This is the Exact Workout I did Today!

New Method: High-Intensity Interval Strength Training

Exercise is the most incredible medicine that I know of. It not only helps us get rid of unhealthy body weight and build more shapely muscles, it significantly decreases our risk of most all preventable diseases including: diabetes, depression, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people in America don’t do any ‘voluntary’ exercise at all (by voluntary, I mean they don’t do any extra physical activity outside of what they have to do for work or what’s required in just completing everyday activities). And of course, this is one of the big reasons why nearly 7 out of 10 people in our country are suffering from overweight/obesity and the preventable ailments which come along with it.

What I’ve discovered is that many people who have considered adding exercise to their lifestyle haven’t primarily because they believe the myth that to get good results, you have to exercise for hours a day. This is a big barrier for millions of people and it shouldn’t be, because the fact is we can all experience incredible benefits from working out for just 25 minutes a day; that is, if we follow the scientifically proven Intense Interval methods which dictate that QUALITY matters more than QUANTITY when it comes to exercise.

Show Me Don’t Tell Me (I will, I will! =)

Today I did the exact workout shown in this video below. It works, big time! Your muscles get stronger, you burn fat faster because your metabolism goes up (for as much as 30 to 40 hours after your workout), your cardio-pulmonary health improves, your heart gets healthier, your brain gets more energy, and your natural growth hormone (GH) levels go up 10 fold (for hours after your intense workout).

The keys to tapping into all these benefits and more is to do weight lifting in intense intervals where we work hard for a couple minutes then rest two minutes, then work, rest, work, rest, and work, rest again. We want to get our heart rate up to 90% to 95% of our estimated cardiac maximum (220 minus our age: for me that means I am aiming for about 160 heart beats per minutes at the end of my work sets–then I rest for a couple minutes until my pulse comes down to about 120).

You’ll notice in this exercise demonstration video that I do one set right after the other, with only maybe 10-15 seconds between each. After I complete 10 repetitions of all 5 exercises, I wait a couple minutes as I mentioned above (this is just enough time for a training partner to go through their 5 sets if you’re working out with somebody) and then I repeat all 5 exercises for a total of 5 times. I finished this workout in less than a half hour today and I was toast!

With this ‘5-25 Intense Interval Strength Training’ workout I can stick with the same weight for all 5 sets (as opposed to ‘pyramiding’ or increasing weight for each set as we did with Body-for-LIFE). The way 5-25 is designed we reach ‘progressive resistance overload’ (needed for positive muscle adaptations) through fatiguing the muscles more with each set. By your 5th set of 10 reps for each muscle group you will be toast too and that is good. =)  Give it a try and let me know how you like it! In my next blog I’ll show you how I work lower body and then I’ll discuss what’s new with High Intensity Interval Aerobic Training.


Upper Body Workout (as shown in video)

  1. Incline Chest Press — 10 Reps
  2. Iron-Cross Shoulder Raises — 10 Reps
  3. Dumbbell Lat Rows — 10 Reps
  4. Biceps Curls — 10 Reps
  5. Triceps Extension — 10 Reps
    * Rest two minutes then repeat all 5 exercises, a total of 5 times


  1. “BOOM BOOM POW ” ( Will i. am )

  2. Underdog says:

    What intensity level do you recommend to start with for our first set?

    • On a scale of 1 to 10, aim for about 7. With the same weight, that 7 will become a 9 or 10 by your 5th time through the exercises. Enjoy the burn! =)

      • “I be rockin’ them beats” ( of the Black Eyed Peas)

      • terrence0117 says:

        How many days a week should we workout each body part OR doing the 5-25 workout (or any workout in general)?

      • Throughout the week we want to alternate aerobic workouts and weight training sessions. You don’t need to do both on one day. And, we want to wait 2 or 3 days between our weight lifting workouts to give the muscles time to recover. Since the aerobic exercise doesn’t cause the ‘micro-tears’ to muscle fibers the way strength training does, we can do those workouts on consecutive days.

        Weekly Training Schedule Example

        Monday: Weight Lifting – Upper Body
        Tuesday: Intense 5-25 Aerobics
        Wednesday: Weight Lifting – Lower Body
        Thursday: Intense 5-25 Aerobics
        Friday: Weight Lifting – Upper Body
        Saturday: Intense 5-25 Aerobics

        You don’t need to workout for hours a day to enjoy great results. When we increase the effort level and energy we put into each exercise session, we can get an incredible return from just 25 minutes of training 5 days a week.

