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Please keep questions on topic, write clearly, concisely, and don't post diet calculations.

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Joanie
Joanie
August 2, 2020 12:51

I have spondylolisthesis L4 and and 5. Back squats and any exercise that loads up my back are out. I’m experienced but starting over after a year of back problems. Not sure how to approach lifting. Any adaptations I can use?

Joanie Willard
Joanie Willard
August 4, 2020 00:42
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thank you

Johnson Lee
Johnson Lee
July 23, 2020 22:09

What’s your opinion on weight lifting belts? Do you think they are useful when applying progressive overload?

Rene
Rene
July 21, 2020 15:46

Any tips regarding rpm / rpe for novice with the big3 ? Unfortunately there is nothing about this in the article. I have read https://rippedbody.com/rpe/. Thanks cya

Rene
Rene
July 18, 2020 00:21

Hello, I have been training for more or less 15 years with medium to little success in the gym. My genetic strengths are chest, triceps and shoulders. Legs legs, abdomen are medium and back biceps weak. Does it make sense if I add lat pull 3×5 or 4×5 or 5×5? I’m testing the first weeks exactly as you said but I’m afraid that my genetic weaknesses will come out even stronger because in the nature of the 3 basic exercises the biceps and back are less growth stimulated than the rest.

Rene
Rene
July 20, 2020 16:52
Reply to  Andy Morgan

I think there are not many people worldwide who are more on your homepage than I was the last 2 weeks. I have read and learned so much.I have set my calories and target weight for each week, track everything and am in bulk Week2 and still can’t tell if I have the calories set exactly (0.25 -0.33 kg/week). But thanks to you I know how to do it. Only in the question whether I am on Big 3 .Big “4” because of the previous experience and genetic disposition. I think I can handle that. Maybe I just wanted to get your ok so it doesn’t feel like I’m going to screw up again. Motivation 11/10.

Justin
Justin
June 12, 2020 06:03

Thanks for the nice free program. I have a squat rack but can’t do deadlifts from the floor in my apartment. If I replace deadlifts with RDLs, so I need to add/change anything?

Clemente B Harwood
Clemente B Harwood
May 9, 2020 12:16

Instead of 5×5 can we do 3×10

Dan
Dan
March 4, 2020 17:53

Hi Andy,
I wanted to share a frustrating experience I had with a PT at my gym to get your thoughts on it. I recently participated in a complementary PT session only to be told everything wrong about the 5×5 big 3 routine program.

Basically, The PT believes that the 5×5 program is not designed for barbell beginners unless you are ripped or naturally strong, and as a beginner I should be focusing more on a high rep range to yield hypertrophy to enable heavy lifting and then transition across to the 5×5 program. He did also mention that I will need to eat a lot to enable 5×5 big 3 routine thrice a week which in many cases makes people skinny fat or fat. What do you think ?

Dan
Dan
March 5, 2020 10:09
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thanks for your reply Andy ! Keep up the good work.

Joe
Joe
February 28, 2020 20:20

Hey Andy,
A question regarding progression on the big 3. I am sticking on the bench press at 60kg for 5×5. I reduced weight by 10% and worked my up again but still got stuck at the same spot. I am only 150lbs eating 3000 calories at the moment. Is this a matter of increasing calories?

Dr. K
Dr. K
February 27, 2020 02:50

Hi Andy,
I’m a practising physician myself and have recommended your programs to many of my friends , as I can clearly see the science/logic behind them. My question is , for a beginner with a skinny fat physique around 22% body fat, a complete novice to the gym-eating at a slight deficit of ~200/300 cals, how fast do you think progression should be? cuz the person in question doesn’t want to bulk and become more fat.
and while we know the muscle can be built in a deficit [albeit slowly], esp in a newbie — how fast can we expect strength gains to keep pace??

Adam
Adam
February 26, 2020 08:48

What’s the recommended rest time after each set?

Adam
Adam
February 28, 2020 12:55
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thanks Andy, looks like a great program to get me started after a long hiatus.

Paul Harrison
Paul Harrison
February 21, 2020 23:06

Hi Andy,
I’m 65 and I’m returning to training after a break of many years. The Big 3 routine suits me because I used to train as a powerlifter though I didn’t compete, and I have no interest in fluff exercises. I want a total body workout. Do I need to modify the routine in any way to take into account my slower recovery at this age? For example reduce it to twice weekly, or reduce to 3 sets per exercise? I am also on a cut as I have belly fat to lose. Any advice most appreciated.
Regards
Paul

francois
francois
February 21, 2020 10:01

Hey Andy,

I’ve been out of the gym for a couple years now, and was looking for a simple to follow all around body workout so I chose this. Thank you so much for the time you put into this write up.

