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Mix Protocols or Stick to One at a Time?

So for example if I’m training twice a week full body should I stick to say 5x5 or can I do 5x5 in one and 3x3 in the other?

Those are the same protocol; low rep and low volume.

Stick with a PROGRAM. Something designed with some sort of progression model, like 5/3/1, Westside Barbell for Skinny Bastards, Cube Method or Juggernaut Method.


Ok I’m getting my terminology confused. Thanks for clarifying.

In terms of “program” with “progression”, is it ok to do - for this example- one session of 5x5 and another of 3x3 and leave it at that? Wouldn’t the progression be to simply add more weight?

And then what do you do after those two workouts?

@Lonnie123 - I row and bike. Endurance is my “thing”. But I want to become much stronger. I’ve been confusing strength training with hypertrophy training hence the question.

They really aren’t that different to get bigger/stronger you have to lift something heavy. Pick a program like 5/3/1 and follow it for 6 months

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Maybe this isn’t your issue, but it seems like a lot of people have this trepidation about taking the small amount of time to figure out how to execute a basic program, then plotting it out on paper. I understand, I too avoid irritating administrative tasks like doing taxes, filling out forms and the like, but understand you’re going to spend hours on top of hours training, and you want that time to be spent efficiently.

It would take you maybe a half hour to get a basic understanding of how 5/3/1-based programming works, and then maybe 10-15 minutes to plot out a basic 2x/week program that would last you for months.

For instance, just doing:

  1. Squat - 5s pro/3x5 fsl, Bench - 5s pro/3x5 fsl, assistance
  2. Deadlift - 5s pro/3x5 fsl, Press - 5s pro/3x5 fsl, assistance

is going to work a trillion times better than whatever 5x5, 3x3 plan you pull out of your ass. It’s worth harnessing the discipline to spend less than an hour up front to put something together.


I guess my question didnt get the point across. I meant what will you do after you have completed your 5x5 and 3x3 workouts? Thats not a system, a model, or a program, its just 2 workouts slapped together. Theres no where to go after you do the 3x3 because you’ve done everything you laid out (nor is there a reason to do 3x3 instead of 5x5 really)

For example, 5/3/1 is a system that progresses you for months on end. Meaning, you know when to add weight, what weights to use, when to scale back, etc…


Your insticts are good.

Mixing “protocols” or Rep Ranges, or lifting different weights is more effective. Most good programs mix.

Adding some weight is a simple, straight forward way to progress. Most good programs add weight sometimes.

The “Program” is how you arrange it all. You can mix “protocols” or rep ranges/ bar weights, and add to the work load in an infinite combination of ways. Many setups will suck and be ineffective. Some will produce the results you want.

If you follow a smart, experienced dudes program, you learn how that smart, successful lifter arranged the progression and organised the different protocols. You’ll be training, and at the same time learning, how to train.


@Lonnie123 ok I get it now. I’ve no idea. I thought to simply get started and lift. As I get stronger, add more weight. Deload when I need to. Then carry on trying to do better than before.

I like to keep things simple. Where possible that is.

I think your head is in the right place, it just sounds like you need a touch of guidance.

You might look up “double progression” from Christian Thibadeua on this site. Its a time tested method, Basically it involves progressing in a rep range, then adding weight. For example, for strength:

4 sets of 4-6 reps for your main lift. Once you can hit all sets for 6 reps you increase weight and start over. This gives you several weeks (maybe months) of progress, at which point you can decide where to go from there.

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@Lonnie123 thanks! Appreciate it.

Yep fine, by the sound of things just try this…

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