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Question about this 5x5 split...


Welcome to the EliteFitness.com Bodybuilding Site! Please join this discussion about Question about this 5x5 split... within the Weight Training & Weight Lifting category.

Excerpt: Hey guys, with this split, http://www.fortifiediron.net/invision/index.php?showtopic=3989&st=0&p=69541&#entry69541 , it says do flat bench. But I would rather sub in inclines for better chest development. Should i stick with the flat because it will help my triceps out more (maybe the incline does a better job for tri building i dunno)...or do you think it wouldn't make much of a difference?

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  1. #1
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    Question about this 5x5 split...

    Hey guys, with this split, http://www.fortifiediron.net/invisio...41&#entry69541 , it says do flat bench. But I would rather sub in inclines for better chest development. Should i stick with the flat because it will help my triceps out more (maybe the incline does a better job for tri building i dunno)...or do you think it wouldn't make much of a difference?

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    Re: Question about this 5x5 split...

    I'm the one who wrote the post. If you want some inclines in the program, swap them in for military on Wednesday. This is fairly common. If you do use the militaries they should be standing barbell preferably - and don't ever use a smith machine for any of this. Eventually you could also do very low incline benches in place of the flats - a typical incline bench's angle decreases the amount of weight used too much. But for now, just do inclines instead of military. It works very well.

    As a general rule - run this program the way it is intended. It has all the best exercises and is setup by two of the best strength coaches to walk the planet. The best course of action to take is to simply put your trust in them (like many incredible athletes have), run on full autopilot, work hard in the gym, eat big and reap the rewards.

    Invariably every person used to BBer workouts wants to screw with it in some way (you are #5 in the past 5 days believe it or not) but I liken this to Sesame Street's Elmo giving neurosurgery tips at NYU. He's cute, fuzzy, has good intentions, but the most likely outcome is that little Elmo is going to labotomize some guy if you let him touch the scalpel.

    You can run the full program back to back without problems (obviously you'll need to adjust your weights before begining a new cycle because you will be stronger).

    Here is a post on Bentover Rows - worth a read (two variations are presented - one in the beginning and the other towards the end): http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=366601

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    Re: Question about this 5x5 split...

    So you dont think benching 3 times a week in the prog is too much (flat, incline)?

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    Re: Question about this 5x5 split...

    Nope. I've done it myself and considering that a huge number of people (including some of the best athletes in the world) have successfully used this program over many years and their biggest problem was starving themselves to avoid growing out of a weightclass if one applied, I wouldn't spend a moment in worry. I've also run programs where you squat, dead, and bench 3x per week (and not much else). It's all about proper regulation of volume/intensity and to a degree frequency but this is more of a volume thing in that frequency is how volume is allocated.

    The essense of this program is dual factor training theory in that you acumulate a recovery deficit over a period of time (volume) and the allow the body to catch up and adapt (the deloading and intensity periods where volume is drastically reduced). Single factor (BBer stuff) looks at it workout to workout, hence you get training to failure and only hitting an exercise once a week - conditions which lead an experienced lifter to languish in doldrums or jump on drugs. To give you an idea - the whole world, meaning just about every single researcher and strength/conditioning coach in the Div1, Pro, Olympic levels, sits in the dual factor camp and has for decades - there's a ton of evidence behind it. BBers sit alone in the single factor theory camp and the evidence indicates that it works for beginners primarily and I believe the only reason it works for beginners is because even just using single factor theory the body still winds up with enough stimulus and rest to mimic really shitty dual factor theory and let them adapt.

    Muscular recovery from a workout takes a lot longer than a few days (it's over a month) and has nothing to do with soreness. You are always training in a deficit. The body is not going to put on calorically expensive muscle (read: increased chance of death from famine) that is only needed infrequently, it adapts when it preceives a need over a period of time - so training becomes stimulation/loading in allowing the body to preceive the scaling need for more muscle while recovery/deloading allows the body a chance to adapt.

    This whole post is a good collection. The workout you are looking at is based primarily on the first 2 topics. Topic 3 deads with dual and single factor training theory. http://forum.mesomorphosis.com/showthread.php?t=12
    Last edited by Madcow2; 27-Jan-2005 at 11:45 PM.

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    Re: Question about this 5x5 split...

