T Nation

5 X 5 Routine.

I came here awhile ago and decided to listen to the advice I got.

Pretty simple ay? Ive just realised exactly what you guys mean by

the bench and bicep crew at the gym. I was a former member until I

thought… wait a minute im not actually getting anywhere with

this. So I came here and listening to some advice I decided to do

the Bill Starr 5 X 5 routine and up my calories.

I love it. I have been doing it 2 weeks and have increased my

bench/squat max. Suddenly I realise I am the only one in my gym

who deadlifts… I love it - powerfull and gives you a great pump all over. I had someone come up to me the other day and

say 5 sets of 5 was nowhere near enough reps to fatigue a muscle.

I would have agreed a month ago except I have now increased my

bench doing the 5 X 5. I just carried on. The guy who told me that

hasn’t got any bigger in the year I’ve seen him there. I plan to

give it 2 or 3 months and see if I notice any physical difference.

Im sure I will. I now look forward to the gym knowing exactly what

needs to be done and work to the plan (which i have transcribed in

Excel…!)… I also drink pints and pints of milk which is cheap

and easy to go along with my current eating plan.

To cut a long ramble short - Its a shame there aren’t more people

listening to logic and just getting stuck in, instead of the 'guy

down the gym says this…’

I only get minimal Doms with this routine but nevermind, i used to

get Doms like crazy… maybe i was killing my muscles instead of

stimulating them. I thought doms = success so I would do

everything until i couldnt move the next day. Twice a week.
Also im in and out of the gym in 45mins which is kind of handy. I do the 3 day split with the 3rd day being the day where the weight

goes up for just 3 reps ready for day 1 again.

One question - i read somewhere just now (not here) that you need to do 5 sets of 5 reps with your max weight (after warmup) for all those sets. 5 sets of 5 all at 75kg?
I have been ramping the weights (first working set of 5 might be 50kg, second set might be 57kg and so on until the 5th set is the absolute max weight - 75kg or something). I thought Bill Starrs routine said to do it this way and ramp up. Have i stumbled onto a website that has it wrong or have i misunderstood the principle of the thing?

Cheers all, and again thanks for the advice.

…Sorry about the double line spaces. I copied and pasted from a notebook document (at work!)

Just google Bill Starr 5x5 and fill in the excel sheet to make your program. Its that easy. Oh, btw for the first two weeks you will be in and out in 45 min but it gets shit fucking hard on the 3rd week and by the end of the 4th week you will be begging for the deloading/intensification phase. I suggest that if you can deadlift >350 lbs that the 3rd and 4th week deadlifts be reduced to 3x5 instead of 5x5, but thats just me.

The Starr routine typically calls for a combination of ramping and set weight sets. For instance:

Day one squat - set weight with weight equal to 4th r 5th set weight from last Day 3

Day 2 squat - (if squating)set weight squating at 60-65% of max (recovery day)

Day 3 squat - ramp up where 5th (and maybe 4th) sets are new rep PR.

This is a general template, there is a spreadsheet out there where you can plug in start values and it computes all your lifts for the cycle.

Hi there,

There are many progressions with the 5x5 system. It depends on your training age, whether you’re a beginner, novice, intermediate or advanced lifter. To determine this, here’s a link where your can compare your numbers: http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/uploads/BFS%20Standards%20Mens%20Strength%20File.pdf

Beginner and novice lifters can progress every workout since they recover every 24-48 hours. You can ride this template until gains stagnate depending on your progress:

Day A

Squat
Incline Press
Weighted Chins

Day B

Deadlift
Bench Press
Core work

Alternate between Day A and B, do 3 workouts a week. Use 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps for each exercise, the goal is to increase the poundage every workout if you can. Start out with a weight you can do only for 3x5 reps, don’t put added pounds until you can do 5x5 with that weight. Or you can opt to start out a weight that you can do with 3x5 reps only then once you’re able to do 1 extra set of 5, increase the weight so that you can only do 3x5 reps again.

