T Nation

Actual Numbers and Pavel T

I’ve gone through old messages about Pavel Tsatsouline’s methods, but I’ve yet to see any real numbers. For those of you that focused on strength, how much could you squat, bench, etc. after using his methods? For those of you that increased your size, what did your stats go up to?

I did 1x5’s M-F for three weeks and put 40 lbs on my deadlift and got 5 reps with my old 1RM in the squat. I was on a hypocaloric diet the entire time. Then I went to Hawaii for 8 days, took a week off from training and dieting when I got home, so needless to say, I put on some fat mass…Now i’m getting rid of it with some severe dieting, Mag-10, 5x5 and loads of cardio. I’ll probably start up with 1x5’s M-F again in a couple of weeks.

To Joel: when you do 1x5 m-f, how do you change the number of sets with your other exercise? My bench is poor at the moment and I’m wanting to make it a priority for the next few weeks. How do you structure you other exercises during the week, and do you use a simple 5x5 for these or another set and rep scheme?

I didn’t do anything else besides bench, squat, and deadlift M-F, and I didn’t lose any LBM. If you are going to be doing 1x5’s for bench ONLY, I certainly wouldn’t do any other chest, shoulder, or tricep work. Your starting weight, and weight increase per session is critical to your success.

Joel you said “Your starting weight, and weight increase per session is critical to your success”, could you explain?

I dont have the P2P book or anything

Normally, 2/3 of your 1RM would be a good starting weight and adding 5 lbs each workout should suffice for the increments. However, this is not always the case. Say you can bench press 200 lbs. 2/3 of that would be 135 lbs. With a 200 lbs bench press, your 5RM would be somewhere around 170 lbs. Now, if you were to start the cycle at 135 lbs, it would only take you 8 workouts to hit your old 5RM, and that’s probably as far as you would go because you didn’t build up enough mommentum. The 1x5 principal is based on “learning” how to perform a lift by training the nervous system. Generally, it will take a little longer than this. So, you would have 3 options:

1. Start with a lower weight

2. Make tiny increments per workout (2 lbs or so; Pavel doesn't recommend this)

3. Add 5 lbs every 2 workouts instead of every workout (This is what Pavel recommends)

I started the program before I read the book and I messed up with selecting my Bench Press starting weight and increments...my bench didn't do nearly as well as my squat and deadlift did (both of those cycles lasted about 3 weeks or 15 workouts)...Next time I'll make the adjustments that I learned from the book and see what happens.