New to Weight Lifting (Stronglifts 5x5)

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Replies

  • Vanguard1
    Vanguard1 Posts: 372 Member
    I also have a torn meniscus, and am 7 weeks into Stronglifts. I can honestly say my knee feels better now, than it did prior to starting the program. I believe by building up all of the supporting muscles around the knee, it has helped overall.
  • ew_david
    ew_david Posts: 3,474 Member
    kenzienal wrote: »
    Would leg presses be an okay substitution? I know that I can handle those with a brace. and i LOVED doing leg presses back in high school. I bet I could seriously get some weight going there.

    My goals? Honestly, not shooting very high here, but just some body recomp, and a workout that I enjoy. I just spent the last 10.5 weeks doing a workout that by the end I hated. I want to do something that I will enjoy, and continue to enjoy.

    So far I have lost 12lbs through the CICO and IF 16:8, and only have 11 more pounds to lose before I hit my goal weight. I've never shot for a "flat stomach" or abs, because I just have never felt that is attainable with the scars on my stomach from surgery at birth. (Gastroschisis baby) I just want to feel comfortable in a bikini and not feel like my rolls are pouring everywhere lol. Im not shooting for the moon by any means.

    My boyfriend does the Wendlers 5/3/1 and has had great success with it. I only picked Stronglifts because of the simple to use app (important to me), and rave reviews. If there is a better recommendation, I am all ears.

    I'm a huge 5/3/1 fan; it's the program I stuck with the longest before my injury, but I digress.

    Again, I'm not a trainer, but if your goal is to never step on a powerlifting platform to compete, I'd say you probably don't need to do stronglifts. It's just recommended a lot because it's basic, to the point, and easy to follow, but if you can't squat, it would be kind of pointless. As previously mentioned, Strong Curves by Bret Contreras is a good program that would fit your needs. Buy the print book (not the e-book)! I have it and it is a wealth of information. Good luck!
  • not_a_runner
    not_a_runner Posts: 1,343 Member
    5/3/1 is more of an intermediate program where you're only adding weight every cycle (once a month), whereas SL is aimed at beginners and has you increasing weight much faster if you are able to.

    If leg press works for your knee that could be a good alternative and easy to make work with the SL program.
  • ijsantos2005
    ijsantos2005 Posts: 306 Member
    Box Squats are usually the go to squat exercise for people with knee problems. You might consider those as an option.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,969 Member
    FWIW, SL is fundamentally based on doing squats 3x's a week. Same thing applies to the Starting Strength Program that preceeded it.

    The squat is considered the king of compound lifts because it promotes strength development throughout your body from the feet, to legs, to hips, to core, to back. That why it's also one of the most difficult lifts to do properly and also presents the greatest risk of injury.

    You will NEVER develop the strength expected w/SL without doing any squats.
    So, if you can't or don't want to do squats, you should pick another program more suitable to your physical limitations.
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,112 Member
    Vanguard1 wrote: »
    I also have a torn meniscus, and am 7 weeks into Stronglifts. I can honestly say my knee feels better now, than it did prior to starting the program. I believe by building up all of the supporting muscles around the knee, it has helped overall.

    This isn't the first time I've heard someone say this.
  • twistedingenue
    twistedingenue Posts: 38 Member
    Same here -- we regularly have people come in after that type of injury and slowly work back to heavy weighted squats. I have issues with my knee myself, and back squats are my favorite.

    I'm cautious by nature myself after a few injuries -- I don't tend to work through pain that much, and I've been stalling my deadlift since I hurt my back doing them. But if your PT cleared you for doing squats, and you want to do stronglifts, you should look hard at why you don't want to do them.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,081 Member
    Curious what your knee injury is.

    If you can poop and walk, you can squat. You might have to work at it with a experienced training coach around your needs.

    If you just rather not squat, then it's best just to find a program that is designed as such.

    Bastardizing a program shouldn't be done by someone without the knowledge how the program actually works. There is quite a bit of reasoning to squatting three times a week not twice and why not make what time you do have invested worth the payout?
  • kenzienal
    kenzienal Posts: 205 Member
    kenzienal wrote: »
    _dracarys_ wrote: »
    How are you able to run with a knee injury but not squat any weight? Not trying to be a douche, just trying to understand.

