Super Powerful 5 × 5 Strength & Muscle Building Program

Super Powerful 5 × 5 Strength & Muscle Building Program

Over the years, training techniques have become more and more complex. Show ordinary modern bodybuilders a simple and effective workout regimen and they’ll laugh at you. They find it hard to believe that simple exercise programs can be effective.

They think training is difficult and spend more time planning it than doing it. This is not surprising, since in our time many people like to complicate their lives.

 
 

The bottom line is that time-tested standard training methods are hard to beat. This includes, for example, the 5 × 5 program (five sets of five reps). She was especially fond of Reg Park, the idol of Arnold Schwarzenegger, for one simple reason. The program is amazing and, when used correctly, is great for building muscle and developing strength.

With a myriad of training methods available, 5 × 5 remains one of the most effective programs for increasing muscle mass and strength. It has a suitable level of intensity and volume, without provoking “burnout” and.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 5 × 5 program and how to use it correctly. We’ll look at different ways to increase the intensity of your workouts to stimulate the growth of strength and muscle mass.

If you are tired of complex programs that take longer to plan than to execute, then this program is for you. So let’s get started.

What is a 5 × 5 program?

The 5 × 5 program involves doing five sets of five reps. For example, consider the deadlift of a barbell. Do two warm-up sets first. Then pick up a working weight and do five sets. If you successfully complete all five sets of five repetitions, increase the working weight by 2-4 kg.

 
 
A 5 × 5 program involves doing five sets of five reps

If you want to build strength, take three minute breaks between sets. If gaining mass is your priority, reduce the breaks between sets to 90 seconds. For general purposes, take two minute breaks between sets.

When planning a 5 × 5 program, you can practice split training where one day you work your upper body and the next time you work your lower body.

 

Or you can do a full body workout 2-3 times a week. Try different options to decide which one works best for you. Whichever option you choose, during each workout, focus on complex exercises such as bench presses, squats, deadlifts, dips, bent-over rows, and more. You can pay special attention to exercises for certain muscle groups, but try not to get too carried away with them.

 

Concentrate on the most effective exercise (including the effort expended). You can do certain exercises quite often, for example, do the bench press three times a week using the 5 × 5 technique. Or try Louis Simmons’ pairing principle for a change.

 
You can do certain exercises quite often, for example, do the bench press three times a week using the 5 × 5 technique.

For example, on Monday do the bench press, on Wednesday weighted dips, and on Friday the incline press. You will avoid traumatic stress, and since the exercises are similar enough, you will see progress in all three of them and will be able to develop strength in general.

Workout examples 5 × 5:

 

Option XNUMX (full body workout)

Monday

 
  • A-1:
  • A-2:
  • B-1:
  • B-2:
  • “Turkish rise” – 2 × 5 (for the right and left side)

Wednesday

  • A-1: (with weights)
  • A-2: (with weights)
  • — 2 × 5

Friday

 
  • A-1:
  • A-2:
  • B-1:
  • B-2:
  • Saxon side bends – 2 × 5

Do A-1 and A-2 in turn. In other words, do one set A-1, rest for a minute, then do set A-2, rest for a minute, then set a second A-1, etc. Continue doing A-1 and A-2 in turn until you have completed all five sets.

 

Option two: Splits

Monday and Thursday

  • A-1:
  • A-2:
  • B-1: — 2×5
  • B-2: or – 2 × 5

Tuesday and friday

 
  • B-1:
  • B-2:
  • — 2 × 5
  • “Turkish rise” – 2 × 5 (for the right and left side)

Do A-1 and A-2 in turn. In other words, do one set A-1, rest for a minute, then do set A-2, rest for a minute, then set a second A-1, etc. Continue doing A-1 and A-2 in turn until you have completed all five sets.

5 × 5 options for accelerated strength and muscle building

Now that you have completed several standard 5 × 5 workout cycles, you can manipulate certain factors to intensify the program and adapt it to different goals.

Different duration of breaks in each training session

Let’s say your goal is to build strength and muscle mass. In this case, you can control such a factor as the length of the breaks in the exercises. For example, if the main goal of your workout is muscle hypertrophy, take one-minute breaks that day. If the emphasis is on developing strength, take two minute breaks during your workout.