    So what you are somewhat saying is that the typical bber way of lifting is kinda shit if you are looking to produce thick mass and strength? So are you saying that the actual majority of solid growth will come from the deloading phase while you give your body a chance to? Makes sense, though i never would have percieved it like that....or did i interpret that correctly? Do you know much about diet? Like should i be eating a cow daily to keep up with all of these big lifts every other day? Because yesterday i finished the wednesday workout and god damn did that kick my ass. Btw, i could do a full 5x5 on the pullups...i guess i cant do my full bodyweight that many times. I almost did...but couldnt finish the last set. Should I keep attempting it till i get it or what (on a week to week basis). And i am trying to get a feel for how high i should start my weights at. Like right now i can push em out fast but they certainly arent easy...is that how it should feel? Also, my plan is to do this training over a course of 2.5 to 3 months...could you say with a solid diet i could expect much? The reason i ask is because when i tried HST, it worked ok, but not what some people made it out to be. Anyways, madcow, i really appreciate your help. Its nice to get some direct insight.
    Peace.

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    Re: Question about this 5x5 split...

    I also have another question. On the day where you have 1x5 on say...bench, do i keep the same weight as mondays session or what?

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    Re: Question about this 5x5 split...

    Quote Quote posted by ceasar989
    So what you are somewhat saying is that the typical bber way of lifting is kinda shit if you are looking to produce thick mass and strength? So are you saying that the actual majority of solid growth will come from the deloading phase while you give your body a chance to? Makes sense, though i never would have percieved it like that....or did i interpret that correctly?
    That's exactly what I'm saying. I think it's an absolute crying shame that what is considered basic training methodology and has been applied routinely all over the world accross many classes of athletes is for the most part unavailable to the general public. Most people here are willing to put in some time, research and learn. The problem is that 99% of the time all you find are the same bogus programs. This was even truer in the 1980's during the whole machine craze and high reps (and BBers were bigger in the 80's than the 70's and 60's - can we say "up the dosage to compensate"). At least now most BBing programs are using the heavy compound lifts with reasonable rep ranges to drive progress and this gets some results because it's a strong stimulus and the body will adapt. Other than that though, most programs are all single factor theory and for an experienced lifter the body will not adapt workout to workout but over a period. HST is the exception. I'm not an HST expert and I certainly prefer this type of program which most believe will give you all the same hypertrophy plus make you stronger and perform better - which to me translates to better long term progress anyway.

    Quote Quote posted by ceasar989
    Do you know much about diet? Like should i be eating a cow daily to keep up with all of these big lifts every other day? Because yesterday i finished the wednesday workout and god damn did that kick my ass.
    Most people would think I know a lot. That said, I'm not a Ph.D. but I also don't believe diet is very complex. In that mutli-topic thread I linked above (the Tribute to JohnSmith from Mesomorphosis), he will tell you much the same thing. A good workout will produce growth in the absence of sub-optimal diet and rest. You can't be eating like a POW or getting the SEAL Hell Week equivalent of sleep but the body's adaptation mechanism is resilient.
    1) Eat more calories than your body requires - it helps to spread it out some throughout the day
    2) Get quality protein - spread this throughout the day also
    3) Drink water - your body is mostly water
    4) Balance your diet so you get reasonable nutrient intake - steamed veggies work nicely
    5) Don't try to eat a puritanical diet - it can be done but it's very hard and most people don't have the planning or the time. Eat food and a lot - and that means Double Quarter Pounders are fine as long as that's not the mainstay of your diet (it'll still work though). If you start getting fat, rachet it back. A clean healthy diet is nice but if you want to grow you can't violate #1-#4 and most people end up doing this in their urge to implement this.

    Quote Quote posted by ceasar989
    Btw, i could do a full 5x5 on the pullups...i guess i cant do my full bodyweight that many times. I almost did...but couldnt finish the last set. Should I keep attempting it till i get it or what (on a week to week basis).
    Yeah, you're getting enough. These don't play a large part in the loading phase and you'll get better. Once you start getting them all, hang a dumbell between your feet or use a weight belt w/ chain to hang plates. If it was really bad, I'd tell you to swap to pulldowns but this is a much better exercise.[/QUOTE]

