I have decided to take a new approach at the gym since I have been a bit discouraged with the results I have not been seeing. This could be attributed to have no partner to lift with, someone who is also there to push you, someone to bounce questions off. The way I see it, going to the gym is better than sitting on my ass on the couch and playing XBox, so ANY exercise I am getting is better than none. I have been very dedicated as well, getting to the gym 3 to 4 times a week, but have lacked the strength and muscle gains. Enter Stronglifts 5X5.
Still looking at my body log, which tracks measurements I have not see much of a change. The only exception my waist, where I have dropped 3 inches. I figured after 6 months I would see some better definition in my arms and chest. While surfing the Internet last weekend in search of who knows what I ran across a site called Stronglifts.com by a guy named Mehdi. I started reading about him and identified with him.
After I got through reading, I decided to sign up and get his free 5×5 starter kit, which required nothing more than my e-mail. I started reading The 5X5 Report, which Glenn Pendlay, MS USAW, Olympic coach says “will work for virtually everyone.” His method is nothing revolutionary, but a simple program that will gain muscle, develop strength, eliminate stubborn fat and improve my health. What’s not to like about this program. Best of all it’s only a 3 day a week program with a combination of 5 exercises.
I watch many other guys at the gym and watch their routines. I was on a 4 day weight program that isolate muscle groups (arms, chest, back and shoulders), rarely working on my legs or gluteal muscles. Still I was hoping to increase muscle and gain strength, but I wasn’t see that happen. “Muscle size is directly related to strength gains.” This is a themed echoed through Mehdi’s report.
The “5X5 stands” for 5 sets of 5 reps. At this point, some 40 pages into his report I am skeptical. So I jump ahead and start reading some of the 50 real life success stories included in the report. I jump to those guys in the 40-49 year old bracket. I was able to identify with many of their comments and figured if they could do this, I know I could. What was even more impressive were seeing the before and after pictures of guys after they had been on this program for 6 to 8 to 12 months and the gains they had made in strength and muscle.
So I decided to take the 12 week challenge that Mehdi discusses in his 5X5 Report. Without going into the many details that would probably bore you, the workouts are divided in Workout A and Workout B. So starting yesterday, Monday I did Workout A, Workout B comes on Wednesday and Friday it’s back to Workout A. At the start of week 2, I begin the week with Workout B. Easy, huh? Workout A consists of squat, bench press and barbell rows, while Workout B is squat, overhead press and deadlift.
I have already taken my “before pictures” and recorded my body measurements. The rest is up to me. Yesterday I spent maybe 30 minutes doing Workout A, but today I feel the results unlike the 5-7 exercises I had been doing when I was isolating muscles. Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come.