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5/3/1, 5x5, and the Perils of the Almost 50 Lifter

Just finished 4 cycles of 5/3/1 and want to offer how it went for me. I found it worked for my squat and DL but no real progress on the OHP and Bench. It seems my OHP responds better to volume training as well as the bench to some degree. I lost some size in the upper body while my strength only marginally improved.

Before 5/3/1 I had been following a Starr 5x5 routine for about 8 months. Before that I had been following 30 years of Weider-style muscle confusion training, some HIT, some 4 sets of 8, and some powerlifting routines where I competed a little bit back in my 20’s. I am 48 now, been lifting since I was 16, basically never really learned how to train right until a friend introduced me to powerlifting in college and for the firRst time I discovered programmed progression.

Before that I changed routines monthly, usually coinciding with the latest issue of Muscle and Fitness magazine. The Bertil Fox leg Blast Routine, or the Gary Strydom Cut Routine, etc. (Guys my age, you know what I mean). So I figured, except for the limited success I had with powerlifting training, I wasted many years in the gym with uncoordinated training, so I figured, why not started at the beginning and train like a beginner using smarter routines with a system of planned progression? You know, re-discover lifting. So, I did about 8 months of 5x5 and got fantastic results in both size and strength. After stalling on 5x5 I tried some 5/3/1 and didnt really like it. So, I am back to 5x5 and loving it.

Now, my questions is…this 5x5 is toted as a Beginner Program, but what the hell…I like it and will stick with it. Anyone been using it throughout one’s lifting career? I mean Reg Park did a variation of it. I plan on doing a few more cycles of it until I totally stall on 5’s, then change up the rep scheme to 3’s, then try some 8’s, then back to 5x5. Something like that. I thrive on straight sets and dont really get the same hit with ladders and pyramids and such. I remember seeing a Riptoe interview with Ed Coan and Eddie said that your base of strength comes from 5’s. I felt he was right on.

I myself had some vague adherence to physical fitness training throughout my life until 2004, when I committed to a home setup and used webboards for knowledge. I have been in ‘reasonable’ shape since.

As to 5 X 5 training, I have on my hard drive a spreadsheet based program that basically fits the bill. It is a 9 week routine, 4 weeks of 5 X 5 on a periodized 3 day split basis, then a drop to 3 X 3 for a deload week (5), then for the balance of 9 weeks it continues with 3 X 3. Back when I tried it I was deadlifting like a damn beast. It is just that more recently I have scaled back lifting for fight training, so it is no longer relevant to me.

When I say spreadsheet based, I mean you input for the main lifts your reps of whatever weight to failure, and the whole 9 week progression is spelled out for you. The author did stress that the spreadsheet is intended for the first run through, and the lifter is supposed to use their own judgment on how to run a second cycle.

If you want to take a serious look at it, just message me with an email address and I will send it, it is in Excel format.

Thanks! I just sent you an email address over in a private message, I think I sent it anyway. First time I used the private message function on here…hope it took.

Damn, I didn’t get a message from you, and when I tried to send you one it didn’t register as sent. If you are willing to world wide web you could just openly post it.

Whatever routine you can put your belief in and make progress with works best.

Google Bill star 5x5 advanced version and program your lifts 10% under your eveyday max–trust me on this. For a good 5x5.

[quote]FISCHER613 wrote:
Whatever routine you can put your belief in and make progress with works best.

Google Bill star 5x5 advanced version and program your lifts 10% under your eveyday max–trust me on this. For a good 5x5.

[/quote]

Yes, same thing.

Thanks Fischer, I’ll check this out.

[quote]FISCHER613 wrote:
Whatever routine you can put your belief in and make progress with works best.

Google Bill star 5x5 advanced version and program your lifts 10% under your eveyday max–trust me on this. For a good 5x5.

[/quote]
Pretty much agree with this… sometimes people get good results on some of the worst programs just simply because they but their faith into it and just work at it.