How long should I do Stronglifts 5x5 ?
All in all in the most scenarios, which is that you are a beginner doing this program, you will do it for 6 - 12 months. In other scenarios you will do 5x5 for the time that you can afford (off season) or until you have reached your goals (active recovery from injury).
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Avid readers of my blog will know this already, however it can not hurt to repeat it yet again. How long you will stay on a program should mainly depend on your personal goals. If you are running a program just for its own sake, you probably will get bored quite quick. Asking how long you have to stay in stronglifts already gives away (in my perspective), that there might be some work to do on your personal goals. If you get them straight, this question will just go *poof*. Believe me. The very basic answer is that you should do Stonrglifts until you have reached your goal or until you do not get any stronger.
As a beginner
If you have never lifted before and the program got recommended to you to gain strength by one of your friends or you found it on the Internet, do some research and maybe stop reading this article and go to my extensive Stronglifts 5x5 review. Then continue here. Most likely you will progress on the program as written for six to twelve months depending on your starting point which I discuss in more detail in when does stronglifts get hard.
If you are a semi professional marathon runner I would highly recommend to consider this program off season after your September / October marathon. Usually the winter months are not very pleasant or even dangerous to run in, depending on your climate and preparedness (I mean some peoeple run marathons in the antarctic, but let's coveniently assume you are not one of those). The benefit to gain from this is to strengthen your body to have a lesser risk of injury in your preparations during season for your races.
Same would apply for any other outdoor sport like football, rugby, tennis or soccer when you want to increase strength. 5x5 is a program in the mid range of strength development which sould not make you to stiff or pump you up without any strength gains.
So whatever your off season is, Stronglifts can be a good addition, if you wanted to develop strength with free weights.
For experienced lifters Stronglifts 5x5 might be an option after injury to work your way back up to intermediate and expert programs after surgery. This would also have the benefit to have a good few months for working on technique, when you are rebuilding and coming closer to your former strength. Depending on your ambitions you might want to start with 50% of your one repetition maximum rather than an empty bar. Still after serious injury this is more likely to be hubris than anything else.
Whatever the reason are for looking up Stronglifts, it is a good all purpose program for strength in my opinion (some tend to disagree). I have done it for 10 months to high satisfaction and if you do some further research you will find that most poeple run it between 6 - 10 months to then move on the intermediate programs like madcow, the texas method or Jim Wendler 531.
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