T Nation

Transitioning From Stronglifts 5x5 to 5/3/1


Hey guys, iv been lifting for about 14 months so im still a major noob (forgive me if i ask or say anything noobish) iv been doing good so far but i have one problem. Iv been following the 5x5 with good progress but iv become kinda chubby. I don't think someone would be able to tell i lift just from looking at me. Should i just stick with, add conditioning to the mix or move to 5/3/1?

Any of you who know 5x5 know its PRETTY simple. Squat, Bench, Row and then Squat, OHP, deadlift.
Its simplicity is what makes it effective (read; idiot proof)
I will appreciate feedback from you who are more experienced than me.


You dont need to be a certain strength level to do 5/3/1, it works for beginners too. So yeah, if you wanna switch to 5/3/1, do it. If starting strength is still working, you can stay on that too. But get that conditioning in.


If you are getting fat then chances are your carb intake is too high for your workload.
Post your diet.


Well, the SL 5x5 includes drinking copius amounts if milk. I don't drink as much as the program says but i do drink enough daily.
My diet aint really strict but here it is :
WEEKDAYS - I eat the previous nights dinner as breakfast plus a 2 egg sandwich, tea and maybe porridge or cereal. For lunch im in school so i only eat lots if i like whats being served. For dinner i eat two rounds of whatever is being served and down some milk before bed.
WEEKENDS - Saturday is like the weekdays and Sunday may eat some junk food.

For the most part i eat clean (mainly lotsa rice and pasta as my carb source) and will have2 e xtra meals on the days im going to the gym. One before and one after i train.
Fruits come in the interims between breakfast lunch and supper.


We need to know what you are eating, "last night's dinner" doesn't tell us much. Still, if you are gaining fat then your energy input exceeds your output.
How about exactly what you ate yesterday?


I did SL5x5 for 3-4 months to take myself from 'starved Rwandan child' (115 lbs BW) to 'still miniscule but ready to lift' (142 lbs BW). When my OHP stalled I started 5/3/1. I'm on my 4th cycle of it right now and doing great.

So the answer for me was, when a/some lift(s) stall on SL5x5.


The usuals are;
-Rice, beef or chicken and cabbage (potatoes somtimes too)
-pasta with baked beans
-mashed potatoes with sauce
-sweet poatoes with goatstew
-rice with a mix of grains and kales
After this i usually have a 2 egg sandwich, a cup of tea and either porridge or cereal.

The rest are African dishes which i ain too sure you'd be familar with. Should i name/explain them?

Rice usually comes up alot. Sometimes with veg stew, beef stew etc.

Yesterday i trained so i ate;
-Rice with beef stew, 2 egg sandwich, cup of tea, porridge (breakfast)
-4 sweet bananas and a ham sandwich (1 hr before training)
-Milk and groundnuts postworkout and then pasta with baked beans 45 min later
-Rice with maize, black beans, green peas and beef stew (dinner)
-second round of dinner :slightly_smiling:
-Milk right before bed.


Oh, forgot to say im on holiday this week thats why there's no school lunch in the list


Where did your OHP stall? Iv been at it for 3.5 months. Haven't weighed myself in a while but im pretty sure im heavier. People have been joking with me saying that iv been doing exercise for my cheeks as well since my face has gotten rounder!


Not enough protein, way too many carbs. You need protein at every meal and carbs around your workout only.


Ok, so carbs only pre and postworkout, right? and if i do that should i still get some conditioning in or not?


You are blaming a weightlifting program because you are getting chubby???

Blame the diet. And looking at yours, you need basic education on nutrition.

SL even tells you when to move to madcow. After 14 months, you should have a great foundation. That's over 4 cycles. He k, even the spreadsheet tells you when to move to madcow....

Your squat should be what? 450lbs?

Oh, and I question your dedication.


Iv been lifting for 14.5 months TOTAL up to today. The first 6 months were spent doing dumb shit, then the next 5 were spent doing compund lifts but only one per session, and after that iv been on the 5x5 for the past 3.5 months. So obviously my squat is not 450lbs.

You question my dedication? Fine, thats really up to you i guess


Then again; we've pointed out you have a diet problem and there's no indication you've now searched for more info on a suitable diet...


So then, 1 cycle and you should be just starting your second cycle.

Very easy answer for you.

Clean up your diet (beginner stickies is a good place to start), stick to the program. Change to 5/3/1 if you want.

Stick with it for a year.

Easy enough.


Iv decided to remove the second round of dinner and reduce my portions in the morning. today was the first trial day and man was it hard! I was starving! I may have gotten way too used to eating the way i do. I think il eat fruit in place of what im cutting down and up the lean protein (chicken and fish mostly since supps here are ridiculously priced) while reducing red meat as well. Hope that will work....
Thanks for the advice guys, i appreciate and when i DO get to a 450lb squat i will post a vid :slightly_smiling:


This isn't what anyone said to you to do at all. Add in more meat. Take out carbs. Get rid of porridge and rice and shit and add in more chicken, beef, whey, any protein. You don't need to starve yourself to get down to a suitable weight you have to just reassess your diet.


Ok, thanks for the help man.


To be honest I believe that very very few people would have decent results with GOMAD, only hardcore ectomorphs.

GOMAD is just crazy, like, drinking fat milk for the sake of it, come on.

I think Stronglifts it's great for getting people into the barbell stuff and actually learn how to train, but when it comes to dieting, Mehdi's like "abs for pussies", and many people just eat, eat, eat, ending with disastrous results like our friend here.

The Stronglifts diet is a no-brainer, but is quite OK. Veggies, fruits, meat, good fats and carbs on post workout, but then comes stuff like GOMAD. Like I said, he should specifically tell people that GOMAD works only for ectomorphs! One friend of mine got into that stuff, and yeah he gained lots of strength, but also lots of other stuff around his body, now he's working on getting all of that fat out. lol.

Still, the training routine is great!


LOL :smiley:
And i wasn't really an ectomorph to begin with. Skinny yes, but not skinny as hell. the milk thing is CRAZY! I started with the gallon per day but couldn't handle it. Even though Mehdi was like the nasty feeling would pass i had to reduce the amount. But i still drank daily, just not a whole gallon and it still worked (strength-wise)
Iv just remembered how i used to be before i started training. I was the skinny guy with a six pack that i was rather proud of. :slightly_smiling: Doing God knows how many crunches per day.