What Is StrongLifts 5×5?
StrongLifts 5×5 is a strength training program initially inspired by Reg Park, the British champion bodybuilder who served as a trainer for Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1960, he wrote about the method that he was using to speed up results at the gym. The method didn't cause a revolution then, but it was rediscovered and tested by a novice weight lifter in 2003. Mehdi, now known as the 5x5 guy, brought StrongLifts 5×5 into the limelight with articles and his website stronglifts.com. Today, many veteran lifters rely on the training program, and many professional trainers recommend it for new clients.
The Basics of StrongLifts 5×5
StrongLifts 5×5 is a fitness program that focuses on building muscle and burning fat quickly. Although the program requires only three, 45-minute workouts per week, those who follow diligently can see remarkable results within as little as 12 weeks. The reason why the program is so effective is that it focuses on continually increasing weight to make big demands on the body and affect change as rapidly as possible.
With StrongLifts 5×5, you only need to master five exercises: the barbell row, the bench press, the deadlift, the overhead press and the squat. Each workout, you simply complete five sets of five reps for three of the exercises, with the exception of the deadlift which requires just one set of five reps. Each workout, you should aim to increase the weight you're lifting by 2.5 kilograms, and between each set, you should rest for 1.5 to 5 minutes depending on your level of fatigue. For male beginners, the recommended starting weights for each exercise are:
- 20 kilograms for the bench press, overhead press and squat
- 40 kilograms for the deadlift
- 30 kilograms for the barbell row