Modifying Stronglifts 5x5


Level 1 Valued Member
whats up!

I'm back doing Stronglifts 5x5, I've been on it around 9 weeks. I plan to run it till september.

Right now I'm doing the standard SL routine, I do a slight incline dumbbell press instead of flat bench and I do Lat pull down at the end of every workout.

My reasons for wanting to add assistance - weak pressing and want bigger arms. I feel like my chest isn't getting enough work..

Anyone done a modified version or can recommend one ?


Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
weak pressing and want bigger arms
Those sound like two different objectives. For weak pressing -- strength training. For bigger arms -- bodybuilding. I would say keep focusing on strength by following your chosen program and see what your arms do. If you add stuff, you will stall out. (I tend to believe you'll stall early on Stronglifts 5x5 anyway... I'm a bigger believer in Starting Strength with is a more sustainable 3x5 and some other important details. But still, this is a strength program, not specifically hypertrophy).


Level 5 Valued Member
I would stick to SL 5x5 until you stall out, then move to a hypertrophic centric program.

By itself the SL workouts get really long once you get nearer your limit, so it is also possibly a logistical issue.

Joe Fraser

Level 3 Valued Member
I agree with Anna. 5x5 wil stall quicker than 3x5. As long as your getting your 2.5-5lb increases each workout I wouldn't worry much about your press. You should go up about 50lbs by the start of September.

Your doing linear progression with dumbbells? No way you can truly do LP and add weight each session and be as effective that way. Do LP as designed and for as long as possible. You should be adding weight each session. When you can't do that any longer you'll go for weekly gains with an intermediate program (slower progress.... don't rush into this).

You may want to consider listening to the Barbell Logic podcasts from the beginning. They give a really good outline of LP programs and how to run them effectively.
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