T Nation

Intensity cycing

I would like to you what everyone does to manage and cycle the intensity and volume of their training. I am really stuck on this point and I know that there are no absolute answers. However, being a former HIT Jedi (brainwashed) I now realize that going balls to the wall concentric (and sometimes eccentric) failure is not the best way to train all of the time. I guess I should probably read Tudor Bompa or Mel Siff but I am not there yet. Joel Marion, if you are out there, you gave some advice to Soco on 5x5 training a few days ago. Say if I was doing 5x5 with 2minute rests between sets, only doing this exercise, and my PR for 5 reps was 200lbs. Say I got that PR just after warming up with a few sets. After warm up, what would be the weight used for the five sets? How would be the weight used for the five sets in the next few workouts? Everybody please jump in with comments. Also do you cycle intensity with cardio training like HIIT. What are your general guidelines that you follow. Thanks


Most often with 5x5 you want to start with a weight you can’t get for every set. Then, as you get stronger and eventually get the weight for each set, up it up 5% or so.

hey Ike,thank you for responding so quickly. to continue the question would you pick an amount of weight the you could get the 5 reps for on the first 4 sets and just fall short on the last set. and on that last set would you go to concentric failure. or rack it after you did the rep that is just before the rep that you think you might fail on. then on same days do you go to failure on the last rep on the last set.

Jacked up: The first time you perform an exercise for 5x5, your best bet is to choose a weight that represents your current 5RM. Likely, you’ll be able to get 5 on the first two or three sets, and if you really got the mind muscle connection the fourth, but it’s unlikely. You stick with that weight till you can get all five sets for five reps in a subsequent workout. Then, you increase the weight, normally by five pounds, but on multi-joint, compound lifts like squats and deads, probably 10 pounds. It’s more of a relative increase. Hope this helps, Jact.

And when you decide to start your reading, I can heartily recommend that you try Bompa before Siff.

Word up. (That was for you, Timbo!)

Timbo be on the ball, listen to him.

Char: Thanks, brutha! I feel complete. I just want to back you up on Bompa. He’s got some good stuff, and Serious Strength Training and Periodization provide some real good insight.

Ikester: What did (or didn’t) I do, bro? I’m always on the ball…