Old School Bodybuilding: Reg Park’s 5×5 Workout

Reg Park is one of the most important figures in bodybuilding and he was one of the most massive, yet symmetrical old school bodybuilders. Reg Park was an inspiration to many bodybuilders, including young Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As Bradley Steiner said: “Reg Park is the best example and single representative of what proper training with weights can do for a man.” He was a pre-steroid era, natural bodybuilder that had it all – mass, definition and symmetry. Standing at 6’1” and 250 lbs, Reg was impressive and unreal by the old standards.

His physique was built using heavy compound movements (using the 5×5 protocol) and full body workouts done 3 times s week. He was also a very strong person and had worked up to 600 pounds on squats, behind the neck presses with 300 pounds, and bench presses with 500 pounds.

Many of you will instantly say that full body workouts are just for beginners. But who can argue with Reg Park’s results and also the results of other old school bodybuilders, training the same way as Reg (Arnold was also doing Reg Parks full body routine the first couple of years of bodybuilding).

Reg Park’s  5×5 Routine:

Workout A

– Back Squats 5×5 (2 warm up and 3 work sets)

– Chin-Ups or Pull-Ups 5×5

– Dips or Bench Press 5×5

– Wrist Work 2×10

– Calves 2×15-20

Workout B
– Front Squats 5×5

– Rows 5×5

– Standing Press 5×5

– Deadlifts 3×5 (2 warm up and 1 work set)
– Wrist Work 2×10

– Calves 2×15-20

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His first 2 sets were usually warm up sets done with 60% and 80% of the max for that day. If he succeeded in performing all 5 sets of 5 reps, he would increase the weight by 5 lbs the next workout.

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