T Nation

5x5ing it

Just finished up anti-bodybuilding hypertrophy by Chad Waterbury, and I liked it. It was pretty cool. Now I’d like to go to a 5x5 based strength type routine, and I’m kind of deciding between these 2. If you guys could offer suggestions or anything, or if you’ve had experienced with Meija’s 5x5 (the first one posted) let me know. Thanks.

Oh, and if they’re both awful, let me know that too.

Meija’s 5x5:
day 1 - superset

flat bench 5x5
barbell rows 5x5

weighted dips 5x5
chinups 5x5

Bicep Curls 3 x 8
Tricep Pressdown 3 x 8

day 2 - straight sets

squats 5x5
deadlifts 5x5
calf raises 5x5
shrugs 5x5

day 3 - supersets

barbell shoulder press 5x5
pullups 5x5

tricep pressdowns 5x5
preacher bench reverse curls 5x5

Other 5x5:

Squat 5x5
Flat Bench 5x5
Wide-Grip Chin’s 5x5
Calve Raises


Deadlift 5x5
Incline Barbell Press 5x5
Barbell Rows 5x5
BB Curls 5x5
Calve Raises


Front-Squat 5x5
Weighted Dip’s 5x5
Power-Clean 5x5
Close-Grip Bench
Calve Raises

I also noted the second 5x5 routine has no shoulder work. If I put it in, I’d do 5x5 military presses, but which day would you guys reccomend I put them in (if I choose to do this routine)? Perhaps day 1, b/c it is so low volume?


The first one has too many working sets per workout and too much weekly arm workout.

On that fact alone, I like the second one better, if these are your only two options.

Damn, Thunder, you beat me to it! Between the two, I’d choose the second as well. Instead of adding military presses, I would change the Friday Power cleans to a Hang Clean & Press, or just add the push press to the Power clean.


Do both and alternate weekly.

Both have a lot of sets. Here’s one I used with great productivity that you might want to try:

day 1

A1) Rack Pulls 5x5
A2) Rows 5x5
B1) Plate Raises 3x10 (12RM load)
B2) Cuban Press 3x10 (12RM)

Day 2

A1) Windmills 5x5
A2) Standing Miltary DB Press 5x5
B) Waiter Bows 3x20

Day 3

A1) Lunges (squats could be used, but hey…) 5x5
A2) Chins 5x5
B) Swings 3x16 (add 2 reps to this to each workout, so 16, 18, 20… etc)

It’s a really simple and quite low volume program that doesn’t take much time at all.


You supersetted rack pulls and rows? How on earth did you do that without passing out?

Hey how did the anti-bodybuilding go for you? You have any specifics on increases in lifts or anything?

I agree with others, the first choice looks to be a bit heavy in volume. Second one is slightly better in that regard.

Perhaps if in the first one I got rid of some of the direct arm work in day one?

Or I could do the second, but working a muscle 3x per week is something not many people do. Don’t know if it’s a bad idea or not, just mentioning.


Apparently for me Rack Pulls are not too stressful on my upper back. Either that or I need to drop the weight and work on scapular retraction/depression. I never noticed it to really be affecting performance so much. I know I keep my shoulders way back on rows, so I assume those are done in good form.



If you haven’t already, take a look at what Joel Marion put together for 5x5

Thanks for posting that link, Kong. I believe both you and Thunder have use those recommendations with good success. I do believe it is the most effective way to set up your training.


Da Joel! Hey bro. Yes, I have had GREAT results with this scheme, and would highly recommend it.