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Stronglifts and yoga [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jan 2, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Stronglifts and yoga

Stronglifts and yoga

Stronglifts and yoga are a great combo to prepare for heavier lifting later down the line. Stronglifts will build the core of your program while Yoga will take care of rehabilitation. Your strength and mobility will increase with comparatively very little time consumption. If you are mainly after developing a six pack quick, this might not be the best route to travel.

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What is your goal

 

When you are looking into Stronglifts and yoga it is very likely that you are a beginner. You are still figuring out which programs to combine and what to do. What are your goals? Why do you think these two fitness approaches will help you achieve them? When I talk to beginners their goals usually fall in these three categories:

 

  • Looks
  • Performance
  • Health 

 

on a very broad level. What are you looking for in these three areas?

 

Looks is usually about impressing someone or yourself. There is nothing wrong with it. Studies show that more attractive people are more successful. Who would not turn down some extra success and connections to make their own life easier? It helps to get results to be very specific about them. How do you want to look? Why that specific look? Whom do you want to impress? What do you want to get out of it? For me, it was very easy. Very early in my relationship, my wife said I had grown unattractive to her and that she would leave me. She finds bodybuilding physiques unattractive. So all  I had to do was lose about 10kg. I prepared for half a year to run a marathon. Worked.

 

If you care about performance you are usually an athlete. How will Stronglifts and yoga help you perform better? What are your main strengths and weaknesses? To what extent will the extra time for Stronglifts and Yoga distract from your core competencies? Be specific about these things, especially when you are a professional. Time is limited and should be spent on the activities which yield the biggest return. For me, this was all about improving my marathon time before focusing on my powerlifting total.

 

Health can also be a general concern. Why do you have to change? What triggered the recent illness? Was it mental or physical? Have you already consulted your doctor about Yoga and Strongflifts? Yoga and Stronglifts can be a better option compared to cardio because of a light heart condition. Have a proper chat with your doctor about your activity levels before starting. I started Yoga when my lower back started to suffer from heavy lifting. It helped.

 

Whatever you do, prioritize these three areas against each other before starting. This will give you clarity in which activities to choose and which to opt out of. 

 

Stronglifts

 

Stronglifts is one of the most popular beginner programs for lifting. It places itself right in the middle of lifting theory. With 5 set with 5 repetitions per set, you hit the sweet spot between hypertrophy and strength development. Most advanced lifting programs will have such a phase programmed into a macrocycle. A macrocycle usually lasts for a month to up to nine months depending on the goals and strength level of the individual. 

 

As Stronglifts places itself in the middle you can not expect extreme results either in muscle gain or strength. Both will be in the middle. You will train for three times a week with four days of. The exercises embedded in Stronglifts are:

 

 

The program uses linear progressive overload to make you stronger. This means that you will increase weight from workout to workout. You will squat every day while all others exercises are rotated from workout to workout. All exercises will be done as a 5x5 except the deadlift. The deadlift is programmed in with 1x5 repetitions per week. This is due to the more taxing nature of the movement. 

 

The biggest advantages of Stronglifts are its simplicity and clear progression. You will find that the program is easy to follow. The direct feedback of getting stronger each workout helps with motivation. Get the free Stronglifts 5x5 App to keep track of your progress. It will tell you exactly what to do and when. It is also easy to use. 

 

The biggest disadvantages of Stronglifts are its lack of specificity and marketing. The lack of specificity can lead to suboptimal results for you. If you struggle with moving 20kg around you first have to progress towards it. Working with a barbell when you are physically not capable has a negative impact on your mental state. Demotivation and quitting exercising can be results. Same goes for strong individuals. Stronglifts does not account for speeding up progression when you outperform the prescription. The self-proclaimed "best powerlifting program for beginners" on powerliftingtowin addresses this point.

 

If you want to know more about the program in detail you can read my 10-month review of Stronglifts.

 

Yoga

 

As a beginner, you might have looked into Yoga to becomes more healthy and flexible. Yoga is available in many different forms. You can target your entire body with different exercises ranging from beginner to expert. There is a lot of free material available on YouTube.

 

Yoga Session usually takes somewhere between 10 - 30 minutes. More than this is usually extensive. You need a mat, water, internet connection and some kind of screen to follow instructions.

 

The biggest advantages of Yoga are that you can do it at home and with your bodyweight. Especially if you are very unfit Yoga can be a great starting point. You will become more flexible and even lose some weight. Yoga is also great for rehab from heavy lifting.

 

The biggest disadvantages of Yoga are that it won't make muscly and that you can get the breathing very wrong without instruction. If you are into getting a six-pack and lifting heavy weights, Yoga won't do this by itself. 

 

Should you combine Stronglifts and yoga

 

Yoga and Stronglifts are a good combination for beginners who want to get strong. Stronglifts will be the more strenuous part of your routine. Yoga will function as rehabilitation from the lifting. Focus on routines which help with ankle and hip mobility. This is usually where most beginners fall short. I like the Boho Beautiful channel for this.

 

Do the stretching on weekends in the mornings. This will help you to establish a routine of getting up earlier. Do your Stronglifts workouts on weekdays. Preferably very early before the crowds hit the gym. 

 

The combination of Stronglifts and yoga will not get you ripped. For this, you have to add a very strict diet to the regime. By itself, the two components will build a strong and fit body over a year. This is one of the better and more balanced combinations if you want to improve your fitness when you are not overweight. f you are overweight, start with Yoga and go into light cardio until you have sufficient mobility for lifting.

 

Further reading 

 

 

Topics: Lift stronger, Stronglifts 5x5, Strength