Weekly Workout Recap #3: Stronglifts 5×5

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It’s been a tough week in our household. The two year anniversary of my stepdad’s passing was Friday and my husband’s grandmother passed away the night before (after getting text messages daily of her health declining) and we celebrated her life this past Monday. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions and quite the whirlwind for the past week. Grandma would’ve turned 95 next month so she definitely lived a long, healthy life but you’re still never ready for loved ones to “leave”. She is loved and will be missed very much.

Now it’s time for another weekly workout recap! I’m switching things up and have started the StrongLifts 5×5 program. I’ve done it in the past but not for very long, I think maybe a month or so? I couldn’t tell you how long it’ll hold my attention this time but it’s the plan for now. I’m in need of something simple whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Why I’m starting StrongLifts 5×5

I think StrongLifts 5×5 is a really great program if building strength is what you’re after. The program calls for 5 sets of 5 reps for each exercise with the exception of deadlifts – those are 1 set x 5 reps.

Here’s what I love most about StrongLifts:

  • 3 workouts per week (I typically do Mon/Wed/Fri schedule)
  • Basic moves
  • ~ 30 minute workouts (rest time is only 90 seconds or 3 minutes depending on the toughness of the set)
  • Uses compound exercises
  • Uses heavy lifts with low rep range to gain strength


Reasons Why I Quit Last Time

  • Got bored

So we’ll see how long I go this time!


StrongLifts 5×5 Week One

As the program suggests, I started using only an olympic barbell (45 pounds). This is because I haven’t done a lot of heavy lifting recently and this will help me get the form right prior to lifting really heavy. We also have a variety of bumper plates I’ve been adding as I get stronger.

StrongLifts 5x5 Week One - via liftingmakesmehappy.com


Equipment Needed to Do StrongLifts 5×5 at Home

We have been building our home gym since 2008 and we’ve built it up pretty nicely over time. The only thing we’re really missing are cables (I don’t really care) and a leg press machine (which would be awesome)!

Here’s what is required to complete these workouts:

  • Olympic barbell (we have this one and this one) or some kind of weighted bar that weight can be added to
  • Weight plates that can be used on the bar you have (it’s a great idea to purchase a set of plates and a barbell if you can)
  • StrongLifts 5×5 app (free!)

We have a combination of bumper plates (rubber coated) and metal plates. We started with metal plates because they came with our first barbell and then we got another barbell and some bumpers from FringeSport a few years ago. They’ve been holding up great so far. No complaints!


StrongLifts 5×5 Day One

Using the bar only didn’t feel especially challenging so I decided to do each movement slow and super controlled to make it a little tougher. I know these lifts progress pretty quickly as my strength increases and I know the weight will be challenging very soon.

StrongLifts 5x5 Day 1 - via liftingmakesmehappy.com


StrongLifts 5×5 Day Two

Squats are done during every workout so on the second day I was already up to 50#. Each workout you increase the squat weight by 5 pounds so it really helps to have 2.5# weight plates.

StrongLifts 5x5 Day 2 - via liftingmakesmehappy.com


StrongLifts 5×5 Day Three

This is the day one workout repeated. I love that the app tells me exactly what I’ll be lifting next time. Makes tracking pretty effortless. Once you tap “finish” it records the workout for you and shows you the next one.

StrongLifts 5x5 Day 3 - via liftingmakesmehappy.com


If you’re thinking about giving this workout a try, I encourage you to check out the article below. Lots of good stuff there!

40 Things to Know About StrongLifts 5×5 for Women 

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My name is Mindi and I'm an office manager and blogger living in Minnesota with my husband and our blended family of four children. Thank you for visiting Lifting Makes Me Happy! I fight depression and anxiety with healthy living and writing. I hope you are encouraged and motivated by the things I share here. I appreciate you stopping by!
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  1. This is a great workout, Mindi! I will definitely give it a try!

  2. I agree this is awesome workout! I have done it myself and I have recommended it to my wife recently. Since I started lifting I was always going old-school and focused on basics. I consider it the best way to improve, nothing will pump you as much as an proper barbell training with heavy lifts. Good luck with that!

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