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Can you do Stronglifts 5x5 to get ripped ? [Article, Video]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Nov 3, 2016 3:47:50 PM

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Can you do Stronglifts 5x5 to get ripped ?

Great so you have decided to work out more regularly to look like Chris Pratt ? Good for you and you also found the Stronglifts 5x5 program which promises results even if you are a complete nerd ? So you have everything you need to get started ? Well maybe not and read on to find out what else you might need.

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Living in the internet age 

In the internet age of Instagram, facebook and integrated cameras for almost any device there are a seemingly endless people who make you feel like that they are more attractive than you. The Body coach, 123 plan, BikiniBodymommy, nerd fitness and much more make out it to be easy to be stunningly attractive without putting in any effort (or at least very little of it). To top all of this there is the CrossFit rage in were a neverending brigade of (mainly Californian) greek gods are chastising themselves in strenuous exercise amassing as many repetitions on anything in as little time as possible. One of the programs which promises an easy body transformation which I have done myself for ten months is Stronglifts 5x5 "The simplest workout to get stronger", but does it also make you ripped ?

What is the main driver for your desired physique

What is it really that drives an attractive appearance and the sought after "shredded" or "ripped" appearance which is splashed across the covers of magazines like Men's Health, Muscle & Strength and Vogue and features regularly in ads of perfume companies like Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani and Dolce and Gabana.

Is it lifting like mad and being the strongest ? Unlikely as you can see from the composure of the strongest men in the business like Chris Duffin, who lifted 1002 pounds for almost three repetitions, Brian Shaw, one of the most successful living strongmen and Eddie Hall, who is the current world record holder for the deadlift at 500kg. What all of these men have in common is that they are huge, but not necessarily shredded ( I hope they agree if they ever read this, because otherwise, i might have to endure some pain in the not too distant future). 



Chris Duffin lifts 1002 pounds for almost three repetitions



Brian Shaw lifts a 555lbs stone



Eddie Hall deadlifts 500kg for the first time ever in human history


Another option would be to train for endurance like marathon runners to cut away the fat which often comes with eating a lot to gain strength and muscle. While this certainly works to get very slim and have a low body fat percentage you will also not achieve the desired look. It is more likely with this approach that in the long run (literally) you will look exhausted and undernourished. This might get you an Olympic medal, but not necessarily on the cover of the next fitness magazine. We are talking long distance running here by the way so do not counter with Usain Bolt in the comment section. 

So if it is not training for strength or endurance, what is it then that defines that six pack ? You need to build some muscle so that you can show it later, which long-distance running does not account for. If you mainly focus on the strength component you might put on some flab, which covers the desired outcome. Maybe a combination of approaches can work. 

Will Stronglifts 5x5 get you ripped ?

Stronglifts 5x5 provides a well-balanced program for beginners to build muscle without mainly focusing on strength and still leaves time in the week to do the necessary conditioning to stay at a low body fat percentage. However, the main driver of whether your six pack is visible or not is not what you do in the gym, but what you eat when you back home. If you want those abs to be visible you usually need to stay below 10% body fat. Even with the toughest workout regime this is usually not attainable without also taken care of what you are taking in. Therefore work with a well-rounded approach on strength, endurance, and diet to achieve your goal of getting ripped. Stronglifts 5x5 alone will not take you there.

Further reading






Topics: Stronglifts 5x5, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Strongman