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View Full Version : Anyone ever done the 5x5 workout routine?


purbeast0
01-02-2008, 07:09 PM
By 5x5 I mean you pick a weight you can probably do 7-8 on a good set, but instead you just do 5 reps, then rest, then repeat that for a total of 5 sets, doing 5 reps on each set. If you do 5x5, then the next time you come you increase the weight.

I did it for deadlifts and squats before I broke my ankle a few years ago and I saw great gains in my deadlifts. I basically went from 285lbs up to 465lbs in a matter of months. I also was seeing pretty good gains for squats. But then I broke my ankle and never tried doing the 5x5 again.

I'm thinking about doing it for my chest flat bench because I'm kind of stuck now. I haven't really increased in about a month and I'm stuck at 255lbs repping it about 7 times. I'm thinking of starting it with 255lbs and then adding 5lbs (the little 2.5lb plates to each side) each week and seeing what I can do with that.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has done this, specifically for chest, and if so, how were the results?

purbeast0
01-03-2008, 08:08 AM
?

jiggahertz
01-03-2008, 09:00 AM
It sounds like your body responded well in past to your variation of 5x5, so I would give it a shot in your chest routine. I've trained with 5x5 for my compound lifts in the past but eventually got away from it because I felt like I was overtraining. I typically train low volume, 8-10 work sets per bodypart, 2-3 sets/exercise, 4-6 or 6-8 rep range, near failure. IMO your first couple sets are going to be more like warm-up sets, and it's going to better suited to training for hypertrophy rather than strength.

purbeast0
01-03-2008, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by: jiggahertz
It sounds like your body responded well in past to your variation of 5x5, so I would give it a shot in your chest routine. I've trained with 5x5 for my compound lifts in the past but eventually got away from it because I felt like I was overtraining. I typically train low volume, 8-10 work sets per bodypart, 2-3 sets/exercise, 4-6 or 6-8 rep range, near failure. IMO your first couple sets are going to be more like warm-up sets, and it's going to better suited to training for hypertrophy rather than strength.

well even if i do the 5x5 for flat bench i'll still warm up like 3 sets. usually i do 155x8, then 205x6, and 225x4-6. then i'll start my real exercise.

i typically train pretty low volume too, very similar to what you are saying you do. if i do 5x5 on flat bench i will still do 3 sets of incline bench then 3 sets of decline, so it'll be a total of 11 true sets.

jiggahertz
01-03-2008, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by: purbeast0
Originally posted by: jiggahertz
It sounds like your body responded well in past to your variation of 5x5, so I would give it a shot in your chest routine. I've trained with 5x5 for my compound lifts in the past but eventually got away from it because I felt like I was overtraining. I typically train low volume, 8-10 work sets per bodypart, 2-3 sets/exercise, 4-6 or 6-8 rep range, near failure. IMO your first couple sets are going to be more like warm-up sets, and it's going to better suited to training for hypertrophy rather than strength.

well even if i do the 5x5 for flat bench i'll still warm up like 3 sets. usually i do 155x8, then 205x6, and 225x4-6. then i'll start my real exercise.

i typically train pretty low volume too, very similar to what you are saying you do. if i do 5x5 on flat bench i will still do 3 sets of incline bench then 3 sets of decline, so it'll be a total of 11 true sets.

Yeah, I was assuming you'd still do your normal warm-up sets. Just mentioning the fact that since your first couple of sets are ~3 reps less than what you would typically put up at that weight, it's almost a pre-fatigue technique.

I dunno if you buy into the whole overloading vs. fatiguing muscles. But, you can arrange training methodologies on a spectrum from 100% fatiguing (ton of reps with light weight) to 100% overloading (total exertion for 1 rep). I guess I would put the 5x5 somewhere in the middle between high volume (15-20 sets, 8-10 reps) and low volume (8-10 sets, 4-6 reps). Even though your total number of sets isn't increasing that much, you're going to be moving less weight and thus "overloading" your muscles less on your last couple of bench sets as compared to training at or near low-rep failure.

