T Nation

5x5 training

Can anyone tell me where I can find descriptions of the exercises covered in Joel Marion’s “Ripped, Rugged, and Dense?” I’ve searched but to no avail. If I passed them up, call me stupid and tell me where the descriptions are. Thanks.

5X5 training is one of the “greatest hits” as far as programs. Pick a weight that you can do 5 sets of 5 reps. You won’t be able to get all 25 reps; if you can, increase the weight. If you can’t do more than 14 reps, decrease the weight. After you hit 25 reps, jack the weight up, and start over again. repeat until satisfied.

Related question: I finished Meltdown I last week - a great program - but it now seems I have adapted to it. Meltdown II is not doable at my gym (can’t hog all weights). I am still over 12% bf with what most of you call a tiny musculature. I have bad lower back (not troubling right now - meltdown ab exercises were very good in improving posture). Due to massive amounts of squats in Meltdown I, something is making my left knee click sometimes when extending leg, and it’s feeling “stiff” (but not painful).

The question is - despite all this, would you still suggest starting 5x5 to reveal my abs? I mean, using 5RM weights for deadlifts and squats are a bit radical after feather weights of Meltdown I. Will I end up busting my back and knee, and finally, would it be better to burn fat using some other higher-rep prog such as Fat to Fire? I am still planning to continue cutting to drop my bf to around 12%, and then perhaps to embark on some hypertrophy program.

JF, I’ve posted this before, but I can’t remember when. I used Meltdown 1 and dropped a lot of bodyfat in the 4 weeks. Don Alessi suggested that if I spent one week doing the same exercises, but at single sets of 25 reps, then returned to the original Meltdown protocol, I’d get even better results. I had already dropped all the bodyfat that I wanted to, so I haven’t tried it, but give it a shot and let us all know how it goes.

Paul, I remember reading your post. Might try it for one week and see what happens. I probably won’t return to original Meltdown after that since I have already done it for six weeks. And frankly, Meltdown makes going to the gym a very unpleasant experience :slight_smile: I mean, I like training hard, but Meltdown is tough in a different way (as in making-you-puke-and-drop-dead). It was a great challenge at first, but now I dread the shitty feeling that sets in during third set. Especially on lowered calorie diet…

Unfortunately, I cannot report exact results as I don’t have access to precise bf% gauge.

Paul, yet one more thing: do you mean one giant superset with 25 reps per exercise? Or four supersets as usually, but with 25 reps for each exercise?

Paul, just forget it…I did find your message after all. So one BIG set it is…

Which exercises are you unfamiliar with? Train hard,


Seated half press is unfamiliar (or maybe just the name) and I just want to see the techniques used for the dumbell clean and press.

Here’s the explanation of the half pres: