A lot of fitness novices make the same few mistakes: Doing too much too soon, not designing a proper split routine, and switching to a new routine before the first one has the chance to work.
The Fierce Five beginner workout routine is meant to tackle all of those beginner issues at once. So, let’s find out if this beginner routine will really put your muscle gains over the edge.
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About the Creator – davisj3537
Most of the routines we go over have pretty well-known creators. We’ve seen some pretty solid options from legends within the fitness industry, like Jeff Cavaliere and Steve Shaw.
This one’s a bit different.
The first time we saw Fierce Five mentioned was back in 2014 on the Bodybuilding forums. A user by the name of davisj3537, a member for two years at that point, created a thread where he went in-depth about this routine that he personally designed.
Aside from a mirror shot of his muscles and his forum post history, we don’t know much about the mysterious davisj3537.
But, we do know that he seems to know what he’s talking about. And, a lot of users on the platform seem to respect him.
What is the Fierce Five?
The Fierce Five program is a routine built for beginners. Well, beginners with fewer than 6 months of experience or anyone that struggles to stick to a routine.
The goal of this program is to tack on an extra 5 pounds per week to your upper body lifts and 10 pounds a week to your lower body lifts. In the process, you’ll see some pretty gnarly gains in terms of 1RMs and muscle mass.
You’ll be in the gym 3 days per week for an hour at a time and taking rest days 4 days per week.
In terms of equipment, you’ll need a barbell and plates, a squat rack, a cable machine (with a rope extension), and a lat pulldown machine. But, you can swap in dumbbells or other gear if you’re low on the right equipment.
And once you get used to the routine and build up a strong base, it’s OK to consider using other gym gear like a weightlifting belt.
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Fierce Five Details
This routine consists of two workouts (A & B) and you’ll alternate between the two during workout days. So, your routine will look as follows: A, Off, B, Off, A, Off, Off.
You’ll then pick up the next week with the B workout…..and repeat.
Note: You’ll be doing at least one warm-up set before each exercise to prepare your muscles for the lift. Factor that in when you check out the details below.
Squat – 3 sets x 5 reps (120-180 seconds)
Bench Press – 3 sets x 5 reps (120-180 seconds)
Pendlay Row – 3 sets x 8 reps (120-180 seconds)
Face Pull – 3 sets x 10 reps (120-180 seconds)
Calf Raise – 2 sets x 15 reps
Triceps Pushdown – 2 sets x 10 reps
Front Squat – 3 sets x 5 reps (120-180 seconds)
Overhead Press – 3 sets x 5 reps (120-180 seconds)
Romanian Deadlift – 3 sets x 8 reps (120-180 seconds)
Lat Pulldown (any grip) – 3 sets x 8 reps (120-180 seconds)
Ab Exercise of Choice – 2 sets x 15 reps
Bicep Curl – 2 sets x 10 reps
Fierce Five Pros
Targets Minor Muscle Groups
The problem with a lot of beginner routines is that they center around the compound lifts.
Now, that’s awesome when it comes to building strength in your major muscle groups and packing on strength. But, since you’re not working muscles like the biceps or calves directly, you don’t see them improve in size as much as you might want.
So, if you want to see your sleeves fill out and your skinny calves bulk up, then you’re going to like this routine.
Equal Leg Work
Let’s be honest: Nobody likes leg day.
But, you know that you need to do some squats and calf exercises if you really want to feel confident wearing shorts in the summer or at the gym.
This is one of those rare beginner routines that seem to prioritize leg strength. In fact, you’ll start off every workout with squats before getting to any other exercise.
You care more about massive boulder shoulders and peaking biceps, but you’ll be thankful for the leg exercises by the end of the 6 months.
Fierce Five Cons
Four Rest Days?
Rest days are obviously important when it comes to repairing your muscles between workouts and truly building up strength for your next workout.
But, the fact that you’re resting more than you’re hitting the gym might seem like a waste of time after a few weeks. It’ll be hard to convince yourself to stay home when you want to lift.
Plus, you need to think about how the routine is laid out. If you end the week on the A workout, it’ll be about 5 days until you hit those same muscles again, which is a bit long for rest.
You probably won’t “detrain,” but you’ll definitely be anxious to get back to the gym.
Fierce 5 vs. StrongLifts
To be honest, the Fierce 5 routine and the StrongLifts 5×5 routine are very similar. You’ll notice a lot of overlap in the major exercises and how they’re divided among the two workouts.
They’re both designed to target muscle mass, strength, and power.
But, there are a few noticeable differences.
For one, the Fierce 5 routine specifically targets some of the minor muscle groups in the body. They’re usually lumped in at the end in the form of supersets, so you are hitting the biceps, triceps, calves, and abs directly as well.
The other major difference is the rep range.
The StrongLifts routine obviously focuses on 5 sets of 5 reps each which, might we add, is pretty solid for building power and strength. The Fierce 5 routine also includes some sets of 8 and 10 for packing on muscle.
Either can work for a beginner, but we’d recommend the Fierce Five for a long-term routine that’ll get you off to a solid start in the gym.
Fierce 5 vs. All Pro
For somewhat of a complicated routine, Fierce 5 is relatively simple to understand as compared to All-Pro. Instead of doing different exercises with each workout, you’ll be doing the same 7 exercises at different intensities during 3 training days.
That’s one day for heavy, one for medium, and one for light. And, the 7 exercises you’ll force yourself to enjoy by the end of the routine are:
- Bench Press
- Bent-Over Row
- Overhead Barbell Press
- Stiff-Legged Deadlift
- Upright Row (or Barbell Curl)
- Calf Raise
Each workout, you’ll be doing 4 sets of each exercise while increasing intensity with each passing set. The first two sets are warm-up sets while the other 2 are true sets.
And, to make this just a little bit more complicated, each week within the cycle will target a different rep goal. You’ll start with 8 reps per set on week one and progress all the way to 12 reps per set by the end of week 5.
This is a pretty solid routine if you like variety in your routine, want true full-body workouts, and really want to see your strength go up in the form of numbers each week.
Full-body workouts are best for true beginners, so we have to hand it to the All Pro routine on this one.
So, back to the Fierce Five routine.
This is a pretty decent routine for beginners since you’re hitting all of the major lifts as well as getting some one-on-one action with the glamor muscles (triceps, biceps, calves, abs).
It’s also pretty easy to understand and some guys who have done it have more than doubled their squat and deadlift PRs after just 3 months.
Unfortunately, you might feel a little on edge knowing you’re only going to the gym 3 times per week, especially if you want to see those gains quickly.
It’s a pretty good routine and, based on user experiences, you won’t be disappointed by the gains you’ll see. But, the All-Pro routine might get you those results more efficiently.
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