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Old 27-Jan-10, 06:51 PM   #31
dude_reino
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V,

I've been doing 3-days/week splits for many years (Monday-legs, Wednesday-chest, Friday-back). I'm looking to change it up and I really like this 5x5 program (especially doing squats 3 times a week-my favorite).

On Friday I'm going to finish up my split routine this week. I would like to start the 5x5 routine on Monday. Do you have any recommendation for transitioning between a split into a 5x5?

Also, do you recommend doing cardio on Tuesdays/Thursdays along with this routine?
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Old 27-Jan-10, 07:43 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_reino View Post
V,

I've been doing 3-days/week splits for many years (Monday-legs, Wednesday-chest, Friday-back). I'm looking to change it up and I really like this 5x5 program (especially doing squats 3 times a week-my favorite).

On Friday I'm going to finish up my split routine this week. I would like to start the 5x5 routine on Monday. Do you have any recommendation for transitioning between a split into a 5x5?

Also, do you recommend doing cardio on Tuesdays/Thursdays along with this routine?
Hey Dude...

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Old 27-Jan-10, 09:38 PM   #33
.V.
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Sure. Just like outlined in the first post. Find your 5RM. Put this number at week 4. Your first 3 weeks willl be very light. Take a week off, rest and recover, then hit it.

Start with the lighter weights and progress slowly and you will be setting new PRs by week 5. Continue with this until you can't anymore. Then reset the program with your new 5RM at week 4 and continue.

We are doing 3x3 as a transition between hitting a 5RM wall and a reset, in an attempt to get stronger. As I have no idea how it will turn out, I'm really not reccomending it to anyone for now. Two human guinea pigs will report back when they know how it goes.
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Old 10-Feb-10, 01:16 PM   #34
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Question about the military press. Do you suggest standing or sitting, dumbell or barbell? I usually do sitting with dumbells, but this routine seems to favor major/full body exercises, so I'm thinking of doing standing barbell presses.
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Old 10-Feb-10, 01:44 PM   #35
.V.
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Military press when done correctily is standing with a barbell.

That said, I prefer seated barbell overhead press. But if you want to use dumbells, that is good too.

The idea of these lifts is to use the body as what it is, a complete unit rather than endless isolation exercises. This is why I use the bar. Many would argue that dumbells are more effective but I've found that FOR ME the dumbell gives too much isolation and I prefer the bar. It lets me go heavier and in the end is more effective for me.
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Old 10-Feb-10, 01:50 PM   #36
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speaking of barbell vs. dumbells, as far as biceps go, I used to use a barbell and for the first time last night I tried alternating dumbells. Man it was so much more difficult!! and I also learned that my right arm is much stronger than my left!
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Old 10-Feb-10, 01:54 PM   #37
.V.
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I too use dumbells and do higher rep work for the "mirror muscles". You know, the things that look good but really have no effect on overall strength or performance. Cable crunch for abs, dumbells for bis and tris. A machine for calves...

The strength gains can actually be a drawback with 5x5 or any other purely strength program. I was doing skull crushers with 135 on a barbell. The strength of these small muscles ended up being too much for my ligaments and tendons to handle. I was moving more weight than my body was adapted for...and ended up with tendonitis as a reward for my efforts. grrrrr.
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Old 03-Mar-10, 01:12 PM   #38
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I've just completed week four of this routine. My squat has increased from 145 to 170, bench from 135 to 175, and row from 125 to 140. I'm deadlifting over 200. I'm quickly increasing by 5 lbs in every exercise, every week. I believe I can go more on the squats but I don't want to overdo, nor plateau. I'm not doing any 'mirror muscles' (curls, etc.), but depending on how I feel after my routine I will do a few extra sets of dips and chins to finish it out.

Physically, I've noticed much improvement in my body appearance. Pecs are starting to become profound, and bi's and tri's are getting bigger. My girlfriend has even commented on my glutes...awesome.

I've only gained about two pounds, but because I can see strength going up in numbers, and my appearance in the mirror, I'm happy and I seem to dropping fat and gaining muscle while staying near the same weight. I'm on a high-protein diet, six meals a day, but not taking in huge amounts of calories. I'm also taking creatine. I think I've got a good thing going and may make some minor modifications, but not much. I'm going to continue this for another four weeks and report back.

Last edited by dude_reino; 03-Mar-10 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 03-Mar-10, 08:40 PM   #39
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Awesome job Dude_R. Keep up the good work. After week 4 is when it starts getting really hard. Sometime around week 8 or 9 you may find yourself reaching failure. When progress completely stalls with a lift, reset that lift with your new 5RM at week 4. If most of them stall...just reset the whole program and start over.

Why not start an online training journal here to keep track of your progress. Another thing that I wish i'd done when I first started out. Whether you share them here or not. At least make a private folder in your computer and do this. Progress pictures. Take front and back photos about every 12 weeks or so. It is a great motivator to see where you are compared to where you were. And it can keep you honest with yourself too. The pics will show when tweaks with the diet are needed, when it's time to start cutting, and when you need to get on a bulking diet and add some mass...
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Old 03-Mar-10, 09:39 PM   #40
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Great way to plan for success!

