What would you guys recommend doing for a 5x5 routine. I have looked all over the place….but I’m still not sure what would be the best. Should I do 5x5 for all muscle groups, or just stick to the primary lifts and throw another set combo in there. I’m 5’11’ about 190 right now….i’m shooting for about 200 within the next year or so. I have put on about 10 lbs of solid muscle this past year, but I just looking to throw in a new routine right now. I was thinking of GVT but I did that about 6 months ago and I don’t think the boby needs that right now. Any advise would help. thanks

I’m using the 5x5 method right now. I used Ian King’s idea of dividing the body using horizontal pushing/pulling, vertical pushing/pulling, etc to decide how to design my program. Since I had an imbalance between my rowing (horizontal pulling) and benching (horizontal pushing) and also an imbalance between hip- and quad-dominant muscle groups, I set up my 5x5 as follows. Monday: Deadlifts, Seated Rows, Close-grip benches. Wednesday: Weighted chins, Overhead press, Shrugs, Calves. Friday: Squats, Bench presses, dips/curls.

It’s best to use the basic exercises for the 5x5 split. Because it is time consuming, you will only be able to do 3-4 exercises per workout. And the only way I can do four exercises is if I superset the last two together in the workout. All five sets are work sets. I do a variety of low-rep warm-up sets prior to the worksets. You will also need 3-5 minutes rest between sets, especially when you start doing heavy weights. I’ve posted my other days on the threads “Dre Day” and “My Super Squats Summary” so check them out for more info. I hope that helps.

I highly recommend the 5x5 program if you are interested in mass and strength gains. I have been strength training, bodybuilding and powerlifting for over twenty years now and this is one of my favorite routines and one I have always made good gains on.

My current 5x5 workout is as follows: Monday: deadlift, weighted parallel-grip rope chins, Snatch-grip BB shrug, lower abs. Wednesday: bench press, close-grip decline bench press, incline db rows+incline db shrug (scapular retraction), bb curls, upper abs. Friday: seated overhead BB press, squats, calves, obliques. I do the 5x5 on everything except the calves and abs. If you are pressed for time or if you find that this may be too much of a workload (I would doubt that) then do the 5x5 on the “Big 3”- squat, deadlift and bench press and do 3x5 on the rest of the movements. This would give you good results also. Give it a try but be sure to eat for mass and strength and you won’t be disappointed.

thanks guys. would you recommend i keep the weight constant or add a little every set…
i was planning on adding every workout, but i was not too sure what seemed to work best. I have seen routine with both…

I’ve been researching a lot about the 5x5 method myself and am looking forward to trying it when my diet phase is over. I’m currently pounding out the details of my split and exercise choices. I plan on revolving around the big 3 lifts and then supplementing them with others. The thing I remember most from the interview with Pavel is that 5x5 itself is great for strength but may not be enough volume for hypertrophy. His line was something like “if you get a pump using heavy weights then you will grow”. I’ve attempted 5x5 in the past and enjoyed it however I did not get that great of a pump, so I’m deciding whether or not to do a 10x5 of the big lifts, or multiple 5x5 of different exercises for the major bodyparts. So I’d do either a 10x5 on bench, or 5x5 bench and 5x5 incline dumbell press.

Also when I tried it I did the superset method as Poliquin advised and it seemed to work great. Instead of doing one set and waiting 4-5 mins(I hate waiting that long) you basically wait 2 mins then do the opposing exercise. Wait 2 more mins and go back to the first exercise. You’ve essentially got 5 mins rest between exercises and Poliquin claims that working opposing muscle groups in a superset fashion actually helps recovery. I did it with bench press and barbell rows and really liked the routine. I decided against doing it while dieting though as I want to maximize my efforts with the extra calories in a growth phase.

