5 x5 Method: The ultimate program to build lean muscle and get strong

(Reg Parks originator of the 5 x 5 protocol)

The 5 x5 method remains one of the most reliable ways to build strength. Whether your goals are simply strength, fat loss or looking good naked a simple old fashioned strength program is the way to go. The 5 x 5 method is one of the most famous and notoriously successful programs out there in the world. It’s definitely nothing new. In fact it become popular back in the 1960s by Reg Park a multiple time Mr Universe and role model for the up and coming Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Whats involved:Train a lift three times in two weeks: Monday, Friday then Wednesday of next week.
Pick a weight you can do at least two strong sets of five with and do five sets. The last sets will be fours ,threes or two’s. Do not attempt a rep unless you are 100% sure you will make it. Save your strength for the next set. In each successive workouts add reps when you can do it with confidence. Keep at it until you are up to 5 x 5.
Everyone’s progression from session to session will be different but below is an example progression

SessionReps
15,5,4,3,3
25,5,4,4,3
35,5,5,4,3
45,5,5,4,3
55,5,5,5,4
65,5,5,5,5

Once you’ve reached 5 x 5 at a certain weight you could then repeat the program at a different weight level or switch to a different protocol. You could complete this 5 x 5 protocol for many  months making sure to take a lighter de-load week after reaching each 5 x 5 goal before progressing the weights for the next block.
The 5 x 5 can be done in as little as 30minutes depending how  many exercises you choose


What exercises should you pick?For best return in time put in I would suggest choosing large full body compound movements.
For example pick one exercise from each of the following movement patterns


Hinge– Sump Deadlift, Conventional deadlift, Trap Bar deadlift, Barbell Hip Thrust etc

Push– Bench Press, Military Press etc

Squat- Goblet Squat, Double KB Front Squat, Barbell front or back Squat etc

Pull- Bent Over Barbell Row, Pullup etc


Example Program:

Session ASession B
SquatDeadlift
Bench PressMilitary Press
Barbell RowPullup
MondayWednesdayFriday
Week 1Session ASession BSession A
Week 2Session BSession ASession B

Always start lighter then you think as you will increase weights every 3-4 weeks once you’ve hit your 5 sets of 5 weight.


As the old saying goes ” if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. This protocol has stood the test of time all you have to do is show up get the work done week after week and you will reap the benefits.

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