Thanks for the great write-up V! I think the thing that keeps a lot of us new folks from being successful in creating the body that we want is simply a lack of a solid plan. I've done the random weightlifting plan over the years (you know - I feel like doing curls today...) with the results you'd expect from it. This week I found my 5RM for all of my lifts, created a spreadsheet and figured out my first 4 weeks of lifting. Just knowing exactly what I need to do to be successful is a huge step forward for me. It was the uncertainty in my plans in the past that made lifting a total waste of time for me. Because of my size, my 5RM is pretty low, and makes my week 1 starting point almost laughable for most lifts, but I'd rather start out slow than injure myself. Thanks again V. I'm eating like a horse and tonight had my first great workout in years. Felt fantastic (by that, I mean I'm shaking like a madman as I type this)!
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Old 04-Mar-10, 01:41 AM   #41
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Because of my size, my 5RM is pretty low, and makes my week 1 starting point almost laughable for most lifts, but I'd rather start out slow than injure myself.
Strenth is completely relative. It totally depends on so many different things and yes, your size does have a bit to do with it. Guess what? It doesn't matter how much it weighs...if it's heavy to you, then it's heavy.

I have MS and although it's a neurological condition, not a muscular one when it takes the strength away from my legs or takes me out of the gym I get weaker and lose muscle from not being able to lift...or lift as much. then I lose muscle which makes me smaller and weaker. The short duration attacks don't have as much of an effect, but the long term damage to my legs (actually my brain but effecting my legs) leaves me using 14 year old girl weights. And that's ok because it's heavy to me.

Silverangel, a girl member here is a much smaller person than me yet she deadlifts more than 1.5x the amount of weight than I do. And again, that's ok because what I lift is heavy to me.

Mrs.V., another girl member here is considerably smaller than I am (both of which make me very happy since she's my wife) and she is leg pressing almost the same weight as I am and I do expect her to pass me up in 8 or 9 weeks. And again...it doesn't matter. We all train within our abilities.

Don't let the amount of weight you lift worry you or hold you back...never let it embarrass you. If you are doing your best, then that's what you are doing...your best...and that's enough.

Something else to think about is perhaps starting an online workout journal here to keep track of your training. It can be motivational for you and for others. It can show where you are getting it right and where you need to adjust. It can help you see where your diet is good and where it needs work. And be sure to take progress pictures of yourself now, and about every 12 weeks or so just to visibly see where you are and where you've been. Even if you never share them and keep them hidden in a folder in your computer...they are a valuable training tool.
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Old 14-Aug-11, 08:41 PM   #42
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Some thought on this vs Starting Strength:

For people new to lifting, or coming back after a break (I will assume everyone has done around a month of building flexibility to do squats, and built up some stamina in the gym before starting to lift all out), Starting Strength might be better. Simply because the increments are much faster in that program. So, if you are in a very anabolic phase, it makes sense to do starting strength.

To give an example, I lifted month 1 (after a loooong break from exercise) 8 reps to get acclimatized. At the beginning of month 2, my 5 rep squat max was 135, deadlift 135. Bench 145.
After 2.5 months of Starting Strength (this included a 1 week break), my 5 rep squat max is 205, deadlift 225 and bench 175.


Andy: How do you handle doing 5 sets of 5? Usually for my working sets, my strength is as follows:
Strongest: Set 2
Strong: Set 1
Weakest: Set 3

So, at set 3 I'm weaker than when I started out.

If I wanted to do 5 sets of 5, I would have to drop weights because my last set would be very weak.

This is another reason I like starting strength: I am working at close to my limit for all the (3) sets.
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Old 15-Aug-11, 02:10 AM   #43
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How? The will to finish no matter how heavy it feels, no matter how much it hurts. Yeah by set 3 I'm totally destroyed. Set 4 is actually sometimes a little better, kind of like getting that 2nd wind. Set 5 is often my best...but in reality, it's painful and brutal...and that's why it works.

There are no easy ways out...there are no shortcuts. And why 5x5? Because prior to Starr it's the reason that the Bulgarians, East Germans, etc... kicked our asses in the lifting sports. They trained very similarly, they deloaded the same way.

One cannot work at maximum effort forever or something is going to break. That's why there is deloading built in. It's why there are heavy, light, and medium days built in.

I've never seen anyone get better results than with the basic 5x5 routine. Even with the starting strength method. And I've used them all at one point or another for myself or with those I was helping or training.

But ya know...if there is a way that you've found better... please feel free to start a thread describing how to do it. Keep it simple so that it's easy to follow. The science has all been done... the experts like Pendlay and Starr explained it all and still are... but to bring the method, in a simple, easy to follow form to others who are new to it... is a most welcome addition to discuss fitness. It is after all, discuss fitness, not discuss how I do it.

Some of these training methods are difficult for someone new to them to understand and someone writing a thread describing them very simply is so helpful. Then when they have more quesitons... answer those one at a time, without overwhelming them. If they need it all in one reading...let them buy the book like I did. (all the damn books...got kind of expensive over the years...but worth it in the end.)
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Old 16-Nov-11, 01:40 AM   #44
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5x5 with cardio

My job has taken me away from home far too often this past year, and my lifting hit the skids because of it. In the past month I started doing the Insanity workout simply because itís a lot easier to do on the road than find a gym everywhere I go. Life is finally settling down and I think Iíll finally have some long stretches of time at home so I can lift again though. Thank goodness, because the hotel/airport food has left me with more than a memory of my travels! Iíve got some chub to get rid of!
So a couple of questions:
Insanity is a high intensity cardio workout (putting it lightly Ė itís awesome, but ridiculously hard). I want to focus primarily on lifting because I want my muscle back, but at the same time I donít want to neglect the olí ticker. Does doing intense cardio like this on off days with the 5x5 routine make sense, or will it negatively impact my recovery and slow down my muscle building? I really need to lose some fat, which is why Iím thinking a combo may be beneficial.
What is the rationale for doing the same 5x5 progression every week versus just changing every day? By that I mean doing workout ABA each week, versus ABA then BAB.
A friend of mine does the 5x5 routine, but ups the weight every single workout (except dead lift) instead of upping it every week. Overkill, or faster progress?
As always, thanks for the advice.
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Old 22-Oct-16, 10:57 AM   #45
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