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5x5 For Beginner: Bad Idea?

Hey all.
I read alot about 5x5 programs for the major compound lifts and was wondering if they are appropriate for a beginner lifter if done after a high rep warm up set and, of course, proper form.

My current routine involves 2-3 sets/12 reps in full body circuit about 2 days a week. Should i stick to this style for the first few weeks of my training or is it safe to start utilizing a 5x5 from the start?
Thanks

Not a bad idea at all! 5x5 is a great rep/set scheme for everyone, period. Google bill starr 5x5 or do searches on this site for good examples of how to set up a routine.

A 5x5 program is fine for beginners, I expect you will actually have very good gains with a 5x5 compared to the high rep scheme you have been doing.

You want to go heavy but not so heavy that you are going to failure on your sets except perhaps the last set of the exercise. You should feel like you have 1 or 2 reps left in you in sets 1-4.

5x5 are know for developing great size and strength in beginners, but you have to make sure your nutrition is in order also, otherwise you can expect little to no gains.

Good luck and feel free to list your nutritional plan as well.

Josh

Hey, not to hi-jack your thread but I had a question about the 5x5 I thought I could just add in here…

How exactly do you to the 5x5? Is there an article about a good layout here? (I did do a search but didn’t come up with anything). I’ve added 5x5 into my program over the a last few weeks but not sure if I’m doing it “right”.

This is what I do, in order:

Bench press
Squat
Deadlift
Upright row
High pull
Then at the very end, alternate chinups and pullups (weight assisted).

So, my specific question is: do you go from one exercise to next then repeat the whole group…or do one exercise at a time for 5 sets, then move on to the next? What kind of rests do you do in between sets?

[quote]Jade1 wrote:
Hey, not to hi-jack your thread but I had a question about the 5x5 I thought I could just add in here…

How exactly do you to the 5x5? Is there an article about a good layout here? (I did do a search but didn’t come up with anything). I’ve added 5x5 into my program over the a last few weeks but not sure if I’m doing it “right”.

This is what I do, in order:

Bench press
Squat
Deadlift
Upright row
High pull
Then at the very end, alternate chinups and pullups (weight assisted).

So, my specific question is: do you go from one exercise to next then repeat the whole group…or do one exercise at a time for 5 sets, then move on to the next? What kind of rests do you do in between sets?[/quote]

5 x 5 just describes the fact that you are doing 5 sets of 5 reps and is independednt of which exercise is being done.

However just by looking at your program that you listed, and I am assuming you are doing it all in each session, that your doing too much for one session.

If you want ideas on programs go to the First thread of this forum and read it. Also search 5x5.

I think it depends on the level of beginner. If you have good control over the movements you’ve been doing, you should be fine. But, if you’re still in the stages where when you use dumbbells, they’re all over the place and you don’t have good control, you might want to keep using lighter weights for a little while.

Also, as was said before, keep a rep or two in the hole at the end of each set.

[quote]jbodzin wrote:
A 5x5 program is fine for beginners, I expect you will actually have very good gains with a 5x5 compared to the high rep scheme you have been doing.

You want to go heavy but not so heavy that you are going to failure on your sets except perhaps the last set of the exercise. You should feel like you have 1 or 2 reps left in you in sets 1-4.

5x5 are know for developing great size and strength in beginners, but you have to make sure your nutrition is in order also, otherwise you can expect little to no gains.

Good luck and feel free to list your nutritional plan as well.

Josh[/quote]

Nice, thanks for the feedback. I plan on geting “Starting Strength” to get a further grasp on all this since i am, ultimately, just starting to work on my strength and "Mag Mobility’ to address that aspect. With that being said, i want a simple, easy to work with program of compound lifts to increase overall strength and size while i work on my mobilty and “core” strength over the next 4-6weeks. From what i know of my body, i have overdeveloped/forward rounded deltoids, weak core, and overly tight hamstrings. So, it seems like a good program of compound lifts to addrress this would be:

-Squat 5x4(surprise!)
-Stiff Legges deads 5x5 (to hopefully really activate the Glutes and stretch the hams)
-rows 5x5
-highpulls (more for posture so prolly higher reps)
-general core work

for intensity, i was thinking M med W heavy f light. hoiw does this all sound?

