Right, I am guessing y’all ‘ve heard about the Strong Lifts 5×5 Program, made so famous by Mehdi. Having tried it previously I know that it works like a charm and your strength gains are phenomenal. Last time around, however, I’ve had to let go within a few weeks because of a knee niggle flaring up. After a few weeks (20, to be precise) of shredding phase, I feel I am ready to hit the strength mode again. Hence the need to go on to the 5×5 program.
I have, however, always felt the need to put in a few more moves in addition to the ones prescribed in the program. Thus, the weighted pull ups, weighted parallel bar dips, weighted press ups and straight leg deadlifts find their way into my modified 5×5 program.
Those of you who don’t have a freaking clue to what 5×5 is; here a little info. It’s rather simple really – the focus is on ‘mastering the poundage’ before loading up the bar further in the most basic of movements – squats, bench press, overhead press, bent over rowing and deadlift.
So, let’s take squats for instance. If you was squatting with 100 Kg last session – 5 sets of 5 reps, move on to 102.5 the next time you are in line to do squats. Finish 5×5 for that weight as well. So, in every single exercise, you are increasing the weight by 2.5 Kg every session.
While that might sound easy in theory, there will always come a point where you will hit a plateau. When that happens, stick with that weight till you are able to achieve 5×5 (or even go lower for a week or so); then move on to the next level.
Want to give it a shot? Here, the program:
(Remember, the workout days are Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday)
Monday (or Tuesday)
- Squats – 5×5
- Bench Press – 5×5
- Bent-over Rows – 5×5
Wednesday (or Thursday)
- Squats – 5×5
- Weighted Pull-ups – 5×5
- Overhead Press – 5×5
Friday (or Saturday)
- Weighted Parallel Bar Dips – 5×5
- Weighted Press-ups – 5×5
- Deadlifts (Straight-legged / Romanian – alternate every week) – 5×5
Things I like about the 5×5?!
- Very realistic strength gains
- Makes me concentrate on and improve my technique on all major lifts
- Most importantly, I am working on my nervous system
BTW, here’s a link to an android app to keep track of your lift poundage.
Happy lifting, me hearties!!!