T Nation

Ramping Up Sets?


Yeah, I don't know how to do it :confused:

I worked my front squat 3x5 of same weight sets, I'm at 177lbs now. Tommorrow I would have done 182lbs. How would rampup work sets for tommorrow look like?

155 - 173 - 188? (I know they sound weird, I calculate in kgs)

Also on my OH press, I noticed the volume of same set 5x5 was getting to big and tiresome. Yesterday I worked 106lbs, but I was so wasted by the last set of 5 I couldn't even start it.

Is OH press for the next session, 5x5 with ramping something like this:

93 - 98 - 102 - 106 - 110?


Here's how you do it

1) Go to gym
2) pick lighter weight
3) lift it
4) pick heavier weight
5) lift it
6) pick even heavier weight
7) lift it
So forth

But honestly, just go in and fuck around with it for a few days. You will figure it out pretty quick. You have the right idea.


I think you go too close. Id start as low as 135 & 75lbs (if the first four sets are a warm-up) If you're tired with equal weigth sets, why still stick to 5x5 or 3x5 routine? I'd go with whatever number of sets I need to make myself ready for the last all-out set of 8. And yeah, you should beat your 5x5 weight with 1x8, so both 110 & 188 look reasonable. Good luck!


Thanks. Tommorrow I'll try the squat, maybe even OH press thing. I didn't take warmup sets into equation, I always do 1x8 100lbs, 1x8 135, 1x5-6 155 and so on before going to my work sets (that are same weight sets) :wink:

I fell there are some exercise I could sustain same weight work sets for a while, eg. front squats, deadlifts, pulldowns (can't do pullups, but close), dumbell rows and dips, but the said OH press is only one giving me trouble...


There's no "one way" to do a 5x5 workout.

Dan John had a solid write-up of some variations of the program:

Above all else, pay attention to "Rule #3: Get out a calculator and figure the weight times the reps and add them up over the five sets. That number is a nice little measure of progress. As that number goes up, in any of the variations, you're getting "stronger."

It's also hard to address program issues one exercise at a time. What does your weekly plan look like? (Days, exercises, sets, and reps). Also, what's your overall goal?

Again, there are a few ways you could plan it, and a lot of it depends on your overall program. Figuring you're training for size, I prefer to use a rep range, rather than a single target rep, for example, 3x5-8. If you're using a weight that you can handle for more than 8 reps, increase the weight. If you can't get at least 5 reps, decrease it.

I'd say you used either too many warm-up sets or you went to heavy with them. Decide what "type" of 5x5 program you're doing, and then act accordingly.

For example, Reg Park's 5x5 plan called for the first two sets as a warm-up (increasing in even amounts), and then the last three sets at the same weight.

For your overhead press, that would look something like: 65x5, 85x5, 106x5, 106x5, 106x5. When you get five reps on all three of those last sets, increase each set 5-10 pounds.

But again, that's just one variation. Don't get overwhelmed by it all. Choose one method, stick with it for a few months, and be sure to keep a training log so your memory doesn't get fuzzy.


Hey Chris, thanks for the input :wink: Training log is a must of course, nothing better than to see I'm 45 lbs stronger than before 2 months :slightly_smiling:

Talking about goals, on the lower body it's definitely NOT size, I have a bad disproportion of my lower and upper body (butt and hams). I would like however increase my strength, that's why I use 3x5 for my front squat and deadlift, I'm avoiding volume (when I did 5x5 with front squats, my butt went crazy :D) at all cost.

My upper body concerned, Mondays are 4x8 and Wednesdays are 5x5 for all exercises, alternating every other week, Fridays are light and high rep, just for relaxation (but I always beat my log book on that too)

As I said, on the OH press I think the volume of 5x5 of the same weight is getting to me, I increase in the 5 pound range every workout (maybe I should make lesser jumps?). On squats and deadlifts, considering they are pretty weak (180x5 FS is my PB) are not a problem yet, but I would like know how to adjust when they do :slightly_smiling:

IMHO, I have been working a lot like you mention Reg Park calls for on squats and deadlifts, a few warm up sets, then 3x5 of the same weight. But on all other exercises I did warmup and THEN 5x5, I see the mistake now.


Ramped 5x5's have gotten me some of my best gains. I used to go from 60%-100% of my target weight increasing by 10% per set. So your next OH press workout would go (in kilos, cause I don't wanna calculate): 30 - 35 - 40 - 45 - 50.

I don't think it's absolutely necessary to calculate everything out, though. Then again, I'm doing a variation of 5/3/1, and my next 6 months of training is planned out to the tee. I think I just like being structured that way.

Anyway, you've got the general idea. Just go do it.