How to Customize Workouts

The StrongLIfts 5x5 app is made to follow the StrongLifts 5x5 program described here - https://stronglifts.com/5x5/

The app is not intended to create your own program. But you can customize the built-in StrongLifts 5x5 program when you unlock the Power Pack. Here's how...

  • Add assistance exercises at the end of your workout. Go to settings - workout - tap the + button. We've put exercises there that you might consider. For more info, read this - https://stronglifts.com/5x5/#Assistance_Work
  • Create your own assistance exercises in settings - workout - tap + button - then the tap + button again. If you don't like the assistance exercises we suggest, you can create any barbell or body-weight exercise you want here, with the sets/reps you want.
  • Change the sets and reps for the main exercises from 5x5 to 3x5/3x3/1x3. Create custom assistance exercises with the sets and reps you want, and add them to the workout you want.

Here's what you can't do at the moment

  • You can't remove the main exercises Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Overhead Press, Barbell Row. You can only remove assistance exercises.
  • You can't change the sets & reps for the main exercises beyond the default 5x5/3x5/3x3/1x3. You can't change the sets and reps for default assistance exercises. You can only change the sets and reps for custom assistance exercises you create.
  • You can't change the order of the exercises as they appear in workout A or B. The main exercises always show first, and in the order we recommend. Assistance exercises are also ordered the way we recommend. Custom exercises are added randomly.
  • You can't create workouts C, D, E, etc. Workouts A/B are the full StrongLifts 5x5 program.

However you can work around some of these limitations. Here are some examples:

  • You want to alternate Squats and Front Squats. Create a custom Front Squat exercise, and add it to workout B. Leave the main Squats blank every workout B and do Front Squat instead. You'll have to manually change the Squat weight every workout A due to skipping Squats on workout B. Front Squats will not show on your graphs. But they'll increase every workout by the weight you set in settings - workout - Front Squat - increments.
  • You want to do 5x5 Deadlifts. Create a custom Deadlift 5x5 exercise on workout B, and leave the default Deadlift blank. The 5x5 deadlifts will not show on your graphs. But they'll increase each workout by the increments you've set.
  • You want to add Dumbbell Bench Press. Go to settings - workout - tap the + button and then tap the + button again. Call it dumbbell Bench and select "barbell" as type. The app will show a bar setting and plate calculator for this exercise, which is wrong. Dumbbell Bench Press will also not show on the graphs. But the app will add weight each workout as determined by your increment setting.

The above tweaks are messy and far from perfect. Again, this is because we've built the app for people who do StrongLifts 5x5 program by the book, and are only interested in adding assistance exercises at the end. We did not built this for people who want to deviate from the program or create their own.

That said, we're considering adding more customization to the app. However it's important the app remains simple and easy-to-use. We can't say more right now.

Madcow 5x5

The StrongLifts app does not support the Madcow 5x5 training program. We might add more training program in the future. This is not decided yet so we can't say more about it. For now you can use the spreadsheet for Madcow 5x5 on the website: