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Advice for Mass Routine

Hi guys and girls…

I’m just after a little advice… 8 weeks ago… I decided to completely change my routine and start adding mass… I’ve always hit the 8-12 rep ranges in the past and not bothered too much about getting bigger.

So I’ve been doing 5x5 for the most part (as well as consuming near enough 5kcals per day) and sure enough… I’ve gained mass and strength… But my question is how long can I keep up a 5x5 for? Should I mix up rep ranges? Obviously I’m looking into refreshing my routine slightly and I still wish to get bigger and stronger?

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated

Generally speaking, you should keep up any routine for as long as it gets you results. You would have gained size in the 8-12 rep range if you ate like you wanted it and selected the right exercises.

My opinion in general is don’t change anything if its working for you. Once the strength and size gains stop coming or your goals become more refined then I would look at making adjustments.

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Just the answer I was looking for. I still seem to be getting bigger (a lot of fat… But I’m getting told quite often that I’m looking broader) and my strength is going up too… With each week I manage to lift more than the last.

Thank you.

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How strong are you in the squat and bench right now?

Well… Firstly… I’m 85kg (ish) standing at 180cm ish and I’m an ectomorph (the wrists of a 12 year old girl) … I’ve normally maintained about 77kg with quite defined visible abs…

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFUmHkVK8ty/ from may

My squats aren’t very impressive… I genuinely have bad knees (and elbows) so I’m scared to push too hard as I don’t want to do any damage. This doesn’t mean I skimp on leg day though - I know the importance of it… As well as proportion.

Squat 110kg - to parallel
Dead 130kg
Leg press 300kg (assuming starting resistance is 40kg)
Bench 115kg
Bench 130kg 1rm

Cross body curl 50kg
Dumbell curl 24kg
Tricep dips 60kg added weight to lap
I can’t do skull crushers =(
Pull down one arm 39kg

Seated low row one arm 120kg (could possibly do more but I need to work on my grip)
Lat pull down 107kg (close grip)
Bent over row 80kg

Shoulder press 106kg (seated and on smith)
Side raise 24kg
Upright row 70kg

Generally, if you want mass you need to eat, eat and eat. Then you just need to stimulate the muscles to grow, so if higher reps work do those and if lower reps work do those. Or mix them up.

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Well I think I’ve got the eating nailed… Not the cleanest of diets but it’s hard work eating so much and only being a little guy.

But someone in the gym had mentioned that sticking to a 5x5 heavy lifting routine was no good in the grand scheme of things.

Sticking to indefinitely, yes. Using it until it stops working, not at all. You’ve definitely got a long way to go strength-wise (apart from your bench which is pretty good for your size at the moment). Doing a 5x5 program and consistently adding weight will help with that. Add in bodybuilding style assistance - within reason after your main lifts - will help add size.

When you can’t add weight every week or two to to your lifts, then it’s time to change from 5x5. I’m a big fan of 531, but there are plenty of other good programs you can do. A good rule of thumb when you find your current program is no longer working is to make as small changes as possible - so if you decide to change programs, you may do well to pick one that is reasonably similar to 5x5 with just enough differences to keep you progressing.

Something like Texas method you can get a good 6 months to a year out of as long as set it up right

What is bad with your knees? I found ways to still push the legs hard while recovering from an ACL rupture and torn meniscus, along with post reconstruction training. I could pitch some ideas.