Thousands of people worldwide have already changed their bodies and lives with StrongLifts 5×5. Here are just some results people have emailed me. Note that your results may vary based on your age, body-weight, technique, nutrition, sleep, experience, consistency, etc
25lb Lost While Gaining Muscle and Strength
People who start out over-weight can easily lose fat while building muscle and gaining strength. Here’s an example from Branimir (USA) who lost 25lb while gaining muscle and strength…
After being lazy for so long I started working out in 2008, dreaming to get in best shape of my life in 6 months.
I failed because of lack of planning, discipline and valid information. I was overweight, on the verge of obesity.
I worked out for 1 and a half years and my weight dropped only 10lbs. My strength increased because I was beginner, but I looked almost the same.
I quit using creatine and preworkout stuff. Took awhile to get used to working out clean. I was still wasting time with split routine workouts, triceps extensions, biceps curls, calves work, leg extensions, hamstring curls, long ab workouts…
All this gave some results, but nothing major. I did Squats when I was bored (with horrible form). I did Deadlifts… Wait, I didn’t do Deadlifts. I thought the Deadlift was something that hurt your back and was useless.
I figured I was doing something wrong. So I started reading how to get big and lean. I learned Squats are important! I learned nutrition is number 1. I learned rest and sleep are more important than training. But all that was not settling in, because information came from a lot of sources.
I started losing fat, maintained muscle, but my strength was not impressive. I was jealous to see kids lifting more than me, and being same size or smaller.
One person who was deadlifting 405lb and weighed 20lb less than me said – “I have a website for you, I think you’ll like it.” Guess what website that was? I got home, went on stronglifts.com, read everything, then applying all I learned.
Now most important: results. I am stronger, faster, leaner, healthier, happier.
My weight went from 220lb to 195lb. But while my weight (FAT) went away, I got stronger, and I am still getting stronger. I can’t even keep up with how my body is progressing. Strength is going up, fat is going down. I feel amazing.
- Body-weight: 200lb @ 5’10”
- Bench Press: 240lb (5×5)
- Squats: 275lb (5×5)
- Deadlifts: 315lb (1×5)
- Overhead Press: 145lb (5×5)
Some kid was impressed by my strength and body so he asked me what I do and how. I told him I do StrongLifts 5×5. He said I was bullshitting him, no way I do 4-5 exercises per session. So I said, let’s try it. He is one of those kids who can Bench more than Squat (and does partials), and don’t know what Deadlifts are.
So he put 90lbs on a bar, did 5 funny Squats and said that was easy. I told him: “Do those Squats right, all the way down”, and I even thought him how to place the bar without a pad. I told him to lower that weight, cause it was too much. So he got the form almost right, but refused to lower the weight. He was benching funny as well, so I showed him to bench properly.
I didn’t see the kid in the gym for a week. I finally saw him and he complained he was soooo sore, couldn’t move his legs and arms for 3 days, and went back to his old workout, because he “can’t” do StrongLifts 5×5. “Bro I can’t.” I just said ok, and continued with my workout.
How much will something work is up to you. Up to your discipline, concentration and determination. Never say you can’t do something – you can. Approach it with attitude: “I can’t do it yet,” or “I have problems doing it, please help me,” or just be honest and say: “I don’t want to do it.”
Remember to start StrongLifts 5×5 with low weights, lower than what you think is enough. Get the form right, stick with the right form at all costs. Do NOT give up when weights get really heavy. That’s when you get strong, when you grow and all other good things happen.
Be persistent, eat big, train hard, have a right mindset and results will come.
Skinny Guy Gains 44lb in 12 Months – Girls Say He’s Hotter
The best way to gain weight if you’re skinny is to train hard and eat more calories than you burn. On average you can gain 0.5lb of muscle a week or 2lb a month. But skinny kids can often gain more muscle than that. Here’s an example from Frederico from Portugal…
I’m 20 years old, 1,70m and i’ve been skinny all my life, my father and brothers are ethiophian like so i had a really bad time gaining weight since i was a child, i never did any sport and i started gym on 1st November.
After 3 months a guy told me about StrongLifts 5×5 so i tried it. With StrongLifts i’m stronger than ever. On March it’ll be 1 year since i started StrongLifts 5×5 (Madcow now) and it’s impressive when i look back and couldn’t lift properly.
