T Nation

My Routine


Day 1
1a: Squats 5x5
1b: Chinups 5x5
2a: DB Bench 5x5
2b: Cleans 5x5
3a: Hammer Curls 4x6
3b: Calf Press 4x12

Day 2
1a: Deadlift 5x5
1b: Dips 5x10
2a: Bent over rows 5x5
2b: Push Press 5x5
3a: Seated Calf Press 4x12
3b: Tricep Press 4x6

I've been doing this for about four weeks with great results. Using 5x5, I find my strength is skyrocketing, and the size is coming along nicely.
I lift 3-5 days a week, alternating workouts. I have the lifts grouped (a) and (b), I am using rest between lifts and sets, back to back supersets.
Although gains have been coming steadily, I forsee hitting the wall soon. 5x5 is a fairly new concept to me and I see two drawbacks. First, I don't feel as much as a pump or burn, and I am losing endurance. Second, I don't know if I am shortchanging myself by focusing only on these lifts.
I am wondering if anybody is using a similar routine and how it is treating them. Also, I'm looking for any critiques, good or bad. And last, any suggestions for a follow-up/change-up program to start in two or three weeks.
Thank you in advance, and once again,
my fellow T-Nation dwellers, you guys really are a help and inspiration.


i'm using a similar program at the moment. instead of squats i'm doing box squats and modified versions of the squat (zerker squats, front squats, etc.)
program looks good to me!


5x5 is a great way to train, but most people can't progress linearly for more than 5-6 weeks. Now, when your gains stop, there's a bunch of things you can do:

a) Lower the weights to about 80%-85% of the weight you reached, and work back up. You should be able to go past your old PR after 3-4 weeks and move forward.

b) Instead of doing 5 sets with same weight, continue by working up to one max set of 5 reps. In the first week of this, use the weight you've been using with 5x5s. Of course, it will be light, but that'll serve as a back off week. Increase from there, hopefully hitting a few new 5RM PRs in 2-3 weeks. This approach is basically accumulation /intensification.

As for conditioning, you can still stick to 5x5 but do this:

c) 5x5 using 60-65% of 1RM (which is about 80-85% of regular 5x5 weight for me) and 45-60 second rest between sets.

Your routine looks well rounded and until you try some basic changes in volume and/or intensity, like the ones I outilned, I don't think you have to do anything different. Well, maybe you can change some exercises with similar ones.

Hope this helps.


Holy shit!

That's way too many work sets. How long does your workout take, 2 hrs?

This was my chest workout today, and my chest is fried now.

Bench press. 5reps x 3sets
Incline DB. 8x2
Cable Xs. 10x2
Smith Calves. 8x3
Laterals. 12x2

Done. 12 sets all up. 9 sets on one body part. I think that's heaps. I don't know how many you do. A crap of a lot more than that.

If you're really lowering the weight slowly and under control, maybe pausing for a second or 2 at the bottom and then exploding out, for every single rep.

If you're lifting like that, and you still need to work out for so many sets to properly fatigue the muscle, then good on you I guess.

Your program looks like something out of 'flex' but with better choice of exercises.


His workout looks like it's something out of Flex? A full body workout with 6 exercises done as a 5x5 is not excessive at all. 5 times a week might be, but every other day he'd be fine doing this.

My suggestion, though the others are great--keep a 5x5 day but switch up your exercise selection (similar movements though) and have another day of some higher rep stuff, say in the 12-15 rep range to get some endurance back. Losing muscular endurance sucks, as I had done that after a months of staying within a 3-6 reps per set range.