1/ Not commited. But I want my priority to be : Squats, Bench, DL, the 3 main lifts. And 5x5 is looking fine for my gains.
2/ 4 days, for sure. 5 maybe.
3/ I want big gains. I want to be strong. For me, not to impress anybody. I want to look full, strong, I want to be heavy and I want that to be aesthetic too. But I know my priority is strength. I did 2 years of typical 3x8 routines, that helped me gain, but my strength was not evolving. Right now, in 6 weeks in my program, I doubled my squat & deadlift. I want it to continue. [/quote]
Sounds like you have the right mindset. If you want to work strength and size simultaneously and cut down on imbalances while still cranking on the ‘big 3,’ why not try a modified bodypart split that incorporates high frequency strength work? Christian Thibaudeau had me do something along those lines when I was working with him last year and I was very pleased with the results.
Here’s the idea:
For four days, try something like:
Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Quads
Day 3: Shoulders
Day 4: Back/Posterior Chain
Lead each session off with HFSW (the high frequency strength work I mentioned. Perform each of the big the lifts for 3-5 sets (whatever you’re comfortable with- I’d recommend starting low and building up) of 3-6 reps. Weights/reps are not important- you should be focusing on form and explosiveness with each rep. Don’t be afraid to cut the set if form begins to break down or if explosiveness declines. The idea of this type of work is that it helps improve muscle recruitment, builds neural efficiency on the movement patterns you care about (for you, the big 3), and helps with activating the CNS to improve strength/productivity for the rest of the session. You should feel ready to go after this stuff, not fatigued.
After the HFSW, move on to strength work on a big lift for the day:
Day 1=Bench Press
Day 2=Back Squat
Day 3=Overhead Press (standing if you’re a cool kid lol)
Do your heavy work for the day’s big lift at that time. I recommend avoiding grinding reps/total failure, but other than that you can work heavy on them.
Following the strength work, you can perform any desired accessory work. On bench day, that would be chest/triceps work. On back squat day, quad work. On OHP day, medial+posterior delt/trap work. On Deadlift day, biceps, lats, and/orposterior chain (hams+glutes). You shouldn’t have to go too crazy on hams/glutes, as both back squats and deadlifts work them. The accessory work should be lighter weight, higher rep, and should be about improving MMC (so you can get better muscle recruitment on the big lifts). You shouldn’t really need more than 2 accessory moves per day, I wouldn’t go higher than 3. Slow reps and holds at peak contraction are encouraged.
Also, feel free to include some band pull aparts or light rope face pulls between sets or following sets of heavy benching if you want.
This is just a very general breakdown, open for you to insert exercises that you find effective for various bodyparts. You can take it or leave it lol- should leave you way less open to imbalances than what you’re doing while still bringing gains on big lifts.