        If you’re looking for a new, challenging and effective training method, give the 5-25 Workout method a try for at least 4 weeks. Focus on consistency (get in all 5 workouts each week no matter what) and intensity (give each workout all you’ve got!) and I guarantee you’ll like the results!

  3. John Beard says:

    I would love to do interval training but in my gym it’s hard to do. Sometimes it’s too crowded. What do you suggest.

    • All you need is a bench and a few dumbbells like I show in the video. Search on Ebay or Amazon. You can set up your own home gym if your fitness center doesn’t have room for you to workout (when we really what we want we find a way; when we don’t, we find an excuse.=)

  4. I am always wiped out by the 5th set =) Love the burn! I often try other routines but 5~25 is by far the best ever!! Thanks for showing me the way!

  5. Kick myself for ever selling my bench & weights.. still have the treadmill… have to get set up by this weekend! Gotta find a bench…

  6. Underdog says:

    Thanks I have always performed the Body For Life workout. Looking forward to trying something new.

  7. I can do that. =) Thank you!

  8. Jaezmin Munoz De Mendez says:

    I like this workout because I dont need to go to a gym or need sophisticated machines . I can do it with my own dumbells. Thank you for your feedback.

  9. John Posey says:

    I have read your book “Body for Life” several times over the last few years, and I have finally started the workouts and riding a road bike, I have noticed a difference in how I feel. Your book makes sense and I am excited to try the 5-25. Thanks Bill!

  10. how many times a week are you doing this?LooksAWESOME!!!!!!!

  11. Oh, I really like this better than pyramiding! I have a set of home weights that are adjustable from 5-25# with a pin that you must each time you want to increase the weights.which can be a bit bothersome when I have to pyramid. What a great way to do your upper body quickly! Thanks, Bill.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Are you really 60 years old??

    • I am 48. I have some friends in their 50s and 60s who are in excellent shape, healthy, strong, and bright. I plan to follow their example and keep working hard to improve myself each year!

      • Jennifer says:

        You look amazing! I was looking at your heart rate calculation, I guess I was a little off 🙂 Thank you for being such an inspiration! Looking forward to your new challenge.

  13. For cardio, would riding a bike following HIIT be suufecient?

  14. Thank you for showing me exactly how it is done. I am not very good on the computer, but I have always loved your e-mails. Are your bars dairy and nut free?

  15. Janet Young says:

    Very inspiring! I’ve been looking for a way to mix up my weight training. I will start this tomorrow! Can’t wait to see the work out for the lower body/abs.

  16. Going to give this new workout a try for sure – simple and efficient. Love it!

  17. Shannon says:

    Do you suggest doing this workout over the pyramid workout that is in your book? I did body for life in 2001 (went from size 22 to a size 6 in 6 months)kept weight off for 2 years then quit, now size 24:( want to start again…

    • Deborah says:

      Shannon – I did the exact same thing! I was in awesome shape in 2001 and actually weighed more comparatively (140 pounds) at a size 6 than I do now. I followed Body and Eating for life for two whole years, then I had a surgery (no excuse because I was better in two weeks), but i just stopped. Now I’m a 180 pounds and a size 18! WTH! Lol

      I know muscle weighs more than fat, but to think I gained all of those sizes with only a 40 pound difference – amazing…
      I’ve been back now for four weeks and while I can feel a difference in the way my clothes fit and went down to a size 16, I’ve only lost 2 pounds. That scale is so frustrating.

      You did it once, you can do it again! Glad to read there is someone just like me.

      • Shannon says:

        Thanks Deborah for sharing…I have been back on the program 4 weeks now and have lost 12 pounds of fat and gained 4 pounds of muscle:) feels great!

  18. Bill,48 is the new 28,your proof.When do we see the leg blaster???

  19. Leslie Wagner says:

    OK Bill……I entered my email address but where do I send the before picture? Is there anything else I need to do?

  20. Bill, you said we have to execute this workout twice a week. What do we do for the other 4 days? follow the B4L routine (I think one can improvise using the B4L work out model for now)? …also, I seen this on your other site a while back, we then were looking forward to being given the lower body parts work out equivalent but apparently it has not come. Could you please link it to here or reference if it is documented somewhere?
    ‘Thank you’ ain’t enough to express how much admiration I have for you Bill, You are an amazing Dude.

