5x5 With Dumbells?

Ok, so I’ve done two 9 week cycles of the dual factor 5x5 (starr’s original routine, minus the olympic lifts)

it contained these exercises:

  • BB benchpress
  • Olympic Squats
  • BB Rows, pendlay rows
  • standing BB military press
  • deadlifts
  • chinups

So the deadlifts, squats, and chins aren’t subsitutable. And I won’t mess with squats because they are the core of the program, however:

I was thinking of changing

BB rows → DB rows
BB bench → DB bench
BB military → DB military

After that I’d just follow the program normally.

Do you think this would be a decent program?

[quote]TKL.ca wrote:
Do you think this would be a decent program?[/quote]

Absolutely. The unilateral work is probably a good idea anyway.


One thing that some coaches (Joe DeFranco is one) like to do is to follow up a heavy barbell set with higher-rep, lower-intensity unilateral work. For example, 3x3 barbell bench (after warmup) and then 3x8 dumbell bench. But then of course you’d kind of be getting away from the program a little bit. I know a lot of top powerlifters mix in dumbell work every few weeks, you’re not going to tax your maximal strength as much, but it might help fix imbalances and build up the stabilizers a little bit. If you haven’t done a whole lot of heavy dumbell work I wouldn’t be surprised to see you get some good gains from doing the switches you proposed for a few weeks. Try it and post on how it works?

i did that for 2 months,you should be pleased with the results

Sounds good, after I wrap up this last cycle I’ll begin using dumbells for the proposed exercises. I’ll update for sure once I’m done.

  • tkl