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5x5 Loading Question

So a friend and I are looking for a good mass-building program. I’m looking at doing something like this:

5x5 BB Bench Press
5x5 Back Squat
5(3?)x5 Deadlift
5x5 Military Press (BB or DB)
5x5 Tricep Extension

The first two sets would be incrementing warm-ups. For example, if we do a work set of 180 on the bench, we’d do something like 90, 135, then 3x5 of 180.

Is this too much volume for a 3x a week program? I’d like to do GPP from Waterbury on the off days, along with a 25-50 rep set of each lift to get the blood flowing, like he recommends for recovery.

Sunday would likely be the off day, where we do nothing.

I wrote out this critique, and it was good, and then realized it’d be shorter to tell you to go do rippetoes.

It’s not so much that your routine is bad. Quite the contrary, you’ve basically got Reg Parks intermediate 5x5, which is great- he was awesome for his time, and his methods still work.

It’s just that the more I do rippetoes, the more a fan of it I become, in large measure because of the balance it strikes between doing enough work to stimulate growth, while leaving enough energy to recover.

Example:
Rippetoes has you squatting every day with three sets, but only deadlifting with one set every other workout. Why?

Well, if you’re back-squatting, the posterior chain upon which the deadlift depends is already getting it’s ass kicked (heh heh…)and the deadlifting is a finisher for it. In short, you don’t need three sets of deadlifting to boost your deadlift- just one (for the neural adaptation).

Also, rippetoes strikes a balance between the push/pull muscles. In your program, you’ve got three pushes, and no upper body pulls (bad idea). Rippetoes matches horizontal push for horizontal pull- benching with pendlay rows, military pressing with chinups.

Also, I’m a fan of alternating vertical and horizontal push/pull, so rippetoes appeals to me for that reason.

So, if you intend to reinvent the wheel, drop some of the deadlifting, and replace tricep extension with pendlay rows.

Or do rippetoes.


mark-rippetoe-s-starting-strength-routine-63770/

Thank you for the assistance.

Here’s what I meant… was quite tired last night and was scratching my head trying to think of what my friend and I decided on.

5x5 Back Squat
5x5 Bench
5(3?)x5 Deadlift / Row Alternation (?)
5x5 Pull-up
5x5 Military Press

This should hit all the main areas, then. What do you recommend regarding the Deadlift/Row, should we alternate session to session? And should we only do one set of work-load Deadlifts?

I read Rippetoe’s, and I heartily thank you for the recommendation because it assisted quite a bit in fixing my form. I feel as if I’m doing it correctly now, or at least it feels a bit more natural.

I saw Rippetoe’s but I can’t ignore the other lifts like the row, pull-up, and especially military press since that’s one of my weaknesses.

The problems I saw when reading Reg Park’s was that it was said to have far too much volume in phase two… and I’d have to agree by looking at it, it would be quite rough on the body.

And is the GPP too much for the recovery days combined with the 25% 1RM set? And ab work.

Search “Madcow 5x5” on Google. You’ll find a spreadsheet that does everything for you.

If your first two sets are warm-ups, then you’re not really doing 5x5, you’re doing 3x5. Which is fine, as long as you call 3x5, 3x5.

How long have you been training, I would also recommend the starting strength program.

If you’ve been training long enough to learn proper form on the deadlift I would start adding in power cleans and do it like this.

Workout A
Squat 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
Deadlift 1x5

Workout B
Squat 3x5
Press 3x5
Power Clean 5x3

If you’re less experienced I would do it like this.

Workout A
Squat 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
Deadlift 1x5

Workout B
Squat 3x5
Press 3x5
Row 3x5

You would set up the weeks like this.

Week 1
ABA

Week 2
BAB

You would keep cycling it like that.

When you stall you would drop intensity by 90% for one week on the lift you stalled on and the then the next workout go back to the load you stalled and, the next workout you’d begin increasing again.

If you regress on a lift or you stall on all yoru lifts, you need to take a harder deload. You would need to go only to a heavy warm up set the first deload workout, the next one you increase it to 90% of what you stalled on, if this feels light, you can start increasing weight to pre-regression levels the next workout, and begin increasing weights the workout after that. At this point it would be advisable to move to a bit more complexed programming while keeping workout to workout linear progress, if you haven’t been doing cleans now would be a good time to add them.

You would do something like this:

Week 1
Monday:
Squat 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
Row 3x5

Wednesday:
Front Squat 3x5
Press 3x5
Deadlift 2x5

Friday:
Squat 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
Pull up 3xF (If you can do over 15 reps with BW add weight)

Week 1
Monday:
Squat 3x5
Press 3x5
Row 3x5

Wednesday:
Front Squat 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
Power Clean 5x3

Friday:
Squat 3x5
Press 3x5
Pull up 3xF

You would fix a stall the same way as before however after fixing a regression for the second time, an intermediate system would probably be needed.

This is a good way to go about it.

Monday (Volume day)

Squat 5x5
Bench Press 5x5
Row 5x5
This is the day that will cause the disruption in homeostasis.

Wednesday (Light Day)
Squat 2x5 (90% of Monday weight)
Bench Press 2x5 (90% of Monday weight)
Pull up 3x8

or
Front Squat 3x3
Press 3x3
Power Clean 3x3

This is a recovery day, it maintains motor pathways, and get blood flowing the muscles, you can either do lighter weight and less volume on Monday’s exercises or lighter exercises such as Front Squats and Presses

Friday (Heavy Day)
Squat 1x5 or 1x3 or 1x2 or 1x1
Bench Press 1x5 or 1x3 or 1x2 or 1x1
Deadlift 1x5 or 1x3 or 1x2 or 1x1

This is basically the day to set PR’s and practoce force devlopment, you ca change the exercises and rep schemes as needed but keep the basic volume, light, heavy model in mind.

