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eseng666

All about 5x5!

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Hi guys. I tried to search for a thread about 5x5 but i wasn't able to find one. (It's either i am dumb or lazy or both) I just want to ask if this is very effective? Can this type of workout really help me improve my strength.

You should i just do it 3x a week?

Can i do free-weights in between?

Can this be accomplished within an hour or less (45 mins.)?

How do you guys do it?

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5x5 is a rep scheme that is fairly common, and is included in lots of programs. I think what you're referring to is Stronglifts, which is a common beginner strength program. If so, you can find everything you need to know right here. To answer your questions:

1. Yes, if you follow the program you will get stronger.

2. This falls outside of following the program. You will be lifting plenty of free weights as part of your 3-days a week, adding more will be detrimental rather than helpful.

3. Generally an hour or so is expected, some days more some days less depending on your rest periods.

4. I'm past my Stronglifts days, but when I did it I made sure to stick to the program. It will tell you all you need to know, and at this point in your lifting career you don't need to tweak the program and most likely wouldn't know how to do so properly anyway.

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If you're new to lifting, just stick with the program.

5x5 can, and does, work for loads of people. Especially as a beginner as long as you follow the program (and that includes starting at the recommended weight and not trying to jump the gun) I guarantee you'll see results.

If you're not a new lifter, then it depends. I don't like 5x5, it bores me. I see better results when I'm doing something I enjoy, so I use a different program. That doesn't mean you won't like 5x5.

Assuming you monitor your rest time (if you have an iPhone or iPod touch get the 5x5 app) you can definitely do the whole workout in under an hour. I've done it in like 35 minutes before but I was really booking.

Good luck to you.

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AM I still considered a beginner lifter? I've been lifting for almost 2 years. Here are my stats.

Age: 24

Sex: Male

Race: Asian

Height: 5'9

Weight: currently 188 lbs (starting to 230 lbs then excessive cardio and diet made it to 158 then lifted weigts to 180 then became fat to 200lbs again!)

Max Bench: 150 lbs 15 reps

Max Squat: 170 lbs 8 reps

Max DeadLift: 180lbs 12 reps

Max Jerk Press(? - forearms and shoulder only) - 70lbs 12 reps

Lifting weights 4-5x a day

Taking BCAAs

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A common benchmark for the 5RM for 5X5 is the 4-3-2-1 plate on the major lifts i.e. 4 plates (405lbs) for deadlift, 3 plates (315 lbs) for squat, 2 plates (225 lbs) for bench press and 1 plate (135 lbs) for the OHP (which does not involve any jerking and is a clean, standing press).

This can and does differ for everyone somewhat especially depending on age, height and bodyweight but given your stats, if you can do the above for 5 reps each then that is a nice, base strength for you. Looking at your lifts right now, I would say that you are close-ish but have some way to go.

You should not do any other exercises other than the ones mentioned in stronglifts. Do them 3 times a week for about an hour and then take other days as rest days or do light cardio if you really want to work out.

Once you achieve this strength standard, you can move on with advanced programs like 5/3/1, Texas method, Stronglifts advanced, Madcow or Widowmakers.

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Generally your status as novice/intermediate/advanced isn't catagorised by years lifting, but by your ability to recover and progress. If you can increase the weight (nearly) each session (on a 5x5 or 3x5 program), then you are a beginner. If you can increase the weight (nearly) each week, then you're closer to intermediate.

Though it's not based on the weights you can lift strictly, based on your posted weights I would approaching the program as if you were a beginner. Once you are no longer able to progress with linear progressions, then re-evaluate.

For now, checkout the stronglifts site and try the program for a month or two.

To speed up workouts, you can do warmups for the next exercise in the rest period of the current exercise, but you should be able to get it under an hour pretty easily, keep rest times to about 3 minutes.

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Thanks for the input guys! I'll definitely try this next week but i still have some questions.