    Quote Quote posted by ceasar989
    And i am trying to get a feel for how high i should start my weights at. Like right now i can push em out fast but they certainly arent easy...is that how it should feel? Also, my plan is to do this training over a course of 2.5 to 3 months...could you say with a solid diet i could expect much? The reason i ask is because when i tried HST, it worked ok, but not what some people made it out to be. Anyways, madcow, i really appreciate your help. Its nice to get some direct insight.
    Peace.
    One thing that's fairly important in training is to move the weight as quickly as possible (not on the warmups you don't want to throw it around). Think about a rower's stroke in crew. Once he gets the oar moving in the water he doesn't just pull it at a constant pace (meaning once it's moving he would actually be applying less force to simply maintain the speed through the water rather than accelerating it). What a rower does is get it moving and attempt to continually increase the speed of the oar in the stroke. A muscle is made to exert force. Force = Mass X Acceleration. A muscle will adapt when the requirements for force output exceed capacity over a period of time (dual factor). This is also related to the Work equation of Force X Distance and a muscle's capacity for workload. The mass is simply the weight being used. Acceleration has a multiplying effect on the equation and helps recruit the maximum amount of muscle fibers (this is why those bentover rows are done dynamically). BBers also fail to take advantage of the 2nd part of the equation and given the multiplication sign you can easily see how important it is to muscular development. How do I incorporate this. I am always moving the weight as quickly as possible. Wednesday makes a nice speed specific day for squats. Don't worry too much about it but think about it and try applying it - which is a lot easier in the beggining with light weights.

    As far as your weights. It really helps to have been through the program once before as most beginners invariably botch it somewhere because they aren't accustomed to the lifts and can't peg their maxes or scale up correctly. No big deal. Before starting the program it's nice to know you 5x5 rep max but barring that I start fairly light where I'm working at a fast clip. Sometimes I might add an extra week at the beginning to give a person longer to scale. The second week is quite a bit more and by the third week (4th if you added an extra week of scaling) you should be pushing yourself pretty decently. 4th week you should be overreaching again. This workout is more than good enough to still provide a lot of gains even if you botch it a bit - it won't be optimal but it would be a shitty workout if you had to peg it 100% just to get a fair amount of results.

    People underestimate how hard this workout is. In the first few weeks it's fairly managable but in the record weeks you are working damn hard and there is not much left for anything else in the weightroom - and you don't really need anything else either. If this won't grow you, nothing will.

    This program can and should be run back to back. Go through 2-3 full cycles. You'll learn exactly how your body tolerates and accomodates the deloading/loading and your weight selection will be perfect. Once you have a lot of experience you can get it down to 3:1:3 (weeks) because you know exactly what you are doing and how to load yourself - don't try this for a while (meaning don't run it once and assume you can get it down to 3:1:3 because it'll get botched and those extra weeks are there specifically for people who don't know how to organize this perfectly for their own body - you will also be able to tolerate higher loads over time. Eventually the loads might need to be split over 4 days weekly but this stuff is way out there for you so just run it and put your faith in the people who created it). A training journal is helpful.

    I can't say how much you will or will not gain. A diet as I described above (read the Meso topic too) will help you get as much as you can. The biggest problem with this program is that people can gain too much - I ran exactly what you are doing about a 1.5 years ago (I've been injured over the past year - not related to WL - and my training is quite a bit different). My diet was decent but nothing great. I had to scale it back hugely as I was putting on way too much weight - so for BBing purposes this is a good program. For me, I cut my weight limit at the mid 240's these days. I will say that there's really nothing out there that's going to put more weight on you than this. This is a really good general program to add muscular weight to someone. I'd run it through a few times and see where you stand.

    HST is a good program for adding muscle, it works for a lot of people. This program is equally as good and does it a little bit differently and definitely translates to better all around performance and IMO long term gains. I have no way of knowing what might have impacted your HST progress if anything. Maybe you just don't respond well to their program. Maybe your response to weight training in general isn't so good. Maybe your diet blew. Maybe you were super stressed at that point in your life. Who knows. HST is decent though and my anti BBing program rhetoric doesn't apply to it.

    Don't worry too much about BF levels and eat a lot - you don't want to get fat but it's real hard for the body to rationalize adding calorically expensive muscle when fat stores are very low (people who had the genetics to allow this to happen died out in a famine fairly early in human evolution).

