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Stronglifts 5x5 not for beginner females?

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  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
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    I'll finally be in a position where I can join a gym next month and am hoping to start weights but I'm still a little confused about some things... I was looking into the Stronglifts 5x5 program and was planning to start that but was told by a friend who's been lifting for a couple of years that SL is the wrong program for a female beginner like myself** and should just focus more on smaller weight ("5lb dumbbells in each hand") exercises, which leaves me a bit disheartened... He didn't offer an alternative program so, asking here, are there any programs out there better suited to a beginner or was he just talking a load of crock?

    I'm also confused of how I should warm up before weights as I do not want to injure myself, which I can imagine is far easier with weights than just bodyweight exercises.

    Any help from anyone would be much appreciated!

    **For a bit of background, my current exercise has been a mix of beginners/moderate level pilates and light cardio which has given some strength in my legs and core, but upper body strength is still fairly non-existent, I think.

    It depends on what is meant by "suitable".

    If you are starting a new lifting program and haven't done it before, then it is always a good idea to begin with a "starter" level program. This allows your body to adapt to the new routine, allows tendons and ligaments to adapt (and they adapt more slowly than muscles), and allows you to master your form.

    In other words, you don't walk in on day one and start doing 5 sets at 5 RM loads. Depending on age, fitness level, and ability, it might take several weeks to work up to that level.

    I am not familiar with the details of the Stronglifts program--it is not particularly relevant to what I do. There might be a "beginner level" built in. If so, then you can just start with that.

    If not, you can probably still do the basic lifts, just not at the full 5 x 5 volume and intensity level.

    In the big picture, yes, lifting heavy is perfectly suitable for anyone.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
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    To gain from a 5x5 you have to push those last reps hard and go heavy. If not, your wasting your time, and will gain nothing

    this is so far from right it isn't even funny.

    NO time spend under the bar is waste of time.

    I have been lifting for almost 2 decades at this point- and I still do bar only work- and very light work- and it's NOT a waste. You're doing it wrong if you feel that ever session you gotta walk out after you literally scrapped your sorry busted a** off the floor.

    but killing yourself every time is the only way to get dem gainz, brah

    I didn't puke this morning.. guess I Need to go back this afternoon and try again!!!

    For real. Next time I'll leave part of my spine on the floor and maybe that'll be adequate to go swolemad

    we donate our who-ha's by lifting heavy (you know that falls out when you lift heavy) I mean that's gotta count for something!!!!

    <sigh> I get so tired of picking them up off the floor at the end of the day.
  • psych101
    psych101 Posts: 1,842 Member
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    in for the love of Stronglifts....and who-ha's on the floor - I seriously choked on my cup of tea when I read that lol

    SLs works for me!

    I started out by completing NROLFW but I wish that I'd begun with SLs
  • mkfoster9
    mkfoster9 Posts: 15 Member
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    My money says, the percentages of people (male or female) sticking with lifting, after STARTING with 5x5 strong lifts will be extremely low. That is, if you going heavy enough where you are fighting rep number 5! Most will be so sore out of the gate, they will be done with it.

    Its bad advise telling a beginner to push that hard. Learn how to lift and develop form and control first.

    The 5 core exercises are exactly what you need. BUT, do more reps. And cycle your workouts based on your recovery and the way you feel, and not what day it is.

    My advise is, learn to have fun with it vs trying to 5 rep "kill it" out of the gate.

    Usually more reps is what leads to soreness.....
    Where as the 3 - 5 rep range should not result in a lot of DOMS.....

    Except for newbies....where doing the exercises for the first time will be sore regardless of reps


    :noway:

    A person who hasn't lifted has weaker tendons and ligaments. That is what gest newbies with 5x5`s, and why I advise against it. They are hard on your joints, out of the box, their joints are ready. And muscle and strength develops faster. So I stand firm with doing more reps.