* Can i still do chinups,pullups and dips?

* How about core training? (abs)

* Is it bad to do 10-15 minutes HIIT runs during restdays?

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AM I still considered a beginner lifter? I've been lifting for almost 2 years. Here are my stats.

Age: 24

Sex: Male

Race: Asian

Height: 5'9

Weight: currently 188 lbs (starting to 230 lbs then excessive cardio and diet made it to 158 then lifted weigts to 180 then became fat to 200lbs again!)

Max Bench: 150 lbs 15 reps

Max Squat: 170 lbs 8 reps

Max DeadLift: 180lbs 12 reps

Max Jerk Press(? - forearms and shoulder only) - 70lbs 12 reps

Lifting weights 4-5x a day

Taking BCAAs

I certainly hope I didn't offend you with my comments. It wasn't meant as such.

I tend to think of beginners and things not in how much you lift, but in how much you know.

Lachy's point about recovery time is sound, and it's basically what I was going off of. 5x5 is a beginner program. People have ridden that program to very high lift totals, but the program itself is designed for beginners. Eventually if someone wants to keep making progress and improving they'll need to change it up. Lots of folks have gotten brutally strong doing 5x5 or Starting Strength or what have you, but no one set a world record in power lifting or oly lifting doing so (at least not to my knowledge).

When I got back into lifting after college I did 5x5 as well. I could squat 3 wheels at the time (it was ugly, but I could do it) and would definitely still have been classed as a beginner.

The benchmark mentioned by Anca is one that's often used, but I personally hate it. If you're training well, your short term goal should be 10 lbs more than what you can do today, and your long term goal should be MORE. People respond better in certain lifts than others, and progress at different rates depending on their programming. I can hit 405 for a double and maybe stretch it to a triple right now...but I can squat 315 for 12 or 13 pretty solidly. I've benched 225 for 7 thus far, but on OHP I've done a set of 15 at 135 and could've kept going. By the 4321 standard I'm horribly unbalanced, but the reality is I need to work on my deadlift form a lot and the weight'll shoot up...and by bench just freaking sucks.

Based on your stats, I'd start with lifting 3x a week and see how you do on it. This means giving it an honest attempt without changing the program (ideally you'll want to start from the beginning, which'll suck, but you'll be greatful for it later) for the 12 week cycle or whatever it is. If I recall correctly it has you starting at like 50% your max RM or something if you don't want to start with the bar. Definitely don't start higher than that and stick with just the plan for the full duration. Once it's done reassess your status and consider where you want to go from there.

That being said, knowing what I know now, if I were to go back to the beginning (and if I had tons of time to spend at the gym) of my foray into 5x5 I would've done something like this:

A

Squat 5x5

Squat 3x20@50-75% working weight

Bench Press 5x5

Romanian Deadlift or Good Morning 3x20

DB Incline Press 3x15

Pendlay Row 5x5

Lateral Raise 25lbsx100 reps

B

Squat 5x5@75-90% working weight

Overhead Press 5x5

Deadlift 5x5

Dips 3x15

Bulgarian Split Squats 10x25

Barbell Curl 45lbsx100 reps

Something like that.

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I started StrongLifts last week and enjoy it. I'm 45 and haven't seriously lifted since after college. It is very focused on good technique, which is key for newer lifters. I started out with just the bar and increment 10lbs a session, except overheand, I stick with the 5lb. Not including warmup time and cool down time, I can do a session in 35 minutes. Adding warmup and cooldown and it is an hour.

After a 1 1/2 weeks, I can feel the difference already. Arms, chest, legs and core. My main goal was a simple easy to follow routine and something I can do in 1 hour. I also need to get stronger. I have a bum shoulder and I need it stronger for my summer water skiing activities. If I lose 10-15 of fat, that would be a good thing too.( 6' - 215lbs :)

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Nope! No offense taken here! I'm quite happy that you are sharing your knowledge guys. I knew that i really had to join NF!

