T Nation

5x5 + Conditioning?


#1

Curious if anyone here has experience doing a 5x5** power-lifting split supplemented with conditioning work (sprint work, swimming, and +3 mile running).

What results did you expect? What results did you get?
How quickly did you find you were overtraining?

**I’m also toying with programming heavy 3x5 and heavier 2x3

For those interested in more specifics:

  • I was planning on breaking up my training into
    – Squat
    – Deadlift
    – Bench + Pull Up + Aesthetics stuff (I’m vain. Sue me.)
    – OHP + Bent Row + Aesthetics (see above)
    – Days that I don’t lift I’d alternate with some combination of running, swimming, wrestling, or running

#2

You say the 5x5 powerlifting program, but 5x5s aren’t powerlifting programs. Is your goal to actually compete in powerlifting?


#3

That’s a fair point, I guess.

The people who I’ve trained around for most of my time lifting preached 5x5 and would say that they’re powerlifters when asked about their training, so, you know if “a = b and b = c”…

I guess the training isn’t powerlifting-specific, but still. Any answers to the questions?


#4

Just tossing this in the mix:

2x3 is a bit backward. When you reduce reps, increase sets. You need to do the work. Think more along the lines of 5x5 = 25 total reps, try aiming more for 6 to 8 sets of 3.

Thank me later.


#5

[quote]NewSamson wrote:
That’s a fair point, I guess.

The people who I’ve trained around for most of my time lifting preached 5x5 and would say that they’re powerlifters when asked about their training, so, you know if “a = b and b = c”…

I guess the training isn’t powerlifting-specific, but still. Any answers to the questions?[/quote]

Well, again, their training wouldn’t really be the determining factor: it would be a question of if they compete in powerlifting. I have a feeling they most likely don’t, which isn’t a problem, it just changes things.

If you’re adamant about doing a 5x5 program for whatever reason, I don’t see why you would be overtraining to also do conditioning work. It’s something you SHOULD be doing to become a better lifter. I’ve run low rep/low volume programs like that before while engaging in regular physical activity with no signs of overtraining. It’s pretty hard to accomplish.

I would however recommend you consider some sort of training with a logical progression scheme and a variety of rep ranges, especially since you’ve voiced a design to improve your physique along with your strength. Something like 5/3/1, Westside Barbell for Skinny Bastards, the Cube Method, etc. Conditioning fits in incredibly well with such approaches.


#6

I’ve basically been doing this split over 5 days a week for the past year. One difference is that I’ve moved away from 5x5 and onto a more complex “mesocyclone” designed around 16-week powerlifting cycles.

My usual week is:
Monday: Deadlift and accessories (rack pulls, stiff legs, ab work, etc.)
Tuesday: Bench press and accessories (incline db press, flyes, try work, pullups etc.)
Wednesday: Squat and accessories (usually not much, ab work, calves, leg press and curls, etc.)
Thursday: OHP and Pendlay rows and accessories (pullups, curls, cable rows etc.)
Friday: Sprints or Spin bike intervals

In the summer I bike to work so I’m also doing an hour of moderate cardio 5x/wk. In winter I add a cardio day on the weekend and one or two after work during the week.

The reason I do it like this is because I work out over my lunch break so I only have about 50 minutes a day, and I can get 3 mins rest between sets of the main lift, of which I usually do about 5. So I really only have time for one main lift a day instead of dead/bp/squat and press/squat/row like in 5x5. Also after a few years training I was stalling out with 5x5.

Over the last year I’ve taken my lifts up about 20% across the board and gained about 10 pounds of muscle.
Depending on the week I feeel like this is a sustainable routine but if I don’t get enough sleep it can start to take its toll, I’ll take a week off here and there if it gets too rough. I’m 33 with 2 year old twin girls so I’m not a spring chicken anymore, hah.

Anyways hope my story helps, this is my first post although I’ve been a lurker for a while.