Getting Bigger And Stronger Is Simple With 5×5

These days what you read about training programs can be extremely complicated and discouraging. I think most people take longer to decipher training advice and plan a workout, than actually getting it done. When I tell you that getting bigger and stronger is simple with 5×5 training program, you will probably be surprised at how easy this is. The fact is, it has been proven to work by the elite (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Reg Parks).

What is 5×5?

It’s as simple as doing 5 sets of 5 repetitions on each exercise. This volume allows you to work at an optimal intensity for building muscle and strength, without overtraining.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was growing into his stardom as one of the worlds greatest bodybuilders, one of the people he looked up to the most was Reg Parks. He was one of the first users of the 5×5 workout plan, and apparently it worked great. Both of those dudes are the Godfathers of the art of bodybuilding.

When you’re using the 5×5 template the best exercises to use are “strong lifts” or “compound lifts”. These type of lifts include back squat, bench, bent over row, front squat, shoulder press, deadlift, etc. All of these lifts involve multiple joints and recruit a lot of muscles.

That’s not to say that isolating muscles is off limits. An example of a muscle isolation is a bicep curl. Those type of lifts usually only require one joint to move, and only one specific muscle is involved. Muscle isolations probably need to be done outside the 5×5 plan.

What I mean by that is, those type of lifts should not be the focus in this type of workout, whatsoever, and you should probably use a different volume besides 5×5 when training with isolations.

If you’re looking to improve your arms, believe me, that will come along with doing the “strong lifts”.

Incline Pressing

Use Rest Time To Your Advantage

By controlling your rest time in between each set you can gear the workout towards one specific goal.

Fore example if you rest around 3 minutes between each set the workout will be geared mainly towards strength and power.

Dropping the rest time down to 1 minute will concentrate more on hypertrophy gains.

A rest variation called “clustering” will help you gain the most power on each repetition. When you cluster, you want to use a really intense weight (approximately 90% of your max) and do one rep. rest 10 seconds and then do another rep. Keep going until you have finished your set of 5.

By altering your rest time you can use the 5×5 plan to meet more specific needs that you might have.

Personalize Your Own 5×5

You don’t necessarily have to be training to get as big as Arnold when you’re on this plan. You can alter it however you want to fit your needs.

We just talked about changing up the rest times, but there’s a few other things that you can do with it:

Vary Muscle Groups: Take four days a week and split up upper body and lower body lifting days, or go 3 days per week and work the entire body.

Add Volume: By adding volume every workout you can increase strength and muscular endurance. For example, each workout add one set. Keep that up for a few weeks and then drop it back down to 5×5.

Vary Weights: Every workout add 5 pounds. If you feel like your results are plateaued, a big culprit might be your lifting technique. Drop all the weight off and keep doing the 5×5, concentrating on perfect form. Every week start to add more weight. You’ll pass where you used to be in no time.

Arnold Pose

Training isn’t the rocket science that many fitness enthusiasts make it out to be. Getting bigger and stronger is simple with the 5×5 training program. Be careful to not make these 6 weightlifting mistakes when you first start out. If you found this article helpful, please take 2 seconds to share it on facebook with your friends. If you have any questions you can either leave a comment below or contact me and I’ll personally respond.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.