The 5×5 is a style of training that has almost slowly been forgotten or has at least lost some of its credit for the capabilities it offers for overall progress. Yet even though not all of the average gym-goers have any knowledge about it or even more so, experience, the individuals that are in fact informed about the training method understand that it is a staple bodybuilding routine.
What is the 5×5?
The 5×5 is a very simple style of weight training. As the name presents, the meaning behind the name is to perform 5 reps of a given weight (with a weight you could do 6 or ~7 maybe) and do this for a total of 5 sets. While it can be performed on many exercises, the 5×5 is especially advantageous when it comes to compound exercises such as the deadlift, squat and bench press. Movements like the leg press work well too, but staying away from putting heavy weight on the elbow for instance to perform tricep movements, may be a safe idea.
Why is it beneficial?
Training in a low rep range (2-4 reps compared to the average 10-12) for the average weightlifter will result in a different outcome progress wise. Around 12 repetitions of a weight is very great for breaking down muscle fibers and having them slowly grow from repeated training in this fashion, e.g. Bodybuilding. Yet in order to receive the most progress possible when it comes to building mass, one must also become stronger. This is important because it would be more beneficial for the same identical person to be lifting 12kg dumbbells with good form, rather than 8kg dumbbells with good form. This scenario can very much be true as anyone that structures their training around becoming stronger at the same time as building mass, will just be a slightly stronger version of themselves in a few weeks or months. The 5×5 shines in this area as you it seems to find a sweet spot between powerlifting and bodybuilding rep ranges, and can easily be done at the start of a workout before moving onto the rest of the mass building styled workout.
Another benefit of following a program such as this is to keep yourself accountable for getting in the amount of workout volume that you had wanted to perform. With set targets and a easy to track goal or view of the improvements you are making (as you slowly start to be able to rep heavier weight for the 5 reps) it can be very good motivational wise to see what the 5×5 can do for you. Of course there is many routines out there to follow and it is worth trying out a range of them to see how your body responds, but the 5×5 is just a simple one to follow but greatly beneficial.