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Thread: Question about the 5x5 routine

  1. #1
    on the road to a 1.2ktotal
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    Question about the 5x5 routine

    hey guys i was wondering how this method was supposed to be executed properly so i did a search on some 5x5 routines and i found that most or if not all of the 5x5 do'ers on this forum use the same weight for the 5x5.

    okay i'm confused as a mofo. are you not supposed to increase the weight as you go up by like 5 lbs? what exactly is the main purpose of doing 5x5's? and would it be okay to substitute some exercises with 5x5 while on others using a different # of sets and reps such as 3 x 8? or should i just incorporate 5x5 for every exercise? i'm confused because something like shrugs, if i went 5x5 i'd assume that it means go heavy and i'll probably end up sacrificing some of my form.

    any input will be greatly appreciated. thanks.
    19 yrs old
    5'9'' @ 165 lbs
    bf%: ?

    BB Bench Press: 275 lbs
    ATG Squat: 355 lbs
    BB Deadlift: 335 lbs

  2. #2
    rampage don't squat bloodninja's Avatar
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    I don't use 5x5 for everything, mainly just the compound lifts...or some of the smaller muscle lifts when I feel like I'm at a wall and need to change my sets/reps around. I've noticed that some people here do use 5x5 for everything though.

    You should never be sacrificing form just to put up more weight or you'll end up with an injury.

  3. #3
    on the road to a 1.2ktotal
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    thanks blood. yeah i usually do em for compound movements only also. do you usually up the weight by increments of 5 lbs or do you use the same weight throughout? i've tried doing 10 but basically it meant i was gonna end up doing my max 5 times which just didn't work out
    19 yrs old
    5'9'' @ 165 lbs
    bf%: ?

    BB Bench Press: 275 lbs
    ATG Squat: 355 lbs
    BB Deadlift: 335 lbs

  4. #4
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    There's a lot of ways to do it. Simplest? Take your 8RM and perform a 5x5.
    "I added some db curls with the pink weights for a bit of a burn." - Rookiebldr

    "im assuming the holy (big) 3 are: curls, bench, legs?" - Saggas

    "had a huge ass burn on my triceps while I was doing those kickbacks, so they'll likely be staying with my exercise program." - Zearoth

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  5. #5
    rampage don't squat bloodninja's Avatar
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    I leave the weight the same throughout the exercise, but try to add a few lbs to each lift every week.

    On the last set of an exercise I'll sometimes take it to failure and try to go to 6 or 7 reps, while sometimes I might just fail at 5.

  6. #6
    Whiner Geeper's Avatar
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    WHat the rest period in 5x5?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Vita's Avatar
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    http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=375215

    this specific program yeilds great results.

    best to start with the single factor if you're a novice, or anything other than advanced...
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Robert Heinlein

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  8. #8
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    I checked out the link VIta posted and this is pretty much the routine fora beginner:

    Monday Heavy Day
    Squat 5 sets of 5
    Bench 5 sets of 5
    Bent over rows 5 sets of 5
    2 sets of weighted hypers
    4 sets of weighted Sit-ups

    Wednesday Light Day
    Squat 4 sets of 5
    Incline Bench 4 sets of 5
    Deadlifts 4 sets of 5
    Sit-ups 3 sets

    Friday - Medium
    Squat 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, back-off
    Bench 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, back-off
    Bent over rows 4 sets of 5, 1 triple
    Weighted Dips 3 sets of 5-8
    Triceps and Biceps 3 sets of 8 each

    I do not see any shoulder or calf work in here. Where would I want to add that in? Could I substitue Incline Bench on Wednesday for Military Press? Could I add calf work on Friday?

  9. #9
    Still Plugging Away -TIM-'s Avatar
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    One thing to remember with the 5x5 is that you don't have to do the same weight with each set. You're doing 5 reps for 5 sets. You can do one day where all 5 sets are the same weight, then have another day where you build up to your 5 rep max, and another day where you're doing the same weight for all sets, but only pushing a percentage of your max. I do 70%.

    Each week you'll want to try and add 5-10 for your exercises. So say you're benching 135 x 5 for 5 sets. The following week you would shoot for 140 or 145 for all five sets.

