Previously, we’ve discussed the 5/3/1 training system developed by Jim Wendler to help those interested in powerlifting. Another common training system is the 5×5. Its been used for decades but is generally neglected in terms of foundational training.

Basically, by training one’s 5-rep max consistently, one stimulates strength but gets greater benefits in terms of hypertrophy. As an example, assume your 5-rep max in the deadlift is 315lb. You would deadlift 135×5, 225×5, then 315×5, 315×5, 315×5. You total 5 sets but do 3 heavy work sets of 5 at the end. When you can knock out a 6th rep on your 3rd set, add weight. The ideal of the program is 5 sets of 5 reps but 4-6×5 is generally accepted. Reg Park is generally credited with the formal introduction of this program in the late 1950s and Arnold Schwarzenegger credits a year on the program for giving him his base. Rest 2-5 minutes between sets. The original program was:

Back Extension 3×10

Squat 5×5

Bench Press 5×5

Deadlift 5×5

3 days a week for 3-4 months with a break week every 5th week. Anyone who completes this program will be bigger and stronger by the end of it.