T Nation

Starting To Stall on 5x5...Oh No!


I'm starting to "plateau" on my 5x5 on bench. I just use 5x5, no other varying set/rep schemes (just started Waterbury's booster shots though, so we'll see if that helps a bit in terms of recovery; I'm not used to strength-endurance stuff at all like the booster shots prescribe).

Anyways, what would ya'll reccommend I do? Should I stick with it, change up the set/rep scheme to something else (in which case, should I go with something like a 3x8 or a 4x6 or a 6x4), or is there another option?

I'm thinking just take a few days off, maybe a back off week, then try and start up again?

Agree, disagree, thoughts, opinions? Thanks ya'll!



I've found going three weeks on 5x5 and one week off to work pretty good. The off week can just be easy stuff, db bench for reps instead of regular bench, etc.


Either switch up the rep scheme or vary the exercise.

You could find out your weakpoint on the bench and work that if your intent on sticking with 5x5. Like, if your lockout sucks try rack lockouts, and multiple board presses, if your weak off the chest, try paused benches, dumbell benches, etc etc.



That's okay, plateau's happen. Get a new routine using mostly different exercises and then come back to 5x5 in a few months better than ever.


Thanks guys. I think I'll just take a week "off" (as in light stuff) and then do some Big Boy Basics from CW. Then I'll return to 5x5 later.

I appreciate the help, thanks!



I'd try a different rep scheme for a while...maybe 8x3


you can do a back off week and then use db's,i switched and tried bb bench the other day and was surprised and happy and what happened


Can't stay too consistent with your set/rep schemes. You have to hit the opposite end of the pendulum. Try starting with 3x10, and adding a set of 10 every week untill you hit 5x10, then add more weight and start over again.

After a while, you'll stop making gains again, then you can return to the 5x5.

Good luck!


Lets see, you don't use periodization, but you wonder why you're getting stuck. Planned variation in training is essential. Even something as simple as alternating between 4x8 and 5x5 each week would go a long was towards getting progress started again.


I'm not wondering why I'm getting stuck. I was just asking which scheme would be best to switch to, or if I should just take a back off week from 5x5 and see if that helps.


If you bench straight for 5 sets you could try 5x5 with a row in between sets of bench
5 bench rest 5 row rest etc....
Sometimes working the antagonist in between helps.


I learned about antagonistic pairings from EDT, and they really do help with recovery. I should start doing antagonistic training again now that I think about it... Thanks for the idea!