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A simple, but effective method to build muscle & lose fat while getting strongerStrongLifts 5x5How I Build Muscle & Lose Fat through Strength Trainingand How You Can Tooby Mehdihttp://stronglifts.com

StrongLifts 5x5You may distribute this eBook freely, and/or bundle it as a free bonus with other products, aslong as it is left completely intact, unaltered and delivered via the PDF file.You may republish excerpts from this eBook as long as they are accompanied by anattribution link back to http://stronglifts.com.All text & images are copyrighted by StrongLifts.com unless otherwise indicated.I regularly add new content to this eBook. Click hereto get the latest version of StrongLifts 5x5.Version: December 2007Copyright 2007-2008 http://stronglifts.com. Some rights reserved.2

ContentsDisclaimer.4Preface .5Acknowledgements.6Foundations.8StrongLifts 5 5 Beginner Strength Training Program.11The Squat.16The Overhead Press.20The Bench Press.24The Deadlift.28The Barbell Row.32Pull-ups & Chin-ups.35Dips.39Frequently Asked Questions.42The Author.49Recommended Reading.51Copyright 2007-2008 http://stronglifts.com. Some rights reserved.3

DisclaimerWeight lifting is the safest sport when you look at the rate of injuries. Unlike soccer or football, noone will injure you by hitting your ankles or knees. You'll injure yourself.The bar can slip out of your hands during the Bench Press if you use bad technique. Deadlifts canhurt your lower back if you use bad technique. Pre-existing problems, like bad posture or lack offlexibility, can increase risks of injury by preventing correct exercise techniqueProper technique comes with practice. Start light, add weight gradually & apply the tips in thiseBook.I believe that whatever condition you have, you can do strength training if you put your mind intoit. Lance Armstrong survived cancer before winning the Tour de France 7 times. You can findplenty of others who exercise regardless of their condition. You could be one of them.However I am not a doctor. Ask for your doctor's advice before trying anything in this eBook.Copyright 2007-2008 http://stronglifts.com. Some rights reserved.4

PrefaceWhere I live people know I've been training for years. They saw me at the gym. They see how Ilook. They want the same thing. So I get the usual questions:* How many times per week should I go to the gym?* Which exercises should I do?* What should I eat?Mainstream magazines & media give the wrong advice. Do 500 sit-ups. Workout 6x/week. Lastyear spinning was hot, today it's Pilates classes. You can find information on how to build muscle &lose fat on the internet, but you have to dig deep to find what works.In February 2007 I decided to make a website about strength training based on what I've learnedduring the past 10 years. StrongLifts.com went online May 1st 2007. I published the “BeginnerStrength Training Program” 1 month later. Readers called it StrongLifts 5x5, so I renamed it.StrongLifts 5x5 is what I give to anybody who wants to lift weights for the first time. Whetheronline or offline. This program is influenced by the first strength training program I did when Iquit bodybuilding: Bill Starr 5x5.StrongLifts 5x5 has a different approach than Bill Starr 5x5 for 1 reason: I deal with beginners.Beginners who a) never lifted barbells b) never followed a program c) are out of shape and/orweak d) don't have a coach to judge if their technique is right so they can add weight.StrongLifts 5x5 minimizes risks of injury by enforcing correct exercise technique. At the same timethe program acts motivating: you have a plan, you know what to do at the gym, you know whichweights to lift, you feel & see the program working.StrongLifts 5x5 program is a long-term approach. Going too fast is bad. Take slow but steady stepstowards success. This not only avoids injuries, it's also better mentally. Missed reps kill motivation.Leave the gym with your training journal showing personal records.Of course, if you already lift weights, StrongLifts 5x5 program will work for you too. I have giventhis program to bodybuilders who wanted to focus on strength & saw their Squat increase by 20kg& Bench Press by 10kg in 2 months. This is a strength training program in the first place.StrongLifts 5x5 works for women just as for men. You won't get like Ronnie Coleman. I'm not evenlike Ronnie Coleman. This program will get you muscular thighs, abs & arms while lowering yourbody fat. For an example of the physique StrongLifts 5x5 builds, take a look at the girls of Crossfit.Readers told me they found StrongLifts 5x5 after searching for ways to build muscle & lose fat.They tried the program & saw results. With the Fitness First gyms popping everywhere, I'm proudI can increase the popularity of a method that has been living underground for too much time.If StrongLifts 5x5 sounds totally different from what you've done up to now: don't judge it. I didbodybuilding routines up to 2003. When I first read Bill Starr's 5x5 program I thought “this stuffwill never work: where is the arm training, where is the isolation, I will never achieve my goals”.I was wrong & brainwashed. If you think “where are the barbell curls & calf exercises in hisprogram?” you have been brainwashed too. Don't judge it: be open minded. Give it a try for 2months, then evaluate. You won't go back. I never did.Copyright 2007-2008 http://stronglifts.com. Some rights reserved.5

