T Nation

Testing the 25 Method: A Bulking Log

A little bit of background first. I’ve been lifting for 6 years now. 5’9, 160 lbs. About 12% bodyfat. One rep maxes are: bench: 265; squat: 365; dead: 335; incline: 240; rows: 215. (Estimated maxes).

I’ve ran Starr’s 5x5 several times over the last two years, and have had great strength gains. However, most of those gains seem to come back down after awhile of not doing the workout. I figured that I’m either not eating enough, or my cns “forgets” how to lift that heavy weight after a while of not lifting it.

Anyway I lost motivation to workout about a month ago and looking back on it, I think it was because Starr’s 5x5 (constant maxing) put too much stress on me and made lifting not so fun anymore. I realized that I was doing the wrong workout for me. Since I don’t play competitive sports anymore, strength is not as important to me as size is. So I figured I would try something more hypertrophy-oriented. I am a big fan of Waterbury’s articles, and when I found his 25 method it was like a match made in heaven.

If any of you are unfamiliar with the 25 method, basically it involves 3 full body workouts a week. You pick a weight and do sets until you get 25 reps total, taking 60 second breaks in between. One of the advantages of this method for me is that the 60 second break will help me train my muscles better as I usually take too long of breaks.

This is the workout I will be doing:

Squats 5x5
Incline 5x5
Rows 5x5
Decline Close Grip Bench 5x5
Barbell Curls 5x5

Deadlift 5x5
Bench 5x5
Pullups 4x10 (No weight belts at my gym, but I’ll still use the 60 second break rule)
Military 5x5
Calf Raises 5x5

I will be working out on mondays, wednesdays, and fridays doing ABA, then BAB the next week. I’ll do cardio on tuesdays, thursdays, and saturday (just to stay in shape), though I’m not sure what kind. I might just go for 3 mile runs.

Notice I have no direct ab work. This is the first time I’ll do a program without it, but I figured with so many compound lifts my abs will get trained a lot.

As I said, I’m bulking so I will make sure to eat a lot while trying to stay at 15% bodyfat at the most. I will also be taking Gaspari’s Size-On only on lifting days though (been advised to do this to save money, and as a way of micro-cycling creatine).

Lastly, I might switch the rep scheme after 3-4 weeks. Maybe go to 3x8 or 4x6 depending on where I’m at.


The first workout was today…here it is (not including warm-ups)

Squats: (285x5)x5
Incline: (185x5)x5
Rows: (170x5)x5
Decline CGBP: (165x5)x5
BB Curls: (95x5)x5

So it was basically a “test” workout. I got everything though at times I took 75 seconds breaks between sets, especially with squats. I will try to work on those breaks. But other than that I felt strong throughout and only struggled on the last reps of incline and rows. I’ll probably go up in weight in everything by 5-10 pounds next time.

On a side note, should definitely somewhat grow today. Just had 2 pieces of salmon, some veggies, half a box of whole wheat penne pasta, all with some olive oil and parmesan cheese. lol probably too many carbs for dinner but I figured I might as well overeat while bulking than not eat enough.