What is 5BX?

The 5BX Plan Five Basic Exercises was devised by Dr. Bill Orban for the Royal Canadian Air Force in the late 1950s. The Plan is composed of 6 charts arranged in progression. Each chart is composed of 5 exercises which are always performed in the same order (warming-up and stretching is included in this order of the exercises) and in the same maximum time limit.

The idea is that you perform these exercises for only 11 minutes a day to achieve a reasonably high level of fitness. There are targets/chart levels to aim for, (based upon age) and once you have reached your personal target, you only have to perform the exercises 3 times a week to maintain your level of fitness.

 

 

5BX Chart Two Level C

Level

CHART 2 EXERCISES

1 mile run

2 mile walk

1

2

3

4

5

In minutes

C+

20

15

21

14

425

10

34

C

19

14

19

13

410

10

34

C-

18

13

17

12

395

10

34

Minutes in each exercise

2

1

1

1

6

 

 

 

 

 

In this example, someone of my age, i.e. 57, would aim for Chart 2 Level C+

The charts are easy to follow, in that exercise 1 is performed 20 times in 2 minutes maximum, exercise 2 is performed 15 times in 1 minute and so on.

The alternative to exercise 5, i.e. the mile run or 2 mile walk is performed in the time stated.

Here is the complete list of age based targets. 

Age Group
Chart
Level
6
1
B
7
1
A
8
2
D-
9
2
C-
10
2
B-
11
2
A-
12
3
D+
13
3
C+
14
3
B+
15
4
D-
16-17
4
C+
18-25
5
C
25-29
4
A+
30-34
4
C+
35-39
3
B
40-44
3
C
45-49
2
A+
50-60
2
C+
Champion Athletes
6
Any Level

 

When first looking at these exercises, it seems quite fanciful to suggest that anyone can get fit by just doing what initially appears to be so little. Try them for a week and you will see that Dr. Orban knew what he was talking about.

How To Begin

Check your daily schedule and determine the time most convenient for you to do the exercises. It should be the same time each day.

Here are some suggested times:

  • before breakfast;
  • late morning or afternoon, at your place of employment;
  • after your regular recreational period;
  • in the evening just before you retire.

 

Regardless of the time you choose START TODAY

Maximum Rate of Progression through the Charts According to Age

20 years or under, at least 1 day at each level
20-29 years, at least 2 days at each level
30-39 years, at least 4 days at each level
40-49 years, at least 7 days at each level
50-59 years, at least 8 days at each level
60 years and over, at least 10 days at each level

 

If you feel stiff or sore, or if you are unduly breathless at any time, ease up and slow down your rate or progression. This is particularly applicable to the older age groups.

 A Note of Caution

Even if you feel able to start at a high level and progress at a faster rate than indicated

DON'T DO IT

Start at the bottom of Chart 1 and work up from level to level as recommended.

 

The information contained in this site is made available for general information. In no way is this information intended to be medically accurate. Information within this site is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice from qualified health care providers. No representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information in this site is made. No endorsement, promotion, or sponsorship is made by any hypertext link provided within this site. Visitors assume all risks of using information in this site.

 

 
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