The 5×5 strength training program is a pioneering workout routine of its kind. Bill Starr, one of the most famous football strength coaches, first introduced it in 1976. Since then, it has become one of the most popular workout routines to develop strength and build muscle mass.
The Basic Principle
The original version of the 5×5 strength training program includes three of Starr’s favorite lifting exercises. They are the bench press, the power clean, and the back squat. The three exercises combined address each muscle in the body. As the name suggests, you need to do five sets of each with five repetitions per set.
Because it takes at least 24 hours for your muscles to recover after exercise, this is a three-day-a-week routine. You train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As a rule, you do a different exercise with maximum load every time and the other two with a lighter load.
The 5×5 strength training program lasts for a total of six weeks. After that, you need to take a short break. Once you resume training, you should do it with heavier weights.
Weights for Beginners
Because the 5×5 strength training program is progressive, you can adjust it to your current level of strength. If you’re a beginner, you should start with 45lbs barbells for the three main exercises.
Modern versions of the program also include a selection of other strength workouts. If you’re doing barbell rows, it’s best to start at 65lbs. For deadlifts, you should settle at 95lbs to start with.
Beware of the Risks
If you’ve never lifted weights before, it’s important to stick with the recommended starting loads. That’s because you still need to develop your own technique. If you attempt to lift heavy weights without the necessary skill set, you may injure yourself in the process.
Intense physical workout may also result in overuse injuries. You can avoid it by staying safe and not pushing your body too far. Also, you may want to add a bit of variety to your routine. To do this, you can complement the main program with some low-impact exercise.
If you injure yourself, seek medical help immediately. Recovery is usually very smooth and you’ll be back in the gym in a few weeks.