What is the 5 x 5 workout program?
When I first started working with weights, I was pretty young. A lot of the research was not out there of when you should or should not lift weights, so I just wanted to be like my brother and do what he was doing. So my mom bought us a weight set from Sears and we started to doing weights in our living room, with of course, focusing on the bench press and then getting more advanced from there. I would have to say, this was a great introduction to lifting, but in reality, we did not know what we were doing. We were just mimicking what the bigger individuals were doing in pictures, movies, etc. Of course, Arnold was everyone’s idol, and even is as of today.Years go by and everyone discovers the bodybuilding routine of working a specific body part to failure once per week. The typical workout would consist of chest on Mondays, Back on Tuesdays, Legs on Wednesday, Arms on Thursday and Shoulders on Friday. We would use the weekend to work on the stuff we forgot like calves, traps, forearms, abs, and maybe throw in some cardio. But this requires a lot of time in the gym, etc. What would be a great introduction to weight lifting would be the popular 5 X 5 program.So what is the 5 X 5 program. This consists of a Day A and a Day B lifts. You can create your own abbreviation, but it is two different days. Day A will consist of doing squat, bent-over barbell row and the bench press. On Day B this will consist of squat, overhead press and the dead-lift. What you need to be aware of is that you are going to be squatting on both days, so your rest days are of vital importance.The way it works is that for each lift that you perform you are going to be doing 5 Sets of 5 repetitions. The only exception that you want to take notice of is that the dead-lift is only doing to be 1 set of 5 repetitions. Some individuals may disagree, but you are going to be working your legs with the squat exercise. If in the future you want to increase the sets with the dead-lift, I would gauge it based on how your body is feeling and making sure you are not over-training the muscle groups with another exercise.In bodybuilding, most of your sets are taken to failure due to doing burnout sets. With the 5 X 5, our goal is work on strength, so only increase your weight on each lift by 5 pounds per week. You will always do each set with the same weight you are using for that specific exercise, so it is of vital importance that you keep a journal or log book.Here is an example:Week 1: Monday – Day A, Wednesday Day-B, Friday Day AWeek 2: Monday – Day B, Wednesday Day A, Friday Day BIf you notice that you are not able to achieve the specific lift for a certain amount of days, then it is recommended by the strength community to decrease the weight by at least 10 percent and then go for it again. Then progress from there.There are plenty of websites out there to get advice, so I would recommend doing some more research on what other individuals think, and what type of system they have implemented with the 5 X 5 workout program. Certain lifts may work or not work for some individuals, but this is a great way to introduce weight lifting to a novice. You are going to start out with what you feel comfortable with, but is also recommended that you get some great coaching to make sure your form/biomechanics are very good. This will allow you to perform the lifts correctly and you will instill great habits that you can use throughout your entire life. If you need to work with a strength coach, Portland personal trainer
(if you are in PDX) or a workout partner, then go for it, but be consistent and take great notes.The Art of Personal Training by Kisar Dhillon
107 SE Washington StreetSuite 137Portland, Oregon 97214503-953-0241