Stronglifts 5 x 5 for Squatting Success

The Stronglifts 5×5 workout is a hybrid of the Starting Strength workout by Mark Rippetoe. The aim is to build strength and muscle. The question: is it effective?

Stronglifts 5×5 basics

This program involves 2 workouts lifting 3 times a week, rotating both workouts in an alternating fashion. If you were to lift Monday, Wednesday and Friday you’d do Workout A on Monday, Workout B on Wednesday and Workout A again on Friday. You’d start again the next Monday with Workout A.

Stronglifts 5×5 workouts

As mentioned, this program has two workouts. The first workout is as follows:

Squats 5 sets of 5 repetitions
Bench Press 5 sets of 5 repetitions
Standing Overhead Press 5 sets of 5 repetitions

The second workout is as follows:

Squats 5 sets of 5 repetitions
Bent over rows 5 sets of 5 repetitions
Deadlifts 1 set of 5 repetitions

These are very difficult workouts to say the least. You are squatting 3 days a week.

Stronglifts 5×5 core principles

This program takes full advantage of the progressive overload principle. You use a weight that can get you every repetition. Each time you do a workout you increase the previous weight by 5 pounds. Again, does this work?

Stronglifts 5×5 verdict

You will be amazed at how well you do on this program. I increased my 1 RM on squats from 325 pounds to 435 pounds in 12 weeks. During that same period my 1 RM for deadlifts went from 375 pounds to 495 pounds. The strength gains were enormous.

It was a very easy program to stick to. I was worried I’d get bored, but the constant increase in the load really kept me motivated.

I would highly recommend this program to anyone wishing to gain strength. I did not see much of an increase in size (except my legs, which grew by 0.75 inches over the 12 weeks).

Give this program a try. It is now in my arsenal for future training cycles.

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