When you start your training journey, you come up with different workout plans from famous bodybuilders and powerlifters.
As a beginner, you get puzzled and you don’t know what to follow anymore. If you are lucky, you will start with a workout program that is science-based, just like the StrongLifts training program.
In this post, we will discuss what to do after StrongLifts as we will put you in the right direction.
The problem with workout programs is that they could be effective for some time but after that, they either are not enough for you, or they do not match your goals.
When you choose a program, you should know whether this program helps you achieve your goals or not. Someone who wants to build muscle with all his potential would not follow a pure powerlifting program.
In contrast, someone who wants to build pure strength, would not follow a pure bodybuilding program.
What is the goal of StrongLifts?
StrongLifts program, also known as the “5 x 5” program, is a beginner program that aims to increase a lifter’s strength, muscle, and power.
It is a very popular training program and nearly every great lifter started his/her journey with this program. It is somehow old but still standing because of its effectiveness.
The StrongLifts program focuses on the BIG 3 along with overhead press and barbell row. You would go to the gym three days per week alternating between the movements.
5 x 5 means that you would do 5 sets of 5 reps of each exercise in a given day. The creator behind this program believes that 5 reps is the most beneficial number of reps in a given set for strength and hypertrophy combined.
It is recommended for beginners as it is a very general program. For a beginner, anything would benefit you.
But what would benefit you the most is high-intensity compound movements with perfect form, that’s why StrongLifts 5 x 5 is great for beginners. It is a stepping stone for being strong and having a well-built physique.
What is your goal now?
After following StrongLifts 5 x 5 training program for a little while, you might have achieved your desired goals from the program let’s say it is strength. After that, do you still want to build more strength? or do you want to build muscle instead?
Your goal is what determines what you would do after following the StrongLifts program. If your goal is to build muscle then switch to strength again, then you would follow a hybrid training program that gives you both at the same time.
Or, if you are bored with weights and you just want to have a beach body, then you would switch to a bodybuilding style of training.
When to stop StrongLifts
You might wonder, when should I stop following the StrongLifts program. Or, should I ever stop following the 5 x 5 program? The answer is, it depends.
You could follow the StrongLifts training program and in fact, you will see great results. But after a little while, some complications might happen and you will plateau.
Load is one of the most important reasons why you have stalled following StrongLifts. After following the same program for some time, your body adapts to it and it becomes resistant to it.
To progress, you should keep increasing the aspects of training such as volume, intensity, and frequency.
Doing the same program over and over again will let your body adapt to it and it would need to be changed. That’s why there are many options to do after stalling while following the StrongLifts program.
If you don’t recover, you won’t see results. It is simple. Not recovering enough while following StrongLifts might cause the problem of stalling.
While you could have the potential to benefit from it, a lack of recovery would stall the results. In other words, if your results have stalled, the answer is not always to change the program, but to look in the program itself.
I have finished StrongLifts, What now?
After weeks or even months following the StrongLifts, your body has a tremendous amount of fatigue that it needs to recover from. This great amount of fatigue builds up by the time, preventing you from progressing anymore because your body is overtrained and needs to rest.
Even though the program might still work, it is stalled. The solution is to take a deload week. Deload is a 1-week phase of training that allows your body to completely recover and drop the fatigue that has been building up since you started the program.
Simply, drop down the training volume by 50% and the intensity to 50%. In other words, perform half the sets with half the weights in every workout.
After finishing the deload week, you have two choices.
Either to continue with the StrongLifts if you see that it has the potential to keep you progressing, or switch to a new program depending on your goals.
Start a New Program
If you have the goal of building pure muscle or even building some muscle so it could be translated into strength, starting a hypertrophy program is a great choice for you.
After doing low rep ranges for some time, your body gets adapted to it. When you change to higher rep ranges, it is a different kind of stimulus and it will be very beneficial.
Also, building muscle with a hypertrophy program would help you gain strength later as more muscle means more strength potential.
Moreover, it will increase your training capacity, and definitely you will be able to do more strength training after following a hypertrophy program. There are plenty of hypertrophy programs, you could follow an upper/lower split, push/pull/legs split, or a full-body split.
Madcow is a training program that focuses on strength and power just like StrongLifts. It follows the 5 reps approach just like it too.
It is a program that is designed for intermediates so you would be able to continue progressing if your progress has stalled with StrongLifts.
After following StrongLifts for some time, you will pass the beginner level, so it makes sense to follow an intermediate level program to keep progressing.
Texas program is another intermediate level program that is recommended by the creator of StrongLifts.
The Texas program is great because it allows you to recover more between sessions and when you really hit the gym, you will be fresh and you will give it all your energy.
The Texas program is a 3 days per week program that has one day focusing on volume, one day on recovery and technique, one day on intensity.
By this, you will improve your technique, increase your muscle mass, and increase your strength as well.
The Texas program is very popular among lifters that care about their strength capabilities and it will keep you progressing after finishing the StrongLifts.
If you have followed StrongLifts training program and you still want to add strength and overall power, the texas program is your way to go.
Related: Equipment you’ll need
More workouts and apps
In conclusion, StrongLifts is a popular training program and it is actually the stepping stone for most lifters. For some reason, the progress might stall. This is when you want to look for options and solutions.
We have listed the best solutions on what to do after following StrongLifts program. Read carefully and keep up the hard work.