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How Do I Know When I Stop Making Beginner Strength Gains?

Can’t tell if I’m stalling or my beginner gains are gone. My bench and ohp are so weak, I’m only able to bench 72.5kg 5x5 and and OHP 52.5kg for 5x5, and I can’t get past them two lifts even after deload. I’m 79kg 6ft 1 and my bodyweight is going up still and i sleep well. Those two lifts won’t budge, yet my deadlift and squat are going up smoothly, what’s going on? I’m running SL 5x5 btw

This is your issue.

Use a variety of rep ranges and build your base. Stronglifts 5x5 is an intensificaiton method, where you’re always operating at high percentages. It’s going to have limited potential for growth.


It’s not unusual for one lift to be stalled and still make progress on others. You just need to change what you are doing for bench and OHP, the easiest solution would be to vary rep schemes.

Start looking into some other programs because you can’t stay on 5x5 forever and you are already nearing the end. Someone on here will recommend 5/3/1 soon enough so you might as well check that out. Regardless, I would advise doing something that has you squatting and benching twice a week at least, not necessarily more. And if you plan to compete in PL then don’t make OHP a priority, it’s just an assistance lift.


I knew my beginner gains were over when Mark Rippetoe came to me in a dream and told me to buy his other book.


Sounds about right.


Lol. Had to.


Oh yeah, I forgot this is the strongman forum.


I previously ran SL too when I started. Program says drop to 3 x 5 and then 3 x 3 and even 1 x 3. Just my 2c but if I were you, start trying to find a new program. If you drop to 3 x 5, that’s doable, but I don’t think dropping to 3 x 3 is a good idea anymore. I started to dread every workout because you’re basically maxing out each time, which isn’t a good strategy for building strength.

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Try the Barbell Medicine Novice Bench Plugin if you like the SS/SL styles of programming.

5/3/1 time

With BBB sets