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Stronglifts 5x5 After Coming Back from Long Lasting Injury?

I’m currently recovering from a long lasting shoulder injury, going close to 2 years now, but if everything keeps going as planned, I should finally start being able to start lifting lightly again, probably around summer time. Fingers crossed!

Before the injury, I was doing P/P/L for a few years.

But during my time out of the gym, I’ve learnt a lot more and I’ve learnt more about the full body routines, and I’ve decided that that’s what I want to do when I get back into it.
I quite like the idea of StrongLifts 5x5, the thing that kind of makes me a bit worried is how rapid the progression scheme is, and if I feel it’s a bit too much to start with, I want something to step back on before ultimately moving onto StrongLifts 5x5 if even necessary.

So my question I guess is, if that’s the case, is there a solid website I can go to to look through workout routines (with progression schemes and everything) so I can find something that might fit me better if StrongLifts doesn’t work out for me right away?

Probably cliché advice, but check out 5/3/1.

Stronglifts isn’t that good.

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Have you considered asking your physical therapist? Or someone who has a stake in the advice they hand over instead of, you know, someone with zero responsibility and total anonymity?

I wouldn’t do stronglifts with a sketchy shoulder. Firstly, it was written by a guy with zero qualifications. Yes, he almost entirely took another program from people who knew what they were doing but the point still stands.

Apart from that, linear progression is fine. Even novice is probably fine but I would be a lot smarter about this. You don’t want to rapidly add weight until you are about to hit a wall, then grind out the weeks until you eventually fail then try grind your way out of the hole.

Spend 4 to 8 weeks getting used to compound movements. Keep everything smooth and crisp then after you have safely come out of that, use a sensible progression scheme.

Try: www.t-nation.com


As I have stated on several occasions I was around the strong lift guy for a whole day. He is not physically impressive at all! I think allot of people wouldn’t follow him if they stood next to the guy in real life.
From what I have learned the guy has a degree in marketing and that the extent of his vast knowledge regarding lifting.

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I actually have thought about bringing it up with my physiotherapist, I see her tomorrow again and thought I’d ask her then.
I’m brand new to full body routines lol

My plan was that before doing the stronglifts, I’d spend a couple of months just getting everything back into the swing of things since I’ve been out for so long, but maybe I should re-think what program to follow once I’m back in the gym, I appreciate the input!

I’d actually thought about moving over from P/P/L to the 5/3/1 right before my injury lol
Would that really be a good way to get back into it from a bad shoulder thought?

I have been on here but I’m shit at navigating the website lol like I’m not finding much for full body or with specific progression schemes. I may be doing it wrong though?

SL is okay for a while. It’s a an LP full body programme. You stall quickly. On the Press first. It won’t create any monsters. But its a solid start. And the online spreadsheets are handy.

His most vulnerable area. You don’t stall by having a sub-max set. You stall by giving it your all to hit a 5RM with a weight greater than your 5RM and failing, while carrying a lot of fatigue. If you are following the program, you repeat this until you get it or fail a few more times. That doesn’t seem wise even on the surface.

I know you are talking about SL in general but I think it’s important not to lose the context of this thread where long term injuries are involved.


I’m currently near the end of 4 months with Stronglifts 5x5, what I can say is that yes, it’s a good start…and just a start. Don’t expect it to last very long. What eventually ends up happening is that you eventually just try to survive workouts when the weight gets heavy, as Flatsfarmer said. Linear Progression doesn’t last forever, so once you feel you need to change the program, go and change it. As long as you pay attention to form, SL is just a good way to get some weight on the bar.

I’d also be smart about adding accessory exercises after the main barbell lifts. If you notice, there isn’t a vertical pulling motion on rowing days, so I always do cable lat pull downs after rowing (if you can do pull ups, better). Speaking of rowing, if I were you, I’d row first before bench pressing, even if the program said squat - bench press - row. “Greasing the grooves” before benching, if you will. Since you have a shoulder injury, I’d also add some cable face pulls for overall shoulder health. Just be smart with accessories, and don’t be afraid to add as you see fit - even if Mehdi originally said you don’t need any, which is BS. The only thing I haven’t added accesories to are squats.

Also, what kind of shoulder injury do you have? Does it still bother you now? Keep in mind that you bench and overhead press every workout. Make sure those don’t aggravate your injury if you do decide to go on with SL (or whatever program for that matter). I’m just lucky that my shoulder impingement doesn’t really complain these days.

Point taken. I was talking more about in general than specifically to one case.

What’s the damage on the shoulder and how much have you experimented? I’d say some kind of 5/3/1 variation would be good, but maybe not initially for pressing and benching. With 5/3/1 you have some flexibility of different approaches for different lifts, where you could take a SSB and go nuts with the original program, do 5’s pro/FSL on deadlift (as there’s some shoulder… not usage, but pulling), and do something light for bench and press. In the past I’ve just done 5x5 starting at a stupid light weight and added 5 lbs every 2-3 weeks depending on how things go. Keeping things at just 5 reps helps maintain quality, form, tightness, etc, which is very important at where I think you may be. Once you work your way back for a few months you could switch bench/press to a conservative 5’s pro based program with a light TM for a while and see where it gets you. Take your time and keep in mind these movements may just not be right for you post shoulder “event,” if something’s wrong with them there are other options. I’m pretty sure I’ll never bench again, and had floor press going well for a while as a substitution. Eventually that got to a weight that pissed off my shoulder so now I’m pressing 2 days and just doing pushups a 3rd day. Not ideal but not the end of the world either.

First off I am a complete novice when it comes to programing I am running the Madcow 5X5. I discovered this program back when it was a separate website (no longer available). So far I think I have made good progressions on it. I just squatted 375X5 Tuesday. A year ago my max was 270 when I started lifting on a regular basis. I guess my question to you is why do you think 5/3/1 is a superior plan? I honestly would not be able to answer for either programs.

Because I meet the guy whom wrote it… Hes not a coach or even a really experienced lifter or formal education in the field. He didnt invent anything! If I wanted to do a 5 x 5 program I would follow someone like Bill Starr
Why do you even care about my opinion in the first place?
If you like the program more power too you.
regarding 5/3/1… its not my job to defend it. And I didnt even thing I mentioned it on this thread.

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I’m not asking you to defend the program, just why you think it’s better. Looking back Yes, you did not mention my fault there.

I have come across your comments in the past, and I think I can take something away from them. I’m just asking questions. I did not mean to come across as challenging.

My apologies… I came across as a complete ass hole in my response. I had a bad day at work and am on edge. I took your line of questioning the wrong way.



Someone on the internet who is able to admit when they were wrong… It’s like seeing a unicorn!


I’ll weigh in on 5/3/1, since it’s my go-to most of the time. I like it because the slow, gradual progression is easy on my old joints, and I’ve managed to get decently strong following it. Also, it’s amazingly customizable, so you can pick a variation or tune it to suit your needs, which is nice when you’re training around or recovering from an injury. Finally, there’s a lot of information available between the books, programs on the T-nation main site, Jim’s forum on this site which he regularly contributes to, and the forum on his own site.


I have no issues admitting when I’m wrong or owning up to my own stupidity.

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But you don’t understand, this is the internet! Where’s the denial and defensiveness? The ad hominem attacks to redirect attention from the actual issue to the character of the person who saw you being wrong? Isn’t that how it’s done around here?