Latest posts

Forum Statistics

Threads
23,803
Posts
468,989
Members
27,140
Latest Member
mrfurleyandre
What's New?

5X5 Program

HawaiianPride.

HawaiianPride.

Senior Member
Oct 21, 2010
152
51
#1
---5X5---
Monday: Squats, Benching, Rows
Weds: Squats, Military Presses, Deadlifts, Chins
Friday: Squats, Benching, Rows

Courtesy of bill starr bill starr, the greatest strength coach who ever lived, popularized this in the 70's with his great book, The Strongest Shall Survive, which was aimed at strength training for football. I believe he had essentually two different programs which both are 5 sets of 5. The first, which is more suitable for beginners, is to simply do 5 sets of 5 with similar weight jumps between each set so that your last set is your top weight. When you get all 5 on the last set, bump all your weights up 5 or 10lbs. Example for squat... 185 for 5, 225 for 5, 275 for 5, 315 for 5, 365 for 5. If you get 365 for 5, move all weights up. This is especially good for someone who is just learning a particular exercise like the squat, because the amount of practice with light but increasing weights is a good way to practice form.

For more advanced lifters, he advocated a warmup, then 5 sets of 5 with a set weight. For example, the same athlete used in the other example may do 135 for 5, 185 for 5, 225 for 3, 275 for 2, 315 for 1, then 350 for 5 sets of 5. When successfull with all 25 reps at 350lbs, bump the weight up the next workout by 5 or 10lbs.

This is not outdated, and is a good program for gaining strength. Many elite athletes still use it during at least part of the year. I in fact do 5 sets of 5 on squatting for 4 weeks as part of an 8 or 10 week training cycle. Personally, i do it 3 times a week, but most people will probably make better progress doing it 2 times per week, or even doing version 1 once a week, and version 2 once a week.

In any event i described a system in a post a while back that goes something like this:
Monday use the heaviest weight you can for all 5 sets (same weight each set)---- in other words when you get all 5 sets of 5 reps up the weight (most workouts you will get 3 or 4 sets of 5- and maybe your last one will be for 3 or 4 reps)

Wednesday use 10-20% less weight- in other words if you used 200lbs on monday use 160-180lbs on wednesday- actual amount depending on your recovery

Friday work up to a max set of 5-

In other words lets say that your best ever set of 5 is 215lbs and you used 200lbs on monday for 5 sets and 170lbs on wednesday. On friday your workout might be like this 95 for 5 135 for 5 175 for 5 200 for 5 then attempt 220 for your last set of 5.

This tends to work better as a long term program than doing the same thing 3 times a week. On exercises where you only do them once a week like deadlift you can just do the 5 sets of 5 like i described. On monday on exercises that you are only doing twice (rows) you could do both exercises like the monday workout or lighten one of them depending on your recovery ability. Be conservative with the weight when you start- that is important.

Also i have used this program VERY often with athletes and it IS result producing. However many of your gains will show up after you use it for 4-6 weeks and you switch to training a bit less frequently and lower the reps and volume. However this is one program i have had a LOT of success with. In fact i rarely if ever use it with athletes who are at the top of their weight class because it causes too much weight gain unless you severely restrict your food.
 
goldy

goldy

Chutzpah VIP
Jan 17, 2011
1,263
153
#2
so i started 5X5 this week and have two questions. what if i want to jump more than the suggested say 5 pounds on Fridays and make it 10 for instance, some weeks i assume i am going to be able to handle it... After 5X5 i have 20 minutes or so to do cardio, you think i should try HIIT or just low impact elliptical at like a 130 HR? All other days i do low impact. Saturday is my one day off from everything.
 
Get Some

Get Some

MuscleHead
Sep 9, 2010
3,441
643
#3
You can jump 10 lbs if you would like goldy. I always say that most everything should be based on feel and not set in stone. Follow the basic guidelines and principles of the workout and push yourself beyond the limits if you can.

HIIT cardio is good for recomp or bulking (which I assume you're doing with the 5x5) but slow, sustained, heart-rate leveling cardio is best for fat loss IMO. So, even without intervals, you can achieve some nice cardio at a higher intensity with good results.
 
scarl3tbutt3rfly

scarl3tbutt3rfly

TID Lady Member
Feb 25, 2011
312
6
#4
I've done this program, and LOVED it! One of my favorites! :D
 
W

Wolf

MuscleHead
Dec 25, 2010
274
45
#5
One purpose of not adding too much weight every time is so that you don't jump too high into your 1rm too quickly. Consistent training at a high percentage of your 1RM will cause set backs.
 
Top