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Increasing Weights on 5x5


Hello, I have a question about the 5x5 program. I was wondering when you are supposed to increase the weight and by how much (5 pounds?). I bench twice a week and I was wondering if I should increase after every workout session or after every week.



I am incorporating a type of 5x5 into my program now and I use the same weight for all 5 sets and when I can get 5 reps on every set by myself 100% is when i increase.

I would make your second bench a light speed day if I was you just my opinion.


As Marauder once said, he has his working sets on the same weight all 5 sets, but usually his '5x5' is actually usually a 2x5, 1x4, 1x3, 1x2 or 3x5, 1x4, 1x3 etc. He picks a weight that he doesn't get all the reps in all of the sets. When he can do 5x5 or more he moves up weight!

If you increase 5lb, 5lb really isn't that much until you are hitting really big numbers, and so you you should have a good progression with that.


Add weight as soon as you hit 5X5,if you bench twice a week and you hit your 5X5 mark then on your next chest day go 6X5 and add 5 pounds on your next chest day.Other wise you might get to heavy too fast and hit a wall.


I don't like the idea of speed days. Not until he has something to make faster. Especially if he is just trying to put on size. You can speed/strength and strength/hypertrophy, but its incredibly hard, if not impossible, to speed/hypertrophy let alone speed/strength/hypertrophy.


Thank you for the responses!


Dan John wrote about several variations of arranging the 5x5 plan:

And Reg Park had his own method:

The first two sets are increased by even amounts and the last three are with the same weight. When you get those last 3x5, increase all sets 5-10 pounds.

If you're brand new to lifting, you can probably get away with increasing weight each session (as per Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength). If you're not a total beginner, you'll be better off choosing one of the above methods and sticking with it for at least 6-8 weeks.


This is what I was doing just recently, but its Starr's 5x5 program. There is a link for an excel spreadsheet download with calculated values based on your 1RM or 5RM for each lift used. Makes this alot simpler.



Sweet, I'm definitely bookmarking this. How many additional isolation exercises would you add to these compound exercises per day?


Two-three set of chins and dips (weighted if necessary) on one day, abs and calf on another. That's all you'll need on such a program.