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What Is the '5×5 Workout'? Trainers Say It Can Get You Stronger, Faster

Speed up your strength and muscle gains with the 5x5 workout method.

If your goal is to build muscle and strength, you may want to check out the "5×5 workout" that people are raving about on TikTok. Certified personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts alike swear by it to boost strength in a speedy fashion. Plus, what's not to love about sprucing up your fitness routine? It keeps you feeling challenged and motivated and can effectively support your fitness goals.

Keep reading to learn all about the 5×5 workout, and when you're finished, be sure to check out the 6 Best Pilates Exercises to Improve Your Balance & Coordination.

What is the 5×5 workout?

fit man doing barbell bench press exercise, concept of strength exercises for men in their 30s

The 5×5 strength training routine calls for three weekly workouts that comprise five sets of five reps for each exercise. A barbell is typically the go-to source of resistance for a 5×5 workout, explains April Gatlin, senior master trainer for STRIDE Fitness.

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Here's a sample 5×5 workout Gatlin put together:

Monday and Friday of each week:

  • Back Squats (5×5)
  • Bench Presses (5×5)
  • Bent-over Rows (5×5)

Wednesday of each week:

  • Back Squats (5×5)
  • Overhead Presses (5×5)
  • Deadlifts (1 set for 5 reps; keep in mind this exercise calls for just 1 set, as deadlifts can be taxing on the body and you want to avoid overtraining)

"The amount of weight lifted should increase every two weeks," explains Gatlin. "Track the weight lifted to know the percentage being added every two weeks, which will help you know how much to add as you work through the program."

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People swear by the 5×5 workout to get stronger faster.


Unleash Your Strength: The 5×5 Program Explained! 🔥🏋️‍♂️ ✅ The 5×5 program is a powerful strength training method that focuses on lifting heavy weights for 5 sets of 5 reps each. 💪 Build Serious Strength: 5×5 boosts muscle and strength gains, perfect for beginners and experienced lifters alike. ⬆️ Progressive Overload: Gradually increase weights to challenge your body and stimulate muscle growth. 🏋️‍♂️ Compound Movements: Emphasises key exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses for full-body strength. 🔥 Efficient Workouts: Short, intense sessions that maximise results without excessive time in the gym. 🌟 Discover the power of 5×5 and take your strength training to new heights! 💥🚀 #fitnesstips #gym #weightliftingadvice #weightlifting #workouts #fitness #fyp Music from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!): License code: KMMPVGCPPF5RKXO3

♬ original sound – Oba

TikTok user Oba explains in a video, "This 5×5 approach is amazing. Firstly, it's simple and effective. What is it? Five sets of five reps per exercise. Secondly, it's strength-focused. It's designed to maximize strength gains. You're only doing five reps per set, so naturally, the weight you're going to be lifting is a lot heavier than if you're doing eight reps or 10 reps per set. Thirdly, this focus on compound movements such as bench press, squat, and deadlifts, and those types of movements, engage multiple muscle groups."

Another TikTok user Coach Kev stresses in a clip, "5×5 is the best method to get stronger. In my experience, I've done a 5×5, and every week, I would do one weight twice a week, five sets, five reps. Every single week, I was able to add two, four, five to each side, five pounds."

Gatlin has excellent things to say about the 5×5 workout method as well. "The benefits of the 5×5 workout program are pretty solid; you build lean muscle (more muscle = less fat, more muscle = revs the metabolism, more muscle = anti-aging, more muscle =better workout/athletic performance), which in turn leads to a better quality of life," she explains.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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