You can also do something like Starr’s 5x5
http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm

or as you advance further into the intermediate stage of training you could add training days or split up your schedule into an upper lower split or more. If you’re focusing on purely mass gains this could be a good time to start doing bodypart splits.

i agree with colonelquack above.

im no PT, but what i did when i was doing a 5x5 was to warm up a set of something that was similiar to the excercise your gonna do then stretch out nice then do a warm up set of the excercise then 5x5.

EG. 10 press ups, stretch and loosen out the chest. then about 1 set of 70% of your work load (not your 1RM). then do 5x5.

for deadlift i did 10 ATG body weight squat, and a good back stretch.

squat i did the same

pull ups… i always get confused if this is chin ups or what… to me chinups are nuckles facing yourself so it is targeting your biceps. for that id have done some bicep curls
pull ups is wider grip and nuckles facing away. id have done lateral pull down.

i think you get the picture…

when i did it i did a circuit of 2 of them per workout.

5x5 bent row and 5x5 bench

5x5 military press and 5x5 deadlift

5x5 squat and 5x5 pull up

that meant 3 workouts a week which imo left me plenty of recovery time. obviously try and keep the squat and dead sessions further apart. this worked nicely because it can be done quickly. as these circuits require little set up or space to do the next one. i pretty muched benched what i rowed. so i did the 5 reps of bench, 30-60 sec break then went behind the bench and did a set of bent rows.

MP + DL means you need two bars but only one platform/area

Squat + PU - most squat racks nowadays have a pull up bar attached to them.

as you can see my main concern was always time in the gym. i never wanted yto spend longer than one hour. so after the 5x5 id have done maybe 1 or 2 supersets of some isolation work like
close grip bench with upright row
Dumbell Flys with single arm row
on bench/row day

that worked well and i enjoyed it before i quit the gym like a dick…but im just about to go down and do my first seesion in AGES. and im gonna do

deads/military press 5x5

Shoulder pull down supersetted with bicep curls

Weighted high step ups supersetted with lateral/front raises.

i should hopefully have walked to the gym, done the session and got home before the hour is out.

i have no expierence with rippletow. but i really liked 5x5 and it made me stronger.

[quote]Hugo82 wrote:
5x5 Back Squat
5x5 Bench
5(3?)x5 Deadlift / Row Alternation (?)
5x5 Pull-up
5x5 Military Press

  1. What do you recommend regarding the Deadlift/Row, should we alternate session to session? And should we only do one set of work-load Deadlifts?

  2. I saw Rippetoe’s but I can’t ignore the other lifts like the row, pull-up, and especially military press since that’s one of my weaknesses.

  3. The problems I saw when reading Reg Park’s was that it was said to have far too much volume in phase two… and I’d have to agree by looking at it, it would be quite rough on the body.

  4. And is the GPP too much for the recovery days combined with the 25% 1RM set? And ab work.[/quote]

  5. My priority is balance. Squats and deadlifts (/power cleans) balance each other out. Pullups (chinups are pullups with palms facing you) balance military presses. Benching balances rows. In rippetoes, every day is leg day for the preferential hormonal response and athletic prowess leg exercise develop, and vertical and horizontal push/pulling are alternated.

So I wouldn’t alternate between deadlifts and rows. I’d alternate between deadlifts and power-cleans, squat every day, and alternate between horizontal push/pull (bench/row) and vertical (press/pullup).

  1. … I’m not really sure how to respond. All those lifts have a place, and if you work them all, they’ll all increase.

I would be careful before saying you have a weak military press- naturally, you don’t push nearly as much in it as your other exercises, and as a beginner (I’m assuming you are, because you’re posting here) you’re much more likely to be weak all over than to have a drastically weak press. A modicum of work on this should improve it without intentional focus.

  1. The intermediate phase of Reg Parks is designed to be done after you’ve done the beginner phase for a while (I don’t remember the specifics, but I’ll guess 12-16 weeks). It’s usefulness arises when you’ve stopped progressing on the basic program and can use volume as a means of extra stimulus.

My earlier statement wasn’t to advise you to go do it, but instead noticing the similarities between the routine you posted and his, in that I think they both have more volume than what you really need. (Or, what I think you really need).

  1. GPP, by definition, should provide a net increase in your recoverability, so no, it shouldn’t be too much. Ab work, feeder sets, and off-day GPP are all great methods to increase your work capacity.

So long as you’re eating enough (you are eating enough, aren’t you :), They should help you recover faster and make better gains.

Truthfully, when I look at a beginner program, I look for few things. Really just:
a) are they squatting?
b) are they balancing their push/pull?

And that’s it.

Any routine will work well. Rippetoes, madcows, yours, they’re all well designed (well, yours could use some more pulling). You should progress on all of them, and I think what we’re quibbling over is minutia. You’ve got your bases covered, and the real thing now is to do it.

How’d your workout go?

I’ve enjoyed it so far. I waited to post until I could get in a few sessions to see how I held up.

I was going well until today. I believe I need to rest a few days before continuing because I have an ache in my glutes.

I did squats and deadlifts on Monday, but I really felt an ache in my glutes and sacrum region after completing a set of deadlifts.

My issue right now is I definitely need to be eating more… but it’ll take some time for me to ramp up my intake without gaining it all as fat.

Peanuts.

Protein + Monounsaturated fat with no insulin response.

Yeah, been eating a good bit of peanut butter.