Not saying one is better than the other, just giving my 2 cents on where it falls in the realm of training philosophies.

RagingBITCH
01-03-2008, 11:16 AM
I'd say if you saw good results with it before, try it again. Your body needs to be shocked into results every once in a while...a new program will probably do it some good.

Fingolfin269
01-03-2008, 11:49 AM
I've been using a standard 4-day split for quite awhile now doing 3x6-8 on each exercise. It's time to try something new and I think 5x5 is the way to go. I've seen a lot of variations of the workout and I guess from the OP you're saying the variation you tried in the past was to use the same weight I was using previously and just split it up in 5 sets of 5 instead of 3 sets of 8?

purbeast0
01-03-2008, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by: Fingolfin269
I've been using a standard 4-day split for quite awhile now doing 3x6-8 on each exercise. It's time to try something new and I think 5x5 is the way to go. I've seen a lot of variations of the workout and I guess from the OP you're saying the variation you tried in the past was to use the same weight I was using previously and just split it up in 5 sets of 5 instead of 3 sets of 8?

yea that is how i got a starting point before. i picked a weight i was comfortable doing 7-8 times. i'm actually hoping I can do 255lbs 5x5 but i'm not even positive i can do so. if i can, then i will do 260lbs 5x5 next week (or atleast try) and if I get it 5x5, i'll continue to 265 the following week. if i can't do it 5x5, and can only do like 5,5,5,4,3, then i will do the same weight next week and (try to) out do my previous one.

that is how I did it with squats and deadlifts previously and seemed to work well. however squats and deadlifts are somewhat more compound than flat bench press, which is why I was wondeing if anyone else had tried it for chest and if so what kind of results they saw.

tjaisv
01-03-2008, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by: purbeast0
Originally posted by: Fingolfin269
I've been using a standard 4-day split for quite awhile now doing 3x6-8 on each exercise. It's time to try something new and I think 5x5 is the way to go. I've seen a lot of variations of the workout and I guess from the OP you're saying the variation you tried in the past was to use the same weight I was using previously and just split it up in 5 sets of 5 instead of 3 sets of 8?

yea that is how i got a starting point before. i picked a weight i was comfortable doing 7-8 times. i'm actually hoping I can do 255lbs 5x5 but i'm not even positive i can do so. if i can, then i will do 260lbs 5x5 next week (or atleast try) and if I get it 5x5, i'll continue to 265 the following week. if i can't do it 5x5, and can only do like 5,5,5,4,3, then i will do the same weight next week and (try to) out do my previous one.

that is how I did it with squats and deadlifts previously and seemed to work well. however squats and deadlifts are somewhat more compound than flat bench press, which is why I was wondeing if anyone else had tried it for chest and if so what kind of results they saw.

Are u bulking?

purbeast0
01-03-2008, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by: tjaisv
Originally posted by: purbeast0
Originally posted by: Fingolfin269
I've been using a standard 4-day split for quite awhile now doing 3x6-8 on each exercise. It's time to try something new and I think 5x5 is the way to go. I've seen a lot of variations of the workout and I guess from the OP you're saying the variation you tried in the past was to use the same weight I was using previously and just split it up in 5 sets of 5 instead of 3 sets of 8?

yea that is how i got a starting point before. i picked a weight i was comfortable doing 7-8 times. i'm actually hoping I can do 255lbs 5x5 but i'm not even positive i can do so. if i can, then i will do 260lbs 5x5 next week (or atleast try) and if I get it 5x5, i'll continue to 265 the following week. if i can't do it 5x5, and can only do like 5,5,5,4,3, then i will do the same weight next week and (try to) out do my previous one.

that is how I did it with squats and deadlifts previously and seemed to work well. however squats and deadlifts are somewhat more compound than flat bench press, which is why I was wondeing if anyone else had tried it for chest and if so what kind of results they saw.

