T Nation

Stronger Bench by Switching Rep Scheme?

I’ve been doing a 5x5 for bench press for about 2.5 years straight and i stalled then went back to the gym and was able to do it but i know i will prob stall next time. i was wondering if it would be cool to switch to 5x4 and keep adding 5 pounds every session and then when i stall on 5x4 switch to 5x3, does anyone think this is solid? I’m more WANTING STRENGTH RIGht now because I’m on a cut (and still getting stronger) so does anyone have any experience going from 5x5 to 5x4 and 5x3 once you reach a stall?

I actually switched to 5/3/1 initially after I stalled, but you can continue to make progress with 5x3 and you can also slow the rate of progression by simply adding weight to the bar every other session. Running a short term bench only program (such as Smolov Jr) can be useful for shaking things up.

What are your lifts currently at?

I know of people that do 5x5 for a month then 5x3 for a month, then 5x2 for a month, then start back at 5x5 and have had success. I like 5/3/1 because it varies my rep range every week.

As to the strength gaining on a cut, it can surely happen, you just have to be diligent about your nutrition, and don’t cut too fast. How much are you trying to cut? How are you going about it?

531 is a good program to use since it will vary your rep ranges and intensity.

I’m leaning towards no on this one. Personally when decreasing bench reps on workout it feels like your getting stronger because its more weight (but less reps) OBVIOUSLY, but you hit a wall fast then eventually get weaker. If this works it probably depends what lifts you do after the 5x? benching

[quote]amayakyrol wrote:
I actually switched to 5/3/1 initially after I stalled, but you can continue to make progress with 5x3 and you can also slow the rate of progression by simply adding weight to the bar every other session. Running a short term bench only program (such as Smolov Jr) can be useful for shaking things up.

What are your lifts currently at? [/quote]

Deadlift 550
Squat 465
Bench 345

I am going for a 30 pound cut.

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
I know of people that do 5x5 for a month then 5x3 for a month, then 5x2 for a month, then start back at 5x5 and have had success. I like 5/3/1 because it varies my rep range every week.

As to the strength gaining on a cut, it can surely happen, you just have to be diligent about your nutrition, and don’t cut too fast. How much are you trying to cut? How are you going about it?[/quote]

30 pounds. i drastically changed my diet from hunnybuns and over 600g carbs easy a day to about 500 under maintenance (well i don’t really know what my maintenance is since the calculators are all fuking bullshit and say different things by far) to only eating about 60 carbs pre workout and some here and there throughout the day and eating food like (lots of fish) tuna steaks, ocean perch, arrow tooth flounder, salmon, pollock, chicken, some ground beef, pork chops, greek yogurt, maybe a banana with some touch of fruit frosted wheaties cereal (cheat meal) not much vegetables, an occasional eat out meal like pf changes some liquid fish oil and krill oil and walking every night (never did that before)

[quote]Crura wrote:

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
I know of people that do 5x5 for a month then 5x3 for a month, then 5x2 for a month, then start back at 5x5 and have had success. I like 5/3/1 because it varies my rep range every week.

As to the strength gaining on a cut, it can surely happen, you just have to be diligent about your nutrition, and don’t cut too fast. How much are you trying to cut? How are you going about it?[/quote]

30 pounds. i drastically changed my diet from hunnybuns and over 600g carbs easy a day to about 500 under maintenance (well i don’t really know what my maintenance is since the calculators are all fuking bullshit and say different things by far) to only eating about 60 carbs pre workout and some here and there throughout the day and eating food like (lots of fish) tuna steaks, ocean perch, arrow tooth flounder, salmon, pollock, chicken, some ground beef, pork chops, greek yogurt, maybe a banana with some touch of fruit frosted wheaties cereal (cheat meal) not much vegetables, an occasional eat out meal like pf changes some liquid fish oil and krill oil and walking every night (never did that before) [/quote]
Agreed about what “maintenance calories” being wildly inaccurate many times. Looks like you are eating pretty clean. Keep your carbs around your workouts, and realistically the lbs should start coming off rather quickly. Good luck!