The 5 x 5 Program

It had been quite some time since I had seen my nephew Joshua. I saw him at a relative’s birthday party, and there was something different about him. That something was a considerable amount of mass and muscle growth. Naturally I wanted to know how he made this transformation. Joshua was never one of those skinny, lanky guys, but he had obviously been working out.

He told me that his muscle growth plan was called the 5 x 5 workout. The philosophy behind the program is that strength equals size. In essence, the stronger you get, the bigger you will grow. It is a power lifting routine, where you execute big, compound lifts doing 5 reps and 5 sets. Eating enough is also essential for muscle growth, but we will get to that in tomorrow’s post. The program looks like this:

Workout A:

  • Squats
  • Bench Press
  • Barbell Rows

Workout B:

  • Squats
  • Overhead Press
  • Dead lifts (1 set to 5 Reps)

These two workouts are alternated. Joshua works out 3 days per week. So one week he will do workout A on Monday, Workout B on Wednesday and Workout A on Friday. The next week will be inverted, B- Monday A- Wednesday, B-Friday.  The above workouts do not include warm-up sets with lighter weights.

Joshua has been using the 5 by 5 program for about two months now. These are his stats and physical accomplishments from the beginning of January 2013 to now.

January                                                                                            March

Squat: 225 lbs                                                                                Squat:  300 lbs

Bench press:  145 lbs                                                                     Bench Press: 185 lbs

Barbell Row: 135 lbs                                                                      Barbell Row 185 lbs

Overhead press 95 lbs                                                                  Overhead press 115 lbs

Dead lift 225 lbs                                                                             Dead lift 300 lbs

All these weights have been pushed at 5 by 5. Joshua says he feels amazing and is getting stronger. I can attest to his physical transformation. It is truly inspiring and amazing. In tomorrow’s post, we will look at what the big boys eat to “gain and sustain” that bulk.

I wonder if I could do the 5 x 5 for just above the waist?  Any thoughts? I will have to consult with Joshua.

January  of 2013. Start of 5 x 5 routine.
Joshua seen in January of 2013. Start of 5 x 5 routine.
March 2013
March 2013
March 2013. Looking incredible.
March 2013.

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