T Nation

5x5 Training Principles... got a question or 2

I took a trial run of Poliquin’s “Training with Maximal Weights” today, but I had a few questions following my workout. It seems that Poliquin’s idea is to superset opposing muscle groups, i.e. chest and back, bi’s and tri’s, etc. Does he basically want you to do only 1 exercise per body part, because including the warm ups and work sets it totals 20 sets for 2 body parts, unless I don’t include the warm up sets as a set. Woah, I think I just confused myself even more. Before I totally lose it, can someone shed some light on this method? Perhaps how to split it up or if there is something I’m missing? Would you do any sort of specific arm exercises following this routine? Any and all help is always appreciated.


This got thrown down really fast so I’m bumping it back up

If you follow Poliquin’s recommendations, you would only do four exercises per workout (as long as you superset). So for your chest/back workout, you could do bench presses supersetted with bent over barbell rows and then do something like incline dumbbell presses supersetted with chins or seated rows.

For leg day, you would do squats supersetted with stiff-legged deadlifts and lunges supersetted with leg curls. Then throw in some calves at the end or on other days.

For the arm day, you can follow the type of workout listed in the article that Poliquin wrote. Hope that helps.

Thanks Nate, so not including the warm-up sets, that’s 4 exercises with 5 reps per set, totaling 20 sets. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t overtraining the muscle groups for the day with too many sets.

20 work sets still seems like a lot, esp. for legs. By the way, what is the recommended tempo/rest interval?

Another question: should you go to failure only on the last set of the five? The example given somewhere on this site ("Maximum lifting"or something) sort-of suggests going to failure on several of the sets, in that you don’t quite get to 5 even on the second or third set. As long as you get at least 14 (?) total sets, he says that’s OK.

Don’t be afraid of the higher volume. It does a body good. If you can’t tolerate 20 sets for legs, then feel free to bump it down. Do what works best for you.

You are correct that the 20 sets is the total not including your warmup. And follow Poliquin’s recommendations regarding the minimum number of reps per exercise. As for tempo, I use a quicker concentric and moderate eccentric when using heavier weights and lower reps (201). But you can always use the slower tempo that Poliquin recommends in the article.

Hogan, I did this type of training for eight weeks once and I did about fifteen sets: squats, leg extensions, and leg curls, I didn`t count calf raises. If you follow that training I guarentee you, you will see good results. My squat max went from 200lbs to about 300lbs, I was also doing a single split training routine.