  21. john davids says:

    Hi Bill, I am following your 5-25 weights and cardio. But I am looking to put on some additional muscle size. I remember a while back you were endorsing creatine. can you please tell me what kind you recommend and when is best to take it? Thanks.

    • Creatine really is an incredible supplement. Since I introduced it to the market through the promotions for my company EAS (which I owned until 1999) over 10 million athletes and fitness buffs have used it to gain muscle size and strength. I’ve written many articles on creatine over the years and have supplemented with creatine throughout the years as well. What we are discovering now is that the science indicated creatine is even more powerful for improving heart and brain health. Like many, I love having strong muscles but when it comes to having an excellent quality and quantity of life its the brain benefits of creatine that stand out as most stunning. I’ll have a new supplement to recommend in the next couple weeks that includes pharmaceutical grade creatine along with a blend of other nutraceuticals (natural medicines made up of vitamins and nutrients). For now, the original EAS brand of creatine is available at stores everywhere and online at — about 5 to 8 grams a day for men is an effective dose and 2 to 5 grams for women can help lift the energy of body, mind and heart.

  22. Your enthusiasm moves the world!

  23. Thank you for an exercise program that is easy to follow.

  24. JIllian Tindall says:

    This one is FANTASTIC!!! I lost a lot of weight in a short time (F.A.C.T. with support works big time), and these exercises prevented loose skin on my arms (the unwanted danglies). THANK YOU Bill, for making a workout that requires only dumbells and a bench. It’s fast, effective, and fun!!!! I love my arms. I never thought I would go sleeveless without worrying.

  25. How much is too much, exercise? I know the importance of recovery and this week started the 5-25 cardio system, upper and lower body workouts, but want to build up stamina for road cycling. So should the 25 mins only be a minimum time scale?

  26. Phillip De Carlo says:

    Looks like three days between upper body workouts! When you post the lower body 5-25, I can fit that in to the other two days! Then 20 min cardio interval Tuesday, Thursday Saturday? or more??

  27. Wendy Swanson says:

    Should we follow the nutritional guidelines from Body For Life. Do you still recommend one day off a week?

  28. James Higgs says:

    Join competition

  29. Marla Benkovich says:

    I love this program!

  30. Please include me in the list

  31. Just Laurie says:

    Trying to sign up for the challenge on my phone, but can’t find the link to receive the daily blog

    • If you scroll to the very bottom of the page on your IPhone there is a link that says “View Full Site”. Click there and you will be directed to the full page where you can enter your email in the top right corner under “Follow Blog VIA Email”.

  32. Just Laurie says:

    I’d like to see a 5-10-5 lower body workout! Thanks Bill, for getting back on track. By the way, congratulations to you and your wife!

  33. elbuba1972 says:

    Thanks !

  34. mark ellbourn says:

    I just started doing the 5/25 workouts
    and its awesome,the best workout i have ever done

  35. Bill, I recently listened to your interviews with Mike Mentzer, AGAIN for the 100th time (well, it seemed like 100!)! Awesome interviews btw! I just saw your 5/25 workout and imagined Mike (RIP bro), yelling down, “WAY TO GO PHILLIPS, GREAT TO SEE YOU’RE MAKING SUCH A HUGE IMPACT ON PEOPLE’S THINKING!” I look forward to using 5/25 Bill! Thank you for all that you’re doing!

  36. michael says:

    The problem I have is my workload for since that I am truck driver I drive about about 1700 miles a week get in 3or4 am and finish by 5 pm dog training on Sat and I train dogs in the shelter sleep maybe 5 to 6 I try to catch up on the weekends wich is so wrong thanks Bill

  37. michael says:

    Also my knees are bone on bone so cardio sucks for me I walk my dogs I have to Aussies so if could give me a cardio I will try give it a go

  38. Allen Hanvey says:

    Just read/watched 5:25 upper body – good deal. Plan to try it tomorrow. How about lower body routine?

  39. Bill, you said the 5-25 was designed for those of us over 40. What makes it more suitable that the older BFL workouts?

    • Both routines will give you a great workout. Both will help build muscle.

