T Nation

5x5 Training Feedback

As we all know winter is fast approaching, which for lifters usually means time to “bulk-up.” I’m preparing for a bulking phase, and am interested in doing 5x5 training, following the program in T-Mag. For those that have used this, is this a good strength-training routine?
What were your results? For diet, I plan on following Massive Eating. My stats are 6-1, 185 at 10.4% bodyfat. Thanks in advance for the feedback

When i bulk i do westside training. It is unconventional and demanding, but once you get the hang of it you’ll put on so much size you will not know what to do with it…

Are there Westside programs in the FAQ section on this site? If I passed over them, I apologize, but I couldn’t find any.

5x5 is good. Probably not as good as Westside for pure strength, but it yields a nice combination of strength/size. Or at least it has in my case.

As for Westside programs, look for articles by Dave Tate.

Char-Dawg, could you list some of the gains you made while on 5x5 training? I’m interested to see how much your poundage went up on this routine

Joel, since I’m following your RR&D training protocol, what do you think about using this as strickly a bulking routine, combined with Massive Eating? I’m curious if you think I should save 5x5 for later on down the road, when I’m trying to shed bodyfat after my bulking stage. Thanks

Djwlfpack, hmmmm, just my 2 cents, here, but why not alternated between a 5x5 strength program and a 8-12 rep hypertrophy program that focuses on the larger muscle groups? Switch back and forth every four weeks. Each will complement the other. And the Massive Eating Diet would be the icing on the cake, no pun intended. (grin)

I see no reason why 5x5 can’t be used for hypertrophy purposes. As far as I’m concerned, rep schemes (particularly the traditional 8-12 reps for growth) take a backseat to time under tension (TUT). Take a look at “Training with Maximal Weights” by Poliquin if you need evidence. Although exact TUT for growth will vary with fiber type (shorter duration for fast twitch dominant trainers), shooting for a TUT of at least 30 seconds would be ideal for most people. In other words, performing a set of five with a 4020 tempo would be sufficient for stimulating growth.

Also, take a look at recent articles by Chad Waterbury and Mike Mahler to see how the cumulative volume of a session can take precedent over reps per set in determining mass gain.

It is dependent on your fiber make-up. If you have had success w/ gaining weight on low rep protocols before, then this would be a good program to try. I’d probably bump up the volume a bit and change things to a 4-day split. If not, then it’d be better used for a cutting cycle.

That was what I was thinking, except I was planning on alternating after every 6 weeks. I’m really looking forward to starting this new routine on Mon. and will be posting my progress after a couple of weeks.

5x5 is a good program, but it’s not the only program for building strength. I would probably do 5x5, a hyperthrophy phase such as GVT or EDT, followed by a strength phase (6x2-4, 5% solution.) I think you’re off to a good start though.