- Bodyweight: 51kg => 71kg in the morning
- Squat: 20kg => 105kg x 5 (1.5bw eheh)
- Deadlift: 20kg => 125×3
I recommend StrongLifts 5×5 to everyone starting lifting or having low marks. Many gym buddies are amazed with my strength but most still don’t believe it. It’s your choice but if i was doing some stupid routine i wouldn’t be like this.
Hardgainer Gains 16lb in 16 Weeks
Again, you can gain about 2lb of muscle per month on average, which is about 8lb in 16 weeks. But skinny guys can often gain more than that. And the total weight gain is usually higher when you add water weight and such. Example from Alexandre…
I am your typical “hardgainer” with long limbs/short torso.
All the guys in my dorm want to work out with me now (I’m 19 and in college), and I often get stares at the gym when I do the heavy compounds haha.
Thank you Mehdi, you’re the best!
47y Old with Bad Knees Gains 12lb and Almost Doubles His Squat
StrongLifts 5×5 works for guys over 40 years old too. Here’s an example from Andrew (47, California). He increased his Deadlift from 150lb to 355lb and Squat from 150lb to 285lb in 12 months. He gained 12lb in the process, and got these results despite prior knee surgery.
Thirty years ago, I was 135 lbs, teaching kung fu and fighting anything that would fight back. I benched 250 and squatted 300 with no form whatsoever. I went to Art School and all things fitness went the way of Art and Music.
Flash forward a few decades and here is the result: Fifty pounds heavier, bad knee, bad hair and bad habits.
I got knee surgery and while rehabbing, decided to do more than just one leg. I decided I wanted to get stronger than I had ever been in my life, even at 46. This led me to StrongLifts 5×5.
A big mistake I made was starting all my lifts near 5RM while teaching myself proper form. I struggled for six months with several stalls from 150lb Squats to 230lb.
Another mistake I made was not checking my form with video until six months in. I found out I was not breaking parallel.
When I started lifting, I had no intention of getting stronger than 1.5xBW squats and 2xBW deadlifts. I have since adjusted that as I have learned to love getting stronger. I think in terms of plate milestones now.
Andrew's Gains Before After Gains Age 46y 47y Body-weight (5'9") 162lb 174lb +12lb Deadlift 150lb 355lb +205lb Squat 150lb 285lb +135lb Bench Press 150lb 220lb +70lb
I’ve put on weight since I started lifting, but my first six months I made the mistake of cutting while lifting, which made stalling more frequent and recovery difficult. Caloric excess is a tailwind, and while not all my weight gain is muscle, I can get rid of fat later, once I’ve reached my strength goals.
Here what I look like now. I didn’t start lifting to look better, but I am pleased that I have an ass now and my legs don’t look spindly. The gut may require a few less Manhattans and braised Pork Bellies…
I don’t recover as well as when I was 17, but if I eat enough and sleep enough, I do all right. Ultimately, I don’t think age is hindrance, just a factor.
Rugby Player Gains 45lb and Triples His Deadlift to 435lb
Many people have had such impressive results with StrongLifts 5×5, that their friends accused them of using steroids. Here’s an example from AJ…
I started playing rugby and wanted to bulk up to put up with the abuse I’d have to deal with if I wanted to make it through an entire season. I wanted to be able to knock someone on their ass if they tried running on my side of the pitch.
After a while, I was unable to recover from the workouts (rugby practices 3x/wk) and had to cut Squatting to 2 days/wk. Recovery is still an issue given the lack of sleep that comes with my profession…my legs are always spent.
AJ's Gains Before After Gains Age 26y 28y Body-weight (5'11") 165lb 210lb +45lb Deadlift 135lb 435lb +300lb Squat 135lb 355lb +220lb Bench Press 185lb 300lb +115lb
When I started growing, people took notice. Some thought I was on steroids. Others thought I was taking all kinds of supplements. They thought I was crazy when I’d walk into class, pull out a 1/2 gal of milk and drink it during the lecture.
Eventually, guys began asking me about how I was training, what exercises I was using, etc. I told a lot of people, but few were willing to put in the work needed (especially the eating) to make the gains that they wanted.
Being called a “big” guy is still weird. Guys respect it because they know how hard the work is… girls like it too (I haven’t figured out the reasoning yet).
A friend of mine who played in the NFL used to work out with me. Sometimes I’d increase my weight and try to rep out 5, but I’d only be able to bang out 2 or 3 without his assistance and he’d notice my disappointment.
