5×5 Workout For Strength and Muscular Gains

Fitness, Muscle Building,

5×5 Workout For Strength and Muscular Gains

Whether you are new to the gym or a seasoned pro, there will always come a time when you will need to switch your workout up to avoid your routine becoming stagnant. With all the different training principles out there it can become a little confusing which one will work best for you.

The History of the 5×5 Workout

The 5×5 workout plan has been around since the 1960’s and was designed by Mr. Universe Reg Park. It has been used by many athletes including world class strongmen and Mr. Olympia champions to increase strength and muscle mass.

The 5×5 workout became famous after Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote about in his book, The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.

What is the 5×5 Workout?

The 5×5 workout became popular because of the simplicity and effectiveness. You simply pick an exercise, usually a compound movement and simply do 5 sets of 5 reps. This is followed with a 90 second rest in between each set with a 3 minute rest before you start the next exercise. Now that sounds easy right? I’m afraid not!

You want these sets to be a challenge and push you to failure. Your first two sets should be in your lower weight range pushing 65% to 75% of your max, while the last 3 sets should be more towards failure, at about 85% of you max. This helps prepare your muscles before progressing on to heavier weights, and avoid the risk of injury.

The intensity of training can be taxing on your body so it’s best to split your workouts into 3-6 day splits. It’s important to make sure you give your body the rest it needs to grow and recover so make sure you get at least 8 hours sleep every night. I would also recommend you keep track of your macro’s to make sure you are getting adequate fuel for your muscles.

Full Body Beginners 5×5 Workout

This is a great full body workout for beginners that should be done three times a week.


  • Flat Bench Press – 5×5
  • Bent-Over Barbell Rows – 5×5
  • Standing Military Press – 5×5


  • Deadlifts – 5×5
  • Weighted Chin-Ups – 5×5
  • Barbell Squats – 5×5


  • Standing Military Press – 5×5
  • Dumbbell Rows – 5×5
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 5×5

Full Body Advanced 5×5 Workout

This workout routine is a more advanced 5×5 workout with more volume and frequency. This routine is designed for those with at least 1 years training experience, and has been on the beginners 5×5 workout comfortably for a minimum of 4 weeks in row.

Monday & Thursday

  • Squats – 5 x5
  • Bent-Over Rows – 3×6
  • Standing Military Press – 5×5
  • Barbell Curls – 3×6
  • Calves (Exercise Choice, 10 – 12 rep range)

Wednesday & Friday

  • Flat Bench Barbell Press – 5×5
  • Deadlifts – 3×6
  • Overhead Dumbbell Press – 5×5
  • Single Arm Dumbbell Rows – 3×6
  • Triceps Pushdowns/Skull Crushers – 3 x failure (10 – 12 rep range)

Who Should Use the 5×5 Workout?

The 5×5 workout is great for those who want to switch things up and works great when you have hit a plateau. The great thing about training this way is it is very easy to switch things up and change exercises to suit your needs.

Anyone can benefit from the 5×5 program it has been used by many different athletes including professional bodybuilders who are trying to gain muscle mass. Even powerlifter and Olympic lifters have used this method of training.

So if you are looking for a new challenge in the gym give it a try, and remember to have fun and adjust the exercises according to your weaknesses to help you progress and break through any plateau.

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