When it comes to workouts, there are as many floating around there as there are gym bros circulating around gym bunnies – it’s an inevitable part of life. And yet, there is one that stands out among the rest in its cost-effectiveness, ease, and simplicity.
StrongLifts 5X5 is a workout freely listed on the site stronglifts.com and curated by Medhi, the workout’s creator. The workout specializes in targeting every major muscle group in the body, while progressively tuning up the weight limit with nothing more than a weighted bar, a rack, and a bench.
The philosophy behind StrongLifts 5X5 is simple: do five sets of five repetitions for each exercise – while progressively tuning up the weight. The workouts alternate on a Week A and Week B schedule, focusing on exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses.
The compilation of exercises coupled with the intensity-forward training regime means that not only are you getting an incredibly effective workout, you’re doing it half the time and at a fraction of the price. Yes, flashy gym memberships are attractive and the benefits they throw your way can sweeten the deal – but there is no substitute for tried-and-true gritty work.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the StrongLifts 5×5 exercises is just how shockingly simple and unassuming it is. With a free online workout list (or downloadable PDF), coupled with a free mobile app for tracking and logging, there is something refreshingly pure about the way Medhi’s workout system distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack.
Even if you find yourself dissatisfied by the lack of variety in equipment or workouts, one can’t argue against the rock-solid foundation that the 5×5 system operates on. Throw in some dumbbells, medicine balls, cables and cardio, and you’re on your way to having a workout that will push you to your limit every time.
And yet, we’d caution you not to. The brilliance of Medhi’s system takes several weeks to truly show itself – and it’s not just through the results. Through the spacing and limiting of the workouts, the 5×5 system drastically reduces strain on muscle groups by letting sore muscles rest and targeting restored muscles on a continuous cycle.
Medhi’s system has enjoy breakout success within the health and fitness community, and there’s no telling just how far it will go. Regardless of what the future holds, the StrongLifts 5×5 system is something we hope never changes.