Usually you can progress quickly with this simple template. I used to experiment with a lot of routines, I realized that I was just a novice, there’s was no point in overcomplicating my routines. I could progress consistently every workout until I reach the intermediate level where progress is made every 4-7 days compared to novice who can progress every workout. I added 80 lbs to my squat in the last 4 months using this simple plan.

Check out this link. It will explain many of the variations:

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=05-076-training

[quote]themonthofjun wrote:
Just google Bill Starr 5x5 and fill in the excel sheet to make your program. Its that easy. Oh, btw for the first two weeks you will be in and out in 45 min but it gets shit fucking hard on the 3rd week and by the end of the 4th week you will be begging for the deloading/intensification phase. I suggest that if you can deadlift >350 lbs that the 3rd and 4th week deadlifts be reduced to 3x5 instead of 5x5, but thats just me.[/quote]

I don’t believe there is any deloading/intensification in his version of 5x5. I noticed he said he was on day three where you work up to a heavy 3rm (2.5% higher than Mondays 5rm) and then a drop-down set for 8.

This must be the linear periodization version with no deload. Plus it’d be a 3x3 deload not 3x5 IIRC .

I don’t mean to be nitpicking here but he’d be well served to hold off on the advanced “dual factor theory” stuff until he stalls badly on most of his lifts or as he gets closer to maxing his strength potential which is a long way off.

Hello.

Do yourself an enormous favour and buy the following two books

Starting Strength
Practical Programming for strength training

you can get them here, even signed by authors

More details


www.practicalprogrammingforstrengthtraining.com/

YOU CANNOT DO BETTER than reading and learning those two books. They will teach you everything you need to know.

Bill Starr’s work is great, what I have listed above is sort of like the latest thinking on that approach after decades of using it etc… - that’s the best way I can describe it, although it is not stricly true. I mean, they didn’t take Bills’ work and work on it.

With respect to the many other great trainers out there, most routines are overly complex, don’t explain the reasons behind them, and are inefficient for a novice (which I suspect most people here are).

The above two books should be compulsory reading for all people.

[quote]themonthofjun wrote:
Just google Bill Starr 5x5 and fill in the excel sheet to make your program. Its that easy. Oh, btw for the first two weeks you will be in and out in 45 min but it gets shit fucking hard on the 3rd week and by the end of the 4th week you will be begging for the deloading/intensification phase. I suggest that if you can deadlift >350 lbs that the 3rd and 4th week deadlifts be reduced to 3x5 instead of 5x5, but thats just me.[/quote]

Nice choise. I have been running with this for about 10 weeks now. themonthofjun is right. the first couple of weeks are cake. By week 8 I had to take a week off. I tested my 1rm maxes the week I came back and hit huge PRs.

Bench 225 to 250
DL 385 to 430
Squat 315 to 350

I also went from a body weight of 170lb to 180lb.

I am still a newb with only 2 years of lifting under my belt(1 year training correctly and with PL goals), so i am probably still experiencing rapid gains from my low training age. Regardless, this program has been awsome.

As a result of my new found strength, I am participating in Push/Pull meet at the end of April in Rochester. I aim to pull 450 and bench 255.

Good luck with the program. Make sure you eat and sleep. I am way more hungery for food and sleep on this program.

I went through your 5x5 routine at the end of 2006 and loved it. I followed it for 12 weeks and all my lifts went up tremendously.

Go here:

http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/table_of_contents_thread.htm

You’ll find an Excell sheet all workout out for you. All you have to do is plug in your best lifts and it’ll calculate everything for you.

Use the beginner’s 5x5, by the way.

[quote]derek wrote:
themonthofjun wrote:
Just google Bill Starr 5x5 and fill in the excel sheet to make your program. Its that easy. Oh, btw for the first two weeks you will be in and out in 45 min but it gets shit fucking hard on the 3rd week and by the end of the 4th week you will be begging for the deloading/intensification phase. I suggest that if you can deadlift >350 lbs that the 3rd and 4th week deadlifts be reduced to 3x5 instead of 5x5, but thats just me.

