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Question Regarding 5x5 Workout


I read the forums often , but this is my first post.

I have a question regarding Bill Star's 5x5 workout. I know there is another thread on this , but my question was not answered in that thread.

I want to incorporate the 5x5 for my bench press. Lets say I can bench 180lbs 5reps on my 5th set. On my first set I can bench press 180lbs a good 7 or 8 reps. Based upon the rules of the 5x5 routine , should I just go to 5 reps , then put the bar on the rack , even though I still have a couple reps left in me.Or do I go to as many as I can do??

It would be much appreciated if someone can answer this.

Thank you.


If you want to stick to a 5x5 routine, then just add more weight. try 5 pounds if that's still to light and you can get more than 5 reps on last set, keep adding 5 pounds until you can only do a fifth rep on last set. In other words next time you bench start with 185 and see how that goes and so on.


A quote from: http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/Periodized_5x5.htm


So if I where doing 5x5 bench press , what would my program look. Someone please fill in the blanks.

185 X ___

185 X ___

185 X ___

185 X ___

185 X ___

I appreciate everyones help.


Thats wrong- u need to find your 1 rep max. then it's based off a percentage of that. You ramp up to a final set of 90% or so of that 1 rep max.

example: your max is 240
you'd do: 145,160,170,180,195 each x5 ramping up the weight for each set. Every week thereafter raise the weight by 5 lbs per set or so, and every 3rd week back it off by starting with a weigh 20% lighter than you did the week before and ramp it up as usual.


Oh ok. Thank you.


5 X 5 Training
Monday: Squats, Benching, Rows
Weds: Squats, Military Presses, Deadlifts, Chins
Friday: Squats, Benching, Rows

Courtesy of bill starr bill starr, the greatest strength coach who ever lived, popularized this in the 70's with his great book, The Strongest Shall Survive, which was aimed at strength training for football. I believe he had essentually two different programs which both are 5 sets of 5.

The first, which is more suitable for beginners, is to simply do 5 sets of 5 with similar weight jumps between each set so that your last set is your top weight. When you get all 5 on the last set, bump all your weights up 5 or 10lbs. Example for squat... 185 for 5, 225 for 5, 275 for 5, 315 for 5, 365 for 5. If you get 365 for 5, move all weights up.

This is especially good for someone who is just learning a particular exercise like the squat, because the amount of practice with light but increasing weights is a good way to practice form.

For more advanced lifters, he advocated a warmup, then 5 sets of 5 with a set weight. For example, the same athlete used in the other example may do 135 for 5, 185 for 5, 225 for 3, 275 for 2, 315 for 1, then 350 for 5 sets of 5. When successfull with all 25 reps at 350lbs, bump the weight up the next workout by 5 or 10lbs.

This is not outdated, and is a good program for gaining strength. Many elite athletes still use it during at least part of the year. I in fact do 5 sets of 5 on squatting for 4 weeks as part of an 8 or 10 week training cycle. Personally, i do it 3 times a week, but most people will probably make better progress doing it 2 times per week, or even doing version 1 once a week, and version 2 once a week.

In any event i described a system in a post a while back that goes something like this:
Monday use the heaviest weight you can for all 5 sets (same weight each set)---- in other words when you get all 5 sets of 5 reps up the weight (most workouts you will get 3 or 4 sets of 5- and maybe your last one will be for 3 or 4 reps)

Wednesday use 10-20% less weight- in other words if you used 200lbs on monday use 160-180lbs on wednesday- actual amount depending on your recovery

Friday work up to a max set of 5-

In other words lets say that your best ever set of 5 is 215lbs and you used 200lbs on monday for 5 sets and 170lbs on wednesday. On friday your workout might be like this 95 for 5 135 for 5 175 for 5 200 for 5 then attempt 220 for your last set of 5.

This tends to work better as a long term program than doing the same thing 3 times a week. On exercises where you only do them once a week like deadlift you can just do the 5 sets of 5 like i described. On monday on exercises that you are only doing twice (rows) you could do both exercises like the monday workout or lighten one of them depending on your recovery ability. Be conservative with the weight when you start- that is important.

However many of your gains will show up after you use it for 4-6 weeks and you switch to training a bit less frequently and lower the reps and volume. In fact i rarely if ever use it with athletes who are at the top of their weight class because it causes too much weight gain unless you severely restrict your food.

Found at another board, wanted to share


Check the link philospher posted. That should answer all your questions.
You may want to start with the intermediate lifter template.

If you are not increasing the weight with every set (i.e. as in when the advanced program calles for 5x5) then your sets would be like this:


Read this article about 5x5 variations by Dan John.