The Fierce 5 Workout Program

There are a huge and ever-growing number of workouts to choose from, many of which you’ll find in our extensive program library. Unfortunately, in the quest to produce new workouts, a lot of people make things more complicated than they need to be.

Instead of focusing on the basics, they pick exotic exercises and complex training methods and, in the process, forget the most critical aspect of effective training – hard work!

When you are a beginner, your body will respond positively to almost any training stimulus. All you need to do is follow a program built around a handful of compound lifts and keep adding weight to the bar. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, and you’ll get bigger and stronger.

Things like tempo, rest/pause, drop sets, and pyramids have their place, but they’re simply unnecessary for a lot of lifters. It’s usually best to save those training methods for later in your training career when the basics are no longer so productive. Use them too soon, and you’ll have fired all your big guns prematurely.

The Fierce 5 Workout Routine is a simple but effective training program that’s tailor-made for beginner and early intermediate exercisers. It’s also a good option for anyone who doesn’t have time to hit the gym more than three times a week.

In this article, we explain how to do The Fierce 5 Workout Routine and provide you with a couple of variations to try.

The Fierce 5 Overview

The Fierce 5 Workout Routine is comprised of two short full-body workouts, which are done alternately. This makes it an A/B split. You can train twice a week, on any two non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday and Thursday. Or, better still, work out three times a week, i.e.:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1 Workout A   Workout B   Workout A
Week 2 Workout B   Workout A   Workout B
Week 3 Workout A   Workout B   Workout A, etc.

Each workout contains six exercises, but two are done as a superset, so technically, you’re doing five exercises, hence the name of this workout.

Fierce Five Workout A

No. Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 Back squat 3 5 2-3 minutes
2 Bench press 3 5 2-3 minutes
3 Pendlay row 3 8 60-90 seconds
4 Face pull 3 10 60-90 seconds
5a Calf raise 2 15 60-90 seconds
5b Triceps pushdown 10

Exercises 5a and 5b are to be performed as supersets. Do exercise a (calf raise) and then immediately do exercise b (triceps pushdown). Rest a moment and then repeat the pairing one more time to make two supersets.

Fierce Five Workout B

No. Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 Front squat 3 5 2-3 minutes
2 Overhead press 3 5 2-3 minutes
3 Romanian deadlift 3 8 60-90 seconds
4 Lat pulldown 3 8 60-90 seconds
5a Any abs exercise 2 15 60-90 seconds
5b Barbell biceps curl 10

Exercises 5a and 5b are to be performed as supersets. Do exercise a (your chosen abs exercise) and then immediately do exercise b (barbell biceps curl). Rest a moment and then repeat the pairing one more time to make two supersets.

Weights and Progression

Bench Press With Wide Grip

Because the Fierce 5 Workout Routine workout is aimed at beginners, it’s recommended that you start by using light weights. You should have no problem completing the prescribed number of reps. Then, week by week, increase your weights by 5-10 pounds as you get stronger, gradually making the workouts more challenging.

This means your first few workouts will probably feel relatively easy, but that’s no bad thing. It will cut down on muscle soreness and give you the chance to perfect your exercise technique before graduating to heavier weights.

As things get harder, you will probably find that you need to make smaller increases from one workout to the next. Don’t worry; even an extra couple of pounds will ensure you continue making progress.

If you cannot increase your weights for more than a few weeks, you should switch to another program. Or, if you want to stick with The Fierce 5 Workout Routine a little longer, take a week off training, reduce your weights by 10-15%, and then try building back up again. If you hit another plateau, you definitely need to adopt a new workout.

The Fierce 5 – Dumbbell-Only Version

The original Fierce 5 Workout Routine is aimed at exercisers who work out in a gym or have access to a barbell, bench, squat stands, and a cable machine. However, there is also a version of the Fierce 5 Workout Routine that only uses dumbbells, making it perfect for home exercisers.

The basic premise is the same, and the workouts are very similar. As before, you are free to work out twice a week, e.g., Tuesday and Friday, or three times a week, alternating between the two programs, i.e.:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1 Workout A   Workout B   Workout A
Week 2 Workout B   Workout A   Workout B
Week 3 Workout A   Workout B   Workout A, etc.

