Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

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Immortal2
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Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by Immortal2 » Thu May 10, 2012 4:44 pm

I was wondering if you're allowed to add anything to strong lifts? This Sunday I am going to do the basic strong lifts workout 3 days a week. The workout is very simple and only has 3 exercises per each of your days and is focused around the big 5 lifts (Squat, Bench, Barbell Rows, Dead Lift, and Military Press) The workout site states that I have to start at a certain weight for each exercise and do all of them for 5 sets of 5 reps each except for Dead lift because that is only 1 set of 5. Each workout, im supposed to add only 5 pounds to the lift. Now I have heard nothing but amazing things about this workout but to me it seems a little... well... LITTLE. Has anyone ever done the full workout without adding anything on? Has anyone made huge gains with this? Would it hurt to add maybe 1 or 2 sets of 1 other lift to each day or does that defeat the purpose?

The workout is like this

Day 1
Squat 5X5
Bench 5X5
Barbell Row 5X5

Day 2
Squat 5 X5
Military Press (overhead Press) 5X5
Dead Lift 1 X5

Day 3
Squat 5X5
Bench 5X5
barbell row 5X5

My idea:

Would it be okay to add in 1 set of leg extensions and 1 set of leg curls on monday for 5 reps?
For wednesday may I add 1 or 2 sets of Lat Pull Downs or Chin ups?
For Friday, can I add incline dumbell bench?

Would thsi over complicate the workout?

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Re: Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by stuward » Thu May 10, 2012 5:23 pm

I'm sure the Stronglifts website addresses this question. In my opinion. the leg ext+curls would be detrimental but the chin ups would be a good addition. The DB bench would be redundant and probably wouldn't add any value.
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Re: Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 10, 2012 10:24 pm

You can add anything you want to anything you want. There are no weight training police who will arrest you for altering someone else's routine. On the other hand, why do you want to do his routine anyway? Because you think he may know more than you? If so, do his routine for a while, then add to it if you really think you should. If you don't think he knows what he's talking about, why bother with his routine at all? Just make stuff up. Yes, there are good reasons why Stronlifts 5x5 is so simple.
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Re: Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu May 10, 2012 10:41 pm

fwiw, the program is A/B, so week 2 has you Pressing 2x and Benching once, afaik.

You know your body well enough to write a better program that takes inot consideration your goals, imbalances, recovery needs, etc.
That being said, if you add 5-10 lbs each session you will soon see how tough Stronglifts can get.

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Re: Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by Immortal2 » Thu May 10, 2012 11:46 pm

Well I know it will eventually get extremely tough and eventually ill start to slow down my progress but in my opinion there is no "wall" you hit. But in reality its not the wall you worry about its the fact of will it work forever? Im only asking because I have less and less time for the gym. I have about 1 hour everytime I go an im looking for something simple but effective. does this program work well enough where you dont have to add a dam thing or is it something where youll eventually have to add things to to see progress

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Re: Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by Dub » Fri May 11, 2012 3:07 am

I did. When I did stronglifts, I wanted to adress my weakest point by some extra work. Hence, I added one triceps exercise, shoulder exercise, Hamstring exercise and some core work to the mix. AND Chin-ups. Hamstring and triceps on the bench/squat/row day, chin-ups and shoulder work on the squat/overhead press/Deadlift day. You can never go wrong with extra pulling/lat work. The chin-ups were great for me.
It didn't bother me, if the weight at the actual SL program was overpowering, I usually left out the accesory lift. I did them with high volume, 15-20 reps, except for the chins were as high as I could. But 8 to 12 reps wouldn't hurt either. I did only 2 sets so there was no length or recovery issues either.
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Re: Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by JasonJones » Fri May 11, 2012 1:06 pm

Jungledoc wrote:You can add anything you want to anything you want. There are no weight training police who will arrest you for altering someone else's routine.
I did a bicep curl once after a 5x5 workout and Mehdi came to my house and broke my thumbs :(

...