    Quote Quote posted by ceasar989
    I also have another question. On the day where you have 1x5 on say...bench, do i keep the same weight as mondays session or what?
    In these workouts (squat, benches and rows all use a 1x5/1x3 day) your goal is to work up to a heavy single set of 5/3. Obviously what you can do for a single set of 5/3 is a lot more than what you can do for 5x5 or 3x3 with a weight. So in the record weeks, you are setting records for your best set of 5 or 3 on these days whereas on the 5x5 and 3x3 days you are setting a record for what you can handle over the grouping of those sets. They are totally different weight schemes. Now when I am working up to my 1x5 set, in the volume phase I will make sure I pyramid through at least another 4 sets of 5 because I want to get all the volume (even if 2 or 3 of those sets are 135 this is still fine - the volume is key in this phase - you need to get all your sets and reps even if that means adjusting the weight in mid workout to allow it). I'll do the same for the intensity phase but I'm really less concerned. My goal here is to push the weight up workout to workout so if I'm gassed or in the peak weeks, I'll do whatever I feel like to get up to the weight for that workout. That might be singles or doubles. Doesn't matter. In the intensity period you can also rest an extra day here and there if you really feel you need it (don't abuse it). Under ideal conditions you wouldn't have to but like I said, this usually gets botched by someone not used to it and you might have over extended yourself.

    Also - one more caveate. I don't know what your training experience is. The way I laid out this program, it's for someone who's been training a decent amount of time. A raw beginner or someone pretty close to that level will burn out fast using a constant weight set weight scheme. I don't think this is you but for anyone else reading this, you have to crawl some before you can walk. Just use a pyramid for each day. There are actually better ways to get a novice lifter up to speed because he's going to really benefit from doing a lot of lighter work.

    Deadlifts: The bar is pulled from the floor every rep. No touch and go except on warmups. The bar becomes completely deweighted on the floor before pulling again.

    Squats: Full range is best - that means all the way down to your body's limit. If you are a competitive PL then you go to at least parallel which is TOP of the thighs parallel to the floor (and I'm not stating that for a PL but merely for someone looking to cut their depth). This exercise is no where near as effective if you don't go to at least parallel.

    At this point I have a collection of PMs and other stuff. I'm thinking of just making a Tripod site for it or something so that it's all in one place, organized and accessible. These are all good questions
    Last edited by Madcow2; 28-Jan-2005 at 03:58 PM.

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    Re: Question about this 5x5 split...

    Thats was a great post madcow, thanks. Its funny, because in some place along your answers to my questions, you also indirectly answered others i had in mind. Now i am really feeling sound about this. However, i am guessing that i probably will have to add in the extra week just because i'll have to modify what i did this week for next weeks plans. And i guess it doesn't really matter when i do the goal setting set during the week does it (for bench, rows or squats)? Again man, very informative and helpful, and i really appreciate your help.

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    Re: Question about this 5x5 split...

    The timing itself isn't that important (which is the essence of dual factor anyway). You could do all the 5x5 on monday and all the 1x5 on Friday. I just find it's easier and better to distribute the load more evenly because doing 5x5 records in 3 exercises on a single day is fairly rough during the big weeks.

    This stuff is very logical for the most part. No rocket science involved. The biggest problem is that it is so different from what one sees used by BBers and general gym people. I really don't know why the BBing/gym world is it's own little microcosim (spelling?) and applies it's own custom science (closer to voodoo since what little science gets applied is generally pretty twisted) with cult-like fanaticism. The entire rest of the world has been training like this for a long time and getting great results. This is how the vast majority of the world trains its atheltes in sports from olympic and power lifting, track and field, cycling, football, soccer, volleyball, wrestling. For guys who make their living coaching at the highest levels - this is bread and butter stuff, nothing more than basic fundementals.

    If you are interested in stuff like this you should check out my posts and some from the others in this thread: http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=364685
    Last edited by Madcow2; 28-Jan-2005 at 04:06 PM.

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    Re: Question about this 5x5 split...

    Quote Quote posted by ceasar989
    Thats was a great post madcow, thanks. Its funny, because in some place along your answers to my questions, you also indirectly answered others i had in mind. Now i am really feeling sound about this. However, i am guessing that i probably will have to add in the extra week just because i'll have to modify what i did this week for next weeks plans. And i guess it doesn't really matter when i do the goal setting set during the week does it (for bench, rows or squats)? Again man, very informative and helpful, and i really appreciate your help.
    Also - for bench, squat, and row there are 2 "goal setting" sets. You have 1 session where you are working on your 5x5(or 3x3) and another where you are working on your best single set of 5 or single set of 3. Exercises done only 1 day per week are self explanatory 5x5 in volume, 3x3 intensity/deloading. The only unrelated one would be the Wednesday squats which are only done during the volume phase and set 15-20% lighter than whatever you use on Monday. In addition, if you need some extra margin they don't need to be increased as fast as the Monday weight so they might start at 15% of Monday and end at 25% of Monday or some such.

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