Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max: 5×/week Upper/lower Split

Updated:

3m read

Updated:

3m read

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max is an upper/lower body workout split for building strength and muscle. It’s a five-day variation of Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra in which you do a third upper-body workout each week.

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max has three upper-body, and two lower body workouts per week. This makes the program higher in volume than Stronglifts 5×5 and even Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra. The program is targeted towards lifters who want to emphasize their upper-body and have time to train 5x/week.

Let me show you how Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max works.

What is Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max Upper/lower Split?

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra is a five-day upper/lower workout split in which you train your upper and lower body on different days. In workouts A and C you train your lower body with Squats and Deadlifts. In workouts B, D and E you train your upper body with Bench, Overhead Press, Rows and Chinups.

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max consists of five workouts A, B, C, D and E. You do five workouts a week, alternating lower and upper body workouts. You train your lower and upper body on two consecutive days before taking a rest day. You then train them again on three consecutive days.

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max: upper/lower split
Workout AWorkout BWorkout CWorkout DWorkout E
Squat
5×5
Bench Press
5×5
Deadlift
5×5
Incline Bench Press
5×5
Overhead Press
5×5
Deadlift
1×5
Barbell Row
5×5
Squat
1×5
Dips 5×5Chinup 5×5
Assistance workAssistance workAssistance workAssistance workAssistance work

5×5 means five sets of five reps with the same weight. 1×5 means one heavy set of five reps after you do your warmup sets. There’s optional assistance work that you can add to each workout if you have time for more and want to do more volume to build extra muscle.

You can log Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max using the Stronglifts app. Tap the program tab at the bottom and then select Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max from the list. You’ll find several templates with different exercises and options for Assistance Work. You can easily replace exercises if you want.

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max vs Stronglifts Ultra

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max is a 5x/week version of Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra. You do one extra upper-body workout per week. That means you train your lower body twice, and upper-body three times a week.

The first way to do Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max is to go two days on, one day off, three days on, one day off. Like this…

Stronglifts 5x5 Ultra Max 2 days on, 1 day off, 3 days on, 1 day off schedule

With this workout schedule you’re never training more than three days in a row. However you have to do one workout on the weekend. If you prefer to keep them free, you could train five days in a row instead. Like this…

Stronglifts 5x5 Ultra Max 5 days in a row schedule

The goal of adding a third upper-body workout E is to increase your weekly training volume to build more muscle. Compare the weekly training volume for your upper body when you do Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra 4x/week vs Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max 5x/week with its extra upper-body workout E…

Weekly setsSL5×5 Ultra
4×/week
SL5×5 Ultra Max
5×/week
Chest1015 (+50%)
Back1116 (+45%)
Shoulders1520 (+33%)
Triceps1520 (+33%)
Biceps510 (+100%)
Legs1212
Total Upper body2030 (+50%)
Total Lower body1212

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra has 50% more volume for the upper-body because of its fifth workout E. You can increase the volume further by adding assistance work to the upper-body workouts B, D and E. Like this…

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max: upper/lower split 5×/week
ABCDE
Squat
5×5
Bench
5×5
Deadlift
5×5
OHP
5×5
Overhead Press
5×5
Deadlift
1×5
Row
5×5
Squat
1×5
Bench
5×5
Chinup 5×5
DB Bench
3×8
DB Row
3×8
BB Curl
3×8

This would add another three sets per week for your chest, shoulders, triceps and back… as well as six sets for your biceps. You’re then doing almost 20 sets per week or more for your upper-body muscles.

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max is available in the Stronglifts app. Just tap programs at the bottom and then select Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max. You’ll find several templates with different exercises and options for Assistance Work.

NOTE: I recommend starting with Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra before doing Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max. Progress with less volume first. When you get stuck, then consider adding more volume for your upper-body.

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max Spreadsheet

There’s a Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max spreadsheet available.

The spreadsheet is great for getting a big picture overview of how the program works, and how your weights will progress. But for logging your workouts in the gym, use the Stronglifts app. It’s easier to use, does all the math for you, and has lots of extra features like a built-in rest timer.

To be continued…

I’ll extend this Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max guide soon, and make it more detailed like all the other guides on this website. If you have questions, please send them over. You can read the Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra guide as it explains most of the theory behind this upper/lower split.

Written by Mehdi Hadim

Lifter, coach and author. I have over 25 years of experience lifting weights, and 17 years of experience coaching people. Before I started lifting, I was so weak I couldn't do a single pushup and even lost armwrestling to a girl. Since then I've Squatted 440lb, Deadlifted 500lb and competed in powerlifting. In that process I gained 45lb of muscle. Read my story.

Read more about

Stronglifts 5x5

Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max: 5×/week Upper/lower Split
Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra Max is an upper/lower body workout split for building strength and muscle. It’s a five-day variation of Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra in which ... Read More
Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra: Upper/lower Body Workout Split
Stronglifts 5×5 Ultra is an upper/lower body workout split for building strength and muscle. It’s a four-day variation of Stronglifts 5×5 in which you train ... Read More
Quarantine: Dumbbell Hotel Gym Workout
Quarantine is a dumbbell hotel gym workout to build strength and muscle. It’s handy for Stronglifters stuck in a hotel gym while traveling. Beginners can ... Read More

Get All Stronglifts Spreadsheets for Free

Join the Stronglifts community to get free access to all the spreadsheets for every Stronglifts program. You’ll also get 15% off Stronglifts Pro, and daily email tips. Enter your email below to sign up today for free.

Stronglifts Spreadsheet Bundle
_Footer Spreadsheet (all pages)

Free Spreadsheets

Sign up to get free spreadsheets of every Stronglifts program, 15% discount on Stronglifts Pro, and daily tips.
Stronglifts Spreadsheet Bundle
_Modal Desktop (all pages)
Learn more
Stronglifts Spreadsheet Bundle

Get The Free Spreadsheets

Sign up to get free spreadsheets of every Stronglifts program, 15% discount on Stronglifts Pro, and daily email tips.

_ExitPopup Spreadsheet (all pages)

Free Spreadsheets

Sign up for free spreadsheets of every program, 15% discount on Stronglifts Pro, and daily tips.
_Modal Mobile/iPad (all pages)