    BUT, I`m saying this as if, a person was actually driving that last rep or 2! But most in the gyms just go through the motions and don`t push hard anyway.

    OK. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume there's a language or knowledge issue here - "Stronglifts 5x5" is the proper name of a specific form/stabilization building program. We are not discussing the "normal" 5x5 experienced lifters do.

    It's essentially like physical therapy for your lifting form. The idea is you focus on form to GET READY to lift weight a little later in the program. You could very well do it 4x8 or 3x10 or whatever, but there's no particular reason to do so. The 5x5 pattern of SL is done in the spirit of "Keep it simple" and so that you don't have to alter it a few months in when you've got weight on the bar.

    It's NOT a standard 5x5 program that would "get" your tendons by having you jump in at too high of a %1rm. Stronglifts 5x5 is almost MINCING in the pace at which it adds weight, the idea is add such a small amount at each workout that you don't feel it and lift for perfect from with no ego about maxes. Very difficult to get "gotten" working out like this. It doesn't emphasize recovery for the reason that by the time recovery is a concern, you will be a more experienced lifter and have "graduated" from the pure, basic SL5x5 program.

    Many adult lifting noobs need this slow progression to help with secondary muscle groups, they don't need to be burning out their pecs or quads or lifting to failure at this point.

    Stronglifts, in fact, has program extensions for AFTER you've done SL for 1-2 quarters and are ready for more.

    I don't want to be combative, but I REALLY don't think you've read and understood the program you're commenting on.

    To the OP: You were talking to a misinformed person. If you have no injuries that preclude any of the lifts, SL is a great program for beginners of either sex.
  • The_WoIverine
    The_WoIverine Posts: 367 Member
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    Yup, he doesn't know a damn thing. You just need to pay attention to your form and use the weight that is best for you.

    As for warm up, you always want to do 3 maybe 4 sets before working out of the first exercise. Then you can do 2 warm up sets before each of the following exercises. I like to go high reps low weight, increasing weight as I reach my last warm up set.
  • losingforgood120
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    I did stronglifts. The hardest part for me was the overhead press. I just modified it- didn't add weight as quickly. (Instead of adding 5 pounds each time I added 2.5) The other 4 lifts went really well. I loved the simplicity of the program.
  • shabaity
    shabaity Posts: 792 Member
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    I'll finally be in a position where I can join a gym next month and am hoping to start weights but I'm still a little confused about some things... I was looking into the Stronglifts 5x5 program and was planning to start that but was told by a friend who's been lifting for a couple of years that SL is the wrong program for a female beginner like myself** and should just focus more on smaller weight ("5lb dumbbells in each hand") exercises, which leaves me a bit disheartened... He didn't offer an alternative program so, asking here, are there any programs out there better suited to a beginner or was he just talking a load of crock?

    I'm also confused of how I should warm up before weights as I do not want to injure myself, which I can imagine is far easier with weights than just bodyweight exercises.

    Any help from anyone would be much appreciated!

    **For a bit of background, my current exercise has been a mix of beginners/moderate level pilates and light cardio which has given some strength in my legs and core, but upper body strength is still fairly non-existent, I think.

    pfft I first lifted in high school and was lifting as much as some of the guys in my class. For the record I've always been strong for a female and was doing some after school activities that did lovely things for my leg and core strength as well as essentially being a a grunt for a handyman over the summer. Start where you feel you can safely start that being said maybe get a trainer to show you how to properly do the forms. This is where I'm starting when I'm cleared.
  • EricMurano
    EricMurano Posts: 825 Member
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    I do Stronglifts 5x5. I've been doing it for years only because I'm slack and end up stopping my exercising regime every few months. By the time I get back into it I have to start again because I've let all my strength evapourate.

