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5 × 5 training plan for more strength and muscle growth

The 5 × 5 training plan is a high-intensity workout for anyone who pursues the goal of building more strength and muscle mass in a short time. When used correctly, the muscle is maximally stimulated in order to achieve the greatest possible growth stimulus.

The basics of the 5 × 5 training principle are explained below, including an example training plan. For correct use and implementation in the fitness studio, the 5 × 5 training plan is available as a PDF for easy download and printing.

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Principle of the 5 × 5 training plan

The principle of the 5 × 5 training plan is based on the simple method of performing 5 sets of 5 repetitions each with the same weight. By the fifth repetition in the fifth set, the muscle should have reached its maximum load limit.

5 heavy repetitions are challenging - adequate rest times are important. Listen to your body feeling.

As with all training plans, correct and clean execution of the exercise must be observed. If the 5 repetitions in 5 sets are carried out cleanly and correctly, the weight can be increased in the next training unit. This procedure then starts all over again with the newly determined weight.

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Complex basic exercises as the basis of the 5 × 5 training plan

Basically, the 5 × 5 training system can be used as aFull body workout to be viewed as. Especially as a beginner, the choice of exercises should be limited to so-called basic exercises. Primarily, the upper and lower body are trained equally through basic exercises in each training unit. In particular, basic exercises such as squats, deadlifts or bench presses promote the interaction of large and small muscle groups in order to promote the development of strength and muscles.

In addition, basic exercises have a positive effect on the heart muscle and thus strengthen the cardiovascular system.

Structure of the 5 × 5 training plan

Basically, with the 5 × 5 training system for beginners, advanced and professionals, training takes place on 3 days for 6-9 weeks. In order to take a day's break between training units, we recommend the rhythm of Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

If the exercise is performed correctly and properly, the muscle is fully stimulated without overloading the body. The selection of the training weight varies depending on the training status. The 5 × 5 training for advanced users is determined by higher weights in all exercises.

Sample week for beginners:

  • Monday: 5 × 5 with 85% of the maximum weight
  • Wednesday: 5 × 5 with 85% of the maximum weight
  • Friday: 5 × 5 with 85% of the maximum weight

Example week for advanced students:

  • Monday: 5 × 5 with 85% of the maximum weight
  • Wednesday: 5 × 5 with 65% of the maximum weight
  • Friday: 5 × 5 with 70-80% maximum weight

Weekly weight increases of 2.5% are recommended. In order to further promote strength and muscle growth, the intensities should be varied for advanced athletes. With 3 training days per week, training begins on the first training day with a high volume.

This is followed by a regeneration day with 65% of the maximum weight. On the third day of training, we recommend a medium load of the training weight.

Here you can find our detailed and clear training plan. Ideal for printing.

5X5 training plan PDF

Example training plan 5 × 5

The training starts and ends with a short cardio unit of 5-10 minutes, optionally on a cross trainer, treadmill, rowing machine or ergometer. Afterwards, a special warm-up with an empty barbell and 15-20 repetitions is recommended before the actual 5 × 5 training starts.

Training day 1Bench pressSquatsBarbell rowing
Training day 2SquatsDeadliftPull-upsMilitary Press
Training day 3SquatsBench pressSquatsDeadlift


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Our tip:

If you want to set an even higher training stimulus, you can alternatively replace the 5 × 5 volume training with intensity training such as Pitt Force Training on the third training day

Advantages of the 5 × 5 training plan

Progressive increase for more strength and muscle growth

If more than 5 repetitions are possible in all exercise sets with the selected training weight, the weight can be increased in the next training unit. With a continuous increase in weight and sufficient regeneration time, a considerable increase in strength is achieved in a relatively short time.

Variable and flexible training design

Depending on the training goal and level of training, the number of repetitions and sets can be varied on the basis of the 5 × 5 training plan. The system can be reduced to 3 × 3 for goals such as maximum strength or increased to 3 × 10 repetitions for hyperthrophy training in order to achieve the best possible training results in the areas of muscle building and strength building.

Low risk of overload

Basically, you train with a training weight of 70-80% of the maximum performance in order to master the necessary strength for five sets of five repetitions each. With increasing fatigue, the performance of the exercise worsens and the risk of incorrect loads increases. In addition, regulated regeneration phases and a medium training intensity reduce the risk of overload.

Who is the 5X5 training plan suitable for?

Beginners as well as advanced up to strength sports professionals will find a training method with the 5 × 5 training plan, which aims at steady and fast muscle growth as well as constant strength building. Especially beginners in strength training can build a solid foundation of strength, more strength and muscle mass with the 5 × 5 training plan.

Not the right training plan for you? We have other training plans that are sure to suit you better. How about, for example, our 3-part split training plan or the 4-part split training plan?


  • 5 × 5 training plan is based on the principle of performing the exercises for 5 sets of 5 repetitions with the same weight
  • With a 5 × 5 training plan, beginners as well as advanced or professionals can train and build up strength
  • Basic exercises such as the squat, deadlift, bench press or military press provide a full-body workout and are a good basis for 5 × 5 training
  • Combined with the right diet, the 5 × 5 training program can deliver great results in the form of more strength and mass
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