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How thorough is stronglifts?

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  • How thorough is stronglifts?

    I've been following the stronglifts program, albeit with a few minor hitches due to illness, life, etc. and am seeing pretty dramatic changes in strength and fitness. I'm curious though, if by doing so, I'm missing something that I need to be working, or if it really is a good 'all around' workout. It certainly feels that way, but that can be deceiving.

    I'm sure everyone knows what it is, but for the noobs that don't, the cliffnotes version is:
    A:
    Squat
    Deadlift
    Overhead press

    B:
    Squat
    Bench
    Barbell Row

    Work out every other day, start with the bar, add 5 pounds each workout, and do 5 sets of 5 reps.
    StrongLifts 5x5: How to Gain Raw Muscle And Brute Strength | StrongLifts.com

    For example: I'm concerned about calves-will squatting and gaining strength in quads and hams cause problems if the calves aren't up to par? (Yes, sprinting is included in MY version.) I'm sure there are other balance/imbalance areas as well that aren't coming to mind (too many late nights this weekend!) but I'm others will think of them.

    Thanks guys!
    Laurel


    Thoughts?
    Chief cook & bottle washer for one kid, a dog, 6 hens, 2 surprise! roosters, two horses, and a random 'herd' of quail.

    ~The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something one knows nothing about and refuses to investigate~

  • #2
    Calves are irrelevant except for bodybuilders. If you are sprinting and walking, your calves are doing all they need to be doing.

    The only thing I'd say is that many people think you should be doing more pull than push, so you've got two days of push (press and bench press), but only one day of pull (barbell row). Some people say it should be 2:1 or 3: 1 pull vs. push (based on what, I'm not sure), but I try to achieve at least parity or a 3:2 of pull to push (or put another way, 3:2 of posterior: anterior).

    I try to do rows (barbell, inverted body rows, or dumbbell rows) every workout.

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    • #3
      So would adding kettlebell snatches be a decent addition? I do them as well, but not as part of my 'regularly scheduled programming'. Pretty much works the same group as the row, from what I 'feel' but again-maybe a good thing to do on the "A" days?

      Thx!
      Chief cook & bottle washer for one kid, a dog, 6 hens, 2 surprise! roosters, two horses, and a random 'herd' of quail.

      ~The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something one knows nothing about and refuses to investigate~

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      • #4
        Bodybuilders train muscles, athletes train movements. Work out what you want to be able to do, athletically, then base your programming on that.
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        • #5
          I don't follow SL but do similar stuff and the only isolation work I do is calves... for pure astethics.

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          • #6
            Just to clarify, I think Mehdi (Stronglifts founder) considers the Deadlift a pulling exercise, as do a lot of people. Deadlifting definitely hits my back muscles, upper and lower, quite well.
            If your gains are going so well and you aren't experiencing pain, why change things?

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            • #7
              Stronglifts is a good program, just the way it is.
              Lifting Journal

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              • #8
                That just looks like Starting Strength.

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                • #9
                  Deads do utilize your upper back as stabilizers. I personally don't think that's enough, but then again, I've had rotator cuff surgery so I'm extremely protective of my shoulder girdle. YMMV.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Coach Palfrey View Post
                    Bodybuilders train muscles, athletes train movements.
                    Best advice I have ever used. Well, except maybe the stop eating so many damned carbs and you won't look like the Michelin Man advice. That was pretty good too.
                    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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                    • #11
                      I am also basically following stronglifts. The only thing that really needs added in general is pull ups. I also do other small stuff occasionally like rotator cuff exercises, planks, bicep curls, forearm stuff. In all honesty, stronglifts is fine as is and does indeed essentially hit the whole body (minus hard hitting the lats, hence the pull ups). If you feel you body needs something extra, go ahead and do it--but you will be fine with stronglifts as is.

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                      • #12
                        I'm doing SL5X5 (Madcow version) and I've had to "tweak" it. I have major issues with my left front delt while bench pressing but don't get the same pain when doing pushups. I'm not looking to get huge because I'm already quite large. I think I'm going to sub out the bench press with weighted vest pushups (no prob with that) along with subbing out overhead press with standing dumbbell presses. I do add weighted pullups twice a week on this workout.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Coach Palfrey View Post
                          Bodybuilders train muscles, athletes train movements. Work out what you want to be able to do, athletically, then base your programming on that.
                          Coach P, I don't disagree, except if someone came and said "what do you think of this program?" (or programme, for you!) and it was all push, push, push, wouldn't you advise them to do some pull? That's my point. I think Stronglifts (which is just a ripoff of SS) is largely an adequate program, in that it hits the full body and uses complex lifts rather than isolation exercises. in my opinion, though, it's a little too "push" focused. I like balance so you don't wind up with shoulder problems later in life.

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                          • #14
                            Add pull-ups/chin-ups ... or alternate between barbell rows and pull-ups.
                            MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Abu Reena View Post
                              Coach P, I don't disagree, except if someone came and said "what do you think of this program?" (or programme, for you!) and it was all push, push, push, wouldn't you advise them to do some pull? That's my point. I think Stronglifts (which is just a ripoff of SS) is largely an adequate program, in that it hits the full body and uses complex lifts rather than isolation exercises. in my opinion, though, it's a little too "push" focused. I like balance so you don't wind up with shoulder problems later in life.
                              I agree with you in that we should also try to balance our programming to cope with dominant or weak movement patterns and the resulting imbalances. But I could argue that this is just a continuation of balancing movements - and, as we all know, life is not black and white. Sometimes it's necessary to work around an area of weakness to shift beyond any plateaus.

                              Oh, and thanks for the "programme" reference!
                              Sandbag Training For MMA & Combat Sports
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                              The Complete Guide To Sandbag Training
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