As before, each workout contains six exercises, but the last two are done as a superset.  

Fierce Five Dumbbell Workout A

No. Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 Dumbbell split squat (per leg) 3 5 2-3 minutes
2 Dumbbell bench press 3 5 2-3 minutes
3 Dumbbell single-arm row 3 8 60-90 seconds
4 Dumbbell reverse fly 3 10 60-90 seconds
5a Dumbbell calf raise 2 15 60-90 seconds
5b Dumbbell triceps extension   10

Exercises 5a and 5b are to be performed as supersets. Do exercise a (dumbbell calf raise) and then immediately do exercise b (dumbbell triceps extension). Rest a moment and then repeat the pairing one more time to make two supersets.

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

Fierce Five Dumbbell Workout B

No. Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 Walking lunge (per leg) 3 5 2-3 minutes
2 Dumbbell overhead press 3 5 2-3 minutes
3 Dumbbell Romanian deadlift 3 8 60-90 seconds
4 Pull-ups/chin-up 3 10 60-90 seconds
5a Any abs exercise   2 15 60-90 seconds
5b Dumbbell biceps curl 10

Exercises 5a and 5b are to be performed as supersets. Do exercise a (your chosen abs exercise) and then immediately do exercise b (dumbbell biceps curl). Rest a moment and then repeat the pairing one more time to make two supersets.

The Fierce 5 – Intermediate Upper Body/Lower Body Version

The original Fierce 5 Workout Routine should provide several months of productive training. Adding a little weight each week will ensure you continue to get stronger and more muscular.

But, like any good program, eventually, your progress will start to slow and will eventually stall altogether. In this instance, it may be worth switching from an A/B split to an upper-body/lower-body program.

Aimed at intermediate lifters, the Fierce 5 Upper Body/Lower Body Routine involves four workouts per week, two for the upper body and two for the legs. With more training volume per body part, this version should mean you can get back on track and start making progress again.

However, the workouts are still very basic and built around compound exercises and the training principles established in the original version of the Fierce 5 Workout Routine.

Fierce Five Upper Body Workout A

No. Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 Bench press 3 5 2-3 minutes
2 Incline bench press 3 8 2-3 minutes
3 Lat pulldown 3 8 2-3 minutes
4 Bent over row 3 8 2-3 minutes
5a Barbell biceps curl    3 10 60-90 seconds
5b Dumbbell reverse fly 12

Exercises 5a and 5b are to be performed as supersets. Do exercise a (barbell biceps curl) and then immediately do exercise b (dumbbell reverse fly). Rest a moment and then repeat the pairing one more time to make two supersets.

Fierce Five Lower Body Workout A

No. Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 Back squat   3 5 2-3 minutes
2 Back hyperextension 3 8 2-3 minutes
3 Leg press 3 10 60-90 seconds
4 Leg curl 3 10 60-90 seconds
5a Any abs exercise   3 15 60-90 seconds
5b Calf raise 12

Exercises 5a and 5b are to be performed as supersets. Do exercise a (your chosen abs exercise) and then immediately do exercise b (calf raise). Rest a moment and then repeat the pairing one more time to make two supersets.

Fierce Five Upper Body Workout B

No. Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 Overhead press 3 5 2-3 minutes
2 Dumbbell fly 3 10 60-90 seconds  
3 Pull-up/chin-up 3 8 2-3 minutes
4 Pendlay row 3 8 2-3 minutes
5a Face pull   3 12 60-90 seconds
5b Triceps pushdown 10

Exercises 5a and 5b are to be performed as supersets. Do exercise a (face pull) and then immediately do exercise b (triceps pushdown). Rest a moment and then repeat the pairing one more time to make two supersets.

Fierce Five Lower Body Workout B

No. Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 Front squat   3 5 2-3 minutes
2 Romanian deadlift 3 8 2-3 minutes
3 Leg extension 3 10 60-90 seconds
4 Leg curl 3 10 60-90 seconds
5a Any abs exercise   3 15 60-90 seconds
5b Seated calf raise   12

Exercises 5a and 5b are to be performed as supersets. Do exercise a (your chosen abs exercise) and then immediately do exercise b (seated calf raise). Rest a moment and then repeat the pairing one more time to make two supersets.

