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5 x 5 training??

i have searched for awhile on this, and im some what new, but what is 5 x 5 training

thanks todd

Do a search for Joel Marion’s “Ripped, Rugged, and Dense” article or Charles Poliquin’s “Training with Maximal Weights” for some clarification.

I was intoduced to 5x5 by groovless (a t-man) and it has been great, basically it is just foundation movements (forgot the other word right now) rows, deads, squates, etc, and you do 5 set of 5 reps for each. Using the bar or dumbels a much as possiable. Just do a search in the box to the left and you will find a shit load of examples

Take your 5 rep max for an exercise. Try to do five sets of five. You won’t be able to get all 25 reps initially. Keep at it. Once you get all 25, increase the weight.

Check out the article Steve Posted and or buy Poliquin’s Modern Trends In Strength Training.

There are three main forms of 5x5 training. The first type is to gradually work your way up in weight until you hit your 5 RM in the 5th set. The second type of 5x5 is to keep the weight steady from set to set, but lift a weight that is less than your 5 RM – when you get 25 repetitions, increase the weight. A third way of training with 5x5 is to use a relatively light weight and lift the weight very quickly, somewhat akin to the Westside barbell speed/dynamic day for squats and bench presses (WSB uses more sets and fewer repetitions, however). J.V. Askem has a few decent articles about different forms of 5x5 training at his website (the URL I do not know off the top of my head, but can be located through a google search of “cable/bar guy”).

The first method (working up to a 5 RM) might be refered to as a “heavy” workout, the second method (constant weight close to 5 RM) might be called a “medium” workout. The third method might be called a “light” or “speed” workout. In this manner, you could mix and match training methods for the same exercise within the same week. If you are training, say bench press, 2 times per week you might set up a cycle something like this: Week 1 – L,M Week 2 – L, H Week 3 – M, H Week 4 – L, M. In this way, average intesity goes from medium/low, to medium, to medium/heavy, then back down to medium/low. This is just an example of course, and certainly there are numerous other variations and methods of combining different forms of 5x5 training into a program.

When employing the 5x5 method that you describe, is it correct that you don’t lift the weight for more than 5 reps at any time? If you can hit 5 reps on your fifth set of a weight, then you could have done maybe 8 to 10 on the first set. Are there differing opinions on this?

Stop at 5. If you can get a lot more reps than that, then you likely need to increase the weight. If when you increase the weight to almost your 5RM and you can’t get close to 5x5 reps, then I would back the weight down just a bit and go from there.

Always stop at 5 reps.

If reps were less than 15, then drop the weight. If you hit 25 or 24 and were really close on the last one, then bump the weight up by 5-15 lbs.

Okay, thanks. I asked because I was looking over some recent workouts I’ve had. I was doing three sets to failure (i.e. no more reps could be completed without the aid of a spotter) on the main exercises (bench, squat, etc.), and when I used a weight that I could handle between 8 and 10 times, my third sets were almost all right at 5 reps. I would imagine that I would have to use a weight that I could handle for 10-12 reps on my first set to hit 5 on my last set. Does that seem odd, or do other people “fall off” like I do? This is actually a reason I’ve considered doing something like the 5x5, or more generally, an XxY scheme, where each set consists of the same number of reps.

Well, it sounds strange, but not impossible that you’d have to use your 10-12 RM load to get 5x5. This may be at the start. Right now, you are neurologically inefficient in terms of fiber recruitment and this program will help you with that.

So although, you may have to start with a 10RM or something, as long as you add weight each time you get 5x5, you'll slowly phase into much heavier weights and will improve your ability to tap into more motor units.

Thanks again. I might try that. I’ve thought about doing it for years (limiting reps in the first few sets), actually, but it’s so difficult to hold back on the first few sets. I’ll give it a shot.

Oh, another thing. I agree that I’m quite inefficient, mainly after the first set. (This may also have to do with warming up, which I do relatively little of.) Is neurological efficiency relative? By that I mean, is it appropriate to ask at what point are my later sets “inefficient” and my earlier sets “efficient”? I had always thought that if, after properly warmed up, you fully taxed yourself in one set, that you could not achieve the same output the next set.

since we’re on the topic of 5x5 training, I was wondering what results people have gotten using different forms of 5x5. Right now i’m using th eprogram in ripped rugged and dense, but i’ve found that while my bench press and other lifts are going up, i haven’t been able ot maintain my strength in curls.

Be patient and think long term!