Fierce 5 Workout (The Revolutionary Training Program)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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Several years ago, a fellow fitness coach introduced me to the Fierce 5 workout.

As a strength and fitness coach, I've successfully used it to help clients make significant gains in both lower and upper body areas.

To optimize its effectiveness, we experimented with various exercises and weights, finding the best combinations over a six-week trial with nine clients.

This approach not only boosts results but also keeps workouts interesting and efficient, especially when coupled with a top-quality protein shake for muscle recovery.

Quick Summary

  • The Fierce 5 workout plan, designed for significant gains in upper and lower body areas, involves choosing the right exercises and weights to maximize hypertrophy and efficiency.
  • It features 12 major lifts involving compound movements, offering a mix of exercises for both upper and lower body strength.
  • According to a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, incorporating exercises like the incline bench press into the Fierce 5 workout can lead to better-shaped pecs and increased hypertrophy.
  • In my experience as a personal strength and fitness coach, the Fierce 5 is highly effective but requires careful selection of exercises and weights, along with proper form, for optimal results.

Sample Fierce 5 Workout Routine

A person doing pulldowns in the gym as part of his fierce 5 workout

In this section, I’m going to show you 12 different major lifts that involve compound movements.

The benefit of compound exercises is that you engage more muscles at the same time, which may help you achieve more hypertrophy in less time (if coupled with optimal macronutrient ratios and timed meals to support muscle growth and expedite recovery).

What you do is pick six workouts from the list below, and the last two you do as supersets back-to-back with very little rest time.

It’s essentially six workouts packed into the time span of five, and that will translate into more efficiency and muscle mass.

“While isolation exercises use just one muscle or muscle group at a time, compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles or muscle groups.”

- Tara Laferrara, CPT

Let me now show you the exercises that, according to our test results, provided the highest benefits for the clients that went through our six-week powerlifting workout program.

Upper Body Lifts

A person in the gym lifting up a barbell
  • Incline Bench Press: Most people only ever do a flat bench press, but shifting to an incline setup can have significant benefits for better-shaped pecs. And when you lift weights in a slightly different way, it can improve hypertrophy, according to a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research [1].
  • Romanian Deadlift: The Romanian deadlift is my favorite core exercise, and the Fierce 5 program calls for less strain on the lower muscles, which is why you don’t want a slight squat with this deadlift.
  • Overhead Press: The overhead press is also sometimes referred to as the military press, and it’s an excellent compound movement to work on your shoulders, upper back, and arm muscles.
  • Horizontal Pull: AKA face pulls, you’ll want to set up a cable machine with a medium-sized handle at the same height as your head. The face-pull part of the Fierce 5 is specifically designed to work on your upper back.
  • Reverse Flys: Now it’s time to shift towards a compound movement that targets most of your back muscles. Don’t be afraid to choose heavier dumbbells, as you want to feel the burn after just a few reps.
  • Lat Pulldown: Head to the lat pulldown machine for the next stage of the Fierce 5 and choose a wide bar. Make sure you slow down the movement and hold the weight at the halfway point.

Lower Body Lifts

A person doing leg presses
  • Squats: Whether you prefer front or back squats, I recommend switching them around on different training days. A slight change in the setup can have positive impacts on your core.
  • Calf Raises: You could do these right after a deadlift, as you’ll have a similar weight setup. Make sure it’s a heavy bar, and change your foot position from toes pointing out to pointing in on different days.
  • Leg Press: The leg press is a great alternative to squats, and some people feel more comfortable using a machine when they get to heavier loads. It’s also a great option if you don’t have a spotter.
  • Leg Curls: The leg curl movement is ideal for working on your hamstrings and glutes at the same time.
  • Leg Extensions: To gain better shape in your quads, load up the leg extension machine so that you even struggle with the first couple of reps.
  • Weighted Lunges: Finally, by holding onto a couple of heavy dumbbells and either doing forward or back lunges, you can work on your legs, core, and even hip flexors [2].

Who Should Do The Fierce 5 Workout?

A buff male doing leg press workout

People who want to build muscle mass faster and more effectively should consider the Fierce 5 workout routine.

It’s a great way to bring on maximum strain in a short space of time and train muscle groups in the same gym session.

However, if you’re trying to lose weight, then a workout like the Fierce 5 isn’t going to be the best option for you.

What you’ll need is a routine that focuses more on increasing calorie burn through larger rep ranges.

Choosing The Right Weights

Selecting the correct weight is crucial.

What I generally suggest that people do is choose a weight that is about 20% higher than they would normally do with these workouts for eight or more reps.

Moreover, don't stick to the same weight; progressively add a bit more each session.

Yet, if you're limited by home equipment, slow your reps to reach failure by the fifth one.

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Getting The Form Right

A woman doing overhead presses

Prioritize proper form over weight.

Add a pause mid-rep and slow down movements for more effectiveness.

Maximize your range of motion before increasing weight – it's more beneficial than simply adding plates, as emphasized in the Sage Open Medicine Journal [3].

How Often Should You Do the Fierce 5 Workout Program?

You should aim to do the Fierce 5 workout routine two to three times a week.

I have seen people do it more often, but our results show that adding in some cardio sessions with some ab work can have a better effect.

You might also want to pick some days where you do an isolation program like bicep curls and a dedicated tricep isolation exercise, as they yield their benefits, as stated in a study published in the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine [4].

So, if you did the Fierce 5 on Monday and Thursday, that would give you Tuesday for cardio and Friday for isolation work.

Advanced Tips

A person lifting up a barbell

Here are three tips that we took from our testing program that our clients liked the most.

Mix Things Up

Avoid repetitive routines by changing set orders and exercises.

If you mix the order of sets and randomize the workouts, you’ll also find that the whole process doesn’t become as boring and repetitive. 

And for those advancing from Fierce 5, gradually introduce new exercises and training variables for continuous muscle growth.

Extend Your Training Time

On some days, add one or two extra exercises to push your body further, enhancing energy metabolism and aiding in weight loss or cutting, as noted in the Transitional Endocrinology of Bone study [5].

Back-to-Back Fierce 5 Days

After a few weeks, try two consecutive Fierce 5 days to increase muscle confusion and reach goals faster.

Mind-Muscle Connection Techniques

Enhance your workout by focusing on muscle contractions and using specific breathing methods, which improve muscle engagement and intensity.


Is Fierce 5 For Hypertrophy?

Yes, Fierce 5 is good for hypertrophy. When you do these exercises with a full range of motion and load up the weights, your muscles will be pushed to failure by the fifth rep.

Where Did The Fierce 5 Come From?

It’s not entirely clear where the Fierce 5 came from, but some people point to a few bodybuilding forums where a strength coach shared it a few years ago. Since then, many people, like us, have adapted and refined it into a great program.


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About The Author

Senior Coach
Tyler Sellers is a trained athlete and author with contributions to publications like Men’s Health, The Healthy, Fox Business, NerdWallet, Weight Watchers, and MSN. His unique approach extends beyond physical techniques, emphasizing the significance of mental techniques like the flow state and mind-muscle connection.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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