T Nation

5x5 Full Body... Sorta


#1

I've been training for a bit over year now, during which time I had okay gains in strength and size but nothing super impressive (unfortunately my body falls in the "skinny fat" category, 5'9" at about 155-160lb).

I've heard great things about the 5x5 programs out there so I thought I'd give it a shot. I like the full body routines, I got my best results while I was on a full body routine in the past. But my concern is overtraining vs under-training, specially the arms seeing as how I have noodle arms to begin with. Is it possible to do a 5x5 with special focus on the arms but without overtraining? If yes then is what I have here enough?

here is the routine I was thinking of going with.

Monday-----------
Declined Bench Press (5 x 5)
Squat (5 x 5)
Renegade Rows (5 x 5)
Dumbbell Shrugs (3 x 8-6-4 30second rest between sets)
Crunches f

Wednesday--------
Clean and Press (5 x 5)
Weighted Pull ups (5 x 5)
Barbell Curls (3 x 8-6-4 30second rest between sets)
Saxon side bend (2 x 10)

Friday-----------
Bench Press (5 x 5)
Bent over Rows (5 x 5)
Deadlift (5 x 5)
Weighted Bench Dip (3 x 8-6-4 30second rest between sets)
Turkish Getup (2 x 8)

The idea is that it would be a full body workout every time but with slightly different exercises used each time.

Should I be doing more for my arms?

Also wondering if I should add squats to the last day too incase the clean and press on Wednesday isn't enough.

Any help would be appreciated.


#2

Why don’t you simply pick a Bill Starr/Madcow, Stronglifts or Starting Strength template, and add some arm work at the end of your WOs?
Also, you have to realize that, at 160lbs, your arms are never going to be “big”, unless you’re a shredded 5’3"…Hint: EAT, EAT A LOT, EAT A LOT OF PROTEINS.


#3

Agree with the above. Get the book Practical Programming.

With a years training, you could still make great gains with the basic novice program. Eat lots and get all your big lifts up and your arms will grow. The ‘magic’ of 5x5, is more than just the solid set/rep scheme, its to do with how the program is structured and how progression is built into it. The Madcow site does do a great job of explaining all of this for free.

Im not gonna say direct arm work isnt needed for big arms, but in the early stages of training, the priority is in getting your squat, bench, deadlift and press, up.
In my opinion.

This is the advice i wish i had gotten, when i was in your position.


#4

I don’t know why you folks say that, from all the “critique my program” threads, this is pretty much the most reasonable I’ve seen.


#5

[quote]daraz wrote:
I don’t know why you folks say that, from all the “critique my program” threads, this is pretty much the most reasonable I’ve seen.[/quote]

I can agree with that, but that doesn’t make it better than stronglifts or starting strength, he should be squatting first thing every session.


#6

I was actually basing it loosely on Strong lifts, I just wasn’t sure if doing squats 3 times a week was a great idea for someone who doesn’t have a decent amount of muscle mass.

I admit that the order of the exercises seems a little wonky but that’s easy enough to rearrange.


#7

I could take it back a little and do

Squat 5x5
Dcld Bench 5x5
Ren Row 5x5
Shrugs 3x8
Abs

Hack Squat 4x5
Overhead Press 5x5
Weighted Pull ups 5x5
Deadlift 1x5
Weighted Bench dips 3x8

Squat 5x5
Bench 5x5
Bent Rows 5x5
Barbell Curls 3x8
Abs

Would that be a bit better?
I just know from past experience that my body responds best when there’s variation.


#8

[quote]MrRoboto wrote:
I could take it back a little and do

Squat 5x5
Dcld Bench 5x5
Ren Row 5x5
Shrugs 3x8
Abs

Hack Squat 4x5
Overhead Press 5x5
Weighted Pull ups 5x5
Deadlift 1x5
Weighted Bench dips 3x8

Squat 5x5
Bench 5x5
Bent Rows 5x5
Barbell Curls 3x8
Abs

Would that be a bit better?
I just know from past experience that my body responds best when there’s variation. [/quote]

The key is doing what is best for YOU. Especially, if you have been working out for a while and know how your body will respond.

As far as squats 3x’s a wk with stronglifts, the first 4 weeks is not that bad. Now, during the intense phase, you will only squat 2x’s a week. And it is a great taper. Your first program was sound. Stronglifts 5x5 is flexible and it is fun to add little tweaks, but I can’t really give you any advice on direct arm work cause I don’t curl.


#9

Hey dude,

These look like routines I used in the past. They combine a press/deadlift/squat/pull. Love them! I would make a few modifications though (see below).

Monday-----------
Declined Bench Press (5 x 5)
Squat (5 x 5)
Bent over Rows (5 x 5)
Dumbbell Shrugs (3 x 8-6-4 30second rest between sets)
Crunches f

Wednesday--------
Clean and Press (5 x 5)
Weighted Pull ups (5 x 5)
Barbell Curls (3 x 8-6-4 30second rest between sets)
Side Bends or Full contact twists (2 x 10)

Friday-----------
Bench Press (5 x 5)
Deadlift (5 x 5)
Renegade Rows or One-arm Rows (5 x 5)
Weighted Bench Dip (3 x 8-6-4 30second rest between sets)
Turkish Getup (2 x 8)


#10

Im a little late to the party, But looking at your program, its generally good (If bench heavy…)

Might I suggest .-

Day One

Deadlift - 5 x 5
Bent Rows - 5 x 5
Weighted Pull Ups - 5 x 5

Day Two
Back Squat - 5 x 5
Military Press - 5 x 5
Weighted Chin Ups - 5 x 5

Day Three
Bench Press - 5 x 5
Weighted Dips - 5 x 5
Close Grip Floor Press - 5 x 5

Really is simple and heavy, also all the major muscle’s are worked, add in plyometrics and core work where you feel appropriate, one quick thing on core work, It should contain, Hand walk outs, Swiss ball rollouts, Side bends, Wheel rollouts, back extensions and Dragon flags. Just my thoughts on the matter.

MJ-Cartwright
Personal Trainer and Strength Coach
Pontypridd South Wales


#11

[quote]VikingsAD28 wrote:
daraz wrote:
I don’t know why you folks say that, from all the “critique my program” threads, this is pretty much the most reasonable I’ve seen.

I can agree with that, but that doesn’t make it better than stronglifts or starting strength, he should be squatting first thing every session.[/quote]

What tells you it isn’t? Because it isn’t published on some website with a sweet name? What he’s doing is fine, and telling him to change everything is gonna fuck him up more than help him.