by Daniel Burford December 22, 2016

If you are in the beginning of weight training or looking for simple and effective way to get ripped fast. you need to spare your time to read this post. This post will give you more information about:

  • What is Stronglifts 5x5? Where does it come from?
  • Can stronglifts workout help you to get ripped fast?
  • How effective are these program?
  • What can you expect from 5x5 Stronglifts program?

Are you curious about this 5x5 program? If yes, please continue to read this whole post!

Introduction to 5 x 5 Stronglifts

To get big, you gotta’ get strong. That means basic compound exerciseswith basic, heavy weight. There are plenty of training protocols out there that promise to get you heaving Herculean weight in next to no time. One of the most popular is the 5 x 5 Stronglifts routine.

One reason why 5 x 5 Stronglifts is so popular lies in its simplicity. Workouts focus on just 3 exercises, 5 sets of 5 reps on each move. That’s it. And that what all you need to get strong – real strong!

At the end of the 12 week 5 x 5 Stronglifts program, you will ramp your weights up by up to 50%. Even inexperienced lifters can get their squat up to 225 pounds for 5 reps, and intermediate lifters should be able to hit 300 on the squat and 400 on the deadlift. Along with that power, of course, comes a lot of muscle mass.

History of Stronglifts

Stronglifts originated with legendary bodybuilder – and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s number one icon – Reg Park in the 1950’s. Reg was renowned for his rugged mass, which he put to great effect in a number of Herculesmovies.

Reg built his thickly muscled frame by relying on the big three – Squats, Deadlifts and the Bench Press – and lifting extremely heavy in the 3-5 rep range.

In the mid 70’s, the 5 x 5 program was picked up by weightlifting guru Bill Starr. Star added the overhead press and the power clean for a total of five exercises. He streamlined it further with a training protocol that calls for 5 sets of five reps on each exercise.

Stronglifts 5 x 5 Routine

The 5 x 5 routine has evolved into a simple program that features two workouts, A and B. Three workouts are performed per week on alternate days, with A and B being alternated. So, lets say your workouts are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Monday, you do Workout A, on Wednesday you do Workout B, and on Friday, you’re back to Workout A.

So, what does the actual Stronglifts 5 x 5 workout look like? Well, here they are:

Workout A:

  • Exercise One: Barbell Squat   5 x 5
  • Exercise Two: Barbell Bench Press 5 x 5
  • Exercise Three: Barbell Bent-Over Row 5 x 5

Workout B:

  • Exercise One: Barbell Squat 5 x 5
  • Exercise Two: Overall Barbell Press 5 x 5
  • Barbell Deadlift 1 x 5

Notice that you perform 5 sets of 5 for each move, except for deadlifts, which are kept to just one set of 5. If you did more than that, you’d be tipping yourself into overtraining territory.

The key to success on the 5 x 5 program is that every workout your goal is adds 5 pounds to the bar. The exception, again, is the deadlift, where you will aim to add 10 pounds per workout. You will use the same weight for all 5 working sets (always start with a light warm up). Even though your goal is to add poundage each session, you’ll only do so when you can perform all 5 sets of 5 reps with the previous weight.

It should be noted that 5 x 5 is not a failure program. That means that you should be able to push out your reps with good form without the assistance of a spotter (but you should have one handy just in case).

If you can’t get 5 x 5 with a set weight for three consecutive workouts, then it’s time to de-load. Drop the weight by 10% on the next workout. After, that go back to the weight you’ve been struggling with and push on.

Rest Between Sets

The length of time that you rest between each set will go a long way to determining how successful that next set will be. You can rest up to 5 minutes to allow for full ATP replenishment in the muscle cell. But you’d only rest this long if you failed to hit 5 reps on the last set. If you managed your 5 reps with no problem, set your watch for 90 seconds. If, however it was a struggle to hit 5 reps, but you just managed it, you should rest for 3 minutes before beginning the next set.

Gym Equipment for 5x5 Stronglifts

The free Stronglifts 5 x 5 app will allow you to track your rest between sets very easily.

So, what do you do in the downtime between sets? That’s simple – get mentally primed for the upcoming set. All that matters right now is getting 5 good reps on that next set. You’ve got the rest of the day to chat with your pals, check your Instagram or stare at hotties on the elliptical. Getting serious starts and finishes with your ability to stay zoned in.


  • Simple and brief
  • Employs multi-joint core exercises
  • Will rapidly build strength
  • You get to become very proficient on the most important exercises
  • You can start very light to get perfect form and quickly build strength
  • No wasted movements or non-functional exercises


  • May not provide the training volume that intermediate and advanced lifters require.
  • May lack the exercise variation for the total physical development required by bodybuilders.
  • If you are already strong (300+ pound bench), you will need lower reps to keep making strength gains.
  • Squatting three times per week may not allow for sufficient recovery of the quads and hamstrings.
  • Only one set of deadlifts twice per week may not be enough to maximally stimulate the back muscles.

Stronglifts 5 x 5 Results

So, what sort of 5 x 5 stronglifts results can you expect?

Keeping in mind that 5 x 5 is primarily designed for beginning trainers, the strength gains that you can expect are quite remarkable. Let’s take an example of a 12-week program with a guy who starts with a 90-pound bench press. If he is able to hit his goal each week, he’ll have increased his bench to 140 pounds by the end of the program. If he starts with a 100-pound deadlift, he’ll double his strength to 200 in 3 months. That’s pretty impressive!


Stronglifts 5 x 5 fits perfectly with the needs of modern society. It’s quick, simple and effective way to get ripped fast. But it is by no means easy. You will be challenged every week to make specific progress – and you’ll know exactly what your goals are from workout to workout.

This is a program however, that is suited toward beginning weight trainers. Those who have been training for more than 18 months will benefit more from a program with more volume, more variation and a more flexible rep range. So are you ready to get ripped fast?

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Daniel Burford
Daniel Burford

Daniel Burford is the founder of Hustler Fitness and the SHREDDED Program, a 12 week program that helps men build muscle, lose fat and get shredded. Check it out by clicking here. For training, nutrition & supplement tips, follow Hustler Fitness on Facebook & Instagram.

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