Try keeping the weight constant for all 5 sets and only increase the weight the next workout once you get all 5 reps for all five sets. For example, when you squat and you get all 5x5 then bump up the weight 5-10 pounds for your next workout. On some exercises (e.g. curls) a 5 pound jump is rather big. This is where microloading comes into play. Bump up your weights by a couple of pounds. You will need smaller weights, but there are a few places on the web to buy them. I have been doing this for years, even before Poliquin wrote about microloading. You could use the other option you mention and increase weight each set… a step-loading type of program, but try the more traditional way for twelve week cycle and then try the other way for another twelve week cycle and see which one you like better and get better results from. I would really work hard on the “Big 3”, you will be extremely pleased with the results you get from putting effort into these exercises.

You can use a 5 x 5 protocol for your hypertrophy
phase. But you have to train like a bodybuilder not
a power lifter. Translation, your reps should last
about 5 seconds ( like bench press 3 seconds down
1 second at the bottom and 1 second up) plus try taking
exactly 1 minute rest between sets. You should get a
great pump ! And who knows, you might even grow!

I use this method for just about everything . And
have been doing so for a month now. I initally had to
suck it up and drop all my weights by about 20%, but
now I am at or above where I started . Although I’ve
only gained a pound on this program, I’m starting to
see veins poping up where they never were before!
Yes, in my own “humble” opinion, I appear to be getting
harder every time I look in the mirror. And for a 39
year natural trainer who has been working out for
about a 100 years, I’ m quiet pleased to finally be
seeing some gains after eons of stagnation!

Do not superset chins with benches or hamstring exercises with squats. Thank you.

JoeyZ…just curious regarding your edition of 5x5. Do you use the same weight every set or do you drop the weight on subsequent sets? I guess a parallel question would be, do you take each set to failure or do you follow the same guidelines as 5x5 for strength where you stick with the same weight for all five sets? I hope that’s not too confusing. Just the fact that you’re only taking 60 seconds rest–which I agree with for purposes of hypertrophy–would not allow for complete recovery. I was actually thinking of using something similar somewhere down the line with 5x5–longer TUT, less rest between sets. Another method I’ve found to be particularly helpful in achieving a pump with lower reps (4-8) is to stretch and flex (pose) between sets…the blood just gorges, baby, and the synergy is phenomenal.

In response to Timbo: I am trying to avoid hitting
failure as much as possible on my current program!
As far as using the same weight for all 5 sets-
“definitly!” The reason I adopted this approach is
that for years I took everything to failure, while
using a slightly higher rep scheme and more exercises
per body part. Well, I hadn’t gone up in any of my
weights since turn of the century, and was burnt out!
And now for a slight contradiction: while always shooting
for 5 X 5 on all my focus lifts, I often use a slight
deviation for a secondary lift on the same body part.
Like dumbbell press 65’s for 5 X 5 then 1 arm side laterals
for 3 X 6. Plus when I increase to a new weight,like 180
to 185 on my bent over rows, I “may” only do 3 or 4 sets of 5
reps. And when I am able to get the same weight for 6 sets
of 5 reps, which has been happening a lot lately, I will move
up to 190. But for the most part,my training log reads 5 X 5!
Once I can figure out where to get some micro plates, I will
even hold to a truer 5 X 5 protocal. Since all the weights
move up in 5-lb inc’s, I have to do what I can to keep moving
up in sets, reps, or weight all the time while maintaining a
good pump and lifting as strict, heavy, and injury free as
possible! (Thanks for your tip on stretching. I will use it!)

I think with the 5 X 5 as in any other method, you should
make the program fit you, not you fit it!Don’t be too
dogmatic.I was reading on another post where someone said
“if I can get 225 for 12 reps,how can I benifit from
doing only 6-8 reps”(or somthing close to that)? Well,
for quite some time I thought like that,and I was stuck
at 225 for over 2 years …Yikes! Sometimes I would make
13 reps and other times only 10.With the higher volume
and avoidance of failure, you won’t be using "all the
balls in your bag."So now you will be able to play again much
sooner!(but not like Pavel though.He may be a genius,but
I’m just a mere mortal). Not only will you be getting in more
volume that day,you’ll be training that lift again much sooner.
Translation:in the long run more time under tension…
more tonnage lifted… and less strain on your nervous system
so 225 will get a chance to become 275! I believe this is how
the old-timers trained before drugs took over bodybuilding.