How do you use the 5×5 workout program to build strength and muscle? The volume of weight used during a workout determines how big and robust muscles grow. When you use the 5×5 work out the correct way, you get excellent results. Bodybuilders often perform rep (repetition) counts with moderate weights in the 8-12 range.
Experts say the right amount of repetitions promotes the most muscle growth. Strength athletes and powerlifters do heavyweights in the 1-4 rep range. Research shows that a repetition range of 1 – 4 reps promotes strength and density. If you want big powerful muscles, which approach is best for you? Sometimes you can find the answer somewhere in between the two choices.
Introducing the 5X5 workout program
If you want to gain strength and muscle, performing a 5×5 workout is the best option. While variations exist, the classic 5×5 workout focuses on basic compound exercises. The best compound exercises include squats, bench presses, bent-over rows, and deadlifts.
The 5×5 workout focuses on lifting the most weight for five sets of five reps. You can perform the 5×5 training three times a week. This workout works best when not performed on consecutive days. Always allow enough time to recover after each workout.
Who Should Use This Workout Program?
Adopt the 5×5 workout once you learn to perform the exercises correctly. The right way involves a complete range of concentric and eccentric motions. Also, use a one-second pause on the isometric portion of the lift.
Be careful not to overtrain. New trainees respond better to two to three workouts a week. It does not take much for beginners to see results. Also, it is easy for a novice to fatigue a muscle and even injure it. Inexperienced trainees should listen more to their bodies. Once you know what your body can and cannot do, you can push it.
Intermediate trainees have been lifting for a while. They know what their body can and cannot do. Also, it takes longer for them to make gains. An 8-12 week, 5×5 workout can help them break through a plateau. Changes to training introduce the body to new challenges. Thus, the challenges cause an increase in size and strength.
As trainees move from the freshman to the sophomore stage, the body outruns the workout. When you increase the weights and keep the total reps in the 24 to 36 range, it challenges the body. Also, it puts the body behind the workout on the learning curve.
Advanced trainees sometimes use 5×5 workouts to shock the body and change the routine. Experienced trainees should focus more on the form (concentric, eccentric, and isometric). Advanced trainees rely on muscle memory and stronger mental concentration. Most advanced trainees prefer german volume training workouts. It adds volume by increasing the sets and reps.
But the 5×5 workout can also add volume by increasing the weight. The SAID principle reminds us that the body adapts to the specific workout. When the workout changes, then the body must adapt again. The prevailing thought says change causes change. Also, an advanced trainee can use a 5×5 workout for a light workout day.
What exercises should you perform when following a 5×5 workout program?
There are many 5×5 workout options you can choose from. Choose any combination of exercises as long as you perform five sets of five reps. Most experts recommend mixing it up with upper and lower body exercises. To increase both size and strength, strive to increase the volume during each workout. Also, to increase the intensity, reduce your rest times between sets and exercises.
Check out this proven strength-focused 5×5 workout program:
Notice there are no isolation exercises, only power movements that train many muscles. Compound exercises train muscles for functional purposes. These exercises need more athleticism to execute. Also, this makes the training ideal for bodybuilding. Thus, the key to any workout is execution (rest time, reps, range, and movement).
When transitioning to a 5×5 workout program, start with a manageable weight. Thus, use a lighter weight than what you lift. Also, you do not need to increase the weight between sets. Once you can complete the five sets of five reps, increase the weight at your next workout. Also, this is called progressive overload. With a periodization plan, progressive overload is the best way to increase strength and muscle size with a workout program.
How often should you train with this type of workout?
When done with the most weight and the least rest between sets, this workout helps. With measurable results, some novices can only train with the 5×5 workout once a week. Intermediate and advanced trainees should use the 5×5 workout as needed. All should focus on intensity, proper form, and progressive overload.
Here is how the 5×5 workout stacks up in volume against other workouts with a 200 pound one rep max (1RM):
5 sets x 5 reps x weight (87.5% 1RM): 5 x 5 x 175 = 4,375
3 sets x 10 reps x weight (80% 1RM): 3 x 10 x 150 = 4,500
4 sets x 8 reps x weight (80% 1RM): 4 x 8 x 160 =. 5,120
10 sets x 10 reps x weight (75% 1RM): 10 x 10 x 150 = 15,000
Note: If you don’t have a workout partner, use a 1RM calculator to determine your one-repetition maximum weight lifted. The 5 x 5 workout stacks up volume-wise with the beginner workouts. An advanced trainee could use this workout for a change-up. Also, it could give the body some rest from German Volume Training. The percentages are averages that some people may outperform or underperform.