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5×5 The Foundation of Strength

Morning Guys,

5×5 is a tried and tested method of building strength and muscle, but it only works for so long (3 months as a beginners, maybe 1-2 months as an intermediate lifter) before you will hit a plateau.

Now the basic principle of 5×5 is brilliant because you squat 3x per week, press 3xpw and deadlift anywhere from 1-2xpw meaning you’re always going to get a decent workout. The standard 5×5 is structured as follows:

Workout A –
Bent Over Row
Assistance 1
Assistance 2

Workout B –
Assistance 1
Assistance 2

*You can add in a couple of assistance exercises of your choice to make life more interesting

5×5 for Squat, Bench & Press and a working top set of 1×5 for the deadlift with the first 4×5 being warm up sets. If you hit all of your required reps then you simply need to add 2.5kg to upper body lifts and 5kg to lower body lifts (typically).

As stated above this style of progression only lasts for so long before the weight becomes to heavy to manage, however there is plenty you can do to keep this program providing your with solid results for many more months to come, all it takes some patience and planning.

Here are 2 options (there are obviously more, but 2 will be enough to keep you progressing for another 3 months a piece, that’s 6 more month of gains!)

I would advise testing your 1RM on your lifts, or using an app to estimate it and working off of a 90-95% Training Max.

Repeat Loading
Wave Loading
Alternating Reps

Repeat Loading:

This can also be summarised by simply saying you do the same weights weights for 2 sessions in a row before increasing. Let’s say you did 5×5 on squats for 100kg in session 1, you would repeat the same again for session 2 before you increased the weight on the bar, though this seems like it would take you longer to progress it will actually let your body build more neuromuscular connections and become stronger (more adapted) before moving on to the next weight, meaning you can continue to progress.

Wave Loading:

Similar to repeat loading but you will take two steps forwards and once step back effectively. Using squat as the example again you hit all your reps for the week meaning this is the weight progression – 100kg,105kg,110kg – but when you come to start he second week you don’t go to 115kg, you instead drop back to 105kg. Provided you hit all the reps the weights should look like this for week 2 – 105kg,110kg,115kg – before dropping back to 110kg to start week three.

Wave loading is incredibly effective at building strength and size, it will also give your body a mini de-load.

These two methods will help you continue to progress on your 5×5 without any need to start changing the reps or adopting a DUP style of program just yet.


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