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Progressing well for the last couple of months on Stronglifts 5x5. (25 y/o, male, 6ft, 80 kg / 176 lbs weight / eatting a surplus of 3200 kcal)


  1. How to stop my Bench and Overhead Press lagging behind on SL5x5?

In the next couple of months I will hopefully achieving my goal of 'Proficient' level of strength standard on www.symmetricstrength.com, that is:

Exercise   |Started SL 5x5 |Current 5x5       |Strength 10RM Goal

Back Squat |35 kg / 77 lbs |100 kg / 220 lbs  |110 kg / 243 lbs
Deadlift   |40 kg  / 88 lbs|110 kg  / 242 lbs |130 kg / 287 lbs
Bench Press|40 kg / 88 lbs |62.5 kg  / 144 lbs|80 kg / 176 lbs
Penlay Row |45 kg / 99 lbs |70 kg  / 154 lbs  |70 kg / 154 lbs
OH Press   |25 kg / 55 lbs |42.5 kg / 94 lbs  |55 kg / 121 lbs

Most of my lifts have been progressing nicely towards this goal apart from Bench and Overhead Press. What is the best course of action to bring them inline with my other lifts?


  1. A related question - what SL5x5 accessorises would help to increase muscle mass in a more balanced way?

My chest and arms seem to be lagging. I have already recently added dips and chins on their respective days.

  • Would it be a good idea to add in Incline DB Press or Inline flyes to target the clavicular head of pectoralis major?
  • Should I add lateral raises to target the lateral head of delts?
  • Any other muscle groups being neglected?

  1. Coming to the end of the program in the next couple of months - what would be the best program to move onto after SL5x5?

I will then be focusing on aesthetics (good overall physique) and hence am looking for a program for someone who:

  • only has free weights (I have a home gym with squat rack, bench, barbell & dumbells, dip/pull-up station)
  • likes 3 times a week (4 at a push)
  • Consider splitting this up. These individual questions may have been asked before as well. – Gunge Jul 14 '16 at 12:37
  • Are you doing your sets properly each time? If you've stalled/failed sets, I'm pretty sure SL has a process for you to follow. Have you followed that? – Yousend Jul 14 '16 at 18:13
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To improve your OHP do more volume of OHP.

Trust the 5x5 program and add accessories but not to the detriment of your main lifts, dips and chins are fine. For accessory work after 5x5 consider the PHUL program which will prescribe you those exercises.

Texas Method or 5/3/1 is usually the go-to for strength, for aesthetics consider Jacked & Tan 2.0 or PHUL/PHAT.

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Also consider getting some washers and/or microplates to allow for microloading. I say washers because I read somewhere that they're significantly cheaper and work, but I haven't even tried micro loading myself so I can't recommend anything.

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