Back to the topic..

I am thinking of something like this..

(T-TH-S)

A

Squat 5x5

Bench Press 5x5

Barbell/Pendlay Rows 5x5

Pullup/Chinup ??x3

Good Morning 15x3

B

Squat 5x5

DeadLift 5x5

Overhead Press 5x5

Dips ??X3

Weighted Inclined Situps 20X3

Monday

Cardio (30-45 mins run) and Core Training in the evening (planks and Side planks 10-15 minutes)

Wed

Restday or 20 minute Skip Rope

Friday

HIIT Run (10-15 minutes) and Core Training in the evening (planks and Side planks 10-15 minutes)

Saturday

RestDay/Party

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I still think you should try the program as written first. How can you know that the way it's written isn't better if you don't give it a shot?

If you're set on this plan, a couple pointers:

With A, do GM's after chins after rows is going to be brutal. If you can handle that kind of workout (and/or have the time to rest enough between exercises to do it well) more power to you.

With B, doing Deads immediately after Squats, even if you rest a bunch, is rough. I'd keep OHP between the two if I were you.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

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I still think you should try the program as written first. How can you know that the way it's written isn't better if you don't give it a shot?

If you're set on this plan, a couple pointers:

With A, do GM's after chins after rows is going to be brutal. If you can handle that kind of workout (and/or have the time to rest enough between exercises to do it well) more power to you.

With B, doing Deads immediately after Squats, even if you rest a bunch, is rough. I'd keep OHP between the two if I were you.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

i'll just probably set a diff day for free weights.. how's that sound?

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Thanks for the input guys! I'll definitely try this next week but i still have some questions.

* Can i still do chinups,pullups and dips?

* How about core training? (abs)

* Is it bad to do 10-15 minutes HIIT runs during restdays?

I would add pullups to the OHP/deadlift day, as a final excercise because on the bench/row day you're already doing a back exercise and this way you will be fresher, stronger and should gain more from them. And I like pullups more than chin ups, they're harder (generally) and they work your lats more.

I would add abs/core to your bench/row day, simply because you'll be doing pullups on OHP/DL day (for reasons state above). I love planks right now, I go for 3 60second sets. Increase resistance by resting a weight plate on the small your back (guy in my gym does them with 75KG (165lbs)!). Be aware that you'll be getting plenty of core work as it is with all the main lifts, and Rippetoe suggests that you don't really need more, but be your own judge.

AS for HIIT, do it and see how it affects your recovery. When I started I was doing fast walks for about an hour on my rest days, but I had to cut them as I couldn't recover enough, but plenty of people do conditioning and still lift heavy, find your balance. Maybe you don't do HIIT every rest day, experiment.

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i'll just probably set a diff day for free weights.. how's that sound?

What are you thinking of as "free weights"? Barbells are free weights. Basically, if it's not a machine, it's free weights.

I'm not loving all the changes you've made to the program either. I would not worry about good mornings and I would definitely not DL right after squatting! Your DL will be serverly compromised. Also note, you only do 1 working set of Deadlifts, not 5! DLs are very intense. Do you warmups, hit one heavy workset and put it away. Read Strong Lifts website and they'll further explain the reasoning behind it.

As for reps of dips/pullups. Aim for 3 sets of 10. After that see if you can load them with a weight belt or chain holding a plate. If not, then I guess you'll just have to add more reps.

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So it’s going to be like this...

A.

Squat 5x5

Bench Press 5x5

Barbell/Pendlay Rows 5x5

Dips ??X3

B.

Squat 5x5

Overhead Press 5x5

DeadLift 1x5

Pull/Chinups ??X3

Planks ??x3

RestDays (in between)

Light Cardio or Short HIIT

or

Skip Rope and Core

or

Listen to your freakin body and rest

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Sounds good.

