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5x5, what about 4x3reps?

Training discussion on 5x5, what about 4x3reps?, within the Bodybuilding Forum; I've been doing 5x5 sets for my wo's. That's been great, but I've seen a need to change it up ...


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Old 08-24-2009, 04:47 PM   #1
john917v
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Default 5x5, what about 4x3reps?

I've been doing 5x5 sets for my wo's. That's been great, but I've seen a need to change it up a bit more than changing between 2 Wo programs every month after a deload week. Now, I'm doing 4 sets of 3 reps, and I've gone up in workout weights, since I'm doin less total reps. Being toned is great, but I consider myself a muscle-builder (for me, it means building for sheer size). So, given that, does a 4x3rep routine seem good? Anyone else tried that, or something similar? Thanks, John917v

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Old 08-24-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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if you are only in it for size....up them reps and do a bunch of stupid isolations
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:29 PM   #3
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If size is the goal, then you may need to increase your volume to something like 40-60 reps per body part (this could be divided among different exercises). 4x3 seems more of a strength rep range.

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Old 08-27-2009, 07:09 AM   #4
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What about 3 sets X 10 reps?? This is how i always work out.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:47 AM   #5
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Simply put a 5x5 is a middleground approach to training. It is sorta strength training and sorta hypertrophy, which is why alot of the beginner programs use it. They can capitalize on the neural adaptations and gain strength rapidly while also gaining some pounds.

A 4x3 is more in the realm of strength. In terms of shear volume it is about half that of a 5x5 (12 reps vs 25 reps) and really the two different ranges are not necessarily accomplishing the same goal. A 4x3 is not going to pack pounds onto your frame and a 5x5 is not going to pack pounds onto the bar.

There comes a point where a middleground doesn't work anymore, though. And you need to really seperate strength and hypertrophy as 5x5's simply do not do the job, especially with only linear progression.

Why not do a bit of everything? Training doesn't have to fit into one specific little box. You CAN and should have a variety of rep and set ranges. Use your 4x3 for some strength work and use higher volume, higher density ranges for hypertrophy.

Here's a quick example with some moderate volume and density:
Front Squats 4-5x2-3
Backsquats 3-4x6-8
GHRs 2-3x8-10

There's a bunch of different rep and set ranges and it addresses strength (front squats) as well as some volume and density for hypertrophy (Backsquat and GHR).

Here's a couple higher volume higher density example:
Military Press 4-5x2-3
Pullups 3-5x4-6
Arnold Press 3-4x6-8
Pushups (weighted) 3-4x8-10

Deads Singles/Doubles
Pistols (weighted) 3-4x6-8
Pullthroughs 3-4x8-10
Supine GHRs (weighted) 2-3x6-8

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Old 09-03-2009, 12:28 AM   #6
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Kane, that was GREAT! It makes much more sense to me. Don't get me wrong, strength is great, but size is what intrigues me. So far, it seems to be working well. Thanks again.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:28 AM   #7
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You're welcome John.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:56 AM   #8
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It's been working well. Seeing results in numbers AND size!!!!
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:02 PM   #9
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That's good to hear John!
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