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Starting stronglift 5x5

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I am new on this site, but vegan for about 16yrs now. I have always been skinny, always trying to gain weight, so actually chewy's luck with the 5x5 has inspired me. I am starting out at 5'7 and 120lbs. I have done one workout and am a little sore in the triceps. If anyone has any tips for either gaining weight or doing the stronglift please let me know. As horrible as they are I have posted my before picks. I am trying to eat lots but man its hard to shovel it in.




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Angryvegan! This is great, I too am starting out, and also a lightweight (130lb), and also just starting the Stronglifts 5x5 program. Keep eating lots, I gained 2lbs this week by being conscious about eating, and despite 2lb not being too much, it really adds up in the long run! Here's what I've been starting with:


-Lots of pasta


-Sprouted Lentils

-Sprouted chick peas turned into hummus and eaten with bread

-Fresh veggies

-Soy powder


You should start a training log if you haven't already, I'd be down for tracking it to see someone on the same program with the same body type

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Nuts/seeds are great for adding weight (real high in calories), you can buy them as cereal as well and have it with soy milk. If you're going to have them alone, try soaking them over night (makes them less dry, easier to eat). Have brown rice/quinoa/couscous or pasta with tins of beans (or tofu) and veg, a jar of tomato (or other) sauce (or tin chopped tomatoes) will make the meal more moist and easy to eat. If you like oatmeal it's great for a quick snack, can add fruit/nuts in there. Smoothies with protein powder are good, can pack in the fruit to get calories up.


When I started I ate too many dry foods, it took ages to eat (especially if you're not particularly hungry) and it was just a lot of work. Now I'm eating about the same amount when I started and it's much easier now.


My advice with stronglifts is to stick to the program. Try not to do much outwith the 3 workouts a week or you'll muscles won't recover before each workout. Even if the weighted exercises seem light to start with you're still burning out your muscles with the bodyweight exercises to failure. If you're keen to do anything extra outwith the program, I'd recommend the following -


1) Dynamic stretches - I know a few people who have got a groin injury once the squats/deads start getting heavy. These stretches will make you more flexible and will prevent injury. I highly recommend doing this. After a few sessions of doing 10 of each of these stretches (coupled with glute activation stretches) as a warmup, my mate's groin is about fully recovered.


You can also do them in your days off


2) Grip training - At first exercises like chins/pull-ups, inverted rows will really start to buildup your grip. At the end of your workout it's good to add in some grip training to prepare yourself for when deadlifts get heavy.


3) Chin-ups - If you struggle with these at first (can't do 1 full rep, or can only do a couple), it's one of those exercises you just have to keep trying at. It can be hard to build on just doing them once or twice a week. If you have a bar in the house I'd recommend practicing these frequently.


4) Cardio - By no means necessary and could maybe slow down adding mass a bit, but cardio has a bunch of benefits. Don't do it on the same day as muscle workouts if you want to do it.



My other general advice is keep a training log, and once you get into a routine with your food do a calorie count of an average day and work from there. Consistency is the key!

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Thanks for the tips guys, but I have a question about the 5x5 program, do I add 5lbs every workout? That seems like it would be an unrealistic amount of weight after two or three months. Can Some one answer that? Also I am taking creatine after my workouts has anyone had any luck with anything else?

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Read what the site says about progression. 5 lbs every workout, repeat the weight up to two more times after failing, deload 10% at that point and build back up. Once you stop being able to do this, move on to an intermediate program (adding weight weekly instead of each session).


I added 100 lbs to my squat doing stronglifts strictly for 3 months, and am only now considering the intermediate approach.

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