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Training Effect of 3x8 vs 5x5?

I’m wondering how much rep scheme matters if intensity and total number of reps are kept the same. For example, is the training effect from doing 5x5 with 75% the same as doing 3x8 with 75%? I expect 3x8 would result in greater hypertrophy, but what about strength? Which one is easier to recover from?

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3x8= 24 and 5x5=25 though lol. I get what you are asking though.

I think the training effect will be pretty close with the 8s just a bit better for hypertrophy. A tiny tiny bit. With the 5s you can focus more on doing good technique cleans reps and have more practice setting up and hitting the first rep

5x5 @ 75% is going to be pretty explosive for most people

3x8 @ 75% is probably going to be a grinder on that last set.

Explosive work is generally earier to recover from that sets you need to grind out, even at the higher rep ranges.

As for hypertrophy, fatigue is a driver of growth so 3x8 (at that percentage) is likely going to serve you better.

I appreciate you double-checking my math there.

That’s actually what I was getting at. Let’s say I’m doing a program that calls for 3x8 at 75%, and I want an easier day or I want to focus on technique. Would doing 5x5 instead matter much?

In terms of strength development, do you think there’d be much of a difference?

Do 4×5 and rep out the last set.

Problem solved.


1 rep extra may not seem like much but it adds up to more work in the long term lol

If you want a bit more hypertrophy or there’s some other reason like you are doing a wave of 8s or whatever re range than do 3x8. If the program has that down it’s probably for a good reason.

If you need more technique/set up work then do 5x5. It shouldn’t really be like an “easier” day maybe a like less psychologically arousing day (sounds weird I mean like getting hyped up to hit a set or switching on 80% + or going beast mode or being intimidated by the weight and shit). It’d be close enough Hypertrophy-wise that if you are thinking it’d better for technique then go for it

Er… actually try doing a bunch of workouts with each. You’ve been 5 years on this site, seriously.??


Seeing as how 75% of your 1rm is supposed to be approximately your 10rm, how do you think you’ll feel if you did sets of 5 with that weight vs sets of 8?

I’m just going to go ahead and bring this up.

Just sets and reps without any other information doesn’t mean much without a form of progressive overload, approximate percentage of your max or RPE and the training method such as a ramp, pyramid, straight sets, dynamic effort, etc.

So you could make the 5x5 at ~75% much more hypertrophy oriented and get a decent pump going on if you use the escalating density method and do straight sets to the point that you can barely get that last set. Or you could make it very strength oriented by ramping up using big jumps between sets so the last set is very close to your fresh 5RM.

That’s just a couple examples and there are many others.

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