The breaks must correspond to completely different sets. In the first case, you need to take two-minute breaks, and in the second, four-minute breaks. An example of this kind of program:

Monday (XNUMX minute breaks between sets)

  • A-1: (from the bottom position)
  • A-2:
  • B-1:
  • B-2:
  • “Turkish rise” – 2 × 5 (for the right and left side)

Wednesday (one minute breaks between sets)

  • A-1: (with weights)
  • A-2: (with weights)
  • — 2 × 5

Friday (30 second breaks between sets)

  • A-1:
  • A-2:
  • B-1:
  • B-2:

To increase the intensity, reduce the breaks between exercises.

Another option for increasing intensity is to vary the length of the breaks in each training session. For example, do five sets of five repetitions of the 140kg barbell squat with three minute breaks. Instead of increasing the weight on your next workout, reduce the breaks to two minutes and thirty seconds.

When you can do five sets again, reduce your breaks to two minutes. The next time you do five sets, reduce them to ninety seconds. When you get to one-minute breaks, increase the weight by 2-4 kg and start training again with three-minute breaks.

Using this mode, you shift your attention from developing strength to muscle hypertrophy as the interruptions decrease. Then you re-focus on strength training.

In this way, the intensity of the training is maintained and it remains intense and interesting.

Cluster training 5 × 5

Applying the 5 × 5 cluster training concept is like fueling a car with rocket fuel. I learned about the method from Charles Poliquin’s amazing book Modern Trends in Strength Training.

Cluster training is a combination of pause-rest training and standard training.

It works as follows. Take 90% of your 10RM and do one rep. Wait XNUMX seconds, do another rep. Continue until you have completed five rest-pause reps.

After completing all five reps, take a three minute break and do another cluster set. Each series of repetitions is equal to one set. Applying this method to a 5 × 5 program, you need to do five sets of five sets in a rest-pause fashion.

What are the benefits of applying cluster training?

With cluster training, you get a much more intense workout. Therefore, if your main goal is to increase strength, you will definitely like it. Either way, the amount of exercise is the same as the standard 5 × 5 program, making 5 × 5 cluster training a great option for hypertrophic training (HST).

To further stimulate muscle hypertrophy, reduce the breaks between sets. For example, instead of taking XNUMX minute breaks, take XNUMX minute breaks. Despite the effectiveness of cluster training, it takes some time to put it into practice. If you’ve never practiced rest-pause before, read the articles on this topic and start with simpler programs.

When you are comfortable with both 5 × 5 and rest-pause training, try combining both methods and begin 5 × 5 cluster training. It is very intense, and three full body workouts will seem quite daunting to many. Try doing two full body workouts per week, with at least two days off in between.

Or, split your upper body and lower body training days and try exercising four times a week. Upper body workout – the first day, then the day off, then the lower body workout the next day, another day off, and again the upper body workout, etc.

I would also recommend choosing those exercises for cluster training that do not require a lot of preparation time. For example, the bench press from the bottom position is better than the standard bench press, where you have to put the bar on a rack after each rep.

An example of cluster training in the style of 5 × 5

1 and 3 day

  • (from the bottom position)
  • (with weights)

2-й день

  • (from the bottom position)
  • (standard repetitions in 5 × 5 style)
  • “Turkish rise” – 2 × 5 (standard reps)

4-й день

  • (with dumbbell) – 2 × 5 (standard reps)

Take 4 minute breaks between cluster sets and 8 minutes between exercises. Follow the cluster training for 5-5 weeks and then return to the standard XNUMX × XNUMX regimen.

Adapting to High Intensity Training: Start with 5 × 5

After all, you can use the 5 × 5 pattern as a basis for moving to high volume training. If you successfully complete five sets, stick to the same weight and add another set.

When you can do six sets, add another set. Continue in this spirit until you have done 10 × 5 sets. When you are able to do ten sets, increase the weight by 2-4 kg and start again with 5 × 5.

This is an excellent method for transitioning to high volume training and cyclic high volume training. Most importantly, this will build your confidence as you move to high volume training.

If you’ve never done ten sets before, you probably won’t be able to handle the volume. By gradually increasing the volume, you prepare your mind and body for the upcoming systematic hard work.

Conclusion

As is often the case in life, it’s very easy to get enthusiastic about doing something other than actually getting off the couch and taking action. What are you ready to do?

Try the 5 × 5 program and build muscle and strength, or continue with sophisticated workouts that take two hours to complete? Start with a standard 5 × 5 setting and work your way up to your goal.

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