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the BIG 5 – motivating Big 5 training

Due to the high number of muscles involved, the big 5 can be used for a highly efficient, time-saving workout. Anyone who wants to have an athletic, strong body in the long run cannot avoid these five basic exercises. In this section you will learn why it is advisable to spread the five exercises over five days of the week and plan only one exercise per day.

What are basic exercises?

The English term “multi-joint exercise” actually describes the exercises even better. Basic exercises are therefore exercises that involve at least two joints and several muscle groups. Basic exercises are therefore exercises that involve at least two joints and several muscle groups.

Which are the Big 5?

The five exercises of bench press, deadlift, squat, shoulder press and pull-up are commonly known as the Big 5 of strength training. Because of the adjustability of the resistance, the lat pulldown is often used instead of the pull-up.

Where do the Big 5 come from?

These five basic exercises have been around as long as strength training has. These became known to a wide audience in the mid-70s thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who at that time trained according to the Big 5 scheme, among other things.

Is the effect greater than with other exercises?

The more muscles are used in training, the higher the hormone release and thus the greater the body’s response to training. Your development is very much dependent on this hormone release. Therefore a clear YES -> these exercises are not replaceable and have an unbeatable effect.

Shouldn’t you exercise the small muscle groups?

If you have time and feel like it, you can always supplement your training with more exercises. But these are not crucial for your development. More importantly, you should do the basic exercises throughout the year. The motivation for this is definitely higher if you keep the workout short and efficient.

Do the Big 5 cover all muscle groups?

Yes, all large muscle groups are trained as the main or supplementary auxiliary muscles. The legs, trunk muscles (straight and lateral abdominal muscles, lower back) and arm muscles (biceps and triceps) are fully utilized. The lower back is very heavily used in the deadlift, and the abdominal muscles must stabilize so much in the deadlift, squat, and shoulder press that isolated abdominal training is not mandatory. The biceps are trained in the lat pull-down and must perform intensive holding work in the deadlift, the triceps are required in the bench press and the shoulder press.

Are these exercises also suitable for beginners?

Especially as a beginner, we recommend that you limit your training to these five basic exercises. Your start will be easier if you first focus on these five exercises and develop a good body awareness. In addition, this will positively influence your motivation, because you will very quickly feel the effect of the short but intense training.

Are there other benefits of the Big 5?

The complex movement sequences train not only intermuscular but also intramuscular coordination. In other words, the harmonious interaction of muscles and muscle chains. The improved muscle coordination provides a better body feeling and reduces the risk of injury in sports as well as in everyday life.

In MIKE5, the exercises are distributed over the days of the week?

Yes, exactly. In the MIKE5 training concept, only one basic exercise is planned per day. This ensures a high intensity per workout. At the same time, the principle of supercompensation is taken into account. See the links to the other posts below.


For most people, it is advisable to limit strength training to the five basic exercises because this can keep the workout very efficient. Due to the high hormone release during this exercise, the changes are quickly noticeable all over the body with minimal time investment. This in turn has a positive influence on motivation and thus the regular continuation of training.