In the Pipe, 5×5’s: A Classic Workout for Beginners



Often applied, but not always understood, “5×5” training is the gold standard, when it comes to building strength and quality muscle mass. Consider this post your comprehensive guide to the 5×5.

What is 5×5 Training?

Designed to help you build quality muscle mass, make serious strength gains, and help you break through training plateaus, 5×5 training in a method that at its core requires you to train long and hard, only three times per week. In it, you are doing 5 sets, of 5 reps, of 5 specific barbell exercises, split into workout A and B. 5×5 is a full body training protocol, with proven results.

Some Basic Rules of 5×5:

Your 5 basic barbell exercises which work multiple muscle groups at once are the squat, bench press, barbell row, overhead press, and deadlift. These are split into workouts A and B:

Workout A consists of Squat, Bench Press, and Barbell Row

Workout B consists of  Squat, Overhead Press, and Deadlift

Do three workouts a week, alternating between workouts A and B

Never train on consecutive days. Always take at least one day to rest between workouts.

Never do both Workout A and Workout B in a single session. Your body needs ample time to recover.

Many opt to train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and take the weekends off.

Under this model, Workout A is to be completed Monday, B on Wednesday, and A again on Friday. The following Monday, start with B, and alternate every other day, accordingly.

In order to maximize both strength and muscle gains, ensure you are taking in enough calories.

5 x 5 training involves progressive overload, and with each exercise in each workout you are required to add 5 lbs to the bar (with the exception of deadlifts where you add 10 lbs to the bar each time). Be sure to start at the lightest weight possible, progressively increasing your lift numbers with each workout.

Start light, add weight slowly and consistently, take plenty of rest, and work hard, and you’ve got the essence of 5×5 training.

It deserves mentioning that while 5×5 is great for the beginner, a mastery of proper tempo and form is required, in order to reap maximum benefits from the program.

Why Does It Work?

5×5 training requires you to train hard, only three times a week. This protocol not only promotes consistent progress and results, but also sizeable strength gains. All you need is access to a barbell, free weights to add to the barbell, and about 45 minutes, 3 days a week, to integrate this regimen into your routine.

How to Start a 5×5 Regimen/Training Protocol

As with any training program, proceed with caution, and make sure you’ve built up the proper foundations before you embark on a 5×5 training split.

That being said, here’s a full 5×5 regimen, laid out for you:

Peaking: You can begin this after Weeks 4 through 6, for maximum strength gains

Lather, rinse, and repeat, as needed.

Tried and true, the 5×5 training protocol is a great way to switch things up. No matter your goals, 5×5 can help you get there, faster.