Hey Bros, I’m just wrapping up a strength phase using the 5x5 training protocol. I wanted to get some criticism as to any strength imbalances I may have. I don’t know a lot about relative strength of some lifts as compared to others, so perhaps you guys could help me out. Nate Diggity Dogg, you seem to know a ton about this, so perhaps you could chime in. So here it goes, the results of my last week of 5x5. (Exercise/Tempo/Weight used/ Reps achieved): Horizontal Push/Pull -> (Flat bench / 501 / 155 / 5,5,5,5,5 ), (Barbell row / 501 / 130 / 5,5,5,5,5 ) Hamstring Dominant -> (Bent-knee deadlifts / 301 / 265 / 5,5,5,5,5 ), (Cuban rotations / 301 / 30 / 10,10,10,9,9) Vertical Push/Pull -> (Semi-supinated pullups / 301 / bw+12.5 / 5,5,5,4,3), (Med. grip standing bb sh.press to front / 501 / 85 / 5,5,4,4,4) Quad Dominant -> (Med. stance squats / 501 / 180 / 5,5,5,5,5), (Leg press toe raise / 201 / 470 / 10,10,9,8,7). Hope you guys can follow this and thanks a ton for any help!
Not a bad set up at all bro. I have a few suggestions. You may want to consider doing the rows before the bench. Since most people have an imbalance between the back and chest. And this is apparant because you bench more than you row. Also, feel free to add some arm exercises to some of your other workouts. You could do some biceps on your chest/back day and add triceps to your shoulder/chin day. I do three exercises (sometimes four) each workout. This allows me to do some arm work. I recently saw myself in some pictures and video taken in Portland, and I saw that I definitely need to quit doing direct chest exercises because that bodypart overshadows everything else. So I’m about to revise my training program as I start the 6x3(4) method tomorrow. I’ve been doing too much work for my chest (dips, benches, close-grips) and it’s only make my imbalance worse. So with a little tweaking, I’ll be back on track. Your strength levels aren’t bad at all too. My bench and chin up strength is better, but you have me beat in the deadlifts and squats right now. But I’m catching up to you. I’m also doing front squats and not back squats, so that’s the reason why you got me beat there! But keep up the good work. After about 8-12 weeks of 5x5, I’d change your set/rep scheme. Maybe do 3-2-1 wave loading or 5/4/3/2/1 or the 6x2(4) method or something like that. Good job my man!
Thanks a lot Nate! I actually do some arm work, but I didn’t include the numbers because I think arm exercise strength is irrelevant if the numbers for the basic lifts are there. I do 4 sets of tris on horizontal upper day and 4 sets of bis on vertical upper day. Also, my arms are so drained by the end of my workouts that my lifts are pathetic. The numbers for my arm exercises aren’t a true measure of my arm strength, so I didn’t list them. Regarding bench/row, my chest looks like shit compared to my back so I’ve been bench first. I guess it’s just genetics though and hopefully my chest will look better with time. I wasn’t aware that the barbell row should be done at the same weight as the flat bench. I’ll switch it up next time. I’m suprised you didn’t mention my shoulder press. I was thinking that was my most pathetic lift. But you think it’s okay? It sounds like our lifts are similar, so you may be wondering how big I am. I’m 5’8" @ 160 lbs, ~10% bf. It sounds like you’re stronger pound for pound. Damn, I guess it’s me who has to catch up!
Hoser, I didn’t even see the shoulder press weight the first time I looked. Yeah, I got you beat on that one too. And I need to do more shoulder work. I have small shoulders and long, lean arms. With a short torso, I just don’t look right. Especially with a fairly good-sized chest compared to the arms and shoulders. But just keep working on it my man! Your strength will go up fairly quickly. As for arm work, you don’t need to do it like the normal 5x5 stuff. What you’re doing is fine. Even if you’re just doing enough to pump up and work hard for more reps, it’s all good. If you’re chest is a weak spot, then definitely hit the benches first. Although, you may want to do something else for chest other than flat benches. Maybe incline or decline, as that seems to hit chest better. And to hit it more, do dips or close-grips on your tricep day. That way, you’ll get more chest work in the week. That may help you out!