Planks could go on either A or B as you're doing dips on A. See how you go. I like planks (isometric holds is what the core is meant to do) but maybe you'd rather situps/crunches or something.

It's the first 3 exercises, the compounds, of each workout that are the most important. If that program is too much, takes too long or something, drop the assistance work (chins, dips, planks), not the main compounds (squat, dl, bench, ohp, row).

Oh, and start out lighter than you think you should. You don't need to go down to an empty bar as suggested on the SL site, but the first few sessions should progress easily. Add 5lbs/2.5KG each session (if you cleared all sets/reps the previous session) to squat, bench, ohp and row, add 10lbs/5kg to the DL. It will soon become hard work :)

Let us know how you get on, start a log if you haven't already.

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i am excited! can i start on a 100 squat? and what if i don't have 2.5 lb plate? can i add 5(x2) each time? but according to the book i can't do that on OHP and bench bec. they use smaller muscles. :(

i'll probably setup my battle log on sunday or monday :D

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It's not really for me to tell you where to start, but if you can squat 170x8, then 100 5x5 will fine. Rip says to start off by starting with the empty bar, do 5 reps and add weight untill you can feel the weight, but that the weight shouldn't be so high as to be taxing (to begin with), that'll be your start weight for the exercise.

To begin with you can probably get away with adding 10lbs a time (I think my weight conversions above were wrong :S), with everything except OHP. Eventually it'll be too much with Bench, Row and Squat, and maybe even DL. You could go out and buy 2 2.5lb (and/or lighter) and just bring them with you, should be cheap enough, but cross that bridge when you get to it.

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I like planks (isometric holds is what the core is meant to do).

?

The leg lift is very much a fundamental human movement and it is a dynamic core movement. The core twisting (a la punching) is also very much a fundamental human movement and a dynamic core movement.

As much as people bring up babies when talking about how natural squatting is..... Babies do LOTS of leg lifts.

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I can't think how often I do leg lifts in the course of a normal day. I don't go around punching people either :P , and while we may lift our legs, or twist our core, we don't do them with a great load or with high repetition. We might sit up from a laying position, but again, not often and not under load. However, if we lift something heavy or need to brace against a force (eg: being pushed) our core will brace and hold our spines rigid to transfer force.

I would not say don't do twist, situps, leg raises, but if you want a stronger core for squating and pulling, then isometric holds will beter mimic the movement.

Whether or not you agree with him, Rippetoe wrote an article (http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/article/abs) on it that explains it better than I could. And I admit, untill I read this, I hadn't considered it and it has swayed my opinion heavily. I'm open to hereing counter arguments, or just reasons why other exercises are also important.

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Guys I have downloaded the 5x5 workout program excel file. tell me if i understand this correctly..

Weight Reps 5RM Starting Weight

Squat 150 12 192 95

Bench 100 15 146 75

Press 70 12 90 45

Row 100 15 146 75

Deadlift150 12 192 95

does this mean that my first two warmp up squat should be 2x5 95lbs? followed by 5x5 192?

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Guys I have downloaded the 5x5 workout program excel file. tell me if i understand this correctly..

Weight Reps 5RM Starting Weight

Squat 150 12 192 95

Bench 100 15 146 75

Press 70 12 90 45

Row 100 15 146 75

Deadlift150 12 192 95

does this mean that my first two warmp up squat should be 2x5 95lbs? followed by 5x5 192?

No, the 3rd number is the estimation of your current 5RM maximum weight (what you could do 5 times but not 6) based on the information provided with the first two entries. What it's saying is that, after warming up, for squats you should be using 95lbs as working weight.

I'd take the planks out of exercise B and do them on your rest days instead. HIIT/jumping rope for a cardio workout should be fine, but nix it for at least a week to see how you handle the workout.

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so i have two do 2x5 warm up sets before exercise right? and how many rest between sets?

and should i religiously follow the sched. what i mean is if i do it mwf this week can i do it tths next week?

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