Awhile back, we made a post basically stating that if you haven’t started StrongLifts yet, then you should. Well, turns out that post was pretty popular, so we can only assume that some of you are listening. That being said, we wanted to to do something to help out all the women who are beginning their journey on StrongLifts 5×5. So here are our tips for starting out.
Advice for Women Beginning StrongLifts
1. Really start with an empty bar. It doesn’t matter if you can lift more. Starting out with the empty bar and slowly working your way up is crucial for your form. If you’e an inexperienced weight lifter and you throw more weight on in the beginning, you will likely develop sloppy habits and bad form. As a result, you up the likelihod of getting injured.
2. Don’t skip warm-ups. We’re all in a hurry, so this is a temptation that may never go away. But you really need the warm-ups to get your muscles prepared for the heavy load they are about to lift. Our advice is to start with about 10 minutes of slow, steady state cardio. Even a brisk walk will do. From there, begin every lift with an empty bar. Then add a little more until you get to your working weight.
3. Cut down on the cardio. We know that many of us love our cardio. However, the fact is that if you are doing StrongLifts correctly, you are not going to be able to run 5 miles a day. However, we also don’t believe you should cut out cardio completely, the way many people suggest. A bit of cardio is good for overall fitness and heart health. That said, keep the cardio low impact, and to a few days a week. If you have time, try 20-30 minutes of cardio AFTER your lifts. Remember, too much cardio will kill any gains and cause you to burn out.
4. Film yourself doing your lifts. Form is of the utmost importance. And while you may think you have yours down, it’s impossible to tell on your own. We recommend that you film yourself doing your lifts. Then you can go back and watch them to check your form. Compare it to videos online, or even post them on www.reddit.com/r/fitness, where if you follow the directions, people will gladly critique your form and give you (mostly good) advice.
Have you started StrongLifts? Tell us how it’s going in the replies!
If I have been weightlifting for awhile and am pretty strong, do I still need to start with an empty bar?
If you’ve been doing all of these exercises with proper form for a long time, you can start with 50% of your 5 rep max. But remember, better to start lighter than heavier. The goal here is to be able to add weight each time. If you start too high, you will stall out earlier.
What if i’m a beginner and have only been squatting empty bar 3×10. Tried squatting 30kg 3×8 and it is not a breeze. (how heavy do I have to add each time?)
Only go up 2.5KG each time. And it’s 5×5.