T Nation


Hey Guys. I have heard many great things about the 5x5 routine. I was wondering how many ways you could utilize it in any aspect of training. Ive also read about 5x5 cluster training, 5x5 Heavy/Light/Medium. How many of you have used this rep scheme, and how did you utilize it in an overall training system? I have read Dan John’s article on this also, but would like feedback from all the T-Nation memembers. Thanks!

I’ve used 3 weeks of 5x5 (80-85% of 1RM)
3 weeks of 6x4, (85-90%)
3 weeks of 7x3 (90-95%).

I used to have a progression of mastering a ceratain weight:

10x3 1-3 workouts until I feel I could do the 11th set. At which point I switch to…

8x4 1-3 workouts until I feel I could do the 9th set. At which point I switch to…

5x5 1-3 workouts until I feel I could do the 6th set. I actually do the sixth set and then increase the weight by 10lbs.(pull-up,chin, bench, dip, squat, dead, mpress.)

This is designed for 2 heavy workouts per muscle group per week and you should use the same weight. No failure, you must stop 2 to 1 reps short!!! If you’re on the brink then stop and try again next time. If you’re on the brink and you still have three sets to go on the 10x3 phase means you’ve picked a weight that’s too heavy for you at this point.

This scheme allows you to sharpen the handling of a certain weight and you usually add 10lbs to the bar every 2-3 weeks. It worked for me for 3 months straight without changing many parameters. I added the desired mass and strength to boot.

Do yourself a favor and buy Bill Starrs’ book The Strong Shall Survive. Very underrated book. You will be years ahead with the info contained therein. But you should really buy the book because a lot of info has been put on the internet about the routines in it but it is NOT complete info.

By the way… 5x5 IS a pretty damn good protcol.

Read Dan John’s article about 5x5 training.

beat me to it Nate

I really like supersets with 5x5.

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
Read Dan John’s article about 5x5 training.[/quote]

It looks as though he did read it according to his post.