FAQs

All three versions of the Fierce 5 Workout Routine are pretty straightforward, and that’s part of their appeal. You don’t need access to lots of fancy training equipment, and the workout themselves are quite time-efficient.

That said, you may still have questions about these programs, and we’ve got the answers!

What results will I get from the Fierce 5 Workout Routine?

The Fierce 5 Workout Routine includes some low rep/heavy weight training and some moderate weight/higher rep training. As such, it should build both muscle strength and size. This means it’s essentially a powerbuilding routine.

Can I change some of the exercises?

Ideally, you should do the workouts as they are written. But, if you are unable to do an exercise because of a lack of the right equipment or because of injury, you should choose a similar movement.

For example, instead of Romanian deadlifts, you could do something like good mornings. However, you should not change the workout by using completely different exercises, such as replacing bench presses with the pec deck. Stay true to the spirit of the workouts!

Good mornings

How do I warm up before each Fierce 5 workout?

Warming up prepares your body for the workout you are about to do. Start warming up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio, followed by some dynamic mobility and flexibility exercises for the muscles and joints you are about to use. Finally, do 1-3 light sets of each exercise before you begin your work sets.

Can I do cardio with the Fierce 5 Workout Routine?

A couple of cardio sessions per week will help improve your fitness and endurance and may even help you recover faster between workouts. However, take care not to go too hard or work out for too long and undermine your strength training progress.

20-30 minutes 2 to 3 times per week should be enough cardio for most people. Doing more could leave you feeling too tired to hit the weights with the intensity needed to produce the results you want. You can do LISS or HIIT cardio as preferred.

Is Fierce 5 a bulking or cutting workout?

Bulking and cutting is more about your diet than the workout you are following. But, because this program aims to build strength and muscle mass, it could be argued that it’s more of a bulking routine. However, if you are in a caloric deficit, the Fierce 5 workout routine could also help you lose weight and fat.

What supplements do I need to take?

You can do this workout without supplements if you wish. However, you may find including a few supplements in your diet is helpful. Good options include:

Is the Fierce 5 Workout Routine suitable for beginners?

With the emphasis on basic compound exercises and short training sessions, the Fierce 5 Workout Routine is ideal for beginners. As such, it’s an excellent place to start your bodybuilding journey. It will help you to develop a good foundation of strength and muscle mass. After a few months on this workout plan, you’ll be ready for a more challenging routine.

That said, it’s also a good workout for more advanced lifters, especially those looking for a lower volume program or who are coming back to training after a deload or layoff.

Is this workout meant for men or women?

Men and women can do the Fierce 5 workout routine. It’s not just men who want to be more toned and muscular; many women do too. This workout should produce good results for all genders.

Can I add extra exercise to the workouts?

You can, but that doesn’t mean you should. Between the workouts, they train all of your major muscle groups pretty equally. Adding additional exercises could cause muscle imbalances.

That said, if you have a lagging body part, it would be acceptable to add an extra exercise to bring it up to par. Some exercisers may also want to include some extra abdominal/core training, as that muscle group receives very little attention on this workout plan.

Wrapping Up

Full-body workouts like Fierce 5 are ideal for beginners and also for more advanced lifters. They focus on the basics and make the best possible use of your time and energy. There is a good balance between training and recovery, and if you eat well and get plenty of sleep, you should be able to gain an appreciable amount of strength and muscle mass with this type of workout.

The Fierce 5 Workout Routine shares many similarities with Strong Lifts 5 x 5 and Starting Strength. In fact, all of these workouts are somewhat interchangeable.

Whichever one you pick, make sure you stick with it for long enough, so it produces the results you want. Resist the temptation to flit from one program to the next, as this will undermine your progress.

Instead, choose your workout, keep adding weight to the bar, and continue with it until you hit a plateau. Then you’ll be ready for a new routine.