When we talk about gaining strength and muscle, we can’t skip the 5×5 workout routine – a classic tool for this purpose.With very little modifications it can be used for gaining muscle mass for anybody from beginners to advanced bodybuilders and powerlifters.
If you start using the 5×5 workout routine on a beginner level you can expect results that are achievable with several years of training on classic bodybuilding programs. Even if you are an experienced lifter and had hit a plateau, you can expect an increment in the weights you lift on your three basic movements: squat,squat and deadlift.
There are a few guidelines you need to follow if you expect the 5×5 workout routine to do its part:
1. This is a free weights workout.You shouldn’t replace any of the exercises (with exercises you like better or are easy on your knees,back, and joints).Yes…replacing the squat with a leg press is not an option.
2. Do NOT add more exercises to the routine.When performed right is hard enough as it is.
3. Do not get in a workout frenzy.Get your rest and take two days of rest when you finish one cycle.It is very easy to overtrain on the 5×5 workout routine.
4. Use proper technique and don’t overload the bar.It’s more important to lift properly and stretch all the way.Half reps with heavier weight take their own place and time in workout routines.5×5 workout is not one of those routines.
5. Take enough time to rest between sets. (3-5 minutes is what you should aim for)
6. Last but not least – you have to eat, and eat a lot.There is no way you can gain muscle on this or any other routine if you don’t eat enough calories.Depending on your weight you will eat 4000-6000 calories a day and 1.5 to 2 g of protein per pound.You should also consume enough essential fatty acids in your diet.
The 5×5 workout routine:
Monday (Heavy day)
1) Bench Press
3) Barbell Rows
– Bench Press – Pyramid to approximately 95% of your 5 rep max.You should start
with the half of the weight that you want to end up with. Get enough rest between sets.
– Squats – do 1-2 warm-up sets and do 5 sets of 5 reps. Work weight should be about 90% of your max 5 rep for Squats. Get enough rest between the sets, especially before the last set.
– Barbell Rows – 1-2 warm-up sets and do 5 sets of 5 reps. Work weight should be about 90% of your max 5 rep for Barbell rows. Get enough rest between the sets.
Wednesday (light day)
1) Standing Military Press
– Military Press – After the 1 to 2 warm up sets do five sets of 5 reps with about 70% of your max 5 rep for Standing military Press. Rest 3 to 5 minutes between the sets.
– Deadlifts – After the 1 to 2 warm up sets do 5 sets of 5 repetitions. You
should put about 70% of your max 5 rep for Dead lifts. Take 5 minutes of rest between the sets.
– Squats – Do 1-2 warm up
sets and then do 5 sets of 5 reps with 70% of your 5 rep maximum. Make sure to rest at least 5 minutes in between
– Pull-ups – 1-2 warm-up sets and do 5 sets of 5 repetitions. Use your body weight for this exercise and rest 3 – 5 minutes between the sets
Friday (Medium day)
1) Bench Press
3) Barbell Rows
1) Bench-Press 1-2 warm-up sets and do 5 sets of 5 repetitions. You
should put about 75-80% of your max 5 rep for Bench-Press.
2) Squat – Pyramid to approximately 75-80% of your max 5 rep for Squats.You can start with the half of the weight that you want to end up with. Rest 3-5
minutes before the last set.
3) Barbell Rows – Pyramid to approximately 75-80% of your max 5 rep for Rows . Same as the squats you can start with the half of the weight that you want to end up with
If you eat right and use the 5×5 workout routine correctly you should be able to put 5 lbs on the bar every week, and with this put on some muscle mass on your frame.Take a week off after your fifth week of training.