T Nation

5 x 5 Rep Comparison for Bench Press

In the past, I have done a ton of 5 x 5 straight sets for bench. I hit 265 x 5 x 5 with 3 minutes rest in between sets a few weeks ago and then stalled out there. Too many reps being ground out in subsequent workouts. So I decided to try a new approach yesterday that I had used with a friend years ago. I did a 5 x 5, but it was not with straight sets or ramped up sets. We used descending sets. So I warmed up, then went 265 x 5, 255 x 5, 245 x 5, 235 x 5, 225 x 5, then a burnout set at 185 of 16 reps. Obviously this would be an easier workout than 265 x 5 x 5 if I had taken 3 min rest, but I limited the rest to about 1:30-1:45.

So my question is, what is the main difference between the benefits of the two workouts? I’m guessing that the second won’t yield the strength results of the first and is more endurance based because of the decreased rest. I just felt like as far as muscle fiber activation, the second one did a better job at more recruitment.