Question: I’m training to climb Mt Shasta and am following a mountaineering/cardio program. I’m removing the small weight portion of the mountaineering program, and doing the big 3.
I would do the cardio on Big 3 rest days including weekends. Would the cardio program affect my quality of rest/recovery, or is cardio easier on the muscle therefore OK?

Here is the link to it (Not sure if thats OK to post)
[Deleted]

Thanks

francois
francois
February 22, 2020 06:38
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Hi Andy,
Thanks for your time and the high level response. I guess it will take time to understand how the big 3 + plus the cardio on rest days will affect me as a whole. I plan to do variations of cardio: running, biking, stair master, and weekend hike.
I know this question was not directed at the big 3 plan since you have done a great job explaining, but the affects of my other activity in conjunction with your plan.

I’m not sure what indicators will tell me whether progress in the big 3 is being hindered, especially when I just started with the initial soreness /tiredness. I will report back in a month.
Thanks

Jack
Jack
February 21, 2020 06:14

Hi Andy,

I’m a complete newbie. I have a squat rack and pull down machine gathering dust in the garage, so I can do this routine at home.

However, I have a desk job so sit pretty much all day. This has started giving me back pain which I’m hoping to reduce by strengthening my back/glutes with this routine.

Would you suggest to start this routine and work up slowly, or go to a gym (have one 2 min walk from work) where I would have access to other machines (leg press / leg extension / glute machines etc) where I can train legs/(back??) in isolation before then moving onto the Big 3 routine once I’ve built up a little strength?

Cheers,
Jack

Henrique
Henrique
February 7, 2020 06:22

Hi Andy, what assistance exercises can I add?

Ren
Ren
February 2, 2020 11:30

If I just do these 3 exercises will my lats get worked and is 5×5 deadlift too much? I know other programmes only suggest 1×5 it 1×5+ (amrap)? I’ve tried strong lifts and grey skull lip recently but wanted a dimly yet effective routine.

Andrew
Andrew
January 5, 2020 06:08

I’m interested in trying this. A bit about me. I have issues with both knees and both shoulders. I can train tho and have been since April. I do not use barbells however and try to stick to machines and assisted weights as much as possible. For shoulders, rows and chest press I use hammer strength machine, deadlifts (just started doing them) I use trap bar, for squats I use hack squat machine etc etc…

I’m interested in trying the big 3 or even strong strength 5×5 but unfortunately good or bad would have to stick to the equipment I am currently using due to injuries. I don’t know if I should give the big three a go or do the Strong Lifts routine instead?

Georg
Georg
December 14, 2019 12:37

So far I have been trying this program for a few weeks (around 6-7 weeks at the time of this comment) paired with a simple high-protein, low-carb, low-sugar diet and 15 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical trainer after each lifting session. I started at 35kgs which was a struggle and can now deadlift 5x5x90kg (200lbs?). I have tried doing a 100kg (220lbs) single rep successfully and I definitely feel that I got stronger, even if only for a little bit, compared to when I started. Until late 2019 my lifestyle was very sedentary with a poor diet, and I have lost 16kg just doing this program. How do I determine at which point do I have to simply eat more to be able to lift heavier? Thanks!

John S
John S
December 11, 2019 11:54

I’m not a beginner, but I usually can only make it to the gym 3 times a week and these 3 lifts are what I care about the most. I haven’t been working these exercises consistently enough to see the progression I’d like. I’ll make gains one month and then lose them the next month due to missed workouts. I’m only 3 workouts in but on my third workout my legs were sore on the squats, so I went conservative on the 1st three sets and heavier on the last 2. I also plays soccer twice a week, 1 hour and I’m 45. So, 2 questions. One, do you agree that although I’m not a beginner this could be a good program for me? 2, when my legs are sore should I skip squats or just go easier? Thx!

Adam
Adam
November 2, 2019 08:08

Hi Andrew, I was wondering if there was any value to doing a light (half weight of other sets) last set or drop set on last set of deadlifts for reps. So like half the weight and do the majority of the reps only going down slightly past the knee and back up to target the hamstrings and glutes. I’m relatively new to deadlifting, but feel like this gave me some extra activation today.

Andrew
Andrew
October 21, 2019 04:49

Hi Andy,

I’ve been running this program for a couple months and my lifts have increased a bit. How do I know when it’s time to move to a new program?

Bench: 205 lbs 5×5

OH Press (I started alternating with bench 5 weeks ago): 95 2×5, 90 3×5

Squat: 215 5×5

Deadlift: 250 5×5

I think I need to add other things to my training, cardio, conditioning etc. I

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