I don’t believe there is any deloading/intensification in his version of 5x5. I noticed he said he was on day three where you work up to a heavy 3rm (2.5% higher than Mondays 5rm) and then a drop-down set for 8.

This must be the linear periodization version with no deload. Plus it’d be a 3x3 deload not 3x5 IIRC .

I don’t mean to be nitpicking here but he’d be well served to hold off on the advanced “dual factor theory” stuff until he stalls badly on most of his lifts or as he gets closer to maxing his strength potential which is a long way off.

[/quote]

You didn’t read my post carefully.

[quote]Miserere wrote:
I went through your 5x5 routine at the end of 2006 and loved it. I followed it for 12 weeks and all my lifts went up tremendously.

Go here:

http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/table_of_contents_thread.htm

You’ll find an Excell sheet all workout out for you. All you have to do is plug in your best lifts and it’ll calculate everything for you.

Use the beginner’s 5x5, by the way.[/quote]

This is the site I was talking about. The excel sheet works VERY WELL. Read through the entire webpage though otherwise you are shortchanging yourself.

[quote]themonthofjun wrote:
Its that easy. Oh, btw for the first two weeks you will be in and out in 45 min but it gets shit fucking hard on the 3rd week and by the end of the 4th week you will be begging for the deloading/intensification phase. I suggest that if you can deadlift >350 lbs that the 3rd and 4th week deadlifts be reduced to 3x5 instead of 5x5, but thats just me.I

You didn’t read my post carefully.[/quote]

Sorry. But when you said “and by the end of the 4th week you will be begging for the deload/intensification phase”, I figured you were talking about the deload/intensification phase that the advanced periodization version has.

There is no deload/intensification phase in the linear 5x5 workout that he is doing as evidenced by the heavy set of three on day 3.

What am I missing from your post?

Glad people still working from that website.

Read what it says do yourself a favour get Starting Strength and Practical Programming.

If you want all the answers they are in the 2nd book.

The 1st is full of technique and really good.

Prac programming is great divides things up to novice, intermediate, advanced, what they are, what you should be doing, what to do when you stall on your program etc…

If you don’t get the book, then get it in a few months, you’ll kick yourself in the nuts for delaying it.

[quote]themonthofjun wrote:
I suggest that if you can deadlift >350 lbs that the 3rd and 4th week deadlifts be reduced to 3x5 instead of 5x5, but thats just me.

You didn’t read my post carefully.[/quote]

Again, the linear version has you doing deadlifts @ 4x5, not 5x5 like you wrote. The 5x5 is in the advanced version.

There’s quite a difference, actually many differences between the two versions. It seemed as if you were referring to the advanced version in your post while he’s doing the intermediate/linear version so your suggestions are not quite acurate. That’s all I was trying to get across.

I’m just curious if anyone else has tried the intermediate 5x5 as seen here
http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm

I’m considering giving it a try and I think I’d fit into the intermediate category with a BW of 210-215 and PBs of

Bench- 295
Squat (below parallel) 385
Deadlift- 470 (judged from a defecit pull off a 4" box of 460)

-Matt

I have that book too. I got practical programming last year, it cleared everything up for me in terms of planning you training. Get the book! What I outlined earlier is all explained in the book. Bill Starr’s program is also included in a section for the intermediate lifter.

Yup referring to the dual factor.
I did the dual factor because my body really needs the deloading period. Sorry seems I didn’t understand the OPs question. At least now if he moves on to the dual factor he has some advice :slight_smile:

[quote]themonthofjun wrote:
Yup referring to the dual factor.
I did the dual factor because my body really needs the deloading period. Sorry seems I didn’t understand the OPs question. At least now if he moves on to the dual factor he has some advice :)[/quote]

You are absolutely right! I actually have a very hard time recovering from dual factor version. My lumbar region takes a beating even from the intermediate version.

I also want to apologize if I came off kind of pushy in my posts earlier.