or Google.

    edited April 17
  • edhammerbeckedhammerbeck Posts: 3Member, Premium Member Posts: 3Member, Premium Member
    I did stronglifts for a couple years. This year, I started doing starting strength, but there's a lot of overlap.

    1. Warm up sets are important, obviously, but don't over think them. No need to calibrate them to the nearest ounce. Just slap on the major plates and increase to your work sets. For example with your squat, maybe do 95x5, 115x5, 135x5, 185x5, and then do your work set of 210x5.
    2. If I were in your shoes, I would probably use the smith machine just keep my gym habit active. But taking a week off probably won't kill your progress. If you do use it, I wouldn't focus on the weight as much because the weight is going to feel lighter in the Smith because the rails are helping you keep the bar in position rather than all those little muscles from your neck on down.

    Enjoy your vacation!
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