Is there a way to practice the BIG 5 WORKOUT at home with minimal equipment? Is there a video or pictures I can use for it? Does practicing with the BODY SCIENCE method helps to improve the aerobic level?

  • Can you explain the Body Science method, and the principles of the Big 5 Workout?
    – Dark Hippo
    May 23 '16 at 12:47
  • You can refer to here bodybyscience.net/home.html/?page_id=18 or use google you will find lots of material
    – Avi
    May 23 '16 at 12:58
  • 2
    So, you want us to do your research as well as provide an answer? Maybe you could edit your question to inclde your goals, and what about the body science method appeals to you?
    – JohnP
    May 23 '16 at 15:11
  • Dear @JohnP, I think I wrote my goal quite clearly in the question body: "improve the aerobic level". I just asked if someone has any experience with using the BIG 5 WORKOUT for achieving higher aerobic level. If you don't have experience or knowledge about it, it is OK may others have.
    – Avi
    May 23 '16 at 15:24
  • 2
    Aerobic level for...what? Better than couch potato? "I wanna improve" is a vague reference, it will promote vague answers.
    – JohnP
    May 23 '16 at 16:18

The Big 5 workout consists of these exercises (or rather categories thereof).

  • Upper body pull. This is a horizontal pull. Getting some dumbbells that can be plate-loaded would allow you to do dumbbell rows, but for good strength development you'd end up with weights that aren't very practical for dumbbells, and a seated row or barbell rows would be better.
  • Upper body push. A horizontal push, antagonist to the above. The bench press is the classic here, but dumbbell bench presses can be an excellent exercise. Loading them very heavy isn't as easy as with a bench and barbell, though.
  • Pulldown. This is the vertical pull. Pull-ups and chin-ups are outstanding exercises that can be started with body weight using nothing but a pull-up bar, which isn't very expensive. Or, if you can't do so at first, using assistance like elastic bands or jumping up and doing a slow eccentric. Once you can do a decent amount of body weight pull-ups, some weight plates and a dip belt can be used for extra loading. Or holding a dumbbell between your feet, although that becomes impractical for larger weights.
  • Overhead press. This is the vertical push. Dumbbell shoulder presses can be outstanding exercises and allow for progress for substantial time.
  • Leg press. Obviously a machine would be needed for this, but I'd argue you can get more out of squats anyway. For progressively loading the squat dumbbells could be used, or a dip belt with plates (look for "hip belt squats"). Once squats get very heavy, though, a bar would be in order, and it requires a rack for safe performance.

So, you can get somewhere if you get 2 dumbbells with a bunch of plates, a pull-up bar and a dip belt. However, how far this will take you depends quite a bit on what your goals are and your personal stats. An older trainee looking for some exercise might not need weights beyond what dumbbells offer, but someone looking to gain quite a bit of strength and/or muscle mass is going to need more.

I think you're better served checking out a gym with good equipment where you have an option to quit membership whenever you want. It'll give you an idea of how far you want to take this and how motivated you are. If you do decide to pursue strength at home, a home gym is certainly an investment but doesn't have to break the bank or turn into a huge garage gym. A quality power rack, good barbell, bunch of weight plates and a flat bench will pretty much have you set for doing all the most important, fundamental exercises.

As for resources, I suggest you choose exercises you find fitting in each of the categories (horizontal/vertical push, horizontal/vertical pull, legs) and just consult the wealth of videos and texts out there on the web. The StrongLifts 5x5 website has pretty good descriptions for proper form on a bunch of fundamentals, with pictures.

As for the "body science" method itself, I don't know it, but starting off with the major compound movements is a solid principle. I am wary of its "in less than 13 minutes per week" claims, though, because to be honest that is bull.

For aerobic conditioning, it's probably best to pose that as a separate question.


Possibly with some bodyweight exercises, though I'd recommend against it.

Having a quick look into the "Big 5 Workout", it seems like a standard HIT program, so performing one set to absolute failure. The key word there is "absolute".

If you're performing an exercise to muscular failure, then your form goes all to hell. If you're performing an upper body horizontal push using dumbbells, then there's a fairly good chance you'll end up dropping them on yourself if you're not careful.

This is probably one of the reasons why, when Arthur Jones (the founder of Nautilus) recommended HIT, he recommended using Nautilus machines. It's a lot harder to drop a weight on your head when you're using a machine (hard, but probably not impossible if you're determined).

If you want to try bodyweight alternatives, then you can do:

  • Upper Body Horizontal Push - Press ups (worst case scenario, you face butt the floor)
  • Upper Body Horizontal Pull - Inverted rows
  • Upper Body Vertical Push - Hand stands, though be careful not to drop onto your head too hard
  • Upper Body Vertical Pull - Pull ups
  • Legs - Squats

All of those exercises have progressions and regressions you can try to work through, though I'm not sure if the progressions would be too big of a jump on some.


You can refer to the following video for demonstration of THE BIG 5 WORKOUT for home. I don't know if the exercises can improve the aerobic level.

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