5 Great Exercises for 5×5 Strength Training Programs

What are your favorite exercises to use when designing a 5×5 strength training program? There are so many exercise possibilities to choose from. Typically, the most efficient exercises to use are what are known as compound exercises. Let’s take a more indepth look at the topic.

What are 5×5 Strength Training Programs?

The typical 5×5 strength training program involves 5 exercises using 5 repetitions per each set. Each exercise uses a barbell and is often a compound movement. The goal of this type of training plan is to build strength by lifting heavy weight for less repetitions, while adding additional weight to each exercise each week while following the routine.

Compound Exercises

A compound exercise is basically any movement that uses more than one muscle group at a time. The best lower body exercise to use an example is a squat. To perform the action, the quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, core and lower leg muscles must work in concert to execute the movement. A good upper body example, would be a barbell bench press. Once again, multiple muscle groups are activated to execute the movement, in this case, chest, shoulders and arms.

When you choose compound movements, that offer a lot of bang for the buck, you can get away with using fewer exercises as found in a 5×5 strength program. Meaning, 5 sets times 5 repetitions per each set.

Some of the Best Compound Exercises

 Here is a list of some of our favorite compound exercises that we see in many of our Jefit programs, especially 5×5 strength training routines.

  • Barbell Squat (a few other examples include: Barbell Squat, Hack Squat, Front Squat, Goblet Squat, etc.)
  • Deadlifts (including RDL, SLRDL)
  • Bench Press (including all variations such as Incline, Decline)
  • Overhead Press (including all Olympic type lifts, Push Press, Military Press)
  • Rowing movements (such as T-bar row, Landmine row, One-arm Dumbbell Row, Barbell Row)

Barbell Squat


Bench Press

Overhead Press (Barbell Shoulder Press)

Rowing Movement (Barbell Bent-Over Row)

Final Thoughts

The above exercise are just a few of the many examples of compound exercises that can be used in 5×5 strength training programs. What are your favorite exercises to use if you had to pick a top 5? Let us know in the Jefit community.

Stay Strong Together

Jefit app, named best fitness app for 2023 by the International Association of Strength Coaches, Lifewire, GLAMOUR, and many others, comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. Take advantage of Jefits exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals.

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