T Nation

StrongLifts 5x5 - Stuck at Upper Body Lifts

Complete rookie here. After a lot of program-hopping, I finally been extremely disciplined with SL5x5 for almost 5 months now. My numbers have gotten very good specially squats and deadlifts (squats: started with 30 kgs and I’m now at 100 kg / deadlift: started with 70 kgs and I’m now at 130 kg), however, not so good with the upper body exercises, mostly the overhead press: I started with the bar alone (20 kgs) and I’m stuck at 50 kg and the sometimes I even have to use my legs for the last reps.

Now, I think I’m eating accordingly (~3000 kcal/day, 2 g of protein/kg of body weight) and my weight has gone up (started with 68 kg and I’m 74 kg), I feel much stronger but I can’t seem to get my strength up in my shoulders.

Are there any specific complementary exercises that I can do to improve this? I think this is maybe my mistake but I don’t really know which ones would be better for me. I read that pull ups and dips might help, is there a specific number of reps that I should do? Kind of lost here as you can see. I might even be wrong about everything and my problem might be different than this.

As always, any info will be greatly appreciated.



You might consider changing routines. Seems like most who run that routine find its not a long term program.


I second what @bulldog9899 says. I was there too and got the same advice. Safe to say you’ve milked out StrongLifts. Time to find a different program. Don’t believe Mehdi when he said he ran it for years. Unless you wanna get stuck in that ballpark of numbers


x3 with guys above. everyone stalls on Stronglifts -move on to a 5x5 like Texas method then run through T-nation programs


Thanks a lot for your replies!
I was almost sure that sooner or later I was going to stall, never imagined that it would be so soon.

Do you guys recommend going to 5/3/1 + BBB or Triunvirate? My goals are to keep getting strong and if I can pack some more muscle I’d be thrilled.

1 Like

I stalled at 4 months I think. Some stall at 2 or 3. Dropped down to 3 x 5 but didn’t bother dropping down to 3 x 3. I just felt like crap and found myself having to drag my ass to lift.

1 Like

I’ve seen Mehdis achievements and I fully believe he ran it for years.


Ok, I haven’t seen Mehdi nor his achievements and just relying on hearsay about his unimpressive physique.

I admit I was exaggerating a bit lol

I was partly being facetious, because I’ve just sat through a 5 hour conference that’s bored me to tears. But in all seriousness, the guys barely stronger than me.


Thank God there’s internet and a forum with other bored people lol

I paid attention while I was in it, in case anything important came up but 300 people leaving one venue with a single file exit takes a while.

I have crossed path with with the guy in real life. His pics are deceptive.

1 Like

Does that mean for better or for worse?

I will leave that up to interpretation.let’s just say that the term impressive never crossed my mind. Ironically I found out he has a degree in internet marketing.


Guys, I love how you all know how much of a toothpick the guy actually is, and believe me when I tell you I’m cracking up with all your comments, but can someone please answer my question? Thanks!

If you like a 5x5 scheme look into the Texas method or anything by BiII Starr.

1 Like

It takes longer to build shoulders than legs on a program like SL5X5. Big presses take time to build. You could probably do variations of the press to build your press. You could play with volume, frequency, and intensity of the press.

SL5X5 is a program many stay on too long. I was hating the gym when on it. I switched to longer term programming, and I am much stronger now.

1 Like

I’m just a beginner too so I’m not really qualified to answer, but since you asked, well… to my understanding, BBB is sort of a hypertrophy program. If your goal is to primarily get strong and pack some muscle on the side in the process, any strength program that’s decent, eating good quality food, and patiently putting the hard work in the gym for years will do that. Hang around the forums long enough, and you’ll learn that to be the case.

I think the scenario that people will specifically tell you to go BBB is if your primary goal is physique and want to pick something from 5/3/1 as a framework.

Again, take this with a grain of salt and wait for the replies of the other stronger guys around here

1 Like

He is good at it. He basically took a proven method, made a nice app, and has sat back and gathered income from it.

He has probably made far more money than someone like Brandon Lily (who actually knows what he is doing) with his cube method.


Capitalism is a bitch.

1 Like