    Nos92LX - You're hitting your shoulders pretty well with incline bench and bent over rows. Calf work is being done with deads and squats, however, I would throw in direct calf work once a week if you feel they're not being worked enough. I would also drop the direct arm work on the routine you found, if you choose to do it. You're already hitting bi's and tri's 3 days a week with your pressing and rowing movements, which is more than sufficient. It might sound odd at first, but trust me, it will work.
    Best way to cheat on deadlifts...

    Stand there for a few minutes, then pace back and forth a lot, huff and puff, wait until everybody's looking. Approach the bar. Back off. Approach it again. Back off. Get some water. Chalk up. Approach the bar again. Then spray some more chalk around. Wait until people start losing interest. When nobody's looking, pick it a little off the floor, and slam it down. Jump up and yell "LIGHT WEIGHT BABY". Then give high fives all around. - Belial

  10. #10
    Senior Member Vita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -TIM-

    Nos92LX - You're hitting your shoulders pretty well with incline bench and bent over rows. Calf work is being done with deads and squats, however, I would throw in direct calf work once a week if you feel they're not being worked enough. I would also drop the direct arm work on the routine you found, if you choose to do it. You're already hitting bi's and tri's 3 days a week with your pressing and rowing movements, which is more than sufficient. It might sound odd at first, but trust me, it will work.
    i agree. sub in military presses for incline, and with rows you're hitting them 3x/week (shoulders).

    toss in the calve work on friday if you are going to add it in at all.

    also, start with the single factor version to start, and milk it for what it's worth. the single factor ramps up to a top set of 5. once you can't milk it any further is when you should look into the dual factor version...
    Last edited by Vita; 01-04-2006 at 11:39 AM.
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Robert Heinlein

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  11. #11
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    I am relatively new to this so I will start with the single factor (I am not even sure what the difference between single and dual factor is actually)

    On Friday I was thinking of maybe adding some chins and pull-ups instead of the bi/tri work but I don't know if that would work

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nos92LX
    (I am not even sure what the difference between single and dual factor is actually)
    "You'll notice the weights are moved in a pyramid fashion as not to overload someone new to this. You'll also notice the absense of loading/deloading periods. This is not a dual factor program, it is a single factor program based on supercompensation (like most BBer programs except that this one is one of the better ones). Single factor is very good for a beginner but not someone who is very accustomed to training."

    The difference is stated in the first 2 sentences.
    Good choice on the Single Factor.

  13. #13
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    Cool, thanks

  14. #14
    Senior Member Vita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nos92LX
    I am relatively new to this so I will start with the single factor (I am not even sure what the difference between single and dual factor is actually)

    On Friday I was thinking of maybe adding some chins and pull-ups instead of the bi/tri work but I don't know if that would work
    chins/pullups would be better if you ask me. really anything other than:

    m - squat, bench, row

    w - squat, press, DL

    f - squat, bench, row

    is all assistance work, and you can toss in what you feel you need/want. you can leave it out as well if you want. just don't work anything TOO much, as your focus is the program above. honestly, i'm just adding in ab work, pullups, and SLDL into my program while on a higher rep version of the SF 5x5, and once i get to the strict 5x5 all assistance goes out the window to focus on upping the weight consistantly every week.
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Robert Heinlein

    My Journal

  15. #15
    Wannabebig Member
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    OK, how is this updated routine. I think everything is spread out enough now to overwork any muscle groups
    --------------------------------------
    Monday Heavy Day
    Squat 5 sets of 5
    Bench 5 sets of 5
    Bent over rows 5 sets of 5
    Pull-ups 2 sets
    Weighted hypers 2 sets
    Weighted Sit-ups 2 sets

    Wednesday Light Day
    Squat 4 sets of 5
    Military Press 4 sets of 5
    Deadlifts 4 sets of 5
    Sit-ups 3 sets
    Calf raises 3 sets

    Friday - Medium
    Squat 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, back-off
    Bench 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, back-off
    Bent over rows 4 sets of 5, 1 triple
    Dips 3 sets of 5-8
    Chin-ups 2 sets

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