    Its not that I cant squat, its that I wont. Injury happened in 2009 or 2010. Tore my meniscus and never got it looked at. Lots of yoga and home remedies helped it eventually heal. It wasn't until these past two years that I have been able to build up the muscle around my knee to get rid of the daily aches and pains. I always ran in intervals with a brace, and my last 5k was the first time I didnt use a brace and experienced no pain or swelling. Its taken a long time to get this knee functioning again. I tried adding weights with a barbell last fall during a body pump class and it resulted in immediate swelling that lasted for days. I had an MRI done finally, and was told I had tendinitis, along with a lot of cartilage damage. Had to go to PT. I just can't bring myself to risk injuring the knee again after the years I put into getting it usable again.

    I do normal squats with little issue now. Occasionally with light dumbells. But i wont ever add weights again. I jst don't want to risk it.

    You didnt sound douchey at all :)
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Curious what your knee injury is.

    If you can poop and walk, you can squat. You might have to work at it with a experienced training coach around your needs.

    If you just rather not squat, then it's best just to find a program that is designed as such.

    Bastardizing a program shouldn't be done by someone without the knowledge how the program actually works. There is quite a bit of reasoning to squatting three times a week not twice and why not make what time you do have invested worth the payout?

    Since you didnt read the thread, I will quote it again for you.
  • kenzienal
    kenzienal Posts: 205 Member
    Vanguard1 wrote: »
    I also have a torn meniscus, and am 7 weeks into Stronglifts. I can honestly say my knee feels better now, than it did prior to starting the program. I believe by building up all of the supporting muscles around the knee, it has helped overall.

    The program I just completed did just that. It was a lot of balancing, HIIT style workouts, with regular squats and lunges. It took away the daily pains I had, and my knee feels great.

    I just was nervous to put my knee back into the strain of weighted squats, when the last time I had tried that (with a brace on), I re-injured it.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,081 Member
    edited April 2017
    kenzienal wrote: »
    kenzienal wrote: »
    _dracarys_ wrote: »
    How are you able to run with a knee injury but not squat any weight? Not trying to be a douche, just trying to understand.

    Its not that I cant squat, its that I wont. Injury happened in 2009 or 2010. Tore my meniscus and never got it looked at. Lots of yoga and home remedies helped it eventually heal. It wasn't until these past two years that I have been able to build up the muscle around my knee to get rid of the daily aches and pains. I always ran in intervals with a brace, and my last 5k was the first time I didnt use a brace and experienced no pain or swelling. Its taken a long time to get this knee functioning again. I tried adding weights with a barbell last fall during a body pump class and it resulted in immediate swelling that lasted for days. I had an MRI done finally, and was told I had tendinitis, along with a lot of cartilage damage. Had to go to PT. I just can't bring myself to risk injuring the knee again after the years I put into getting it usable again.

    I do normal squats with little issue now. Occasionally with light dumbells. But i wont ever add weights again. I jst don't want to risk it.

    You didnt sound douchey at all :)
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Curious what your knee injury is.

    If you can poop and walk, you can squat. You might have to work at it with a experienced training coach around your needs.

    If you just rather not squat, then it's best just to find a program that is designed as such.

    Bastardizing a program shouldn't be done by someone without the knowledge how the program actually works. There is quite a bit of reasoning to squatting three times a week not twice and why not make what time you do have invested worth the payout?

    Since you didnt read the thread, I will quote it again for you.

    Thanks appreciate it, I usually don't read through entire threads because too time consuming. I rather address the O.P. first.

    Yes, I can see your concern but 5x5 is not a body pump class and will have way less impact on your knees.

    Im not sure what you consider "normal squats" since you didnt address it specifically. Doing low bar squats will also be much more forgiving on knees then high bar. I would suggest to read Starting Strength 3rd addition and to learn the proper way to low bar. Better form along with some tweaks for the individual will go a long way.

    I have tendonitis in every joint in my body and it literally takes me 30-45min just to walk in mornings and even hold a coffee cup without dropping it so I have some experience with it ;). The trick to helping with tendonitis is to concentrate on the essentrics of the movement. Of course using a weight that doesnt break form. Sounds ideal for your situation if coached properly.


  • kenzienal
    kenzienal Posts: 205 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    kenzienal wrote: »
    kenzienal wrote: »
    _dracarys_ wrote: »
    How are you able to run with a knee injury but not squat any weight? Not trying to be a douche, just trying to understand.

