NOTE by Mehdi. Here’s more proof that the StrongLifts methods work. SL Member Jake (17, Canada) gained 70lbs while increasing his Squat from 135lbs to 501lbs – in just over 2 years. Here’s his amazing success story…
Jake, 17, BC Canada.
In the summer of 2007, I remember going to the gym for the first time. For the entire summer I barely went a couple times per week, and then when school started in September, I started going to the gym about 4 days/week.
I was weak, weighed a skinny 140 lbs, and had no confidence. I played a lot of lacrosse and I was decent. But I wasn’t getting any better. I had some friends, but not many. To be honest I really didn’t like my life. It was that bad.
I couldn’t really talk to people. I was afraid, quiet and got picked on quite a bit that first year of high school. I got pissed and started hitting the weights hard for about six to eight months doing bodybuilding routines out of magazines. That got me absolutely nowhere. I gained 10 lbs, that’s it. I was 14 years old, 5’10″, 150lbs. No Squatting or Deadlifting! But Bench Press: 125 lbs max. I did a lot of curls and crap like that, but I was even weak at that too.
In the early summer of 2008 I came across Stronglifts.com. From then on, Mehdi’s website has had a profound impact on many areas of my life. It wasn’t easy at the start: my form sucked, I stalled a lot, but I slowly got stronger and put on weight. For the start of school that year in September of 2008 I weighed 170 lbs, so I gained about 20lbs in a couple months after starting Stronglifts 5×5. I realized that maybe there was something to this. When I focused on just gaining strength, muscle started building!
I ended that school year (June 2009) at 175lbs. There wasn’t a whole lot more weight gain during that year, but I got pretty damn strong. I was Squatting around 365lbs, Benching 220lbs, and Deadlifting 375lbs at that point.
Then I was at the gym one day in the summer when I saw a guy moving some big weight around and asked if he was a powerlifter. He said yes, so I asked him a few questions, and said that I thought it would be cool to compete one day. A few weeks later I met another strong guy at the gym who asked me why I was training. That really made me think. I was currently on the provincial team for lacrosse (strength training hugely improved my game!), I was good, but I didn’t really like lacrosse anymore. I liked pushing weight. So when he asked me that question I replied that I wanted to compete in powerlifting one day.
November 2009 I competed in powerlifting. Weighed in at 180lbs at 6’0″. I Squatted 408lbs, Benched a brutal 215lbs, and Deadlifted 420lbs. I loved it, and I quit lacrosse because I feel like powerlifting is all I need as a sport.
Fast forward to September 2010, I weigh a pretty ripped 220lbs, 17 years old, 6’0″, and people comment all the time on my size and strength. I also Squatted a raw 500lbs, Benched 275lbs and Deadlifted 513lbs in competition. I’m currently aiming to win the Canadian National Powerlifting Championships in the 110kg class in April 2011.
|StrongLifts 5x5 Week 1|
|Squat 5x5 20kg||Squat 5x5 22.5kg||Squat 5x5 25kg|
|Bench Press 5x5 20kg||Overhead Press 5x5 20kg||Bench Press 5x5 22.5kg|
|Barbell Row 5x5 30kg||Deadlift 1x5 40kg||Barbell Row 5x5 32.5kg|
It’s been long and hard to get to the point I’m at now, but a whole lot of fun. I started out as a weak and insecure boy who just wanted to put on muscle and gain confidence. I did bodybuilding routines that did nothing for me. When I stumbled across Stronglifts, I didn’t think it would do anything for me. But I read every article on the site, and built enough trust in Mehdi to try out SL5x5.
More importantly, I’m confident and no longer have problems socializing. I swear getting my Deadlift up to 500lbs is the best thing I ever did for my confidence. That, and gaining 80lbs over the course of a few years. Don’t get me wrong I’m not the most social guy around, but I’m far better than before. I also never get picked on because… well, I think most people know better.
Starting to strength train sucks, I know. You walk in there without much knowledge on technique, you’re intimidated by the weights somewhat. But when you do something enough, you start to enjoy it. The results become addicting, you start enjoying your time in the gym. Then you start studying technique more, and eating more and become smarter with your training.
Before you know it, you’re building slabs of muscles onto your body and you start to feel more confident. You might feel at some point that you’re better off just going to the gym to isolate your muscles, and work on the so-called “beach muscles” (chest, biceps, abs) but I’ll tell you this: if you build up solid legs, a solid back and shoulders (the important stuff), you’ll put on muscle a lot faster. You need a good base to work with, know what I mean?
To get enough calories, do GOMAD (heat up the milk and drink it on an empty stomach to avoid acne). Get lots of quality nutrition, lots of meat: eggs, bacon, steak, chicken… As long as the bulk of your diet is healthy, go to town on stuff like PB & J sandwiches. Carbs are the way to go to gain weight!
Understand that it’s not a quick process! Everyone wants to hear “6 weeks to a better body.” Guess what? It doesn’t work guys. I spent years getting to the point I’m at now and I don’t yet consider myself strong or big.
Keep working hard and you’ll get where you want eventually.
-SL Member Jake, 17, BC Canada.
Read Also. Check the next posts by Jake inside the StrongLifts Community to discover how he achieved his physique transformations and strength gains…