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Beginner's 5x5 Program Critique


I worked out pretty consistently for 3 years and stopped about a year ago. Since then I've just been doing sporadic workouts, nothing with any consistency. I want to get back on track with a basic beginner style routine, since that's basically what I am now, and what better way than a 5x5 program? I put this together and would like to hear some feedback. The 5x5's are just 5x5 with the same weight. 3 workouts a week, alternating A and B workouts.

Day A:
Squats 5x5
Bench press 5x5
Deadlifts 1x5
One-arm rows 2xFailure
Pullups 2xFailure

Day B:
Deadlifts 5x5
Standing overhead press 5x5
Squats 1x5
Hang cleans 3x3
Dips 2xFailure

I'll be bulking, stuffing myself basically. Any criticism/advice is welcome.


This is a solid program.

I would reduce the number of deadlift sets on Day B, 5x5 deadlifts are going to kill you especially twice per week, you will likely not be recovered enough to perform the next workout's 5x5 squats. I personally would do another 5x5 squat instead with one set of deads like Day A. Make sure you do squats before deadlifts too. Everything else looks prety darn good. Keeping it simple will really help you out. Good luck!


That looks pretty brutal to me... you're going to do deadlifts every training day? I'm sure someone more experienced than me will help you out, but personally I would at least drop the deadlifts from day A.

I do this:

-Squat 3x5
-Close-Grip Bench (elbows tucked) 3x5
-Deadlift 1x5
-accessory: Low-incline DB presses 2x8
-Standing Military Presses 3x5
-Bent-Over Rows 3x5
-Pullups 3x5
-Alt. Offset curls 2x8

The reasoning being that my tris need a lot of work, and that squatting 3 times per week just kills my low back very quickly.

Not saying you should do this specifically, and I'm more or less a noob myself, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but you might want to reconsider doing that much in your program.



Dont touch it, modify it or do anything that is not it.

Will provide the best gains of any program.

But again i say DO NOT SCREW WITH IT.

Thank you.


I share Mr.Purple point of view. For a while, I used this A-B split:

A: Military Press, Bent-over Row (or Power clean), Squat;

B: Bench press, Pull-ups, Deadlift;

5x5, the first two sets being 50% and 75% of working sets; increase loads when you get all reps on work sets (3x5). 15 mins of accessory work at the end (arms, abs, rear delts, rotator cuff, calves...).


1) I agree with Mr. Purple.

2) What's the progression supposed to be like? +2.5 percent per workout / week /... ?


Progression is standard, +5lbs each workout on each lift if possible. If I can't make the 5x5 I'll keep working with that weight until I make all 25 reps before raising the weight 5 more pounds.

Made some changes:

Day A:
Squats 5x5
Bench press 5x5
Bent over rows 3x5

Day B:
Deadlifts 3x5
Standing overhead press 5x5
Weighted pullups 5x5

What do you think?

300andabove, I was just looking for a way to avoid doing back squats every single workout. I'd like 5 days of recovery, as the workout between would hit the posterior chain hard anyway, but perhaps you're right.


Now it looks like a good starting point. As you get stronger, you may need to reduce volume, but for the moment, enjoy your coming back to lifting!


Not saying this isn't a good program but I'd start with starting strength workout first then switch to this. The difference is that you be adding 15 pounds per wk. compared to 5 per wk.



Workout A
Squat 5x5
Bench Press 5x5
Inverted Rows 3xF
Push-ups 3xF
Reverse Crunch 3x12

Workout B
Squat 5x5
Overhead Press 5x5
Deadlift 1x5
Pull-ups/Chin-ups 3xF
Prone Bridges 3x30sec

Workout A
Squat 5x5
Bench Press 5x5
Inverted Rows 3xF
Push-ups 3xF
Reverse Crunch 3x12

Will rotate every week
so it will be


this is what i am doing at the moment
on 2nd week at the moment


Listen to this guy, DO NOT MESS WITH IT.

I decided to add in power cleans during workout A after squats...couldnt finish my deadlifts the next workout.