I’ve been back in the gym on a regular basis for a few months now. I’m feeling great, and I’m making decent strength gains. My body already looks quite a bit different than it did in January, but that is also because I am less fat than I used to be.
But I want more. I love lifting weights, and I want to add as much strength as I possibly can. On the advisement of a friend (who has all of the muscles), I am starting the StrongLifts 5×5 program today. You can go read more about the program if you’d like, but essentially, it boils down to this: five exercises, rotated through three workouts per week.
It’s actually quite simple, and I cannot imagine it being anything other than effective. This is for adding brute strength as quickly as possible. After I do this for two months, I’ll work on more traditional things like bicep curls and muscle definition and what have you.
For now, I want pure muscle and functional strength.
The workouts include squats, bench press, overhead press, rows, and deadlifts. They’re structured as such:
Workout A: Squat, Bench, Row
Workout B: Squat, Press, Deadlift
You take one day of rest between each. The idea is that you’re doing 5 sets of 5 reps at a weight you can handle. Then, the next time you do the movement, you add 5 pounds and repeat. Oh, and deadlifts are just one set of five reps.
Here are my beginning numbers:
And here are my projected numbers for the final workout week in late June. Remember that these are still 5 sets of 5 reps each, except for deadlifts. Those are 1 set of 5 reps, because deadlifts suck a butt:
So, yeah. This looks good. And starting today, we’ll see what all the ranting and raving is about.
Update: I started with workout B today, since I did bench presses yesterday. So today was squat, overhead press and deadlifts. And hoo boy, let me tell you…that was exhausting. It’s been seven hours now since I finished the workout, and I am absolutely wiped. My glutes and shoulders hurt the most, but I feel it all over.
I am optimistic about this plan, and I’m excited to see if I’m anywhere near those projected weights come the middle of June.