5 X 5 Training + Bodyweight Bodybuilding Tips


Yesterday on my IG I shared the above cover and tips on how to use 5 X 5 along with Bodyweight Bodybuilding.

Then yesterday afternoon I came across the news that Franco had passed away. It was heartbreaking for me.

It hit home for me as Franco and Arnold were heroes to me as a kid. Seeing your hero passing away is crushing. You begin to realize that YOUR time on this earth is also limited.

As a kid, I devoured Arnold's Encyclopedia and his Education of a Bodybuilder.

Doing so made me feel like I was LIVING & TRAINING with Arnold and Franco, I read those books hundreds upon hundreds of times.

This is a stark reminder; Life is going TOO fast.

We better enjoy this ride and make the most of it!

Here's just some short memories of  Franco I wanted to share.....


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It is heartbreaking news when you hear that one of your childhood heroes has passed away. . It is a stark reminder that life is passing us by faster and faster. . I remember first seeing Franco in Arnold’s encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding and then in the movie, pumping iron. . All of Franco‘s photos were so inspiring, I remember doing 20 sets of pull-ups every other day one summer because I read about Franco doing that with Arnold. . The other thing I remember is how much I saw Franco always smiling, he was always having fun. . Joking, lifting, laughing! . The opening scene of pumping iron where Franco was bench pressing heavy, I watched pumping iron 13 or 14 times in one day when I first got it on VHS, rented from blockbuster! . Franco, you will be missed 🙁 . See you in The Iron Heavens ❤️❤️✊✊ . . #goldenerabodybuilding #ironroots #undergroundstrengthgym #deadlift #franco #legend #stronglife #livethecode365

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Seeing Franco moving such immense poundages inspired the heck out of me. It inspired me 30 years ago and it STILL inspires me today!

Here's some photos of Franco to inspire you!

Franco & Arnold would incorporate heavy barbell lifts / powerlifting and they also do high volume dips and chins / pull ups. In fact, I recall Arnold saying how him & Franco challenged one another to do chin ups until they could no longer hold onto the chinning bar!

Who will give up first!!??

Yesterday I did Trap Bar Deads, working up to a heavy 5 and then a heavy 3. 2 heavy sets and then it was time to move on.

Afterwards the heavy trap bar deads, it was Bodyweight Bodybuilding circuits.

Dips, Push Ups, Mixed Grip Pull Ups, All Types of Lunges, Pistol Squats and ab work. This circuit took me 10 minutes.

Just go, go, GO!

Arnold & Franco always did supersets. Barbell supersets and bodyweight supersets.

It delivered an amazing pump, challenged the body & muscles to a deeper level and of course, saved time.

Arnold & Franco trained high volume so to get all the work done, they HAD to do supersets!

Here's a sample chest & back workout for Arnold & Franco:

1A) Bench Press warm up x 15. Then 10, 8, 6, 4, 4

1B) Chin Ups 5 x 10 reps minimum each set

2A) Incline Bench x 10, 8, 6, 4, 4

2B) Close Grip Chin Ups 5 x 10

3A) DB Flys x 10, 8, 8, 8, 6

3B) T Bar Row x 15, 12, 10, 8, 6

4A) Dips x 15, 10, 8, 8, 8

4B) Bent Over Row x 8 - 12 reps

5) DB Pull Overs 3 x 15

How is that for VOLUME work!!??

Arnold & Franco would go back to the gym later that night for MORE training!

My current program looks like this:

- Start with a heavy barbell lift AFTER a thorough warm up

- Perform a circuit of Calisthenics for approx. 10 minutes

- Finish with Sleds & Carries. In addition, I might also add supplemental work for direct arm training and grip work.

1 day out of the week I am going through a circuit / complex of bell training.

I am REALLY loving these workouts as they test me physically and mentally.

No need to complicate things. Complexity does NOT equal greater results.

Get after it and find a way to do the work while others find excuses.

Live The Code 365,


Bodyweight Bodybuilding

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"Zach Even - Esh is the Charles Atlas of Powerlifting / Weightlifting / Athletic Training. He is a walking inspiration. A kick in the ass for all of us."
- Steven Pressfield, World Renown Author
War of Art & Turning Pro

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