Similar to Starting Strength, StrongLifts 5×5 is a beginner-oriented program meant to build strength with the ultimate goal of increasing the numbers on your squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
StrongLifts is a rather straightforward program. As implied, the trainee will perform just five compound lifts each work, for three times a week.
Essentially, you’re looking at the deadlift, squat, bench press, overhead press, and bent-over row as the core of the program. And you’ll be depending on an A/B split alternating for this particular strength training program.
What this typically entails is two different workout days (Day A and Day B) with at least one rest day between each training day.
The Basics Of StrongLifts 5×5
StrongLifts 5×5 is a rather simple program, really. Here is the breakdown of what you should expect from each workout day.
- Day A: Squats, overhead press, deadlift
- Day B: Squats, bench press, bent-over rows
As you can already tell, you’ll be getting under the bar to squat each time you train. And each of the mentioned exercises is performed for 5 sets of 5 repetitions excluding the deadlift — which is only 1 set of 5 reps. Doing more deadlifts will cause unnecessary strain as the volume of squatting will build many similar muscles that you’ll be using in the deadlift.
Another thing to note is that the sets are not to be taken to failure. StrongLifts isn’t a typical bodybuilding program but is designed to increase your overall strength while building some muscle in the process. This means relatively low rep range and an increasing weight load each week.
Your goal is to increase your weights by 5 pounds/2.5 kgs each workout for as long as you may progress. Do note that your 5 sets do not include any warm-ups so it’s recommended to get fully warmed before you begin lifting.
Still unsure about StrongLift? An example of a two-week training cycle may look like this:
- Week 1: Monday (Day A), Wednesday (Day B), Friday (Day A)
- Week 2: Monday (Day B), Wednesday (Day A), Friday (Day B)
And so on and so forth.