Question about 5 x 5

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Neb154
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Question about 5 x 5

Post by Neb154 » Wed May 28, 2008 4:10 pm

Hi,

I am asking a question about this plan specifically:

http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5 ... ESCRIPTION:_

I am preparing to start this plan very soon, and I was wondering whether the 4 week build-up to my current 5RM was necessary, or whether I could just jump into the 2.5% weekly increases.

Thanks for your advice in advance.


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Post by TimD » Wed May 28, 2008 4:59 pm

You could just jump right in, IF you've been training a while, and have a good idea of what you're 5 RM is, but if you're a novice to fairly heavy lifting,use the 4 weej build up.It will pay off in the end and prepare your joints for what is to come.
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Post by Jungledoc » Wed May 28, 2008 5:02 pm

I wouldn't think you'd want to start at your 5RM if you're going to do 5x5. Can you do your 5RM 5 times in a single work-out? I'd back off maybe 20% or so, and go up with 2.5% increases. This is very similar to the program I'm doing now. I may have started a bit too lot on some lifts, but on some I've increased by more than 2.5% for the first few weeks. I'm starting to find my training weights, and slowing the progression.

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Post by Chris_A » Wed May 28, 2008 5:07 pm

I was under the impression that for this type of program to work, you need to use the 4 Week build-up to your current 5RM. I see it as a periodization of sorts where you start light and add weight consistently each week.

Your body adjusts neurologically to the steady and consistent weekly increases so that when you reach your 5RM that weight is no longer your 5RM. That way, the week after your 5RM, you’ll add more weight, and the week after that, you’ll add more weight again, etc. This allows you to get stronger and is effective in busting through a plateau (if you have hit one).

So, I was thinking that the 4 Week build-up is necessary to trigger the required neurological adjustments that will make you stronger after week 4?

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Post by TimD » Wed May 28, 2008 5:31 pm

Jungledoc, Chris is correct. It's NOT doing 5 sets of 5 at your 5RM. It's working up OVER 5 sets to your top work set(s) using a heavy/medium/light loading period over the course of one week. Madcow based it on Starr's classic "The Strongest Shall Survive=Strength Training for Footall". The weeks are a linear progression, whereas during the week it is a microperiodized H, M,L. If the lifter is currently conditioned enough to take it fine, otherwise, if new to this type of thing, he should aim light on week one and jump right in.
Tim


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Post by Neb154 » Wed May 28, 2008 5:55 pm

TimD wrote:You could just jump right in, IF you've been training a while, and have a good idea of what you're 5 RM is, but if you're a novice to fairly heavy lifting,use the 4 weej build up.It will pay off in the end and prepare your joints for what is to come.
Tim
Based on this, then I think I will pretty much jump right in.

Due to some previous shoulder problems, I have been unable to bench much. However, in the past couple weeks, I have built up to a working 5RM. I will adjust from this, after a test workout, for the incline press.

I had also not done the barbell row before, but had instead focused on other types of rows. After going through a "practice" workout of the first day, I feel that I have an appropriately conservative starting point for both the bench and the barbell row.

Essentially I am hoping to start where I have been on the squats and deadlifts, and very conservatively on the barbell rows, bench, and incline.

Thanks again for your input.

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Post by pdellorto » Wed May 28, 2008 6:00 pm

You could probably jump right in, but it does seem to be build with the assumption that until week 4 you're working under your current 5RM. I've seen that before - the idea of backing off for a while and working up and then past your current #RM.

It seems like the investment of 4 weeks working in isn't so high, and it would mean by the time you got to the 5th week you'd be good and primed for gains - you'd have been slowly increasing, and given yourself a good 3 weeks putting up less total tonnage than you usually do so you wouldn't be overtrained.

It's your call, but I'll note that page says quite clearly "If people get stuck early it's because they start too high. There is no negative to starting a bit more conservatively (just potential time spent acclimating at worst). On the other side, starting too aggressively can kill the whole program. You decide on whether you want to potentially risk a tad of time in the worst case scenario or waste all your time and blow it up getting zero results."

So I think the suggestion is clearly "Ramp up."

Good luck and good lifting!

Peter

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Post by Neb154 » Wed May 28, 2008 7:29 pm

pdellorto wrote:You could probably jump right in, but it does seem to be build with the assumption that until week 4 you're working under your current 5RM. I've seen that before - the idea of backing off for a while and working up and then past your current #RM.

It seems like the investment of 4 weeks working in isn't so high, and it would mean by the time you got to the 5th week you'd be good and primed for gains - you'd have been slowly increasing, and given yourself a good 3 weeks putting up less total tonnage than you usually do so you wouldn't be overtrained.

