StrongLifts 5×5 – Effective or Over-hyped?

StrongLifts 5×5 is one of the most popular lifting programs on the Internet. Many people attribute miraculous properties to it. However, at the end of the day, it’s still just a lifting routine. It comes with some positive elements, but it’s not nearly as flawless as the noobs think.

1.Stronglifts 5×5 is based on the basics

Undoubtedly, the exercises part of Stronglifts 5×5 are classics that work. Nonetheless, there are many other routines that implement the same movements. You don’t have to do StrongLifts 5×5 to learn how to squat, bench press, deadlift, and press. Nobody has a copyright on the basic barbell exercises.

2.Stronglifts 5×5 takes too much time

5×5 with the same weight (sets accross) is a very demanding task when the numbers start to climb. You will need a lot of rest in-between sets. This will ultimately result in very long training sessions that will exhaust you without providing any special benefits in comparison to shorter workouts. You can acquire similar or better results with other rep and set schemes.


3.StrongLifts 5×5 has become cultish

A few years ago, the StrongLifts forum became paid. The explanation was that a close community “keeps the trolls away”, but was this the real reason for the change? Of course, not. It was a business decision. Truth be told, criticism has never been allowed on the StrongLifts website. This turned the whole movement into a weird cult.

4.StrongLifts 5×5 is based on inaccurate information

Some pages on the website of StrongLifts 5×5 indicate that the engine behind Arnold Schwarzenegger’s and Reg Park’s massive physiques was heavy 5×5 training. This is not exactly true.

The mentioned bodybuilders did much more than 5×5 workouts. For example, Arnold was notorious for his volume approach. Yes, he did some powerlifting, but most of the time, he trained with high volume and did many exercises. His workouts took hours. Of course, he also took a good amount of Vitamin S and so did Reg Park.

The idea that 5×5 workouts contain some sort of magic that will turn you into an animal is laughable and based on bro-science and macho enigma.

Final thoughts

StrongLifts 5×5 is a good starting point, but there is nothing special about it. Equal results can be acquired with other routines. Ultimately, people give StrongLifts more credit than it actually deserves.

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