5x5 Training Method
Using the 5x5 Training Method to Build Muscle
By Jason Ferruggia, Men's Fitness Magazine Columnist & Head Training Advisor
Author of Muscle Gaining Secrets
The 5x5 workout training method is one of the oldest muscle building programs around and has been around forever.
It can be a good training system OR bad one depending on the situation.
There are a few ways that you can implement the 5x5 muscle building system and make it effective.
The first way that you can use the 5x5 training method to build muscle is to warm up to a certain weight and then stick with doing that weight for five sets of five repetitions.
This means you need to select a weight that you can handle for that many sets. Your fifth set should be the only one that will be difficult to do. This is a decent way to build muscle but it's a waste of time for anyone other than beginners.
There's simply too much volume at an intensity level that's way too low for building muscle.
Thus, only for beginners and early intermediate lifters, I believe the 5x5 training method is a good one.
If you are neurologically inefficient, your muscle will respond better (and more) to a few more repeated efforts. However, I still don’t think that five sets are absolutely necessary though - 3x5 would be better.
The next way people use the 5x5 training method to build muscle is by starting with a heavy weight so that they can barely get five repetitions and then they lower the weight with each subsequent set.
Once again, I think this is way too much. The only sets that were worth doing are the first and maybe second set. This is really not the optimal way to build muscle.
The third way this system is employed to build muscle is to work up to a heavy weight that you can barely do five reps with and then you keep that weight for the next four sets, no matter how many reps you can bang out. Progression and gains are made each week by trying to get more reps in the subsequent sets.
The last way that the 5x5 training method is used is by doing five increasingly heavier sets so that only the last set is hard to complete. Essentially, the other sets act as warm up sets so you are really just warming up to a five rep max set. In this case it’s really more like 1x5 and not 5x5. If I had to pick a method this would be the best one.
Working up to a five rep max set and then going down a set at 90% of your best would be an even better option for muscle building. Or you could do a really heavy set of five but leave enough in the tank and go for broke on the second set.
There's some evidence which suggests that this second option is even better because the body may not function optimally during the first heavy set. This is because of the laws of homeostasis.
The first set causes shock and activates protective mechanisms within the body which prevents the first heavy set from being the best and most effective set. Thus, the role of the first heavy set is to provide neural arousal and prepare the body to go all out on the second set. This is something that people should experiment with on their own and see what approach will help them build muscle the fastest.
About the Author
Jason Ferruggia is a famous fitness expert who is renowned for his ability to help people build muscle as fast as humanly possible.
He is the head training advisor for Men’s Fitness Magazine where he also has a monthly column dedicated to muscle building.
For more great muscle building information, visit www.musclegainingsecrets.com
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