The 5BX (Five Basic Exercises) Plan is an exercise program.
- It is a program developed for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) by Bill Orban in the late 1950s.
- It was first published in 1961.
- The plan was originally developed for men
- A corresponding program was developed for women under the name XBX
The 5BX plan
- The 5BX Plan is composed of six charts arranged in increasing order of difficulty.
- Each chart is composed of five exercises that are performed within 11 minutes. The first four exercises are calisthenics, and the last an aerobic exercise.
- As the individual progresses within the system, the number of each type of exercise that must be performed increases and the difficulty of each exercise increases.
Throughout the charts and levels, the five exercises are the same, but more difficult variations are introduced:
A walk or run may be substituted for the final exercise; the distances to be covered and the time to be taken are also specified in the plan.
- The RCAF asked Orban to develop a fitness program for their pilots, a third of whom were not considered fit to fly at the time.
- The plan was innovative in two respects.
- Firstly, it did not require access to specialized equipment.
- Many RCAF pilots were located in remote bases in northern Canada, with no access to gymnasium facilities, so it was important to offer a means of keeping fit without their use.
- Secondly, the plan only required 11 minutes per day to be spent on the exercises.
Intensity more important
- While performing research in Illinois, Orban had noticed that, when testing oxygen intake, long periods of exercise did not necessarily lead to significant improvement.
- This led him to the conclusion that the intensity of exercise was more important to improving fitness than the amount of time spent on it.
- This aspect of the plan drew a negative reaction from others in the field but the 5BX program proved its worth in the three years of testing that the RCAF performed before releasing the program.
- "The Royal Canadian Air Force 5Bx program for men, 3rd edition, booklet, 1975
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