Day 198: Thoughts on Stronglifts 5X5

Day 198

Rest day from training today. I just focused on keeping my nutrition clean and getting enough sleep to recover from my workout last night.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment early in the evening, so I can’t get to the gym in the evening, but I will see if I can wake up early enough to squeeze my workout in before going to work. I haven’t done morning weight training in a while, so it will be a big change.

Today I just wanted to make a little review of my previous training program, the StrongLifts 5X5 beginner strength training program.

  • What I liked about it
    • Simple routines.  You only have to memorize two workouts, and the set/rep schemes do not vary much.  As the name implies, most of the exercises are 5 sets of 5.
    • Basic compound movements let you hit your whole body using just a few exercises
    • You get to try your hand at bigger weights, which satisfies the ego
    • It’s easy to gauge progress between workouts, as the set/rep scheme always stays the same.
    • You get to practice and hopefully perfect your technique before going on to heavier weights, when it may be hard to focus on getting it right.
  • What can deter people from using it
    • It can be boring at the start, especially if you enjoy variety.
    • It can be tough on the joints and connective tissue as you start using heavy weights.  When all of the exercises are already pushing your limits, it gets tough on all of your body.  Mobility exercises and foam rolling before lifting does help.
    • Toward the end, when the exercises approach your current strength limits, you need more and more time between sets.  Therefore, workouts tend to get longer and longer, much longer than you might expect for a few simple exercises.

Still, I feel Stronglifts provided me with a good foundation on which to build muscle.  However, as with any program, you have to change regularly in order to make additional progress, so I’m following a different plan now.  I know for sure, however, that a pure strength program like Stronglifts will be back in my training plan in the future.

Eat right, train hard, and expect success!


Day 198 - Front Day 198 - Back Day 198 - Side

4 thoughts on “Day 198: Thoughts on Stronglifts 5X5

    • Hi Zak! Stronglifts5X5 is a great program! Looking back on my own experience, my advice to you (and myself) is:

      • be patient, don’t rush increasing the weight, let your body can adjust
      • get as much sleep as you can to allow your body to recover
      • don’t be afraid to eat more than you’re used to, primarily good healthy food
      • try to get some massage/soft tissue work/foam rolling to help your muscles recover quickly, especially once you get to the heavier weights.

      I’m sure I’ll be doing 5X5 again sometime soon. Best of luck!

  1. I am about to start this program. I’m a bit scrawny and am looking to pack on muscle. Any advice an how to approach this program. I’m 5’4″ 148 lbs.

    • Hi John! I would just give most of the same advice I gave Zak earlier. Be patient, make sure to always use proper form (and only increase the weight if you can maintain proper form). Get a lot of sleep and recovery time, eat a lot of healthy food, and get regular massages/foam roll so that you can manage the soreness that will surely come. Good luck!

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