T Nation

Strength Routine

Hey all, I’ve posted here before and stopped for a while, but during that time I’ve been working out and just started this bastardization of the 5x5 which I tried for a month before (although I guess I changed the exercises in that too lol). It came about from reading of old time strongmen lifting mostly in the 2 rep range, and the fact that I was needing to rest for 5+ minutes between sets to get 5 reps- and while sets 1 and 2 were super easy, the last sets were hard.

I tried doing the recently suggested 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3 and found it didn’t work much better for me, then tried 2 reps and found it worked great. I added decent weight to everything immediately and have been adding it way faster, and my rest periods are <1 minute between sets. My intensity is enough that I sweat like crazy, but my muscles don’t feel like they’re weaker as I get to my last sets.

So, anyway, the rep scheme is 2 reps for 3-5 work sets at nearly the same weight, with about 5 warmup sets before it. Exception being the overhead squat, cause it definitely feels more like a mobility thing/can’t hold a big enough weight over my head for reps, so it’s more of a 4x5. Alternating days 3x a week each

Goal: Get really really strong

Day 1
BB Overhead Squat
DB Bulgarian Split Squat - tbh, I haven’t done these yet, because I hate them.
1 arm DB Lift - Alright, maybe this has a real name, but with a DB hanging at my side, I pull it up/back, lifting it up towards my shoulder.
1 arm Dip (machine)

Day 2
BB Stiff Leg Deadlift
1A cable pulldown
1A DB Overhead Press
Ab Wheel

I’m doing 1 arm stuff right now, because my left arm is far weaker than my right, by like 30lbs on all lifts. I can strict military press a weight with my right arm I struggle to 1 rep max with a crazy push (jump) press. I think that should probably be addressed.

Here is an example, what I did today:

warmup/dynamic stretching/leg swings
SL Deadlift 40x5, 110x5, 130x3, 160x3, 180x2, 200x2, 220x2,2,2
1 Arm Pulldown 50x10, 60x2, 70x2, 80x2, 90x3,2,2
1 Arm DB Overhead Press 20x10, 25x5, 30x2, 35x2,3,4

I’m definitely feeling that some olympic lifts are needed in the program in the near future.

I just have a question. Why overhead squat and stiff leg deadlift rather than back squat and deadlift? And where are your presses? Bench press or overhead press? You may want to add in a third day that is centered around those exercises and reevaluate your exercise selection. It sounds like you are looking for something like a 5x5 workout. Why don’t you check out something like that.

Dude, just do a normal program.

[quote]Chris The Great wrote:
I’m definitely feeling that some olympic lifts are needed in the program in the near future.[/quote]

Why? Do you want to be strong in the olympic lifts or just strong in general? We do have a board for that if you’re interested.

I just finished 5x5 shifting to 5x2 with

Back Squat
Overhead Press
Weighted Pullups
Weighted Dips
Barbell Rows

Which came from the standard 5x5, replacing bench with BB rows.

This is basically the same, with unilateral variations of the exercises.

Overhead squatting I added because I’ve heard many good things about them on this site, so I decided to try them out. I find them challenging to my back where I tend to get stiff, and my upper body in general. It’s certainly not a replacement of any sorts for squatting.

Stiff Leg to put more emphasis on my back, which is my DL/squat weak point. Plus I can’t DL more than 1x a week or my back gets wrecked and all my lifts suffer. TBH it seems like a better way to strengthen my back, so I’m trying it out.

I was thinking about olympic lifts to train the CNS to be more explosive. Doing an olympic lifting program in the future would still benefit my strength, especially since I lift explosively in real life (throwing heavy stuff up into trucks etc). Lifting the dumbells/barbell at my sides is also because I tend to lift things like that in real life.

I already miss barbell lifts though. So maybe I’ll do 2/3 unilateral and go heavy on the barbell once a week, which gives me back squatting and deadlifting 1x a week.

Dude, you’re not strong or experienced enough to be modifying 5x5, or any programs for that matter.

You’re not gonna make magical gains off of some ideas [supposedly] used by strongmen if you don’t understand the fundamentals of training to begin with.

And this:

That’s the whole POINT! If they weren’t hard, THEN we would have a problem.

5x5 is a hypertrophy program, so I increased the weight and lowered the reps to give greater strength gains.

Maybe my decision to do some unilateral movements is garbage (but I’m pretty sure it’s not), and maybe my exercise selection is crap (it may be), and maybe everything else I’ve said is wrong, but I’m sure about the reps, both from what I have read on this site and what I experience in the gym.

Also, when I say the last sets where hard, I mean that if I wanted I could do 10 reps on set 1 with the weight, but by set 5 I might miss the last rep.