    SL5x5 is all about building a beginner's strength quickly. Once you get to a certain point in SL5x5 you switch to more advanced programmes that slow down the progression. There's a good few years of programming in the 'ladder of strength', as they call it.
  • EricMurano
    EricMurano Posts: 825 Member
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    I did stronglifts. The hardest part for me was the overhead press. I just modified it- didn't add weight as quickly. (Instead of adding 5 pounds each time I added 2.5) The other 4 lifts went really well. I loved the simplicity of the program.

    And it's perfectly find to slow down the progression, especially the OHP. That's always the first to fail on for me.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
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    I'll finally be in a position where I can join a gym next month and am hoping to start weights but I'm still a little confused about some things... I was looking into the Stronglifts 5x5 program and was planning to start that but was told by a friend who's been lifting for a couple of years that SL is the wrong program for a female beginner like myself** and should just focus more on smaller weight ("5lb dumbbells in each hand") exercises, which leaves me a bit disheartened... He didn't offer an alternative program so, asking here, are there any programs out there better suited to a beginner or was he just talking a load of crock?

    I'm also confused of how I should warm up before weights as I do not want to injure myself, which I can imagine is far easier with weights than just bodyweight exercises.

    Any help from anyone would be much appreciated!

    **For a bit of background, my current exercise has been a mix of beginners/moderate level pilates and light cardio which has given some strength in my legs and core, but upper body strength is still fairly non-existent, I think.

    It depends on what is meant by "suitable".

    If you are starting a new lifting program and haven't done it before, then it is always a good idea to begin with a "starter" level program. This allows your body to adapt to the new routine, allows tendons and ligaments to adapt (and they adapt more slowly than muscles), and allows you to master your form.

    In other words, you don't walk in on day one and start doing 5 sets at 5 RM loads. Depending on age, fitness level, and ability, it might take several weeks to work up to that level.

    I am not familiar with the details of the Stronglifts program--it is not particularly relevant to what I do. There might be a "beginner level" built in. If so, then you can just start with that.

    If not, you can probably still do the basic lifts, just not at the full 5 x 5 volume and intensity level.

    In the big picture, yes, lifting heavy is perfectly suitable for anyone.

    hmmm...anyway

    SL is a beginner program it doesn't need a begginer level built in.

    As a new lifting chances are RM is an unknown acronym atm.

    I wish if people were commenting on the SL program or any other program for that matter they would familiiarize themselves with it first.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
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    I'll finally be in a position where I can join a gym next month and am hoping to start weights but I'm still a little confused about some things... I was looking into the Stronglifts 5x5 program and was planning to start that but was told by a friend who's been lifting for a couple of years that SL is the wrong program for a female beginner like myself** and should just focus more on smaller weight ("5lb dumbbells in each hand") exercises, which leaves me a bit disheartened... He didn't offer an alternative program so, asking here, are there any programs out there better suited to a beginner or was he just talking a load of crock?

    I'm also confused of how I should warm up before weights as I do not want to injure myself, which I can imagine is far easier with weights than just bodyweight exercises.

    Any help from anyone would be much appreciated!

    **For a bit of background, my current exercise has been a mix of beginners/moderate level pilates and light cardio which has given some strength in my legs and core, but upper body strength is still fairly non-existent, I think.

    It depends on what is meant by "suitable".

    If you are starting a new lifting program and haven't done it before, then it is always a good idea to begin with a "starter" level program. This allows your body to adapt to the new routine, allows tendons and ligaments to adapt (and they adapt more slowly than muscles), and allows you to master your form.

    In other words, you don't walk in on day one and start doing 5 sets at 5 RM loads. Depending on age, fitness level, and ability, it might take several weeks to work up to that level.

    I am not familiar with the details of the Stronglifts program--it is not particularly relevant to what I do. There might be a "beginner level" built in. If so, then you can just start with that.

    If not, you can probably still do the basic lifts, just not at the full 5 x 5 volume and intensity level.

    In the big picture, yes, lifting heavy is perfectly suitable for anyone.

    hmmm...anyway

    SL is a beginner program it doesn't need a begginer level built in.

