Purpose of Stronglift 5 × 5
Stronglift 5 × 5 is in its basic form a simple program to remember. By running heavy exercises (see the layout at the bottom) that train several parts of the body simultaneously, you build muscle on only three exercises per training session. You also train only three times a week, so the program is suitable for short on time but still builds strength and muscle mass. The program is based on you having two different workouts that you run every other time. You only run three exercises per workout, and you perform 5 sets of 5 reps on each exercise.
Since you only train three times a week, run two sessions with Workout A and one with Workout B the first week, and next week run two sessions with B and one with A. Weeks 3, 5, and 7 are similar to week 1 and week 4, 6 and 8 are similar to week 2.
Increase gradually every week
One of the most important parts of 5 × 5 is to strive to lift more weight constantly. Every week you manage to do five reps, all five sets in one exercise; you should increase the weight by 2.5 kilos for the next training session. When it comes to ground lifting, however, you should raise by 5 kilos.
Thus, the training program’s purpose is to add on more weight and lift heavier and heavier constantly. You should not perform more sets or reps to failure if you can, but you work instead to increase the weight gradually week by week to make the program tougher. In the end, you will not be able to increase the weight for the next workout, but that is perfectly ok. Stay on the same weight for a week or two until you finally finish lifting 5 × 5, and then you increase the weight again.
Unfortunately, in the end you will not be able to gain weight as often and then it may be time to start a new exercise program that attacks the muscles in a different way.
Since you work out heavy whole body lifts in this exercise program, you must warm up properly. Not just by flapping your arms a little, but make sure you are warmed-up and stretched before you start.
Diet and rest
Be sure to eat properly. You will push your body hard with all the heavy lifting, so make sure you replenish with a lot of protein and energy during the training weeks. The heavy lifting will accelerate muscle growth as long as you add the right diet.
Never run two training sessions on the same day or training two days in a row. The exercises in training sessions A and B load largely the same muscles, so they will need to rest for at least a day.
5 × 5 for beginners and more advanced
This program is perfect for beginners because it gives fundamental strength and trains the whole body for every workout. However, be sure to perform the basic exercises correctly. See all our exercises to read more about design and technology.
For experienced and more advanced lifters, the 5 × 5 layouts can be good if you only have time to train three times a week for a period. It is also a good program for strength rather than muscle growth for experienced lifters. Running only 1-6 reps only builds strength, while 6-12 builds muscle mass as you become more experienced.
How much should you lift to be athletic?
If you want some extra tips and strive for a goal, below are the levels that count as an athletic level per exercise:
- Bench press: 1.2 x your body weight
- Squats: 1.5 x your body weight
- Deadlift: 1.7 x your body weight
Summary Stronglift 5 × 5
Stronglift 5 × 5 is an excellent training program that has worked for many lifters. You will activate most of the body at each training session, but if you want to add more exercises after you have done the three basic exercises, this works great. Eat well and make sure to rest for at least a day between sessions. It is essential that you also warm up properly before lifting to avoid injuries.