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Stronglifts vs ketogains

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Mar 20, 2019 9:30:00 AM


Stronglifts vs ketogains

Stronglifts vs ketogains

Ketogains is a good choice when you can commit more time in the gym and also focus on your diet. Usually, this is too much for beginners. I recommend building better habits one step at a time. If you find easier to eat less start there. If you want to eat the same and get stronger go with Stronglifts 5x5.

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What is your why


Before we go into the details of Stronglifts and Ketogains let me ask you a couple of questions 


  • Why do you compare Stronglifts and ketogains?
  • Why do you want to train?
  • Why is your current body not good enough?
  • What happens when you reach your goals? 
  • What happens when you don’t? 


Whatever brought you here it is important that you look deeper into your why. This is what will keep you going when things get tough. Most people go about their research and training this way


  • What do I want to achieve 
  • How do I want to achieve it 
  • Why do I want to achieve it


The challenge with this approach is that you are very likely to give up if you don’t get what you want quickly. This is why so many diets and New Year's resolutions fail. A more successful approach to effect long-lasting change is to think about it this way:


  • Why do I want to achieve my goal
  • How do I want to achieve my goal
  • What will help me to achieve my goal


There is a very good TED talk on YouTube by Simon Sinek which outlines this principle. I highly recommend it. The main motivators in fitness are 


  • Looks 
  • Performance 
  • Health 


If you are mainly into improving your looks asl yourself why you want to look different. Will it get you more followers? Maybe a better job? Some free stuff from sponsors? Be prepared that chasing looks is a long and lonely road. To keep up with the Instagram accounts of this modern world you need to starve yourself periodically and train hard. You are up against full-time models supported by makeup and digital artists. Just go into this whole getting ripped and tanned with open eyes. The choices you will make in this journey will not always be healthy or help performance. In the end, youngster ends up on a player though. 


If you are mainly about performance ask yourself why you want to break that record or hold that trophy. What is it that you get out of success? The admiration? The prize money? Being outdoors instead of being stuck at a desk? The main driver for success in this is intensity in the gym. You will train until breaking point. Injuries will be common and you will learn how to deal with them. Diet will only become a fuel to your ambitions. The choices you will make will not always be pretty or healthy. In the end, you will smile when you hold that trophy. 


The last group is mainly interested in health. Your choices are balanced and you stay away from extremes. Injuries and burnouts seldom occur. As you are not interested in performance or looks you can try many different training programs and diet plans. You might not make broadway or the premier league but that’s ok while you sip your tea. You like looking at the madness going by. 




Stronglifts is one of the most popular beginner lifting programmed out there. You will train three times a week using the following exercises: 



You will squat in each session. All other exercises are rotated. The goal is to complete five sets of five repetitions for each exercise except the deadlift. The deadlift is programmed in with one set of five repetitions per week. All exercises except the deadlift and row start with an empty bar


Once you complete a 5x5 block you increase the load. If you fail three times on the same weight you deload. The free Stronglifts 5x5 app outlines this process perfectly. 


The biggest advantages of Stronglifts are its simplicity and effectiveness. The program is easy to follow and gets results. You will have daily feedback on how well you are doing which is good. Especially beginners respond well to this type of training. 


The biggest disadvantages of Stronglifts are its lack of specificity and marketing. It is one size fits all and is therefore suboptimal for people who deviate from average. If you are very small and light you will probability overtrain on Stronglifts. If you weigh 140kg and pull trucks youngsters undertrain on Stronglifts. The marketing on the website also overstates the results you will get, especially when it comes to muscle gains




Ketogains is simply an enhancement of Stronglifts 5x5. On ketogains, you will train 5 days a week. The additions to the program are


  • Kettlebell or cardio training on off days
  • 2 - 3 extra exercises as an accessory 


This approach is further underpinned with a solid Keto diet plan to lose weight and get ripped. 


The biggest advantages of Keto gains are the extra cardio and accessory work. A big weakness of Stronglifts is that the basic template does not train arms or abs specifically. Ketogains fixes this. The cardio also helps to get chiseled faster. 


The biggest disadvantages of ketogains are the time commitment and lack of focus. Beginners usually will crash and burn on five days a week programs. It is better to establish a regular 2 - 3 sessions a week routine which is sustainable and expand then. The lack of focus is based on the combination of cardio with a middlebrow the road program. If you want to get ripped go for bodybuilding style training and a cutting diet. If you ant endurance run a marathon. If you want to be strong go with barbell Training all week long and lift some heavy stones for fun. No need for a lot of cardio. 


Should you do ketogains or Stronglifts 


It depends on what your goals are. If you are interested in CrossFit and need a strength boost ketogains is a good option. You are probably already committed to the cause, have not done a lot of strength-specific work before but söo want to keep time for cardio.


If you are in search of that chiseled physique focus on the Keto part of ketogains and knuckle down on your kitchen skills. This is usually the missing link to a 10 percent body fat body. 


If you are a complete beginner with interest in strength do Stronglifts. It is a great zero to hero program what does what it says on the tin. Just be aware that the labels in the supermarket are usually a bit overstated to sell the product. 


If you are a complete beginner Heinis interested in muscle gains maybe look into shortcut to size. This is a solid twelve-week program including dietary tips which makes a bit more sense than adding some modules to Stronglifts.


Further reading 




Topics: Lift stronger, Stronglifts 5x5, Food & Diet, Fitness, Strength, Diet