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Strength Training for Runners with Stronglifts 5×5 Program

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Today’s a good day. Like Faith would say on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, everything is five by five. What in the world do I mean by that? Well, for starters, I’m running again. Yay! And secondly, I started the Stronglifts 5×5 program. Some of you might remember be talking about this before, and now I’m doing it again.

Why Should Runners Use StrongLifts 5×5 for Strength Training?

Well, because it works, it’s fun, and it’s quick.

I did Stronglifts 5×5 a few years back, and I loved it. Like really loved it. I gained strength megafast and really felt like a superhero doing it. I had never deadlifted before and  found that I loved it. Same goes for squatting. Once again…I adored it.

Then I hurt myself. Because I thought I was more super than I really was. I started out too hard, I squatted too much weight with bad form. And…that was that.

After I hurt my knee and my hip doing that, I haven’t been able to bring myself to 5×5 in years. So instead of starting off in the squat rack, I am starting in the Smith machine, and I am making sure I take it slow and work on my form first of all, and my beastly gains second.

Do I Need Strength Training Equipment?

 I am wondering about what kind of equipment I might want to grab as I continue with this. I know my handy-dandy Chucks will be there since Converse All-Stars are the best weightlifting shoes. Mine even have Superman on them.

I see a ton of people with weight-lifting belts around the gym (and I hate supporting the leather industry, so VeganLiftz has a bunch of good alternatives), and I wonder if I need to pick up another set of gloves since my hands are far from calloused.

Regardless of accessories, as a runner, I really appreciate that I can do 5×5 on my off-days, not wear myself down too much, and still work toward my goals. I can do 3 days of running and 3 days of Stronglifts, and I am set.

And every bit of research tells us that runners who do strength training on top of just running are healthier and perform better. So it’s kind of a no-brainer, right?

Enough About Strength Training! Let’s Talk About Cartoons!

I am all about me some Gravity Falls right now. I love this show so much. I discovered it when I was Prozac’d out of my mind in August, and now I’m rewatching it, and it’s just as delightful as it ever was.

I don’t rewatch many cartoons, but this one is making me cackle just as much as I did when I saw it the first time. That’s high praise. It’s definitely in my top 3 shows these days, alongside Parks and Recreation and New Girl.

Finishing Up

Let me know what strength training you do. I am always trying to learn something that can get me to stop being made out of spaghetti. Noodle arms don’t even begin to describe it.

I mean…looking at me, sometimes you’d think that Dipper Pines and I share a personal trainer. Get it? That’s a Gravity Falls reference for ya.

As always, stay shiny, fitgeeks!


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  1. Matthew Ellard

    Interested to hear how you find doing Stronglifts 5×5 with a running program, as its something I’ve toyed with doing as my weight training has dwindled away to nothing over the last few years as I’ve concentrated more on running. Really think using the Smith Machine instead of doing squats is a mistake tho

    • B.J.

      You should definitely try it as a supplement. It’s quick enough and simple enough that I don’t feel overwhelmed with it since my main focus is running.

      I am halfway there on the Smith machine. I don’t think it’s a good long-term solution at all, but I think starting out, it’s a good way to get used to the motions (as long as you don’t let it force you into unnatural positions).

  2. Chestnut

    I hate weight training, but I need to get into it. I’ll give 5×5 a try!

    My “weight training” is essentially bodyweight training, and what I do in my pole dancing classes. Lugging around almost 290 pounds and getting it to stay on a 50mm pole is HARD WORK!

    • B.J.

      Pole dancing is such a good exercise. I have tried it before, and I have zero grace, zero balance, and zero rhythm. So it’s out for me.


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