One day when I didn’t hit the number I wanted, he asked me “are you better than you were your last workout?” I realized that I was and that hit home with me.
Since then, my goal has been to be better, stronger and more intense than in my previous workout. If I’m not doing that, there’s no need for me to be in the gym.
StrongLifts has changed my personal and professional life. Mehdi receives hundreds of emails and I’m unsure whether he’ll read this, but I appreciate what he’s doing. I’m enjoying lifting and I’m glad I found StrongLifts 5×5. Thanks.
Icelander Loses 35.7lb and 8% Body-Fat without Doing Cardio
Eat less calories than you burn and you’ll lose fat. Obese guys can easily lose fat by lifting weights and eating less without doing cardio. They can even gain strength and muscle because their fat reserves fuel their workouts. Here’s an example from Bjarni from Iceland…
Two years ago it dawned on me i was nowhere in the physical condition i should be in at my age and that i needed to something about it.
The first year i did bodypart splits with some success. Build up base strength but didn’t have a clue on how to perform a proper squat.
I wanted to become strong so after minimal results i searched the internet for programs and came across StrongLifts 5×5. Its fast progression called me.
StrongLifts 5×5 has given me significant gains. In one year i’ve lost 16kg of BW, putting me from low 30% BF at 135.8kg down to ca 22% BF at 119.6kg, all while remaining 192cm tall. My strength has skyrocketed.
Bjarni's Gains Before After Gains Age 22y 23y Body-weight (6'4") 298.7lb 263lb -35.7lb Body Fat 30% 22% -8% Deadlift 352lb 473lb +121lb Squat 220lb 440lb +220lb Bench Press 99lb (db) 264lb +165lb
Apart from shifting 15kg of lard off and giving me a foundation of strength, my posture has improved along with my self esteem.
First pic is one year ago at 135.8kg & 30% BF. The second is taken at 129kg & 26% BF. Last picture is taken this morning at 119.6kg & 22% BF. This was achieved without cardio, only diet & StrongLifts 5×5.
Having done this i’d recommend the following for beginners:
50y old Increases Squat to 325lb, and Inspires His Wife to Lift
One of the best ways to get your wife or girlfriend to lift weights, is to get impressive results first. Don’t try to convince them, let your results do the talking. Here’s an example of John from Michigan who increased his Squat to 325lb at age 50…
Mehdi, You’ve changed my life, and my wife’s life, in a major ways.
Two years ago I weighed 300lb and had a third chin growing. Seeing myself in pictures disgusted me and almost made me cry. I felt ashamed of my body.
A year later of daily hour long cardio sessions, I had dropped to 200lb, and my energy was soaring. However, looking in the mirror and seeing a still “loose” physique and hanging skin made me wince.
Not knowing better I embarked on adding the entire round of weight machines to shore up my body — improve strength and pull up the loose spots.
The machines helped for a while, and I started to show definition I’d never possessed before. However, as the weights grew, my muscles didn’t.
I started split routines… I benched on the smith machines… I “squatted” on the smith machines… But strength results did NOT follow, only injuries.
Searching for an answer brought me to StrongLifts 9 months ago. I wanted to go with compounds, but having never lifted free weights before I was afraid.
But you laid it out plain and simple, and showed how starting with the bar was going to give me technique to master weights — so I jumped in with both feet.
I started with the bar, and built, and built. After 12 weeks of StrongLifts 5×5, I gained 10lb of muscle. My legs, arms and chest have grown, while my waist has shrun , and my “looseness” from weight loss has disappeared. My abs and torso muscles are thick and powerful. Having once been size 50, I am now 35.
My wife was impressed with the results. After 4 babies and extra weight, she was desperate for fat loss. Her belly muscles, when pregnant, got pulled apart and doctors told her that there was nothing she could do to pull them back in. But seeing the results I had achieved, she jumped in.
We started training together and she lost 15 pounds, transferred fat to muscle, down-sized clothing three times, and shows leg muscles of an olympic champion. She’s proud of herself and I am proud of her.
I’m 50 years old, 6’1″, 212lb, and on Monday I squatted 325lb. Today I deadlifted 415lb. We can’t thank you enough the StrongLifts site. We have fallen in love with squats and love our bodies like we have never imagined we could.
We’ve had to endure the no-squatters, the knee blowers, the unsolicited advice givers, the curlers in the power rack, etc… and now are able to withstand the barrage of negativity that comes from the majority of gym goers…