Strength Building Workouts

Bill Starr 5×5 Power Routine

  • 7

Monday – Heavy Day

  • Squat – 5 sets of 5
  • Bench – 5 sets of 5
  • Powerclean – 5 sets of 5
  • Weighted hyperextensions – 2 sets
  • Weighted sit-ups – 4 sets

On Monday, the weight for each lift is increased on each set of 5, from a light warm-up to an all out set of 5. For squats, something like 135×5, 185×5, 225×5, 275×5, 315×5. The weight should be increased evenly from your first to last set. If you are working up to bigger weights, say above 500, you can add a sixth set of 5 just to avoid making large jumps between sets. Your fifth set equals the triple from the previous Friday’s workout

Wednesday – Light Day

  • Squat – 4 sets of 5
  • Overhead Press – 4 sets of 5
  • High Pulls – 4 sets of 5
  • Sit-ups – 3 sets

On light day, Squat the first 3 sets of 5 just as you did on Monday, and then do a fourth set of 5 with the weight used on the third set. An extra fifth set at this same weight can be added.Overhead Press is done using the same scheme, working up to 2-3 sets of 5, but with about 70-80% of the weight flat bench, to accommodate the leverage difference of the incline. High Pulls are done by feel, but usually pretty heavy.

Friday – Medium

  • Squat – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, 1 set of 8
  • Bench – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, 1 set of 8
  • Powercleans – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple
  • Weighted Dips – 3 sets of 5-8
  • Triceps and Biceps – 3 sets of 8 each

On Friday, the first four sets are the same as they were on Monday. The fifth set, done for three reps, should be a jump of about 2.5% over what you did for your fifth set on Monday. As you become more experienced with the system, you can experiment with the weight you use on this triple. This should NOT be a PR triple attempt every week. In fact, the goal is to come back the following Monday and get the same weight for 5 reps that you got for 3 reps the Friday before. To avoid missing reps, pick weights carefully. Take it easy the first few weeks, and don’t over do it. In fact if you’ve tested/already know your 5 rep maxes you shouldn’t be using that weight until the 4th week. After the big triple, drop back to the weight you used for your 3rd set and try to get eight reps.

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