The 5BX fitness plan proved popular among civilians in the 1960s though initially designed for Royal Canadian Air Force pilots not considered fit to fly. Rather than the amount of time spent exercising, 5BX uses exercise intensity to improve your fitness. Today, 5BX remains a popular fitness protocol among trainers.
What makes the 5BX fitness plan, so simple is that it's merely a circuit of five exercises performed within eleven minutes. The first four exercises are calisthenics, and the last is an aerobic exercise such as a stationary run, a walk, or a run. The first four exercises are time-based, with rep targets performed within five minutes. The aerobic exercise is six minutes, or, if you choose to walk or run, however long it takes you to cover the required distance.
While the 5BX plan stands alone on its own merit, if you're like me, you'd like to spice things up and "change' them every once in a while. So, here are a few fun, smart, and different ways to change up your 5BX workouts. And, be sure to perform your 5BX workout with the TriadXP app. It provides voice and video guidance through all the charts and exercises and makes all these modifications a snap to do.
1) Do Another Round
Not pressed for time; add more rounds to the workout.
2) Do a Round from Another Chart
Start your 5BX workout with a lower level chart. Do a round of the calisthenics at a lower progression level is a great way to ease into a high intensity set at a higher fitness level.
3) Mix up the Exercises
Sometimes you progress faster with specific exercises than others. If you're having trouble mastering an individual activity, move on to the next Chart level but use the lower level exercise progression for that exercise. Stay with that exercise until you can accomplish the required number of reps to advance to the next level.
4) Add Your Own Exercises
The key to the 5BX fitness plan is working with the major muscle groups. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you might not be able to do a particular exercise, or you may want to incorporate weights or bands. Go for it. Replace an exercise with one of your favorite exercises that works the same muscle group or with an activity that doesn't aggravate an injured area. Just be smart. Listen to your body.
5) Change Up the Aerobic Activity
You can already substitute walking or running for the final aerobic exercise, which is a stationary run. But go even further. Substitute a swim or bike ride. Just be sure to get a similar level of exertion and perform it for at least six minutes.
Training with the 5BX fitness plan is fun and straightforward. It's fantastic for keeping those inches off, toning your mid-section, and building aerobic capacity. Use these five tips to keep your 5BX plan on track and your motivation high.
The 5BX and XBX (for women) are based on research and testing by Bill Orban, a Canadian public servant and academic and "pioneer" in the field of physical fitness, and the RCAF. Both programs develop a high level of fitness while consuming only a relatively small amount of personnel time. Go to TriadXP.com to perform and track your 5BX fitness plan with voice and video guidance right from your mobile device.