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Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:05 pm
by hoosegow
Alright Tim and Hoister, yall did it again. I got edikated once more. Please help me understand the 5X5 concept. I read the post you guys linked to. I even did it in squats today. I don't understand one thing. I did 5X5 at 335 and struggled - to maintain good form and get the weight up every time the last 1 or 2 lifts. What is the advantage of pyramiding up (lack of a better term) over doing 5X5 good lifts? It seems like I am almost wasting two sets if I pyramid up.

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:05 pm
by TimD
Hi Hoosegow. I'll use the heavy day as an example where you "pyramid " up using 5's to 1 to 2 top all out worksets. I'm going to plagirize Bill Starr from his book "The Strongest Sall Survive - Strength Training for Football". He explains it like this. The first three progressively heavier worksets (starting from around 50% or so) let you warm up, focus on form, focus on speed of movement, and ease you into your top worksets. First should be easy, 2nd a little heavier but still fairly easy, the third moderately heavy, the fourth, if still a lead in should be touh but doable, if used as a top weight with the 5th set, it should your top weight of the day and very hard, the fifth, no matter what the case, should be all out. Same for the lead ins on the medium day, the difference being you only go to around 90% of your heavy day for work sets, and those should just reinforce you withouttapping too much into your recoverability. Light days, as JV Askem states them, are basically for practice, and to develope form and speed, and aid somewhat in total recovery. An interesting note that differentiates Starr and Askem though, is Starr recommends a "down", "pump" or "hypertrophy "set (depending upon who chooses the wording) of 1-2 sets of 8-10 (difficult) with a lower weight after your top work set, That's the method I prefer personally. Hope that answers it.

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:36 am
by hoosegow
If I understand you correctly, the first two sets are practice/warm-up sets to prepare your body for the meat and potatoes of the exercise. In reality, you are actually doing only three working sets, right?

Next week then:
1 set @ 185 lbs.
1 set @ 225 lbs
1 set @ 315 lbs
2 sets @ 350-365

Does that sound about right? Once again, thanks for the info.

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 8:00 am
by Juggers
I just did this monday with my squat and it was the hardest thing Iv'e ever done....pluse the high rep ones hoister said to do....I'm so sore lol....every muscle. My form did lag a lot for the heavy sets...but I plan I getting better.

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 8:03 am
by DubDub
First off, you bench 365? damn, you must be huge.

I think you're starting too low. For you I think
would be better.

Here's how I do it... I rotate between 4 types of workouts, 5x5, 4x4, 3x3 and pyramid, where I use the same weight for each of my AxA types sets.

Recenly I was at 190 for 5x5, 220 for 4x4, 235 for 3x3, so my pyramid was:
1/1/ (1RM weights)

That way none of the buildup sets really stress me, since I know I can consistently do an extra rep for each of them.

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:39 am
by Jeff D
hoosegow- it would probably be a good idea to space that weight out more evenly...meaning after the 1st set you have yourself going up 40lbs, but then after the 2nd set you're jumping up 90. Thats a bit much. You could do something like this:

1) 175
2) 240
3) 295
4) 350
5) 350

What you'd be doing this way is trying for 2 sets of 5 at 350, if thats too much and you wanted 340, then just drop each set by 10.


1) 185
2) 230
3) 275
4) 315
5) 365

This way would give you a 5RM attempt on the 5th set...

OR: (yep, many variations!)

1) 330
2) 330
3) 330
4) 330
5) 330

Now this way is pretty self explanatory, when you can do all 5 sets of 5 you add weight. However its a little more time consuming because since you arent pyramiding, you'll have to do 4 or 5 warmup sets in preparation for the first set. This variation has more of a hypertrophy edge to it, although you'd certainly add strength as well.

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:27 am
by TimD
Hoosegow, you're example looked just fine, for a heavy day. You saw JV's recommendations, you can fine tune from there.

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:32 am
by Matt Z
When I pyramid I usually make bigger jumps early on and smaller jumps as I get closer to my max weight (whether it's a 3RM, a 5RM or a 8RM).

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:55 pm
by TimD
Hi again Hoosegow. Apparently there are people jumping onto the thread without noticing it's about the old 5X5, and reading the earlier links. Some recommendations are good, others aren't. You're progression is pretty decent, but here's how I would do it, based on your projected top work sets. Get a little warm up in with the bar, then 135, 225, 315, and then 2X360 or so, whatever you projected. It makes plate changes very easy, just slap on a 45 to both sides each progession. I think you get the idea.

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:54 pm
by hoosegow
lmao DubDub - squats, not bench - at least not yet. Thanks everyone. Tim, I'll give the workout you suggeted a whirl next week and will let you know how it went.