StrongLifts 5×5: Simple Strength Training for Beginners

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StrongLifts 5×5: Simple Strength Training for Beginners
If you're completely new to strength training, you may have visions of long, complicated workouts at the gym being required to help you start to see results quickly. The truth is, though, that workouts don't have to be long or overly complex to help you get results. In fact, simplicity is often best, as the StrongLifts 5×5 program proves.

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 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.

The Workouts

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

Getting Started with StrongLifts 5×5

One of the best things about StrongLifts 5×5 for beginners is that it's not difficult to get started. You'll need to join a gym that has a power rack, a weight bench, a bar and plates, which are readily available at most facilities. Then, you can simply download the StrongLifts 5×5 app, which is available for iPhone and Android smartphones. The app serves as a companion for your workout. Each time you head to the gym, the app will let you know which exercise to do, how much weight to use and how long of a break you should take based on your progress. You don't have to track anything yourself, making the whole process of getting into a regular strength training routine incredibly simple. The apps are available for download at and from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores.

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