    Its not that I cant squat, its that I wont. Injury happened in 2009 or 2010. Tore my meniscus and never got it looked at. Lots of yoga and home remedies helped it eventually heal. It wasn't until these past two years that I have been able to build up the muscle around my knee to get rid of the daily aches and pains. I always ran in intervals with a brace, and my last 5k was the first time I didnt use a brace and experienced no pain or swelling. Its taken a long time to get this knee functioning again. I tried adding weights with a barbell last fall during a body pump class and it resulted in immediate swelling that lasted for days. I had an MRI done finally, and was told I had tendinitis, along with a lot of cartilage damage. Had to go to PT. I just can't bring myself to risk injuring the knee again after the years I put into getting it usable again.

    I do normal squats with little issue now. Occasionally with light dumbells. But i wont ever add weights again. I jst don't want to risk it.

    You didnt sound douchey at all :)
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Curious what your knee injury is.

    If you can poop and walk, you can squat. You might have to work at it with a experienced training coach around your needs.

    If you just rather not squat, then it's best just to find a program that is designed as such.

    Bastardizing a program shouldn't be done by someone without the knowledge how the program actually works. There is quite a bit of reasoning to squatting three times a week not twice and why not make what time you do have invested worth the payout?

    Since you didnt read the thread, I will quote it again for you.

    Thanks appreciate it, I usually don't read through entire threads because too time consuming. I rather address the O.P. first.

    Yes, I can see your concern but 5x5 is not a body pump class and will have way less impact on your knees.

    Im not sure what you consider "normal squats" since you didnt address it specifically. Doing low bar squats will also be much more forgiving on knees then high bar. I would suggest to read Starting Strength 3rd addition and to learn the proper way to low bar. Better form along with some tweaks for the individual will go a long way.

    I have tendonitis in every joint in my body and it literally takes me 30-45min just to walk in mornings and even hold a coffee cup without dropping it so I have some experience with it ;). The trick to helping with tendonitis is to concentrate on the essentrics of the movement. Of course using a weight that doesnt break form. Sounds ideal for your situation if coached properly.


    Your reply has a lot of good info. Thank you!

    Slow and steady sounds like it will win the race in this one. Perhaps if I can nail form, I can nail weighted squats again. I think I may give it a shot, but with LIGHT weight and progress pretty slowly there.
  • 2bassets
    2bassets Posts: 193 Member
    How should a person warm up before doing the 5x5??
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    I would suggest Dumbell front squats, or Kettlebell Goblet Squats(with a box or bench) at first.

    That way, the worst you end up with is a little bit of embarrassment from dropping the weights.

    If you can do leg press, you should be able to squat(since it's your knees you're worried about. If it was another joint or body part it might be different.

    Obviously work the form without weight before you dive into loaded... but honestly, There's so much benefit from squats, that they're worth doing... but if you're never going to compete, there's no reason to ever do a back squat.
  • Katiebear_81
    Katiebear_81 Posts: 719 Member
    2bassets wrote: »
    How should a person warm up before doing the 5x5??

    I sit in the sauna for a few minutes, walk for a few minutes, then do the lift that I am going to do in a progressive fashion. So, if I'm set to deadlift 145 lbs that day, I'll start at 65 lbs, do 1 set of 5, increase it to 95 lbs, do a set, increase to 125 lbs and do a set. Then I do my one set at 145. I do this for all the lifts, right before I do them. So I warm up for squats, perform squats, warm up for overhead press, perform the overhead press, warm up for deadlifts, perform deadlift set. Then I am done.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,081 Member
    edited May 2017
    2bassets wrote: »
    How should a person warm up before doing the 5x5??

    A couple empty bar sets and depending on how much weight you are working...3-4 sets progressing the weight up to to yout working sets is all you need. The best warm up is the actually lift itself. Just keep in mind the warm up should start a sweat and should not tax your body from strength by doing to much.

    Example if I'm squatting 350x5x5
    I would...
    Empty bar 2x5-8
    135×5
    200x3
    275x2
    315x1

    Then my working sets.

    If you meant to warm the body up because it's actually cold where you are training. A row machine is optimal for a couple minutes. Though just about any movement that just brings your body temp up is fine.