As for diet, i have a lot of changes to make but i have a strong grasp on the basic ideas involved. Aiming for 5-8 smaller meals a day with protein at each one. lots of veggies etc…and a lot less beer :slight_smile:

5x5 is the program I used, albeit modified, for four weeks to start my serious lifting career. I made huge gains. I could do 10 BW dips at 199-201 lbs…now I can do 17 at 205+. I could do 35 lbs for one-handed dumbell millitaries. After, I can do 50+ lbs for reps. I can now row 70 lbs in one hand for an easy set of 12-15 reps whereas before I would be toast after 5-6. The point is, it works so do it.

[quote]t3h_Squirr3l wrote:
5x5 is the program I used, albeit modified, for four weeks to start my serious lifting career. I made huge gains. I could do 10 BW dips at 199-201 lbs…now I can do 17 at 205+. I could do 35 lbs for one-handed dumbell millitaries. After, I can do 50+ lbs for reps. I can now row 70 lbs in one hand for an easy set of 12-15 reps whereas before I would be toast after 5-6. The point is, it works so do it.[/quote]

Wow, sounds good. Let me ask, when you started the program did you ramp the weights up or just stay at the same weight for all five sets? I have doing a lot of research on the Starr 5x5 and it seems a ramping method is probably better for to start with.

As was mentioned earlier, google Starr/Pendlay 5X5 program. There is one out there specifically for beginners and for intermediates. They even supply an excel spreadsheet where you punch in your beginning numbers and it dictates your next several weeks of workouts, sets/reps and weights.

To answer the question about how do you manage the weight, there are days where you will do the same weight for 5X5 and days where you will ramp weight for 5X5. Try it out, you will see a lot of success if you stick with it. If you have trouble finding the workout pm me and I’ll try to locate the site again, or at least send you a copy of the workout spreadsheet.

[quote]roofus_5 wrote:
As was mentioned earlier, google Starr/Pendlay 5X5 program. There is one out there specifically for beginners and for intermediates. They even supply an excel spreadsheet where you punch in your beginning numbers and it dictates your next several weeks of workouts, sets/reps and weights.

To answer the question about how do you manage the weight, there are days where you will do the same weight for 5X5 and days where you will ramp weight for 5X5. Try it out, you will see a lot of success if you stick with it. If you have trouble finding the workout pm me and I’ll try to locate the site again, or at least send you a copy of the workout spreadsheet.[/quote]

Thanks for input. I got the 5x5 you were mentioning and printed it out but i am starting to think the 3 day a week program as outlined, although proven and will work great, may even be a bit muxh for what i am after (general fitness and strength gains). I think a 2day a week full body/5x5 routine might be sufficent for me. Maybe:
Squat
SLDL
Push ups
Rows
core stuff and then call it a day.

Good luck!

[quote]cskolnick wrote:
roofus_5 wrote:
As was mentioned earlier, google Starr/Pendlay 5X5 program. There is one out there specifically for beginners and for intermediates. They even supply an excel spreadsheet where you punch in your beginning numbers and it dictates your next several weeks of workouts, sets/reps and weights.

To answer the question about how do you manage the weight, there are days where you will do the same weight for 5X5 and days where you will ramp weight for 5X5. Try it out, you will see a lot of success if you stick with it. If you have trouble finding the workout pm me and I’ll try to locate the site again, or at least send you a copy of the workout spreadsheet.

Thanks for input. I got the 5x5 you were mentioning and printed it out but i am starting to think the 3 day a week program as outlined, although proven and will work great, may even be a bit muxh for what i am after (general fitness and strength gains). I think a 2day a week full body/5x5 routine might be sufficent for me. Maybe:
Squat
SLDL
Push ups
Rows
core stuff and then call it a day.