    As a new lifting chances are RM is an unknown acronym atm.

    I wish if people were commenting on the SL program or any other program for that matter they would familiiarize themselves with it first.

    The point was the importance of a beginner working up to a heavy lifting program, and I wasn't making a negative comment about the SL program, but, you are correct, I was not familiar with all of the details. Thanks to your thoughtful and considerate feedback, I did go back and refresh my memory about starting the SL program. And now I will never have to think about SL again. :drinker:
  • meepsterbird
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    Bump
  • DaphneSW
    DaphneSW Posts: 117 Member
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    posting just so i can come back to this thread.. :)
  • paulandrachelk
    paulandrachelk Posts: 280 Member
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    How '50's!! I use NROL and works great-I'm 73. GO FOR IT!
  • bjess8411
    bjess8411 Posts: 68 Member
    edited February 2016
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    Rachifloon wrote: »
    I'll finally be in a position where I can join a gym next month and am hoping to start weights but I'm still a little confused about some things... I was looking into the Stronglifts 5x5 program and was planning to start that but was told by a friend who's been lifting for a couple of years that SL is the wrong program for a female beginner like myself** and should just focus more on smaller weight ("5lb dumbbells in each hand") exercises, which leaves me a bit disheartened... He didn't offer an alternative program so, asking here, are there any programs out there better suited to a beginner or was he just talking a load of crock?

    I'm also confused of how I should warm up before weights as I do not want to injure myself, which I can imagine is far easier with weights than just bodyweight exercises.

    Any help from anyone would be much appreciated!

    **For a bit of background, my current exercise has been a mix of beginners/moderate level pilates and light cardio which has given some strength in my legs and core, but upper body strength is still fairly non-existent, I think.

    I am not a huge fitness buff or anything. Actually the opposite is more true, but learning the hard way ( from injury) it is important to start at your level and not go gung ho if you are not really ready. I agree with your friend that doing Stronglifts as a beginner female could lead to injury and that it is better to build a foundation of strength before moving onto a program like that. It is also important to know your form is down. You don't want an injury that bothers you the rest of your life. There are a lot of good beginner programs out there. Joyce Vedral has some great programs for beginners. It doesn't have to take you long and you can start doing Stronglifts. I made great gains with her Bottom's Up program. Women's fitness has a big book about weight training and setting up your own program. I like the Body Sculpting Bible for Women because there are so many different programs and they use regular exercises and you could be set for a year or more just doing their programs and know you took a nice safe pace so you won't get hurt. Just starting with an exercise per body part for 1-2 sets with light/moderate weights would be good.

    Oh, and I tried doing Stronglifts and could have gotten injured because you just can't go into lifting heavy if you haven't been lifting at all.
  • 4leighbee
    4leighbee Posts: 1,275 Member
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    I started with SL 5x5, no injuries and I have been doing it consistently for more than half a year. Start at low weights and increase when you feel comfortable and you are confident in your form. Focus on form, not increasing weights. As long as your form is good then you will be fine.
    There is a stronglifts 5x5 group as well. Super helpful.

    ETA the link to the Stronglifts womens group http://www.myfitnesspal.com/forums/show/4618-stronglifts-5x5-for-women

    Would love to link up with this group but the link is broken. Could you post something to it so I can find it? Thanks!
  • tillerstouch
    tillerstouch Posts: 608 Member
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    Rachifloon wrote: »
    l was looking into the Stronglifts 5x5 program and was planning to start that but was told by a friend who's been lifting for a couple of years that SL is the wrong program for a female beginner like myself** and should just focus more on smaller weight ("5lb dumbbells in each hand")

    Wow... 5lb dumbbellls....that's insulting... SL I'd absolutely a beginner program. Also 5lb dumbbells will do hardly anything for you unless you're doing shoulder rotations. To add some context my gf lifts with me and does the same program as me. She's never really lifted before and I have her squating, deadlifting, benching along with isolated exercises.