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Thread: My 5x5 Routine

  1. #1
    Whirlpool is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    My 5x5 Routine

    Just started a new 5x5 Routine. Thought I would post it for you guys. . .

    Workout 1- Chest, Front & Medial Delts
    Flat Bench 5x5
    Incline Bench 3x6-10
    Cable Crossover 3x8-12
    Incline DB Fly 2x8-10

    DB Lateral Rasies 3x8-12
    Military Press 3x6-10
    DB Front Raises 2x8-10

    Workout 2- Back, Traps, Rear Delts
    Lat Pulldown 5x5
    Seated Cable Rows 3x6-10
    Bentover Barbell Rows 2x8-10
    Close Grip Pulldown 2x8-10

    Barbell Shrugs 3x8-12
    Reverse Pec Dec 3x8-12
    Upright Rows 2x8-10

    Workout 3- Triceps
    Close Grip Bench 5x5
    Skull Crushers 3x8-10
    Rope Pushdowns 2x8-10
    V-bar Pushdowns 2x8-10

    Workout 4- Biceps, Abs
    Standing Barbell Curls 5x5
    Preacher Curls 3x8-12
    Cable Curls 3x6-10
    Inclnie Curls 2x8-10

    Decline Crunches
    Rope Crunches
    Bench Crunches

    Workout 5- Legs
    Squats 5x5
    Leg Press 3x8-12
    Extensions 3x8-12
    Curls 2x8-12
    Toe Raises 2xfailure

    I am going 3 days on, 1day off...I think that should give me enough rest. We'll see how it goes.

  2. #2
    Hypertrophy's Avatar
    Hypertrophy is offline Senior Member
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    Jun 2004
    Getting Fat
    5 x 5 routine?
    It makes so sense to send two entirely different signals to your body within a workout. 5 reps are going to stimulate differently than so 12 reps, both which you have included into your routine.
    What is your reasoning for doing such a program?

  3. #3
    needmorestrength's Avatar
    needmorestrength is offline Anabolic Member
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    May 2004
    Canada eh
    Yea I agree.. 5*5 is great for strength. but it should be done say for incline chest. then you should do 3 flat of around 6 reps and then some fly's.. same for other muscles

  4. #4
    Whirlpool is offline Junior Member
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    Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypertrophy
    5 x 5 routine?
    It makes so sense to send two entirely different signals to your body within a workout. 5 reps are going to stimulate differently than so 12 reps, both which you have included into your routine.
    What is your reasoning for doing such a program?

    The premise of the routine is progressive overload, meaning that every week you are putting increasing amounts of stress on the muscles, generally through small increases in the amount of weight used. The progressive overload forces the body to grow to adapt to the increasing amounts of stress, even though the body really isnt training to failure.

    The routine consists of choosing a heavy compound exercise to use for each bodypart, these can include, squat, deadlifts, bench press, close grip bench, standing barbell curls, military press, etc. On top of the initial 5x5, you also choose 2 other exercises, and aim to do 2 sets on each, of 8-10 reps per set.
    Here's a sample routine
    Flat bench 5x5
    incline dumbell press 2x8-10
    incline flyes 2x8-10

    The key for me when using this routine is to start light, at weights that you can easily nail your reps and concentrate on form. For example, say you can bench 225lbs for 8 reps, start with 195lbs on the bar. This should be easy, but if you keep your reps slow and in control, you will still get a good pump and have a good workout. Next week, bump up the weight by a SMALL increment, remember the key is to be able to keep adding weight, it's not a race to get to the massive poundages. If you add too quickly you will plateau in a hurry and the routine wont do jack for you. So you hit 5x5 on 195, next week its 200, the week after 205, etc. When you get to a point where you're starting to have trouble hitting your reps, add something extra to help, if you're natural, thats when I would throw in creatine and whatever else as this will help you keep adding weight. If you dont get all 5x5, then do not add more weight next week, stick with the same and the odds are you'll hit it next time you try.

    This routine is very effective as it targets fast twitch muscle fibres(5x5) as well as slower twitch(8-10reps) all in the same workout. Generally when done correctly you can gain lots of size as well as some pretty incredible strength all at the same time. I'm only a bodybuilder and dont give a rat's ass about strength, but have hit lifts (ie, deadlift 550lbs for 5 reps) that would allow me to compete as a powerlifter.

    Eventually no matter what you are doing or what you are on, the strength gains will come to an end. What I have found worked well for me was when I couldnt add more weight to the 5x5, I switched over to 5x3 instead, and was able to keep adding weight. The beauty there is that as you keep adding weight past where you were stuck on the 5x5, that weight you were stuck on will feel like a joke when you go back to it as you were just lifting more, albiet for less reps.
    Here's an example I used when my squats went stale. I had been stuck on 405lbs for a while, but just couldnt get all my sets so that I could add more weight, so heres what I did.
    week 1 410lbs 5x3reps
    week 2 415lbs 5x3reps
    week 3 420lbs 5x3 reps
    week 4 425lbs 5x3 reps
    week 5 430lbs 5x3reps
    week 6 435lbs 5x3 reps
    then back to 5x5
    week 7 405lbs 5x5(now this felt really light after 435lbs)
    week 8 410lbs 5x5
    But this time when I finally plateaued again, I was squatting 445lbs for 5's. Notice the weight increases were very small, percentage wise it was almost nothing, but see how it added up. When I first started the 5x5 routine back in the day, I was squatting 225lbs for 5x5, and since then the program has allowed me to put over 200lbs on my squat, and about 4" on my quads

    I forgot to mention, I dont think this approach will work for calves as you need a higher rep range

    No, not all 5x5 are to failure, the first couple you should have to work for and get a good pump from, but they wont be to complete failure or you wont have a chance of getting all your sets. What tends to happen with me is a set feels pretty close to failure, but after a rest of 3-4 minutes, I can hit the next set easily enough. I do take to 8-10 reps to failure though

    when supersetting I wait that minute or so between every set, so a set for bis, wait 1-1 1/2 minutes, do a set for tris, and so on.
    On the 5x5 I rest 3-4 minutes for say squats, but on most others, including deads I superset with another exercise same as with arms. For the 8-10 ones, usually around 2 minutes, but I cut that lower and lower as I progress through the workout

    I wear a watch so I keep the breaks consistent, this way I know that if I go up in weight or anything then it wasnt because I rested longer. Its during the 8-10 sets that I start cutting the rest times down

    I've got my body split into 4 days, which leaves me with 3 rest days per week

    Day 1 chest/calves
    Chest- see earlier post
    standing calve raises 5x15

    day 2 back/shoulders
    military press 5x5
    side laterals 3-5x8-10
    deads 5x5
    chins 2x8-10
    shrugs 2x8-10
    rows 2x8-10
    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
    squats 5x5
    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

    It's pretty rare that I change the 5x5 exercises as there really arent that many good mass building exercises. For tri I sometimes switch close grip with weighted dips(but frankly I dont want to add any more weight to my dips), maybe switch military press with dumbells, etc... But there is no substitute for deads and squats, and using a bar instead of dumbells on stuff like bench or curls give me more freedom to add whatever amount of weight that I want, instead of having to go up 5lb per side every time

  5. #5
    Whirlpool is offline Junior Member
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    Jul 2004
    I need to switch up my routine for a couple months and this is what im doing.

  6. #6
    flyguy7's Avatar
    flyguy7 is offline Associate Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    I love the 5x5 method, my whole football team follows it for about a quarter of our lifting period

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