Are u bulking?

yah i've put on like 20lbs since mid july (muscle + fat) and plan on bulking until around the beginning of april.

TallBill
01-03-2008, 03:05 PM
For chest, I like 8 sets of 3. But my wife isn't strong enough as a spotter to do that. I've been doing 5x5 on squats and going up 10 each week. I should go back to a 5x5 on deadlift because I don't really have a set routine right now.

purbeast0
01-03-2008, 04:18 PM
well i'm gonna go do chest today and try out the 5x5 @ 255lbs so we'll see how it goes.

kinda sucks cause the normal guy that i usually do some chest exercises with today won't be there to spot me (he went to ecuador for a few weeks on xmas) so i have to do it knowing i won't get stuck. also sucks cause i can't have him help me lift the bar off on incline presses so i don't think i'll even try 225lbs on that today :(

Fingolfin269
01-03-2008, 05:10 PM
I'm going to give this a shot starting tonight for all exercises. Worst case scenario I won't see any results in a few weeks and I can try something new. Part of the fun is experimenting with new ideas and tailoring them to work for you so here goes nothing. :)

purbeast0
01-03-2008, 07:13 PM
well I got 255 up 5x5, but the last set was pretty tough and I just barely got it. so i'm gonna give this a go and up it to 260 next week.

my incline barbell was pretty good and I did 205x8 then 2 sets of 215x6. usually I try 225 4-5 times but my spotting buddy wasn't around so I had to do it myself. decline was pretty normal as well doing 225x8 then 2 sets of 235x6. again usually I try 245 like 5-6 times but i couldn't cause no spotter.

so yah i'm gonna experiment with this for the next few months to see what comes out of it.

Fingolfin269
01-03-2008, 09:16 PM
I liked this tonight. I have a bum shoulder that tends to get strained when I do 8 reps and sometimes ends up with me ending my workout early. 5 has always been the make or break spot for me so tonight was the smoothest I've worked out in quite some time. I can't wait to see how this works out over time.

purbeast0
01-04-2008, 06:34 PM
So I've decided to try this for legs as well and did 5x5 on the leg sled machine. I tried doing squats 2 weeks ago for the first time since my back felt pretty much 100% but the following week I had back pains and didn't even do legs last week, and this week I just decided to do the leg sled because I never have back pains from that.

I did 295llbs 5x5 on that and plan on upping it 5lbs on each side every time I can do 5x5 of the previous week. So next week I'm gonna try 305lbs 5x5.

When driving home I knew my legs were sore but when I got to my apartment I forgot I had jellow legs and tried to run up the 3 flights of steps to my place :|. needless to say I made it about 4 steps before it hit me and I almost collapsed lol.

Slufa111
01-04-2008, 07:04 PM
I am doing 5x5 right now actually.

Deadlifts have gone from 135 to 225 in a month and a half

Incline bench press went from 135 to 165 in 2 weeks......doesnt look like much but thats 30lbs at a successful 5 reps so i mean a gain is a gain lol

purbeast0
01-28-2008, 02:16 PM
just wanted to say that i'm still doing 5x5 for my chest and leg sled.

last week on flatbench i did 260lbs 5x5 and actually got it up 5x5, so i'm going to move up to 265lb this week.

on the leg sled i've been going up a constant 10lb a week, starting at 270lbs, and last week i did 320lbs 5x5 and plan to increase it 10lb a week.

my lower back is feeling much better and i may actually start deadlifts again in a few weeks.

Scarpozzi
01-28-2008, 02:55 PM
In my experience 5X5 and Pyramid are both effective until you plateau. Then, you should try flip-flopping your workout to break through. A good third of the difficulty of lifting is mental anyhow, so finding a good balance for your level vs weight is important....if not for your physical strength, for your mental state when you're counting down (or up).