If you have been someone for whom lifting weights is a lifestyle, you would have surely heard about the 5×5 training program.

In simple words, it consists of performing the major compound lifts for 5 sets of 5 reps with a weight that is 85% of one’s 1 rep max weight on the respective lifts.

This training program was first introduced by late Olympic weightlifter and coach Bill Starr and later on popularized by Reg Park.

Initially, the 5×5 training program was used only by strength athletes but when it showed positive impacts in terms of muscle gains, it became a favourite of bodybuilders as well. So can it be said that a 5×5 training program promotes muscle growth? Well, this post is going to answer that question for you. So without further ado, let’s get started.


The effectiveness of compound lifts

Performing compound lifts is the bread and butter of any weight training program. This is because compound lifts not only target multiple muscle groups but also put adequate stress on one’s central nervous system which translates into greater strength and muscle gains.

A 5×5 workout program comprises only compound lifts including squat, bench press, barbell rows, overhead press, and deadlifts. Thus, it works wonders for individuals who are training to promote muscle growth.

Performing compound lifts also enables your body to release greater amounts of anabolic hormones like testosterone and HGH which further assists in muscle building. Well, that is the prime reason that the effectiveness of 5×5 training has stood the test of time and would continue to do so.

Promoting lean muscle gains

Some of you might think that a 5×5 workout program wouldn’t be very apt for muscle building owing to its lower rep scheme as compared to some hypertrophy-oriented training programs.

But that is certainly not the case. There have been numerous researches concluding that performing 5 or even lesser repetitions with a weight that is around 80-85% of your 1 RM contributes significantly towards muscle growth along with fetching your body with strength gains.

Moreover, muscle building occurs when your muscles are put under adequate stress. A 5×5 workout protocol does that job pretty well and facilitates lean muscle gains.

Sticking to the basics

A workout program that is focused on muscle building doesn’t necessarily need to have a plethora of exercises for targeting each muscle group. Just sticking to performing the basic compound lifts like squat, bench press, barbell rowing, etc. can also accelerate your muscle-building journey beyond your expectations.

No doubt, all the world-class bodybuilders have always been performing the basic compound lifts and have made some serious muscle gains.

A 5×5 training program makes you stick to the basic compound lifts and fetches you with a decent amount of strength and muscle gains that serve as a firm foundation in your lifting journey.

Less is More

Following a 5×5 workout program requires you to train only three days a week. On the remaining four days you simply let your body relax and recuperate. If you are skeptical that such a training approach will make you fall into the category of undertraining, you need to give it a shot.

A 5×5 workout program is highly intense and requires you to make proper provisions for rest and recovery in order to gain the most out of it. This provides your muscles a greater amount of time to recover from the stress of your workouts which further supports the muscle-building process.

A simple training approach

A 5×5 workout program is one of the most simple training approaches which promotes muscle growth. While following it you perform only 3 exercises in each of your training sessions. This makes it easier for you to keep a track of your progress.

It also saves time as while following a 5×5 workout routine you don’t have to hop on numerous exercises one after the other. This in turn makes the 5×5 workout program a perfect choice for individuals who have hectic schedules but also have an intent to grow muscular and strong.

Speeding up your metabolism

When you perform 5 sets of 5 reps of any compound movement with a considerable amount of weight, your body requires a decent amount of energy to get that job done. This in turn enables your body to burn a greater amount of calories and that too in a relatively short amount of time.

This keeps your metabolism in check and allows you to maintain the leanness in your physique even if you are in a caloric surplus.

Full-body training

The effectiveness of a full-body training approach in terms of strength and muscle gains is unquestionable.

A 5×5 workout program allows you to do a full-body workout in each of your training sessions. Even if you hit a plateau on it over time, you can choose to go with Madcow 5×5 which is a modified version of the conventional 5×5 training protocol.

Boosts athletic performance

The benefits of a 5×5 training program are not just confined to promoting strength and muscle building. It also works towards enhancing one’s overall athletic conditioning with the barbell lifts that form the core of a 5×5 training program.

There have been numerous researches that have shown the profound effects of a 5×5 workout program on athletes in terms of improved athletic conditioning and performance.

This is the reason you can find the elements of a 5×5 training program in the workout routine of some of the most renowned basketball players, American footballers, and even wrestlers.

The Bottom Line

We are sure that by now you would have been motivated enough to give the 5×5 training program a shot. You should certainly go for it. It will subject your muscles to adequate stress that will promote both strength and size gains.

While following it, all you need to make sure is to keep your diet on point. You will also have to make adequate provisions for rest and recovery to gain the most out of it.


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