T Nation

Bill Starr 5x5 Confusion

Hey, I’m about to begin Bill Starr’s 5x5
Linear Version for Intermediate Lifters

I understand how much to lift and I’ve figured out my 1 rep maxes and where to start and such , but I’m unsure of how to record my lifts , and where the warm ups end and the 5x5 begins :S

Meaning say my highest amount of weight for the 5x5 would be 100 for the bench. so I would go
5 x 60
5 x 70
5 x 80
5 x 90
5 x 100

but what about warm ups ? Do I consider the first two sets warm ups and do nothing before hand ? or should I do a warm up with a lighter weight beforehand?

Ramping Weights: I have capitalized on the most relevant parts regarding your question.

This is basically increasing your weight set to set like WARMING UP.If your top set of 5 is 315, you might go 135, 185, 225, 275, and then 315 all for 5 reps. There are several reasons for this, you are WARMING UP, getting a lot of practice and really groove the coordination of the lifts, and contributing to workload without raising it so high that fatigue overcomes you and you over train.

If you do 315 for all 5 sets, workload is a lot higher and doing that a couple of times a week ensures that you won’t last long on this program.

Typically jumps can be somewhere between 10-15% per set based on your top set (or 12.5% and round up or down). An easy way to figure this is to find out what 10% and 15% are for your top set and then track backwards into the other sets using the variance to round or help it make sense.


Your top set is 100lbs

10% is 10lbs and 15% is 15lbs

Your 5th set is 100x5, 4th is 90x5, 3rd is 80x5, 2nd is 70x5, and 1st is 60x5

These are the minimum jumps of 10%, the math doesn’t always look this neat but using 12.5% isn’t as intuitively easy to see for explaining this.

Make sure this makes sense and you aren’t so strong as to make the jumps ridiculous at 10-15%. But keep in mind, going 200, 205, 210, 215, and 220 is a lot closer to 220 for 5x5 and that’s too much on this kind of frequency, it will fatigue you a lot faster

(i.e. prevent you from progressing) and hurt your ability to get as much as possible with your top set.

I just wrapped up the Bill Starr 5x5 (it got me back to where I needed to be … follow it to the “t”)

Cliffords post is spot on … I don’t think anything else really needs to be said about it regarding your question … good luck … hope you get everything you can out of it, it really is a good program