Tuesday, March 24, 2009

5X5 Weight Training

For several months I’ve been using a weight training program designed for endurance athletes. I used it to suplement my weight loss. It was basically a combination of circuit training and strenght training. I did one set of 12 reps for every muscle group and between every 5 sets I’d do 15 minutes of cardio. I chose it because it seemed like a natural extension of the old school fitness trail I did through the summer. That included a combination of running and calisthenics. The weight program included variations of bench and military presses, lat pull downs, bicep curls, tricep extensions, rows, squats, leg curls and extensions, calf raises and sit ups.

Having reached my primary weight loss goal, I’ve decided to concentrate on building some muscle mass and gaining some strength. My previous weight lifting stints had always been built on an old weight training book my dad bought me when I was a teenager. It outlined programs for different sports and included exercises in 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

I’ve just started a new program. It’s a modified version of a power lifting routine. It’s called a 5x5. I took out some of the dead lifting and other dangerous elements and tailored it to something I can do at home and at the gym.

I'm doing:
5 sets of 5 reps of bench press
5 sets of 5 reps of squats
3 sets of 5 reps of military press
3 sets of 5 bent over rows
3 sets of 5 pull ups / chin ups
push ups to fail
V sit ups to fail

What I like about this routine is that it’s not a new method. In fact it’s about as old school as it gets. The height of it’s popularity was in the 1940s, which seems to fit nicely with my jogging, swimming, jump roping, pushup -pullup, medicine ball, all around old school fascinations. It also seems like an ideal change of pace from my last routine. Loading up on exercises that hit lots of muscle groups instead of isolating them. I'll probably end up going back and forth to keep things stimulating and prevent boredom.


  1. It must be very hard to keep that routine, I congratulate you on your excellent condition, my husband will never be able to do that routine.