Instant Incredible Gains With 5x5 Training!

Got another good one to share with you on the 5x5 training system.  Check it out;


I'd like to share some of my 5x5 experience and also a question I need answered.

I'm 62 and since I was 19 I've trained in the four set, 6-12 rep range. I often used drop sets too. I never used 5x5. I don't really know why. But my standard pyramid just hasn't really worked well in years.

Last year I started 5x5 training just on a lark.  (I was rehabbing a knee injury, and had to go light and easy.) I started making incredible gains instantly with 5x5!

Here it is almost a year later and I'm stronger now than ever before in my life. Please note that part of my progress must be due to a lot of bodywork that I've added.  For example, I'm doing chin ups 5x5 and dips 5x5.

I'm a firm believer that 5x5 works wonders! 

My question is this: Let's say it's back day and I'm going to do chin ups, bent over rows, t-rows and lat pulls. I am blessed with good recovery and high tolerance. Sometimes I do 5x5s on three or four of these exercises. That doesn't seem to be too much. It is exhausting however. Do you think it's too much? 

Should I just 5x5 on one exercise per body part?  Or should I do 5x5 on every exercise all the way through the workout? 

Bob Long

P.S. Here's a picture of me with Boyer Coe:

Thanks for sending this my way Bob, glad to hear the 5x5 system is working so well for you.  In my opinion,  one of the reasons behind *why* it worked so well is something you mentioned that you may not have have realized: your knee injury. Having been around strength training for a while, I can't help but notice that many, MANY people jump into just about every program several steps above and beyond where they should, and consequently, end up burning out quickly. 

Thanks to rightly and smartly taking it easy with your knee injury, you began at a very manageable level, which gave your body (and mind, for that matter) a chance to acclimate to the program accordingly.  A slower build up makes it much easier to build from there.  This, of course, is an important take home point for anyone getting started with a training program, the challenge is fight human nature and restrain from jumping ahead too quickly.

Now, as far as your question: you hit the nail on the head as far as another important coaching point. The impulses of human nature will often lead someone to reason that if a little is good, then "a lot" must be better. As you know, the 5x5 system is pretty intense, you will be moving some fairly heavy weights and since the goal is to get stronger every workout, it aint exactly a walk in the park. You've only got so much "gas in the tank" from a physical and mental standpoint to devote to your training, and it would be unreasonable to expect that you could do so with too many exercises. My "rule of thumb" is to implement the 5x5 system in no more than two movements per workout. A 5x5 session with any one of the exercises you mentioned ought to be plenty.  

As usual, the results of your training will tell you what the best choice is.  The key is to do whatever will allow you to keep getting stronger.   

Keep at it, and let us know how it goes.

Train hard,

P.S. If you'd like to learn more information on the 5x5 training system, it is covered in greater detail in the following courses:

Instant Incredible Gains With 5x5 Training!