The 5x5 Program
The 5x5 Program is a very common lifting routine who's main concept has been around for quite a while. This program is based around the concept of progressive overload training by increasing the amount of weight on your lifts on a weekly basis. This system forces your muscles to grow in order to handle the extra weight and therefore makes the routine very successful even though it uses small weight increases.
How to Do It:
For each day you will want to focus on one heavy compound exercise for each bodypart that you are training. The most commonly used exercises to do in 5x5 fashion is deadlifts, squats, bench press, close grip, military presses, barbell curls, and so forth. Your routine will choose one of these heavy compound exercises to do at 5 reps for 5 sets (hence the program name) and then choose your other exercises to do at your normal 2 set at 8 reps each. For example, a bicep focused workout may look like this:
Standing Barbell Curls 5x5
Incline Dumbell Curls 2x8
Preacher Curls 2x8
Alot of people start using this program once they have hit a plateau in their other workout routines as it is known for allowing people to constantly add weight to their lifts. With that being said, someone who is just starting this program should not do their 5x5 sets at the amount of weight they can currently put up. So if I could put 300 on the bench press for 8 reps, I would cut it back to somewhere around 270. Because this program uses more sets with less reps, the cutback will not be affecting you very much and will enable you to perfect your form as you progress through the program. So we started at 270 the first week, after successfully doing the 5x5 bench press we would then add 5 lbs for a total of 275 lbs the next week. Keep adding small amounts of weight until you stop progressing. The key to the program is not to rush to the big numbers, but if you are patient and continually add small amounts of weight each week you will progress!
Now with every program there will come a time when you hit a plateau. Let me asure you, this program was made to BREAK plateaus so don't worry. Once you get to a point where you cannot successfully complete your 5x5 set you have a few options. Most people decide to move to a 5x3 program on the specific exercise that they are stuck on until they once again reach a plateau on 5x3. This would mean if I was benching 350 and hit a plateau where I couldn't do the 5x5 few a for weeks I would move the 5x3. Now with the 5x3 I got to 375 before I couldn't get any further. At this point I would go back to my original 5x5 plateau of 350 and try to complete it at the normal 5x5 routine. At this point I should be able to do 350 at 5x5 and then some as we have built up our strength. You can continue to do this back and forth whenever you hit a plateau.
What it Does:
As I said the 5x5 program has been around a long time and has been proven successful by many beginners and veteran bodybuilders/powerlifters. This program will both add size and strength to your body.
Please feel free to reply with any questions you may have about the program.
Yes the 5X5 is a great program...I refer this program most for cuting because it is great for keeping strength,and maintaining muscle mass..
I used to do it in the Marines, with a twist. Me and my buddy did a "I go you go" kind of method. Bench, for example. We put a moderately heavy weight on there that we could both of course get. He went, then the second he got up I was on lifting the weight. The only break we got was when the other went. What a burn! Try it with any compound exercise. The tempo adds to the intensity.
Example Routine following the 5x5...credit goes to needsize from steroidology
Day 1 chest/calves
Chest- see earlier post
standing calve raises 5x15
day 2 back/shoulders
military press 5x5
side laterals 3-5x8-10
bent over laterals 2x8-10
day 3&4 rest
day 5 bis/tris
close grip bench 5x5
standing barbell curls 5x5
weighted dips 2x8-10
incline dumbell curls 2x8-10
skull crushers 2x8-10
preacher curls 2x8-10
day 6 legs
leg press or hacks 2x8-10( I dont do any more exercises for quads as I dont need to)
stiff legged deads 2x8-10
leg curls 2x8-10
seated calve raises 5x15
abs - weighted static holds
day 7 rest
According to this Routine you do each part once a week only!! Is this enough for growth??
It completely depends on your strength levels. For instance, if you're barely getting through benching 200 lbs for a gruelling 5 sets of 5 reps, then I'd say once a week isn't optimal compared to someone who is doing 300 lbs.
I love the 5x5 program. I have had more success with 5x5 than any other routine when it comes to breaking plateaus and increasing overall strength. I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a challenge.
0311, I have done similar workouts with the bench. Love it!! You get such an intense workout with a good partner pushing one another to constantly do better.
Currently using a 5x5 routine and loving it. I'm making very good gains.
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