      My newer version of BFL free-weight exercise is 5-25: High Intensity Interval Strength Training.

      Intense Interval Training has been proven in scientific studies to be the most effective exercise method when it comes to preventing heart disease, preventing stroke, accelerating the burning of bodyfat, and most important of all (in my opinion), increasing the size, number, and energy production of cellular mitochondria which is THE key to longevity. Also, at age 48 myself, I need a weight training method that works the muscles hard but is easy on the tendons and ligaments, and 5-25 offers that advantage too. I can use less weight and still blast the muscles without injury.

  40. I will have to modify my work outs to accommodate some issues with my hands. I am determined to meet my goals no matter the obstacles.

  41. Bill I have a lot of body fat to lose, is it ok to do cardio everyday along with the resistance training every other day?

    • Hi Cory,

      Thank you for your question. You can do more cardio of course but what I have found works best is to keep the workouts brief but intense… and most of all CONSISTENT.

      Intense Interval Exercise stimulates the metabolism by positively affecting cellular mitochondria energy production. This means that your body is burning more stored fat all day long and not just during the workout. Intense Exercise is powerful medicine and too much is akin to overdose — it can actually backfire and slow the metabolism. However, even the best exercise methods won’t make up for bad nutrition.

      It is imperative that we exercise AND eat right. I have a friend, George, who has become 135 pounds lighter over the last year. He works out at my Transformation Center in Colorado and follows my 5/25 program, exactly — he gets 25 minutes of intense exercise, 5 days a week. He has 3 Right Light nutrition shakes a day and 2 or 3 Eating for Life meals. His body and life transformation is stunning but I want to point out that he, on average, became 11 pounds lighter per month.

      Big progress is simply little progress over time. It’s more important that your workouts are consistent than long. Whatever you do, just promise me you’ll combine exercise and eating right, and you’ll stick with it long enough to reach your goals and then some. You can do it!

      Bill Phillips

      P.S. You can read my blog about Georges stunning transformation by clicking the link below:

      • Thanks so much for the info. I weight 400 lbs and I am so excited to start this program! Thanks for the inspirational blogs they have really helped me get motivated to make a change! Thanks again!!!

  42. Jennifer says:

    Where can I find more 5/25 workouts? I successfully followed bfl years ago, but, after having our 3rd and 4th children 10 years ago, I have never gotten myself back. I am feeling lost and disappointed. I am looking for guidance and support. These workouts seem like a great start. Thank you for help.

  43. I’ve looked at both upper and lower body workouts of 5-25. Newbie question, are abs also covered in this?

    • Thank you for your question. Here at our center we do upper body free-weight exercise, lower body free-weight exercise, and Intense Interval Cardio on spin bikes. The muscles around the core of the body get a lot of work in most all of our free-weight exercise. Typically we don’t do any crunches or sit-ups… it’s actually a myth that people get definition in the midsection from doing those kinds of exercises. In virtually every person who has been through our program, when their body fat gets below 10%, then you see the abs whether you do 1000 sit-ups a day or none at all. I know this seems counter-intuitive but like I said, it’s a mainstream fitness myth that ab exercises produce defined ab muscles. ~Bill

  44. Im Back, I was a BFL contestant 15 years ago.I was photographing couples for the before and afters and was so impressed that I signed up. It was the best I was. I came in 1000th in the 50 yr old category . Since then Life, Love and Work changed and I let myself go. My weight went up I got a stroke in my right eye. My sugar went crazy and they started me on insulin. That made my stomach grow to the point I looked like I was 10 months pregnant. I was at the beach and tried to climb a sand Hill and nearly collapsed. thats all stopped .I found a new love, moved from the east coast to the west coast, I just need work but I’ve found you again Bill, and I am back on track. At 65 its time to give myself a few more summers. Thanks Bill for all you do.

  45. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back
    to your website? My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
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  1. […] Workout Tips and a Video Demonstration […]

  2. […] Once you know where you are now and where you want to be in 12 weeks, it’s time to start eating right and working out consistently. You can follow the Body-for-LIFE workout which has worked well for literally hundreds of thousands of people, or you can Click Here to learn about my new 5/25 workout which is designed to help those of us over 40 …. […]

  3. […] more about 5/25 Training by reading my blog about it here on Bill Phillips Fitness News – just Click Here to go there! […]

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