It's your call, but I'll note that page says quite clearly "If people get stuck early it's because they start too high. There is no negative to starting a bit more conservatively (just potential time spent acclimating at worst). On the other side, starting too aggressively can kill the whole program. You decide on whether you want to potentially risk a tad of time in the worst case scenario or waste all your time and blow it up getting zero results."

So I think the suggestion is clearly "Ramp up."

Good luck and good lifting!

Peter
That sounds like some good, although slightly disappointing advice. I guess I'll go real low for a month, in the hopes of big gains later on.

I also had another question:

For the diet, should I eat with the same caloric excess for the month when I am well below my own current 5RM? i.e. Should I eat 4000 calories a day as if I were bulking, as he suggests for the program.

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Post by TimD » Wed May 28, 2008 7:51 pm

My answer would be yes, IF your goal is weight gain. Go somewhat under trhat if your more interested in strength only gains, then beef it up when it gets hard. Back in college, in 67, we used programs like these to gain weight and muscle, fast, and it included lots of extr calories. However, I was a wrestler, and didn't want the extra weight, so I kept it at my usual, and got alot stronger without a lot of exess bulk. Just use the approach suitable to your goals.
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Post by pdellorto » Wed May 28, 2008 8:27 pm

Caloric intake - I'm not really sure. That's an area I'm not very knowledgeable in.

You could always try ramping up the calories. Set a goal of 4000 a day (just to use the number you mentioned) for the 5th week. For the next four weeks, slowly add a fraction of those calories each week.

So if you eat 3000 a day now, you could do this:

Week 1: 3000 calories a day
Week 2: 3250 calories a day
Week 3: 3500 calories a day
Week 4: 3750 calories a day
Week 5: 4000 calories a day

That way you not only ramp up the weight, but give your body time to adjust to a higher intake...you won't just slap in an extra 1000 calories a day right off the bat and hope your body decides to use it for muscle instead of fat. Plus it'll probably be easier to deal with...it's just a little extra food each meal, and then a little more each week. Plus if you find yourself getting fat instead of muscle (the waist size goes up, your abs disappear, etc.) you'll have a much better idea of what caloric level you really need.

Hopefully one of the nutrition experts here will read this and comment. I'm one of those skinny guys with a flabby stomach and limited ability to pack on muscle, so my advice might be out of place for you. I've also got a "fighter" mindset, so I keep thinking of my goal weight in terms of weight classes and I'm hyper-aware of my scale weight. I'm trying this approach now, though - I'm trying to bulk, so I've slowly brought my calories up around 100 kcals a day every week or so, and I'm watching my scale weight and my measurements. I know if I go right up to some crazy amount of calories I'll flab out, but as my demands on my body increase I'm giving it a bit more fuel.

Peter

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Post by Mick B » Wed May 28, 2008 8:51 pm

a question along similar lines......

with the 5x5 program is it approriate to do say....

set 1 ~ 50% of max lift of exercise for that day

set 2 ~ 75% of max lift of exercise for the day

sets 3-5 are the true working sets at the devised max for that particular day........... in week one this would be say 75-80% 5RM, week 2 80-85% 5RM, week 3 85-90%, week 4 90-95%, week 5 95-100% then adding 5% each week thereafter

i hope everyone can understand what i mean this time sorry about the confusing post the other day

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Post by TimD » Wed May 28, 2008 10:09 pm

The 5x5 can be taken to mean very different things. The OP gave a link to madcow's desription, which is to work up to a heavy set of 5 on the heavy day. It could also be meant to describe what you are talking about. Take it in context and read what the OP is talking about. See
http://jva.ontariostrongman.ca/5X5.htm
Tim

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Post by Mick B » Wed May 28, 2008 10:18 pm

thanks tim......my post was another question entirely but the link you put up answers my questions thanks so much......

by the way this forum has to be one of the most informative i have found and well organised unlike some other lifting and bbuilding sites around

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Post by Chris_A » Wed May 28, 2008 10:20 pm

Here's another version that I find interesting based on the work of previous trainers.

http://stronglifts.com/stronglifts-5x5- ... g-program/

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Post by TimD » Wed May 28, 2008 10:32 pm

Chris, that's closer to Rippetoes starting strength, but is for beginner's, and I wholeheardetly agree, but it is probably good for 2 months. It's linearized, and doesn't account for any periodization. For a beginner, with no training, it going to rock, but for an experienced trainee, it's going to drive them into the ground.
Tim


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