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5 x 5 Strength Training Program

Type: Muscle Building Workout

The 5 X 5 strength training program uses heavy weight and body weight exercises to work each muscle of the body to build a strong, proportionate physique. It’s a popular and well respected workout and is used worldwide.

The workout uses core pushing and pulling compound exercises that work all your major muscle groups with the aim of increasing your all round strength and improving your physique.

Overview Show All | Hide All

 Goal - Strength Training

The 5×5 is a strength training program that is designed to help you build muscle, lose fat and get stronger. Its primary goal is strength training and not body building.

The workout contradicts the common belief that you should train each body part once a week. It suggests that such routines are designed for professional body builders and that the average person needs more recovery and therefore shouldn’t train on consecutive days.

 Level - Tough Guy

This workout is for people that are serious about gaining strength and improving their physique. This is Workout Level Tough Guy or above.

 Exercises

1 - Full Body Workout using Core Exercises

This workout program is built around exercises with multi joint movements such as bench presses, squats and pull ups. These are considered core muscle building exercises. This works better for strength gains because it incorporates groups of muscles rather than working individual muscles that are the focus of exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions and leg extensions. The benefits are that your full body gets a workout every time you train . As you progress you’re lifting heavier and heavier weights, your muscles will adapt and grow to keep up.

2 - Squats in Every Session

The program focuses on doing squats in every session with the aim of increasing your full body strength. Some may argue that this is over training, but as long as you leave at least 48 hours between workouts to allow for adequate recovery and stretch the muscles correctly after each session, then you will only succeed in gaining strength and improving your overall fitness.

3 - 5 Reps instead of 8

The aim of this program is to increase strength, therefore it’s designed around doing sets of 5 repetitions and using a heavier weight, rather than sets of 8 repetitions with a lighter weight. This increases the intensity of the workload placed upon the muscles, hence stimulating strength gains and muscle growth.

4 - 2 Minutes Rest

For strength training you need to take at least 2 minutes rest between sets. This should be increased as you increase the weight. The more you lift, the more time your muscles will need to recover for the next set. Take anything up to 5 minutes if needed.

5 - Increase the weight each week

Weight should be added each week systematically to get stronger and build more muscle. This is easier when doing 5 reps. The increases in weight should be kept small and the focus on maintaining good technique.

 Schedule - 3 times a week

Do this work out 3 times a week, alternating between Workout A and Workout B. This is an intense workout that really challenges the whole body, so it’s recommended you leave at least 1 full day between workouts to allow your muscles adequate time to repair and grow back even stronger.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
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Workout A
Instructions:
  • Do the workout 3 times a week, alternating between workout A & workout B each session.
  • Take at least 48 hours rest between workouts.
  • For each exercise, use the same weight for all 5 sets.
  • You are working with heavy weights to increase strength, take at least 3- 5 mins rest between each set.
Exercises: Show All | Hide All
1 Squat, Barbell
5 sets 
5 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Buttocks
Calves
Hamstrings
Thighs
 
Description: The barbell squat is a good all round exercise that works all the lower body parts. It's based on multiple joint movements in the legs, so it works all the major muscles. Because it requires balance and coordination your abdo ...

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2 Bench Press, Barbell
5 sets 
5 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Chest
Triceps
 
Description: The barbell bench press is probably one of the most well known gym exercises. It's a core exercise used by power lifters and body builders because it works the chest muscles and triceps hard. It's quite a difficult exercise t ...

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3 Inverted Rows
3 sets 
Max Reps
3 sets until failure, ensuring you keep good technique
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Back
Biceps
Upper Shoulders
 
Description: Inverted rows compliment the barbell chest press by working the opposing muscles in the back to create a balanced workout. Inverted rows are also known as, reverse pushups or reverse rows. You can perform the inverted row exe ...

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4 Push Up
3 sets 
3 sets until failure, ensuring you keep good technique
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Chest
Core
Triceps
 
Description: The push up (also known as press up) is an excellent exercise for working the chest muscles and arms. Also because of the position you have to maintain to do this exercise correctly, it also works the core, abdominals, legs a ...

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5 Crunches, Reverse
3 sets 
12 reps 
 
Targets: 
Muscle Groups:
Upper Abs
Obliques
 
Description: The reverse crunch is a good alternative to the standard crunch, instead of crunching your upper body towards your legs, you crunch the legs up towards your chest and your upper body remains stationary. This exercise techniqu ...

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Print Workout 

 Intensity Levels

Level Intensity (Int) Goal Examples & Guide Lines
5 Low N/A Daily activities. Normal Breathing, Talking (>2 hrs)
6 Low Moderate N/A Brisk Walk, Slow Jog, Normal Breathing & Talking (1 - 2 hrs)
7 Moderate CV: Endurance Jogging - Fast breathing. Talk just okay (> 20 min)
8 High Moderate CV: Race pace Fast Jog - Heavy breathing, Talk broken (>10 min)
9 High CV: Sports Hard run - Breathing heavy. Talking hard. (1-3 min)
10 Maximum CV: Speed Sprint - V. hard breathing. Talk impossible. (5 -8 sec)

 Workout Saftey

All exercises should be completed with proper technique maintaining good posture throughout. Use technique and posture failure as an indicator as to how challenging you find the resistance or exercise position. Optimize the resistance and exercise type according to your own ability.

It is important to incorporate exercises that cover all major muscle groups into your main workout to ensure a balanced program. Focusing too much on one muscle group can cause muscular imbalances.

Taking these guidelines into consideration means that you will get far more from your workouts, advance quicker and help reduce the risk of exercise related injury.

Always seek professional advice from a qualified fitness instructor before attempting any exercise or workout.

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