[/quote]

Stick to the program and follow it as planned. As Pendlay said, don’t fuck with the program

I had a problem with 5x5. I started developing imbalances. My shoulders were getting overworked and my arms were lagging. I had to stop doing it and add some isolation movements in for the chest and arms to help get everything caught up.

I picked up some great tips from some of the experienced guys around here, and they said to basicly use those compounds as your base and add in any isolation work necessary to help even everything out.

CT has a good program called HSS-100 for chest and I’ve been using that along with a couple training tips from Go heavy fool to help my arms grow and its all working itself back out. I do like the 5x5 for basic strength though. My numbers have went up, but my proportions suffered because of the exercise selection.

ColNick: I added weight on each set until I couldn’t do anymore reps. I did however many I could and the following week, I would start off with that same weight I could only get 3-4 at and repeat the process.

[quote]Force 10 wrote:
I had a problem with 5x5. I started developing imbalances. My shoulders were getting overworked and my arms were lagging. I had to stop doing it and add some isolation movements in for the chest and arms to help get everything caught up.

I picked up some great tips from some of the experienced guys around here, and they said to basicly use those compounds as your base and add in any isolation work necessary to help even everything out.

Did you do it this way?:

squat
bench
row

deads
OHP
chins

You only had to tweak it this way to improve your imbalances

squat
ohp
rows

bench
deads
chins
CT has a good program called HSS-100 for chest and I’ve been using that along with a couple training tips from Go heavy fool to help my arms grow and its all working itself back out. I do like the 5x5 for basic strength though. My numbers have went up, but my proportions suffered because of the exercise selection.[/quote]

[quote]cskolnick wrote:
Hey all.
I read alot about 5x5 programs for the major compound lifts and was wondering if they are appropriate for a beginner lifter if done after a high rep warm up set and, of course, proper form.

My current routine involves 2-3 sets/12 reps in full body circuit about 2 days a week. Should i stick to this style for the first few weeks of my training or is it safe to start utilizing a 5x5 from the start?
Thanks[/quote]

A warm up set? Just 1?

[quote]cskolnick wrote:
Hey all.
I read alot about 5x5 programs for the major compound lifts and was wondering if they are appropriate for a beginner lifter if done after a high rep warm up set and, of course, proper form.

My current routine involves 2-3 sets/12 reps in full body circuit about 2 days a week. Should i stick to this style for the first few weeks of my training or is it safe to start utilizing a 5x5 from the start?
Thanks[/quote]

The 5x5 is a simple program that can yield great results in size and strength. For a beginner, start with a linear version (not periodized) of the program.

Here is a link:

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

It’s a table of contents that has information on a few programs, training theory, diet information, and exercise description. Click on the “intermediate 5x5” link to give you a description of the program.

DISCLAIMER: The 5x5 is simple but it is based around all compound movements and builds to heavy weights fairly fast. If any of the movements on the program page are unfamiliar then be careful. Also, it is recommended to start with a modest weight on the first week and keep building on that (remember it’s linear and you don’t want to overtrain)

Another 5x5 routine:

Optimized Volume Training

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459276

[quote]cskolnick wrote:
Hey all.
I read alot about 5x5 programs for the major compound lifts and was wondering if they are appropriate for a beginner lifter if done after a high rep warm up set and, of course, proper form.

My current routine involves 2-3 sets/12 reps in full body circuit about 2 days a week. Should i stick to this style for the first few weeks of my training or is it safe to start utilizing a 5x5 from the start?
Thanks[/quote]

I started lifting about 3 months ago using my own 5x5 plan. I almost never warm up, and my form ranges from decent to “I can hear the vertebre snapping”. Well all my lifts are way way up, and I feel great. Moral of the story is… Just lift some fucking heavy ass weights.