Jump to content

Recommended Posts

i had the same dilemma many people probably face, my gym had one power rack and 8000 pieces of isolation or cardio equipment. i hated having to go late at night just to ensure that i would be able to workout without waiting forever just to do squats and not being able to take a break between sets. i started looking around at home gym setups and what kind of workout i could do to make it worth investing in minimal equipment, since i would have to purchase all of it.


i found (like most people) the Stronglifts 5x5 workout. it even has a handy app and a good amount of info about each lift and what equipment you need to buy.


i started with the dick's special (against many recommendations online). i got a bench/stand combo, 300lbs of metal plates, and an olympic bar. i figured it would be a long time before i would have to invest in new things or more weight (even though i had squatted 315 recently, i didn't see me banging out 25 in a workout). i flipped the cups around and squatted off the back of it, even though it was a little short me.


anywho, i didn't know what any of my max's were so here's where i started:

Squat 95lbs

Bench 75lbs

Row 75lbs

OH Press 45lbs

Deadlift 135lbs


now i did have to take a week off because i was traveling overseas and couldn't workout. i don't recommend it, i was completely free of DOMS, feeling great, and motivated. coming back i ignored the 10% deload recommendation (recommend following it) and was whipped. i was sore and didn't feel like doing it after the first night back. ridiculous turn for only a week off, but that's why i would do it on a schedule where you will not miss.


either way, here's where i'm at currently:

Squat 240lbs

Bench 185lbs

Row 185lbs

OH Press 100lbs

Deadlift 275lbs


if you're familiar with the program you can guess that i skipped up a bunch of weight. i think i undersold how much i could lift and the exercises were not taxing. 


i recommend the program. the loading schedule, exercises, and app are all great. i don't know about the guy who runs it, i've read some stuff saying he's a little out there, but i've read most of his articles about the lifts and recommendations and they're not bad. i do not subscribe to emails, and i think that's where the issue some people had were. i do the pay version of the app and i feel it's worth the $10.


which of course is peanuts compared to what i'm going to say next: spend the damn money on nice equipment.


here's the truth of what i spent: $500 for my whole setup from dicks.


this lasted me 5 weeks and i just had to replace almost every piece of it. the only thing i kept were the actual weights. i injured my hip/lower back unracking the weight (i have to unload off of the spotter bars to make it work and it's too short), and the next day when i pulled weights off the collar slid with it. the cheap bar had come unscrewed and i was lucky it did while i was unracking 25lbs instead of repping 250lbs.


so i had to buy a new stand/rack, bar, and i went ahead and got some more 45s because i was tired of using so many change plates. this cost me $1000. i'm trying to sell the old bench/rack setup now, and it would be good for someone a little shorter or who wanted to do adjustable bench work. for me though, it wasn't optimal and i put price ahead of functionality and basically burned some money.


you live and you learn, but if you have any questions about my setup, my experiences with 5x5, or anything else let me know. it's been fun.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I'm glad I started off doing 5x5 at home.  I started doing it at the gym this week just to branch out of my comfort zone and it's been difficult because of the lack of lifting equipment.  If I had started at the gym I may have gotten discouraged. My gym has 6 racks but all of them were taken and there were people waiting on Wednesday. It doesn't help that I go right after work either. :\   Primetime at gyms sucks.


My home equipment is here:


My squat rack: 

My bench:

My plates:


I started buying the stuff a couple of months before I started Stronglifts 5x5.


I'm about 10 weeks in and my progression has been kind of slow.  I have had to deload once because I missed a week and I did choose to drop the weight as it suggested.


As far as Mehdi, the guy who promotes Stronglifts 5x5, goes...  well, I don't like the fact that he comes off a bit sexist. "I can't believe I was beaten in arm wrestling by a girl.."   That was an initial turn off for me. Some of his comments I don't like, but it's the program I am interested in and I do like the app.




Link to comment

yeah i only really read the specific instructions and not so much the sales pitches or emails. from what people are saying you're probably better off avoiding it.


i'm hoping to branch out and do some olympic lifts in the future once i clear out some more room. i'm also looking forward to getting some low rep and max's out. i've never done it, but with my new setup i'll feel more comfortable when the time comes.


i had this:




and upgraded to this:




as my squats progressed i was beginning to get worried of having to drop a failure onto my concrete floor with iron weights. the 2' spotter arms are going alleviate that. 


a bonus to having the home setup is my wife and i have been working out together, something we couldn't do before.

Link to comment

As an Olympic weightlifter, and a coach I can only say if your planning on doing Olympic Lifts, look for a proper coach, and I don't mean a crossfit coach. Join a proper weightlifting gym. The lifts look simple but are very complex and take years to develop.


My one recommendation to get ahead of the game is work on your mobility. Gymnastic programs and things of that nature are a great lead in to Olympic Lifting and will help tremendously in preventing injury and allowing you to hit the positions properly.


I'd say if your hurting your back unracking from a low height then mobility is for you. That or you need to work on your technique (which generally means working on your mobility).

  • Like 1


Current Lift PB's

Snatch - 105kg | C&J - 127kg | Back Squat - 175kg | Front Squat - 137kg


Instagram / Battlelog

Link to comment

it was just not respecting the weight and trying to rush. instead of getting setup under the weight i just tried to pop it off the rack while bent over instead of squatting. i don't doubt i could use mobility work, just wasn't really the issue.


as for olympic weightlifting, it's just a nice afterthought for the bar i got. i don't plan on competing in anything or breaking any records. i just like to tool around in my garage so i thought if i got bored of powerlifting i could try something else for a day out of the week. i'm sure you're recommendation of coaching is beneficial for a lot of people, especially those who may not be doing something properly and could be injured. i'm not a fan of crossfit in general because most people who i know who've done it have been injured at some point.


i really just started this thread to answer questions about 5x5 and warn people for the millionth time "don't waste your money on cheap stuff, because you'll just end up buying it twice."


for now though, i think i'll stick with what i'm doing.



Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines