How to Lose Fat in the Stomach With Stronglifts

The basic barbell exercises in Stronglifts can aid in fat loss.
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Stronglifts 5x5 is a weight-training program designed by strength coach Medhi Hadim. It's based around the traditional bodybuilding/powerlifting hybrid method of five sets of five reps on a few basic barbell exercises. While it is primarily used by those looking to get bigger and stronger, it can help you lose stomach fat. According to strength coach Charles Poliquin, owner of the Poliquin Performance Center, weight training with heavy loads causes a significant after-burn effect, which leads to greater fat loss than cardio training does.

Session A

In session A, perform three exercises -- barbell back squats, deadlifts and bench presses. Do five repetitions for each of these five sets. While this may seem like a very low-volume workout compared to a traditional bodybuilding or muscular-endurance program, your emphasis should be on completing all the reps with perfect form and focusing on putting maximum effort into each one. You may also wish to include one or two lighter warm-up sets for each exercise.

Session B

Session B follows a similar format to session A. Do five sets of five repetitions on the back squat and overhead press, then do one set of five on the deadlift. The deadlift has only one working set because it's an extremely demanding exercise. Do several warm-ups before your one heavy set, otherwise you risk injury. Keep rest periods to two to three minutes between sets to ensure you have enough energy to complete all the reps.


The Stronglifts program recommends that you start with light weights in your first sessions so that you can master the routine and perfect your technique. Once you're comfortable with these, add 2.5 kilograms or 5 pounds to each exercise every session. Do three workouts per week with at least one day of rest between each. In week one, do session A twice and session B once and reverse the order in week two.

Spot-Reduction Myth and Diet

While your main goal may be stomach-fat loss, according to the American Council on Exercise, the concept of spot-reducing fat is a myth. Instead, focus on your diet, as this is the most important factor when losing stomach fat. The United States Department of Agriculture notes that adult females and males need between 1,800 and 2,200 and 2,000 and 3,000 calories respectively each day to maintain weight. Start in the middle of these figures and adjust your intake accordingly. If you're not losing stomach fat, reduce your calories slightly, and if you're making good progress, stick with what you're doing.

Cardiovascular Training

Add some cardio after your weight-training sessions. Each Stronglifts workout session should last roughly 45 to 60 minutes, so you should have time to do some cardio to increase your caloric burn and speed fat loss. Do 30 minutes of medium-intensity cardio on a piece of gym equipment or 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training, using kettlebells or body-weight exercises or sprint up some hills outside. Because the program only requires you to do three workouts per week, you can do cardio on alternating days instead.

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