Stronglifts 5×5 – The perfect beginner lifting routine for Jiu-Jitsu

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The further you head down the Jiu-Jitsu rabbit hole, the more you realise that technique doesn’t conquer all.

When you have to competitors who are matched technically in a match, the outlier is normally strength and conditioning, unless you’re Marcelo Garcia, who never did any gym work outside of rolling, but there is only one Marcelo Garcia, and 99% of people who train Jiu-Jitsu will at some point find a need to work on their strength and conditioning off the mats.

But where does a beginner start when they think about their own workout routine? Most beginners need to build up a base strength level before the need to do accessory work. This is where the Stronglifts 5×5 comes in.

What is Stronglifts 5×5?

Stronglifts 5×5 is strength and conditioning routine that is designed for the beginner gym goer and is perfect for someone in Jiu-Jitsu looking to get stronger and become more conditioned.

Stronglifts 5×5 is a simple routine that consists of two workouts, A & B

Workout A: Squats, Bench Press, Barbell Row

Workout B: Squats, Overhead Press, Deadlift

Because it’s designed for beginners, stronglifts should be done on alternative days, which is great for someone doing jiu-jitsu because you can fit in more training on your off days.

Strong lifts should be done 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Obviously, that can change but you should try to give yourself time to recover each time, or train more jiu-jitsu…

How to Start your Stronglifts 5×5 Routine

It’s fairly self-explanatory, but start you stronglifts routine with workout A and alternative it every day.

StrongLifts 5×5 
Monday – workout AWednesday – workout BFriday – workout A
Squat 5×5Squat 5×5Squat 5×5
Bench Press 5×5Overhead Press 5×5Bench Press 5×5
Barbell Row 5×5Deadlift 1×5Barbell Row 5×5

Start week two with work out B because you finished week 1 with workout A, and so on and so forth. 

StrongLifts 5×5 Week 2
MondayWednesdayFriday
Squat 5×5Squat 5×5Squat 5×5
Overhead Press 5×5Bench Press 5×5Overhead Press 5×5
Deadlift 1×5Barbell Row 5×5Deadlift 1×5

Pretty self-explanatory, right?

How Much Weight Should I Start With?

Now this is where your ego is going to take a hit, so you need to sit down for it. Stronglifts 5×5 is all about form overweight. As a beginner lifting routine, it teaches you that form should be considered over how much you can actually lift.

So if you’re an absolute beginner, you should be lifting the following:

 

  • Squat, Bench Press, Overhead Press: 20kg/45lb (the empty Olympic barbell)
  • Deadlift: 40kg/95lb (the empty bar with a plate of 10kg/25lb on each side)
  • Barbell Row: 30kg/65lb (the empty bar with 5kg/10lb on each side)

5×5 means that you should be doing five repetitions of the same weight five times. A real-life example is:

Squat 20kg five times, rack the weight, rest 90 seconds and then squat 20kg again for 5, and repeat until you have finished your five repetitions. 

Keep in mind that Deadlifts should only be one for one set of five reps. This is because your main workload is squats, which activates the largest amount of muscles in the body. Most people find that deadlifting 5×5 is too hard after 5×5 sets of squats.

How Much Weight Should I Increase By?

So you’ve smashed your first workout, sweet, but now what? It’s recommended that you increase your workload by 2.5kg on each of your exercises, apart from deadlifts where you should be adding 5kg every time. So if you do Jiu-jitsu you will likely have a good base level of strength, but remember this is about form not weight, and none of us has any egos from doing this sport. Right? Right?

So if you’re new to the routine, it will look like this –

StrongLifts 5×5 Week 1
Monday – AWednesday – BFriday – A
Squat
5×5 20kg/45lb
Squat
5×5 22.5kg/50lb
Squat
5×5 25kg/55lb
Bench Press
5×5 20kg/45lb
Overhead Press
5×5 20kg/45lb
Bench Press
5×5 22.5kg/50lb
Barbell Row
5×5 30kg/65lb
Deadlift
1×5 40kg/95lb
Barbell Row
5×5 32.5kg/70lb

 

StrongLifts 5×5 Week 2
Monday – BWednesday – AFriday – B
Squat
5×5 27.5kg/60lb
Squat
5×5 30kg/65lb
Squat
5×5 32.5kg/70lb
Overhead Press
5×5 22.5kg/50lb
Bench Press
5×5 25kg/55lb
Overhead Press
5×5 25kg/55lb
Deadlift
1×5 45kg/105lb
Barbell Row
5×5 35kg/75lb
Deadlift
1×5 50kg/115lb

You can see how fast the weight load increases over such a short period! In a 12 week period if you’re consistent you’ll be squatting 100kg for 25 repetitions, which is far more than most people!

Your goal should be to add weight consistently every session until you cannot add any more, which is when you need to deload, work at a lower weight and then once you’re comfortable, attempt the higher load again.

So there we have it, an easy way for you to start gaining more strength for when you need to rip a grip or deadlift someone to pass their guard. If you need more information about the Stronglift 5×5 routine, check out their website to read their extensive explanation.

 

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Richard Presley

A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Richard is the owner and primary writer of Attack The back. Check out my About Me Page to learn more!