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  1. #1
    Registered User BobWindowsill's Avatar
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    Question Stronglifts 5x5, for my specific circumstances...?

    Hi all, sorry for the beginner questions….

    I am considering stronglifts 5x5 because I like its simple structure and I already undertake some muscle endurance/cardio activities (outlined below). But I want to be sure that I am not starting something completely wrong for my circumstances, and I would be extremly appreciative for any thoughts or advice?

    ** FOR BACKGROUND CONTEXT **

    I’m a male age 48, height 6’ 1” and weigh 175lbs (80kgs). My aims are to:

    - Support my running (i.e., be stronger to run faster/weasier, protect from injuries)
    - Partly aesthetics in terms of being lean & toned (not to get 'big')
    - General functional fitness as I get older

    Assume I am a beginner (although I have done sporadic weights including with personal trainer in the past, and classes such as bodypump). I have a full set of dumbbells, FID bench, Olympic barbell and EZ bar with weight plates, and a Force USA G12 functional trainer that also includes a smith machine and half rack (i.e. J hooks & spotters).

    ** QUESTION 1 **

    I don’t wish to gain weight because I like feeling light on my feet (for running, football etc.). I’m happy to reduce my albeit not lots of fat and gain muscle in its place. In actual fact I am trying to drop from my current 175Ib to 168Ib.

    I ‘think’ I can still build decent strength and achieve muscle toning without having to ‘get heavy/big’. I realise strength gains might plateau without me getting heavier, and I am okay with this, for now at least.
    Is this fair logic and is stronglifts counter to this? I would/could be on a low'ish calorie controlled diet and/or eat right.

    ** QUESTION 2 **

    I am not sure (or I am concerned) whether I can do stronglifts alongside my current weekly activities bulleted below? I can find the time and inclination, but I have read about people dropping cardo for stronglifts, but I want to start weights to complement my other activities as opposed to vice versa. Much of this is important to me although I can make some tweaks like dropping one of the football days or changing schedules.

    - 2 x 30-45 mins treadmill runs plus a weekly 5k parkrun. Running is my main thing with rowing/biking below on active recovery days
    - 3 x 30 mins rowing machine
    - 2 x 30 mins exercise bike
    - 1 or 2 x 60 minute 5-a-side footy

    Can I just filter stronglifts into my other routines, perhaps simply observing some rules such as (a) only doing weights after one of the other activities and (b) only doing weight 24 hours before doing one of the other activities? For instance, on the morning of 'day 1' I could do a 5k run or 30 rowing following by weights, and then on day 2 morning (or a bit later in the day to strenth out the recover) do a 5k run or 30 minutes rowing?

    Any pointers or tips highly appreciated.

    Thank you
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You don't have to gain weight to gain muscle when you are a novice, especially if you have fat to lose. You should be able to run a slight deficit and make progress in the gym. Just don't expect miracles - actually at our age, getting "toned" is harder to achieve since we've already atrophied some muscle relative to how we were when we were 21.

    Stronglifts is not a high volume routine from what I remember. You should be able to do it. Although I would prefer All Pros with Romanian deadlifts - because I think that conventional deadlifts can cause some hamstring spasm issues as they are not a full range of motion for the hamstring (at least not with my geometry).

    As long as you feel gym performance is not suffering because of cardio, that's something you will have to judge for yourself when doing it.

    If running is your thing, I wouldn't add other cardio types since the first rule of sport specific training is train in your specific sport. Weights is obviously doing something quite different but I don't see the value of extra rowing etc.
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  3. #3
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BobWindowsill View Post
    ** QUESTION 1 **

    I don’t wish to gain weight because I like feeling light on my feet (for running, football etc.). I’m happy to reduce my albeit not lots of fat and gain muscle in its place. In actual fact I am trying to drop from my current 175Ib to 168Ib.

    I ‘think’ I can still build decent strength and achieve muscle toning without having to ‘get heavy/big’. I realise strength gains might plateau without me getting heavier, and I am okay with this, for now at least.
    Is this fair logic and is stronglifts counter to this? I would/could be on a low'ish calorie controlled diet and/or eat right.
    SL itself says running it on a caloric deficit isn't good, and that you should be eating at least at maintenance but preferably in a surplus. The goal of SL is to progress your big lifts fast. So really up to you if that's not a goal of yours.

    Originally Posted by BobWindowsill View Post
    ** QUESTION 2 **

    I am not sure (or I am concerned) whether I can do stronglifts alongside my current weekly activities bulleted below? I can find the time and inclination, but I have read about people dropping cardo for stronglifts, but I want to start weights to complement my other activities as opposed to vice versa. Much of this is important to me although I can make some tweaks like dropping one of the football days or changing schedules.

    - 2 x 30-45 mins treadmill runs plus a weekly 5k parkrun. Running is my main thing with rowing/biking below on active recovery days
    - 3 x 30 mins rowing machine
    - 2 x 30 mins exercise bike
    - 1 or 2 x 60 minute 5-a-side footy

    Can I just filter stronglifts into my other routines, perhaps simply observing some rules such as (a) only doing weights after one of the other activities and (b) only doing weight 24 hours before doing one of the other activities? For instance, on the morning of 'day 1' I could do a 5k run or 30 rowing following by weights, and then on day 2 morning (or a bit later in the day to strenth out the recover) do a 5k run or 30 minutes rowing?
    You'd have to run it & see how it goes, different people can handle different things. Plenty of athletes do weightlifting & conditioning as part of their routines.'

    Keep in mind doing SL or any other weightlifting program may not necessarily help you for endurance running. The best way to improve at running is to run... more muscle from weightlifting isn't necessarily going to make you faster or build up stamina, and in some cases may hurt it depending on how you train overall.
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  4. #4
    Registered User BobWindowsill's Avatar
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    Thanks so far both of you.
    SuffolkPunch: Noted on the Romanian Deadlifts - that was also my plan.
    air2fakie: Thanks - yes I will need do watch calories to not go too low. I might maintain and see how that goes. I think I do want to prgress big lifts fast, and gain strength and achieve respectable lifting. That would keep me motivated I think andmight see me confident to get down the gym awaiy form my home working job. I hear (all anecdotal) that the right strength training might improve running by (only) 2-5%, but to be honest I was not really expecting this. Building strength/muscles around my joints for potential injury protection is more important to me, although that might be somewhat anecdotal too.
    Thanks again, useful info to tak eon board.
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