T Nation

5-4-3-2-1 Rep Scheme

Is the 5-4-3-2-1 rep scheme a good choice for building size and strength if I am only doing each exercise every other day? Or would that not be enough volume?

For example, if benched every other day, 5-4-3-2-1, would that be effective, or is that not enough benching? Right now I am doing 5 x 5. Which method is better for building mass and strength?

Thanks for your help.

The 5-4-3-2-1 scheme is very effective and doesn’t “need” to be performed every day… 3 times a week on a lift will give you enough volume if you train hard. Now, which is more effective, the 5x5 or 5-4-3-2-1 scheme?

Well first of all it depends on your level of development: a beginner will tend to respond better to a 5x5 scheme… not so much because of the volume but more because a beginner is not efficient at maximizing muscle fiber recruitment so sets of 3, 2 and 1 might not create a maximum stimulation.

Now, if you are not a beginner which one is better? Well both are different… the 5x5 scheme might give you a tad more size gains while the 5-4-3-2-1 scheme might give you a tad more strength (which can eventually be used to stimulate more size gains).

The best option is probable to use both in a periodized plan: doing 4 weeks of 5x5 then 4 weeks of 5-4-3-2-1 then 2 weeks of 3-2-1-3-2-1

It depends on how you are loading. 5x5 is a classic scheme for size and strength. If you are wanting to do the 5-4-3-2-1, it would work best with the frequency CT recommend. It’s likely that the overall volume of load will decrease if you aren’t doing it with higher frequency.

Edit: Disregard what I said. CT said it better right above.

Based on what you’ve said, I think I’ll stick with 5 x 5 for a little longer. Thanks!

Well, this could become quite confusing for people lol.

Hello alternate reality self.