NROLFW vs StrongLifts vs AllPro?

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Hello all! I have recently completed a 10 week weight loss/fitness program and am now on my own for my training. I'm new to designing my own weight routines, so I still want some guidance. I've heard people talk about New Rules of Lifting for Women, StrongLifts and All Pro, and I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts about one of these programs versus the others? I'd love to hear about women's experiences with any or all of these.

Also, I found the StrongLifts workout online and I'm getting the NROLFW book from the library (with the intention of buying it if that's the program I decide to go with) but I'm not having any luck with All Pro. Does anyone know where I can find the workouts for that program?

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  • vorgas
    vorgas Posts: 741 Member
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    The best routine is one you stick with.

    NROLFW: Lots of different exercises (10 in the first phase alone). Good if variety is what you need to stay motivated. However, weight lifting is all about technique, and lots of different exercises makes it harder to get technique down.

    SL5x5: Only 5 different lifts. Good if constant measurable progression is what you want to stay motivated. Fewer lifts makes it much easier to focus on technique.

    All Pro: Never heard of it.
  • 3laine75
    3laine75 Posts: 3,070 Member
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    I don't know anything about All-pro, sorry. If I had to pick between Stronglifts and new rules, I'd go Stronglifts - new rules is a bit skiddly for a beginner (I tried it first before switching to starting strength). Don't get me wrong, it's a good book and worth a read and many others like the programme, I just found it overly complicated, at the time.

    Starting Strength, Stronglifts or Strong Curves are the ones I'd recommend.
  • xmichaelyx
    xmichaelyx Posts: 883 Member
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    dterpsy wrote: »
    I've heard people talk about New Rules of Lifting for Women, StrongLifts and All Pro, and I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts about one of these programs versus the others? I'd love to hear about women's experiences with any or all of these.
    They all work. Pick 1 and do it for 6 months CONSISTENTLY. As the 1st answer said, the best routine is the one you stick with. I suspect that NROLFW works great for most women because it has enough variety to be fun. Stronglifts works great, but I wouldn't call it "fun" because it's pretty monotonous (it also starts off VERY easy, which makes some people feel the need to work ahead, which destroys the point of the program).

    All of these require good form, so work on that FIRST.
    dterpsy wrote: »
    Also, I found the StrongLifts workout online and I'm getting the NROLFW book from the library (with the intention of buying it if that's the program I decide to go with) but I'm not having any luck with All Pro. Does anyone know where I can find the workouts for that program?

    Forget it. Stop reading about programs. Pick one, do it for six months, and then decide if you want to do something else. Also, there's no need to "design your own routine" until you're a much more advanced lifter (like multiple years in). Until that point, any pre-designed routine you use will work wonders for you.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,261 Member
    edited April 2015
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    AllPro - 7 exercises (squat, SLDL, bench, OHP, barbell rows, calf raises, barbell curls.) You do 2 sets of 8 to 12 , increasing by one rep each week. First workout of the week is done with 10 rm weight, second workout done with 90% of 10rm, third workout done with 80% of 10rm. In the fifth week if you get all 12 reps on on the first day (heavy day) you finish out the week as normal and then raise the weights for the next cycle, which is the first day of the next week. This is essentially a hypertrophy style program when you look at the reps.

    SL5x5- More strength style due to lower reps. You'd be doing 5 sets of 5 for three lifts per day (cycles between a mix of squat, bench press, barbell row, OHP, and deadlift.) Your weight increases each workout.

    NROLFW - 7 phases. In general, you get workout A and workout B, to be alternated so you workout 3x/wk. The phases are 4-5 weeks long (16 workouts if I remember right) and your exercises change slightly with each phase. The reps start at 15 and then work down to 12, 10, and 8 every other time you do A or B. The exercises for the first phase are squat, pushups, rows, step ups, prone jackknife, deadlift, shoulder press, lat pulldown, lunge, and swiss ball crunch.

    I did All Pro's for 2 cycles. I like the exercises but didn't like how slow the weight progression went. If you miss one rep on heavy test day, you have to do the same weight for 5 more weeks. That kind of stinks.

    Have the NROLFW book but didn't end up following it. It's a good beginner's program but wasn't for me. The book is a good reference tool though (good explanation of exercises) so I keep it around. I do like that one of the goals in the last phases is to train for pull-ups.

