Switching gyms and programs

jlapey
jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
Since January (I think, I've lost count) I've been (sort of) doing NROLFW as best I can with what Planet Fitness has to offer as far as equipment. That is, stupid Smith Machines. SOOO, after much reading in forums and checking around town, I've decided I'd be better off at a different gym that is less new and clean, but better equipped for weight lifting and switching to Strong Lifts 5X5. My question is: Since I don't feel I've been properly doing the deadlifts or squats because of the Smith machine, should I forget what gains I think I've made and start with just the bar? Should I take any time off before switching to this program?

Also, I read in another forum that even though I've decided to do Strong Lifts that I should still read Starting Strength. Do you guys agree with that? Is it worth my time?

Replies

  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
    I would switch programs and just go straight to SL but start from scratch with the suggested weights for SL.

    I find SS better for explanations - a lot of it, as well as Rippetoe's videos, can be found here: http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Starting_Strength_Wiki

    Also, if you join the SL group here, they have a bunch of resources. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/groups/home/4601-stronglifts-5x5-for-women
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    Thank you, Sara. My SS book should arrive tomorrow. (I couldn't find it on the shelf at the bookstore :grumble: ) I want to read it first but I think I will do SL instead. Feeling pretty excited about the 'new' grungy old gym with the proper equipment and the fact that my partner will be doing the program with me. :smile:
  • Martucha123
    Martucha123 Posts: 1,093 Member
    I just want to confirm, that SS is a great book, really worth reading. You can do SL if you prefer, but definitely read the book.
    And join http://www.myfitnesspal.com/groups/home/4601-stronglifts-5x5-for-women, the women there are pretty chatty :)
  • Will_Thrust_For_Candy
    Will_Thrust_For_Candy Posts: 6,109 Member
    The programs are really similar so you will definitely benefit from reading the SS book but I don't know that you need to wait to start SL until you're done the book. Just start with the recommended weights (bar only except for row and deadlift) and you'll be good to go. Mehdi actually has youtube videos of him doing full workout A and B and you can find Rippetoe vids on youtube regarding form too.


    And yes, us ladies in the SL for women group are pretty chatty :bigsmile:
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    Thanks everyone, I just joined the group. The only reason I am waiting is because I'm starting at the new gym next week. (it's a finance issue) It would be impossible to do this program at my current gym (Planet Fitness). I just didn't know if I should continue with what I was doing until then or just take the week off. I am still doing a little cardio and will be completing the 30-day squat challenge this Friday.
  • Martucha123
    Martucha123 Posts: 1,093 Member
    you will start with low weight so your body will rest in the first few weeks of SL, no need to take a breake.
    (that beeing said I'm lazy and I take quite a lot of breaks, taking one will not hurt you :D)
  • MonsterToBe
    MonsterToBe Posts: 244 Member
    To add a little to the good advice you've gotten already... Smith machines force your body to conform to a specific path, which means your body hasn't had the opportunity to learn how to control the bar on its own yet. Don't be disheartened when you start with a barbell!! I think Sara's dead on about starting from scratch with SL weights, because your nerves have to learn how to tell your muscles to do things they've not yet done. But you'll progress quickly, and it will totally be worth it. :o)
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    Starting TODAY!!! From the beginning. Hoping this will also improve my grip. I've noticed before (usually on weighted lunges) that my grip tends to give out before I do. So annoying.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
    good luck!
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    Thanks! I'm excited. Even looking forward to the grunginess of the 'new' old gym.
  • Fr3shStrt
    Fr3shStrt Posts: 349 Member
    I've been considering doing the same exact thing - switching from NROLFW to SL. I even got the SS book. It is a beast and totally awesome. Good luck to you!
  • MonsterToBe
    MonsterToBe Posts: 244 Member
    Fantastic -- let us know how it goes!
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    I like the 'new' gym. The equipment and the building is old and I question the cleanliness, but it was not at all crowded like my last gym. At this early stage in the program we are able to use the squat rack in the 'women's only' section which seems to have fewer plates than downstairs. There were only 2 other women up there who were not at all interested in using the rack so that worked out nicely for my partner and I who alternated sets. As a cool down, we walked for a bit around the indoor track. The only thing I prefer at my old gym was the fact that I could walk to and from the gym from my house. Now I have to get in the car (for 2 minutes).

    The workout itself was quick. I was very surprised at the difficulty of balancing the empty bar. Very glad I took the advice of starting from scratch. I was actually sore afterwards which I was not expecting considering the lack of weight. I think this is going to work well for me. I just hope my expectations are not too high. I'm very anxious to see results.
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
    My understanding from other people is that the first couple of SL sessions go very quickly as the weights are relatively light so you do not need as much rest time. Give it a few sessions and they will not go so quickly.:tongue:

    I am glad you like it so far.
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
    Locking as it looks as though you have got decent input and so we can keep track of active threads better. Please PM myself or SideSteel if you have any questions and want to have the thread unlocked to post them.
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