AcknowledgementsThanks to Nico. He introduced me to the Squat in 1999, taught me what training hard was & gaveme the idea of starting a website about strength training.Thanks to the company I worked at for 5 years. I got so sick doing that job, it pushed me to findsomething better to do with my life.Thanks to strength training. It teached me that getting somewhere in life is about sacrifice, faith,desire, persistence & hard work. I owe it everything.Thanks to DB. He did a great job correcting the spelling & grammatical errors in this eBook.Thanks to Mark Rippetoe. I wish I had Starting Strength 10 years ago. I wouldn't have injuredmyself so much & would be much stronger today. His book should be in every gym.Thanks to Leo Babauta. StrongLifts.com wouldn't have the numbers of readers it has today if hedidn't give me a chance to write for his blog zen habits.Thanks to Napoleon Hill. Law of Success prepared me mentally for what had to come.Thanks to the FlickR community, especially Dehwang, for your awesome pictures.Thanks to Sherdog.net, SoSuave.net & DutchBodybuilding.com. Community has been great atlinking to StrongLifts.com & providing me with ideas to write about.Thanks to the haters. “If a man has built a sound character, it makes but little difference whatpeople say about him, because he will win in the end.” Napoleon Hill.Most important. Thanks to the StrongLifts.com Community. Your comments & emails made thiseBook. Thanks for your support during the past months. You are keeping StrongLifts.com alive &making my dream come true. Thank you.Copyright 2007-2008 http://stronglifts.com. Some rights reserved.6

“Persistence, desire & faith are key to success.”- Napoleon HillCopyright 2007-2008 http://stronglifts.com. Some rights reserved.7

FoundationsStrength Training. You need physical activity to be healthy & normal. You need to exercise.Running, soccer, tennis, rock climbing, boxing, etc. Anything is better than sitting in your couch.The benefit of strength training is that it builds muscle fast. The stronger you become, the moremuscles you'll have. The more muscles you have, the more calories you'll burn. Couple that withhealthy nutrition & you can achieve a year-round body fat of 10% naturally (15% for women).It takes time. You'll spend your first weeks learning exercise technique. Then you'll start usingheavier weights. Heavy weight stresses your body, pushing it to adapt by building muscle. Yourstrength is directly linked to your muscle mass & thus your body fat.Lifestyle. Your biggest challenge is building a healthy lifestyle. Career, business, relationships,family & social life will get in your way. Learn to deal with it. Decide which days you'll workout &stick to it. No matter what. Morning Workouts. Get up earlier, have breakfast, workout 1 hour later, eat, shower &go to work. Go to sleep on time. Evening Workouts. Take your gym bag with you to work/school. Go directly to the gymafter work/when school ends. Say No. If you have planned to workout on Wednesday at 7pm & your friend / girlfriend /family / colleague / the Pope asks you to go have a drink, tell them you have to workout.Tell them you'll be there 2 hours later or that you have time on Thursday. People will callyou a freak, but they will respect the rules you set for yourself. Learn to say no to people.Attitude. Lack of sleep, illness, night out drinking or any other excuse: go to the gym. Sometimesthese workouts turn out into your best ones. Sometimes they don't. Bad workouts are better thanno workouts. They train you mentally & reinforce the exercise habit. Don't rationalize.The secret to long-term success is building the habit of eating healthy & lifting weights 3x/week.The only way to build these habits is by doing these actions a lot. You are what you repeatedly do.Make a plan & stick to it. No matter what.Nutrition. Provide your body with the food it needs to build muscle by eating healthy. Moremuscle is more calories burned. More calories burned means a lower body fat. I recommend Fitdayto keep track of your protein & calorie intake. Here's what your diet should consist of: Protein. 1g/lbs daily to build muscle. Meat, poultry, turkey, fish, whey, quark, cottagecheese, milk, dairy, eggs, etc. Carbs. Necessary for energy. Whole carbs are healthier & have fiber which helps digestion.Oats, rice, breads, pasta, potatoes, yams, beans, etc Veggies. Fill your stomach but are low in calories. Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, salad,kale, asparagus, cabbage, chicory, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, zucchini, etc. Fruits. Full of vitamins, minerals & fiber. Apples, peers, banana, oranges, pineapple,peaches, etc.Copyright 2007-2008 http://stronglifts.com. Some rights reserved.8

Fats. Flax seeds, fish oil, olive oil & some saturated fat. Saturated fat is good for yourtestosterone levels. You won't get fat/overweight as long as you keep the rest of your diethealthy. Keep in mind that you are exercising & eating veggies, fruits, whole grain carbs. Water. 1L per 1000kcal you expend. 1 US gallon for men, ¾ gallon for women per day isa good rule of thumb.Hacks. Make sure the majority of your diet is healthy. Try the 90/10 or 80/20 rule: eat healthyfrom Monday to Saturday. Eat 2-3 junk meals on Sunday. Here are some habits I've built throughthe years to stay away from junk food: Take Food With You. Avoid situations where you end up eating junk food because you'rehungry. Take food with you to work/school. Take leftovers with you. Take protein shakeswith you. Take peanuts when you go the movies. Prepare Your Food. Prepare double rations. Prepare your food for the day in the morningor evening while having breakfast/diner. This way you only need to warm-up your mealswhen it's time to eat. Do the same thing if you work from home. Eat in Advance. Going shopping for a few hours? Eat a whole meal before leaving thedoor. Again: don't end up hungry. Have Food Ready. Make a grocery list that includes everything you need for the next 7days (or even 14 days). Buy somewhat more just in case. You don't want to end up withouthealthy food in the middle of the week. Make it Taste Good. Learn to cook so the food tastes good. If you've been eating junkfood for years, your taste will need to adapt at first.Cooking takes me about 30-45mins daily. The rest of the day I just need to warm up the food inthe microwave for 2-3mins. Canned & frozen food like tuna & frozen veggies will simplify your life.Skinny. Eat more & you'll gain weight. Eat less & you'll lose weight. You're skinny because you'renot eating enough. I know you think you do, but you're not. Proof: you're skinny.You need at least your body-weight in lbs x 20kcal if you're skinny. Track your food intake for aweek using Fitday & you'll see you're hardly getting that. Eat breakfast, eat every 3 hours, takefood with you, eat calorie dense food