T Nation

5x5 help please!


i would like to know how to use the 5x5 stuff in a 4 days a week routine...if you have any suggestions please let me know....

thanks in advance


Mon :chest (and abs)
Tues :back
Thurs: legs (quads, hammies & calves)
Fri :arms/shoulders


it is all personal preference and what injuries etc you have to work around. there are many choices, a couple of my favorites are:



vertical push/pull day
quad dominant day
horizontal push/pull day
hip dominant day

read poliquins training with maximal weights in issue #1, for more details on the program.


I don't like having a day devoted to arms, as I feel that doing the compound lifts (especially when using 5x5) is much better than an entire day for arms. So I would actually recommend the following:

Day 1: Quads, calves, abs
Day 2: Chest, triceps (use dips or close-grip bench), shoulders (presses only)
Day 4: Hamstrings, calves, abs
Day 5: Back, biceps (use supinated chins), abs

Otherwise, I would do whole-body type workouts such as the following:

Day 1: Squats, Incline Bench, Rows
Day 3: Deadlifts, Chins, Hammer curls
Day 5: Front Squats, Bench, Overhead press or military press
Day 6 or 7: Power cleans or snatches, Romanian deadlifts, calves.

Abs could be done whenever you wanted. The above can always be changed to your liking and is only an example.

Another possibility is using Power Circuits as CT wrote in an article that is currently on dragondoor.




I agree with nate-dog, keeping the extensors and flexors on separate days is always the way to go for my money>>goodluck


I'm currently doing

Day 1: Chest and Biceps
Day 2: Quads and Calves
Day 3: Back and Triceps
Day 4: Hamstrings and Shoulders

However, the ideal plan is to take ff every 5th day and start the cycle over.


I gotta agree with nate here. Although I am currently designating a day to arm work, I did notice that when I stuck to compound movements such as chin-ups.......my arms grew like crazy!


I Gotta agree with p-dog here. chest and bi's in the same day is too much for the biceps, same for chest and tri's.imo they're both small muscle groups, and get enough get enough work indirectly from chest and back day. and by having a couple of days off in between i.e. leg day and off days then hitting the arms all in one day, give plenty of time for recovery and you stick with the push/pull. i used to train that way with hardly any gains to arms (i feel it overtrains) and have since added an inch to my arms in just 9 weeks by switching. everybody is different though.


how?s this routine guys?

bench or incline press 5x5
weighted dips 5x5
push press 5x5

squats 5x5
front squat 5x5
calf press 3x30

barbell row 5x5
pullups 5x5
db curl 40 rep rule (2x20,3x15 or 4x12)
grip work

deadlift 5x5
stiff leg deadlift 4x10 or 5x8
seated calf raise 3x30

any suggestios let me know..
thanks in advance



At 5 reps per set the weight you're handling is 90% of your 1 rep max.

The recommendations for 90% of 1 rep max is 20-40 reps total per muscle group - closer to 20 if you do 4 exercises or more, closer to 40 if you do only 2 exercises.

These recommendations are for optimal maximal strength gains and hypertrophy. Less than that and you're not stimulating the muscle enough. More than that and you're putting too much undue pressure on your CNS and delaying full recovery - without any additional strength gains.

Then again, it's a theory, and there seems to be a bounty of them in this day and age, so do as you understand.


I'm w/ Nate... too much to do tri's and bi's on the same day... although I do switch it up quite a bit between back and bis and chest and tris to back and tris or chest and bis or mix arms in w/ other body parts for a twist... Not only is it good for my muscles but it keeps new and exciting... It good to shake thangs up a bit :wink: You'll love 5x5... You'll see good results and will see you muscle harden up in no time. Just remember to lift heavy as possible for five complete reps and concentrate on your grip and muscles being worked. Cheers!


solo's girl
"too much to do tri's and bi's on the same day"
could you elaborate on this? tia


sorry to kinda vear off, but diesel said he handles 90% for 5. thats insane, i can only get 80% for 5.
is it normal to handle such a high relative percentage for that many reps? good post, have similar inquirys