T Nation

5 x 5 WO


just started a 5 x 5 workout to try and improve my core lifts as only recently got back to squating after injury.

my question is: am only doing small amount of work each body part
Day 1: Squat, bench, BOR
Day 2: Squat, military, dead
day 3: Squat, bench, BOR
assistant work: core work weighted sit ups and leg raises, hyper extensions...

I do like the workout but its not doing much as it states: to start light and increase each set meaning that i only get 1 or 2 sets which challange me. So although these lifts will obviously improve is it going to be at the cost of everything else

Also am missing lots of exercises i like to do chins, pulls, dips, xovers, flies, db press (decline incline), front n lat raises...

your views would be appreciated


Im a beginner myself so i shouldnt be giving advice.....so im going to give some
advice written in a book called starting strength. Im not sure how much of a 'novice' you
are but this extract might help

"One school of thought holds that one work set, if done at a high enough intensity, is sufficient to stimulate muscular growth. for novices, several problems immeadiatly present themselves. First, inexperienced trainees do not know how to produce max intensity under the bar, and will not know for quite some time. Second, if they dont know how to work at a very high intensity, more than one work set will be necessary to provide sufficient stress to cause adaptation to occur - one set will not provide enough'

Rippetoes book goes on to suggest 3-4 warm up sets gradually increase the weights in small jumps (not BIG) till you get to your working weight, then do 3 sets of 5 reps of that weight.


exactomundo BigBoss.
Zak- dont squat and dead in the same workout or you wont get near enough intensity for either


also Zak, what kind of weights are you moving, ie how advanced are you


''also Zak, what kind of weights are you moving, ie how advanced are you''

pretty small at the moment lol been working out for about 2 years (not all of it constructive)
got the workout from bodybuilding.com (madcow 5x5)

I am 75kg 6ft and 19yrs old

squat around 80kg for 5 (increasing slowly due to knee injury)
bench around 90kg for 5
dead around 80kg for 5
these were my last sets of 5

on day 2 how about: dead, military, lat pull down? i miss not doing lat pull down lol what would you recomend?

Also would it be better then to do an extra set or two at final weight making it more of a 8x5?


try A: bench 5x5, BBrow 5x5, squat 5x5
B: Military 5x5, Pullups/or chins 5x5, deadlift 5x5

if you finish these with plenty of energy left, do curls and parrellel bar dips

the weight should be such so that you cant do 8 sets of 5, but can do 5x5, that way its heavy enough to trigger stimulus but easy enough to recover from.

how come your bench is higher than the other two? you can post vids of your form on here for suggestions if you need. i have just squatted 400lb x2, but im always learning.


bench is higher cus i dislocated my kneecap few months ago and had it in a cast for a while. just got back to training it, but ligaments aren't at full strength so don't want to push it to failure. and my grip strength isn't great lol. but squat and deads are improving quite quickly so hopefully in a few months they will be proportional.

for the a and b workout should i do 3 days a week or 4 (or is it a preference thing)? and does the 5 sets include warm up sets or are they seperate

cheers for the help


sucks about the knee dude, im paranoid bout mine!

the 5x5 can be ramped (add weight each set - 100/105/110/115/120lbs) or straight. up to you
warm up sets are seperate - eg working set 100lbs, warmups are eg 40lbs(bar)/60lbs/80lbs THEN 5x5