    Have never done SL5x5. I am peculiar in that I don't want to do it simply because it seems like everybody else does it. Yes, I know that is not logical but I don't really care. It seems to be a good workout and people progress well on it so my lack of enthusiasm for SL5x5 means precisely nothing as far as its efficacy goes.
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    edited April 2015
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    vorgas wrote: »
    The best routine is one you stick with.

    NROLFW: Lots of different exercises (10 in the first phase alone). Good if variety is what you need to stay motivated. However, weight lifting is all about technique, and lots of different exercises makes it harder to get technique down.

    SL5x5: Only 5 different lifts. Good if constant measurable progression is what you want to stay motivated. Fewer lifts makes it much easier to focus on technique.

    All Pro: Never heard of it.

    Yep. Pick the one you think you'll like the best. If, after one or two cycles you find you don't like it (too much the same, too many exercises, etc) then change to something you will like. And stick to that.

    NROLFW: Never done it, haven't read the book. Lots of people seem to love it. Complaints I see online are about the complexity - too much to remember/learn.

    SL5x5: Very simple. Did it for a while some time after doing Starting Strength, which is almost exactly the same routine, except 3x5 rather than 5x5. I had issues with the volume and recovery - I'm 40, and I run quite a bit, so that's likely why. By the last set, my form was going to crap, mostly because I was bored with doing the same lift for that many sets. I prefer fewer sets and either more weight or more reps.

    All Pro (the beginner routine, I assume?): I moved to this routing after Starting Strength. Keeps the major lifts, allowed some flexibility in the accessory lifts. Not a program for someone whose main goal is strength, though you'll get stronger for sure. This one's more hypertrophy focused. Did it while I was bulking. Liked it a lot. Had the amount of muscle growth I would have expected given my rate of weight gain and the length of time I ran the program, so I had good results. For me, increasing reps with the same weight is preferable to trying to increase weight every time, especially for upper body once you're gotten to the point where you can't just slap another 5 lbs on there and expect reasonable progression. I'm running his Intermediate 2 program now, which is similar.
  • TheStephil
    TheStephil Posts: 858 Member
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    I attempted to try NROLFW but it seemed too complicated and too many exercises for a beginner. I wanted something simple so I could get form down.

    I picked Stronglifts because it was simple but gave enough volume for me to work on form. Yes, it starts off slow but if you have very little experience with these lifts then it helps you practice form. For the first few weeks I just added extra exercise after the Stronglifts so I got a good calorie burn for the day. Eventually I didn't need it as the weight climbs fast.

    Starting Strength is another good one, similar to Stronglifts. I didn't want to do one of the exercises as it seemed intimidating (can't even remember what it is now) so that's why I went with Stronglifts. I've heard its an excellent program though.

    All I've heard of AllPro is that it's an intermediate program. I am not sure if they have a beginner program as well. The weight increases slower due to the program so it's not ideal if you are trying to gain strength fast. Again, if there is a beginner program, this information may be different.
  • dterpsy
    dterpsy Posts: 27 Member
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    Wow, very prompt replies and really helpful! I tend to be a creature of routine, so it sounds like Stronglifts might be the way to go for me. I have done some lifting, so I'm somewhat familiar with most of the exercises.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
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    dterpsy wrote: »
    Wow, very prompt replies and really helpful! I tend to be a creature of routine, so it sounds like Stronglifts might be the way to go for me. I have done some lifting, so I'm somewhat familiar with most of the exercises.

    I loved SL when I did it...and stayed with it for months until it was taking over an hour then switched to 3x5 for the summer....still loved it....still do but got a bit bored to be honest and my husband wouldn't do it with me...make sure you get the app too helps to have that info on your phone and backed up.

    Switched to Wendler love it as much and husband will do it with me.
  • kickassbarbie
    kickassbarbie Posts: 286 Member
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    Sl5x5
    Found sl5x5 kind of boring and gave up the first time. (But saying that i had different goals back then/wasnt into lifting, its on my list of possible next programs)Very good to get you used to lifting though, if you like things easy to remember probably a good one!
    Allpro
    Never tried allpro so I can't comment but heard good things.
    Nrolfw-
    A little over half way through atm, alot of variation, Good if you want variety and I'd imagine would introduce some new ideas, (It did for me anyway). Also read the whole book even if you decide against it, very fun/easy to read unlike alot of books and some very good points made on nutrition and how most women view training in general.