T Nation

FROM EXPERIENCE, Does Going Heavy Still Add Size?


I train using no more then 5 reps. I do a body part split; chest/back/quads/hams/shoulders. I do mostly compound exercises.
I usually do about 4 exercises, 5X5, dropping the weight every exercise.

Ive searched this on the forums and read several articles about it from this sight, but they all say different things.

My main goal is to get stronger in the main lifts. however, i want to put on some weight before i focus entirely on that. If my current training wont put on size then i might modify my program to build more muscle, but if not, i wont change it because im gaining alot of strength.

My question is, how good is this at putting on size? Ive read that going heavy doesnt put on much size at all and ive also read that going heavy packs on muscle.

Edit: oh im eating!


lifting heavy and EATING LOTS OF FOOD will help you put on muscle.

You arent going to gain weight if you arent eating enough.


2008 join date. fail.




Just lift big, eat big, and sleep big and your body will do what it needs to do. If you're not confident with your routine then you aren't going to make much progress (granted that it's not poorly put together in the first place).


The articles all say different things because everyone is different and trains differently.

Why don't you keep your main lifts at 5x5 and switch your accessory exercises to 6-8 reps...the most basic rep range used for size.

I never really payed attention to focusing on strength or size separately, they both come in time.




What's your definition of "heavy?"


I believe yes! there are some bodies of evidence; if you go in a gym a guy who trains with 270lb is (9times on 10) bigger than enother who train at bench with 200....also,if you look at gym you'll see dozens and dozens of 170lb guys doing 30/50 sets with toy weights and (few) 250lb guys doing few sets (3/10? boh!) with pretty heavy load...going "heavy" for evrybody means to recruit a very high % of FT fibers,from the beginning,now it's your choice to use very few sets going to failure or more sets with clusters (reaching failure very late,on last sets,a là Thibedau),it's up to you,it's not just a matter of phisiology...also individual characters paly a role.

if you look to big man on this board you see (IMO) 3 things; 1/ each trains differently from others 2/all are strong 3/all eat (pretty) big (over 3500kl per day/from 1.5gr to 4gr of protein per bw kilos).
so,it's pretty simple; train as hard you can----find your training frequency----eat well---become stronger-------become bigger.
if you become stronger (month for month AND YOU ARE EATING ENOUGH TO SUPPORT MUSCLES DAMNAGES) you become bigger.....



The effort you put into those 5 reps will dictate how much size you put on. Your body doesn't count reps, it just knows 'this is heavy, I need to adapt'. It can only adapt with adequate energy (calories), therefore you can say for most people that adaption will lead to increased strength, and increased size.

In other words, do what other have stated and EAT LIKE A MOTHERFU......


^ Yes


my definition of heavy is the max i can lift for 5 or less lifts.

Thanks i do eat alot, so i'll just stick with what i am doing


Keep doing what your doing. You will put on muscle with a 5x5 if you are eating enough. Granted, you probably wont gain AS MUCH as you would in the hypertrophy range(6-12) However you wouldn't add as much strength training higher reps, which you said is your main goal.


Didn't one of the writer's for T-Nation (can't remember which one) say it was more about total number of reps than how many individual reps/set? He said 24 was the magic number... Sorry, I don't remember a lot of the details.

So 3x8 or 4x6 would be better than 5x5, right?


5x5 for main lifts and getting a big pump/high reps for isolation work is a pretty much bullet proof strategy


I hate everyone. Can anyone explain to me how increasing the resistance in a given movement will limit growth? It seems counter intuitive I know, but it must be true