Strong lifts is a super basic strength training program designed to teach you some of the fundamental barbell lifts while gaining as much size and strength as possible. You can add whatever you like to it, but if learning the fundamental barbell lifts while gaining as much size and strength as possible isn't the best representation of your goals, strong lifts probably isn't the best way to realize them.
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Re: Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by KenDowns » Fri May 11, 2012 3:09 pm

I did Stronglifts and I liked it a lot, and I still do. I recommend it for beginners.
Immortal2 wrote:I was wondering if you're allowed to add anything to strong lifts?
Don't think of it as being 'allowed', think of whether it has any value. Generally people who have a solid idea of what accessories to add probably can't get any benefit from Stronglifts.
Immortal2 wrote:The workout site states that I have to start at a certain weight for each exercise and do all of them for 5 sets of 5 reps each except for Dead lift because that is only 1 set of 5. Each workout, im supposed to add only 5 pounds to the lift.
Just to quibble, this is all correct except the deadlift goes up 10 lbs each time you do it.
Immortal2 wrote:Now I have heard nothing but amazing things about this workout but to me it seems a little... well... LITTLE. Has anyone ever done the full workout without adding anything on?
Yes, I did, for 17 weeks. The only real problem is that in the beginning you whip through it in 25 minutes and feel kind of disappointed, but later on when everything is heavy it's unnecessarily brutal. My one real beef with Mehdi is his insistence that you should do it absolutely as long as possible. I think he's wrong. Once you've stalled a couple of times the tedium works in bad ways on your mind -- better at that point to pick a more interesting program and have fun. After all, a real meathead will always find ways to brutalize himself in the weight room, why not have an interesting program to do it with?
Immortal2 wrote:Has anyone made huge gains with this?
Well it's a beginner program, which makes "gains" kind of a funny idea. My experience is not so much "my bench went up X pounds on Stronglifts", it is more that before stronglifts I had no idea what I could do on squat, deadlift, row or press (bench I knew because every living man on earth knows what he can bench), and after stronglifts I knew what my numbers were on those lifts.
Immortal2 wrote: Would it hurt to add maybe 1 or 2 sets of 1 other lift to each day or does that defeat the purpose?
It wouldn't hurt, but if you know why you want to do those exercises then you might not need stronglifts.

I went from Stronglifts to 5/3/1, and now looking back I think the jump was too dramatic. I got a great program from a trainer that works well, it is about half-way between Stronglifts and 5/3/1:

DAY 1:
Work up to a 1RM on squat or deadlift, alternating week to week. Sometimes do a deficit dead or sumo, mix it up for fun.

DAY 2:
Overhead Press 5x5 (just like stronglifst, +5/week)
Front Raise
Side Raise
Face Pulls or other rear delt exercise
Ab work

DAY 3: Wheelchair day
Heavy Exercise 1, such as trap bar deadlift 3x8
Unilateral Leg Work, such as bulgarians, 3x8
Some Deadlift variation for hammies, like Stiff leg deadlift, 3x8
Two triceps exercises supersetted. Not a typo, do these after that leg stuff.

Day 4:
Bench Press 5x5 (just like Stronglifts, go up 5#/week)
Floor Press (in my case this is cuz of my shoulder issue)
lat superset of any 2 exercises, I'm doing pullovers and pulldowns right now
Face Pulls or other rear delt exercise (I do this twice/week cuz of my shoulder)
Ab work


The usual recommendations apply:
- take a week off every 5-8 weeks, whatever feels right, don't get dogmatic about it
- change the accessories every few weeks, but not the target muscles. So change your two lat exercises but keep lat work in on that day. Change the single leg work every few weeks but keep in single leg work
- Always increase the weights for accessories. When you plateau on an exercise switch to something else for a few weeks.
Vague goals beget vague methods

Immortal2
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Re: Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by Immortal2 » Sun May 13, 2012 12:37 am

Oh thank you guys, I actually started to think about the whole program after I read through everything. I actually thought it was pretty legit at first but then i looked on forums outside of stronglifts and saw a lot of people trashing mehdi for his benefits. Apparently Mehdi thought his workout was so "bullet proof" that he stated that it is the only workout you will ever need and that he, himself, has done it for a long time. I actually did read that he actually insulted various other methods of working out and banned strong lift posters of they talked about another workout regimen. I know it a little off topic and it probably doesn't say anything about the workout itself but its really annoying to find out that the leader of a website for a simple workout plan is just as in it for the money as anyone else. Sigh....

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Re: Can you add to Strong lifts at all?

Post by WickStick » Sat May 26, 2012 1:04 pm

I used to add lifts to the stronglift routine, then I took an arrow to the knee.

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