T Nation

5x5 or Training with Football

I’m a junior lacrosse player. I’m 6’, 180. I started training seriously after tearing my acl as a rising sophomore. I’m planning on playing at BYU (95% chance I’ll be recruited). Because I don’t come from an athletic family, I never played sports that much growing up but as I’ve become more athletic and become friends with the football team I’ve started to want to play football.

I’ve been doing 5x5 for two months. Football lifts after school and I want to know what would be a better option. The 5x5 I use is the main lift (Deadlift/squat/bench/press), then an assistance exercise for 5x10 (like GHR, lunges, incline DB bench), then a supplementary exercise (rows, curls, pullups, calf raises), then core. I do Thibs core from an older article (3 different supersets -plank/ab wheel-cable crunches/twists-negatives on swiss ball).

5x5 has given me some results. I don’t have a lot of lifting experience so I’m not sure how good my gains are. I still feel weak compared to a lot of guys who are my size. Since starting my deadlift went from 225x5x5 to 265x5x5. Bench is from 125x5x5 to 145x5x5. Squat from 185x5x5 to 205x5x5 but that was only over a 3 week period. I have a weak core (which I’ve been working on) so I was falling forward a lot and struggling so I front squated the remainder. Press went from 65x5x5 to 85x5x5.

The benefits of football lifting is that I can get to know more of the team and the coaches, impress the coaches, and lift in an intense environment. Lifting with them made me step it up. I still work hard at my gym (a fitness 19) but it doesn’t have the balls to the wall aspect of it or the competition. We have a good weight room. The difference is that there are more benches, jammers, and platforms. Being able to do oly lifts is a big plus of the school weight room. At school we do supersets and change things up a lot. Today some of the supersets were hang cleans and ab wheel, incline DB bench with shoulder press.

So my real question is what is a better way to get stronger? A basic/solid program or a balls to the wall competition. Also off topic, how are these results? I know I can always do better but I’m trying to push myself. Also, any advice on starting football or choosing a position is appreciated. I’m a midfielder in Lacrosse, so I do everything. I can hit and dodge. I’m a very balanced athlete because of what I do. Some people have said it’s like playing safety.

I would suggest you lift with the team. Like you said, lifting with them causes you to step it up. I’m not saying you don’t train hard or push yourself, but lifting in that environment is an invaluable resource.

Any non-retarded program can be very successful with the correct attitude/drive, but even the best programming will not be successful without that correct attitude/drive. Since you’re training for a sport (you’re not a powerlifter/oly lifter/etc) the exact program is less important. The lifting is just GPP for your sport.

[quote]Chronicle wrote:
So my real question is what is a better way to get stronger?[/quote]
Lifting with people who are stronger than you and can/will push you is pretty much always the better option.

As long as you don’t get injured (should be a given) or fall into ego-driven shitty form for the sake of simply “moving” more weight, I’d lift with your teammates as often as possible. If you can talk a few of them into following a more structured plan (like 5/3/1, a classic 5x5, or something from Cressey, Dan John, or DeFranco), even better.