T Nation

What Do You Think of This 5x5 Program?


Someone suggested I give this a try if I was interested in a 5x5 program…but what I don’t get is how you would be using sub maximal weight on the 5x5s…

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

aren’t those first 4 sets basically wasted? Or at least the first 3? I thought the point of a 5x5 was to find a weight that you could close to failure on the fifth rep, varying weights set to set so that you always did about 5?

Also the program has the person squatting M, W, F. I don’t know about you guys but I don’t think I could actually squat 3 times in 5 days, even if it is using sissy weights on 4 of the sets…

I’ve never heard of someone using 5x5 and droping weight each set. Which is what would happen following your “gut feeling” scenario.

It is either the same weight over 5 sets. this would have to def be less then your 5 rep max in order to get it over 5 sets. When you can complete the 5th set of 5 then you move up.

The other way is to ramp the sets up in weight as in your example.

If I had a choice of all three methods, I would rank the ramping first, straight sets second, and the drop sets as a distant 3rd.

That means you can go all out on those last sets of each exercise. Allowing you to use more weight.

If you don’t like the program, don’t do it.

I think it looks like hell on the joints, and I think you’d stall out pretty quickly with such a lack of accessory work.

It’s far from ideal for bodybuilders and powerlifters, so I can’t imagine who would use that program or why…

that is a very classic powerlifting routione… infact it’s a tweaked version of Bill Starr’s classic 5x5. Quite a few people swear by it. I personally think it’s too much on the shoulders, lower back and knees. also it’s pretty limited for bodybuilding.

if you are wanting to bodybuild, i would look into a typical 4 day split instead. but that’s just me.