Question about the dual factor 5x5 program...
After the 4 week loading period, there are 2 options on what to do, one option is to do the deloading/peaking phase where everything is 3x3 or 1x3 and the wednesday squat is dropped, and the other option is to do a pure deload for 2 weeks without a peaking phase where everything is 3x3 and the friday workout is dropped and after 2 weeks of doing the 3x3 for 2 days a week you can jump right into another volume phase. My question is for the people that have ran the program, which is more effective for strength/mass? The deloading and peaking option or the pure deloading option? Or are they both very effective?
Deload One: Keep three days in the gym, but drop Wednesday's (day #2's) squatting. Whatever was 5x5 is now 3x3, and the 1x5 is now 1x3.. Holding over the same weight from week 4.
Now that that's settled. Lets move on from the deload.
You now have TWO OPTIONS of what to do after the deload week.
Option One: Keep the three days per week format with the 3x3, 1x3 and run a few weeks of an INTENSITY PHASE. Pretty self explanatory.
Oh I see, thank you so much for clearing that up for me, but I have one more question, during the intensity phase, how much weight did you increase per week? I was thinking of increasing the bench/row/military by 5 pounds if I was able to get all the reps and the squat/deadlift by 10 pounds if I was able to get all the reps and keep this pattern up for 4 weeks...does this sound viable?
I'd hesitate to have anything black and white. Generally speaking, your squats and deadlifts should increase by greater increments than your upper exercises.
I'd say 10 lbs would be feasable per week for pressing, and 15 lbs for squats and deadlifts. But that was MY case. You could be totally different.
All I can tell you is that if you finish with a day, go home and figure out what your next week's weights could be. Say you did 3x3 benching with 300 lbs and felt really good. Next week you should increase by 10-15 lbs depending on how easy the 300 felt. If you literally grinded out those reps, then I'd go conservative and increase by 5 lbs.
So if you're contemplating this program, the very FIRST thing you should do is to spend a week figuring out what your 1x5, 5x5 RM's are. I'd say hit the gym twice that week, and do the exercises IN ORDER. Do a set or two of 5 reps, increase, try a few more.. By the time you're done, you'll have a pretty good understanding of where you're currently at. Input those numbers you know you could probably hit in WEEK THREE, which means you'll hit NEW PR's in week 4. Reverse plan your weights from week three to week one. This means your first week is EASY, second week is medium, third is very hard, and your fourth week is super hard. If you don't hit EVERY SET OF EVERY REP in ANY week, hold that weight over to the following week.
See now I said this kind of confusion would arise. Deloading and peaking or tapering are the same thing. There are just different options depending on the level of recovery needed or desired and the length of the peaking phase. Even without the specific recommendations of THIS program it's really as simple as that. Doing this kind of loading without really peaking would equal the same thing as doing it without deloading. Or, in other words, doing it without allowing fatigue to dissapate and therefore any gains to be manifested.
One big problem, in imho, that has come out of these programs being run as cookie cutters, is that the deload or peak has come to be viewed as a program in itself. Hense the question of whether on option is more effective or not.
It's the the loading that comes before that is effective or not. With the peaking you are finding out whether that was effective or not by allowing some rest to happen. The best way to do that is to cut volume and keep intensity the and then raise it to be on the safe side.
But a lifter could very well be able to cut the volume and raise the intensity right away without in period of lower intensity. They could still be "deloading" and certainly still "peaking".
The fact is different people will do better with different frequencies and volumes but really all that counts is that recovery takes place and you show your strength gains. I am not, however, advocating that people don't follow the recommendations that are layed out, I am just trying to clear up the misunderstandings that have resulted from such specific instructions.
If people could just take a moment to understand the reasoning behing things instead of just jumping from one cookie cutter to another, this type of confusion wouldn't happen as much.
It is conceivable that an elite lifter, for instance, might need much more frequency during a "deload" and so in following a very low frequency protocol could actually lose some strength. Purely hypothetical of course since such a lifter most likely already know what he or she needs or doesn't need.
I know no one will pay much attention to this :biglaugh:. Ninety percent would rather be handed a fish and still be starving for another in a few days.
Good points Eric. Everything hinges on the individual, and it's impossible for any of us to make many recommendations because of how individual all this shit really is.
My postings regarding these types of ADVANCED programming will be as generic and general as possible. I put very little thought into this and completely stick to exactly what is written. It's impossible to really dive into anything specific with this program unless I'm personally in the gym with said person. The REAL question would be what they're experience levels are? :D
^^^^Yeah, I'm not questioning your answers. I agree people would be better off sticking to the specific recommendations as a basis if they have no other clue as to how to proceed.
I'm just coming at it from a general understanding standpoint. Meaning that it seems that there is a complete miscomprehension of what a deload or taper acutally IS....and THAT is no basis upon which to start because, imo, it will lead people to do the wrong thing since they're starting from the wrong mindset. So my posts are just to say, from my understanding, this is what the purpose is and hopefully that will help with training decisions. It's meant to complement not to contradict :).
One thing I have noticed is that there does seem to be an overestimation of the amount of training reduction it takes to aid complete recovery. Heck, a lot of people stop and start programs because they think they need two weeks off and so then they begin something completely different. When all that was really needed was a slight backoff in something (not that you shouldn't take a complete week or so off sometimes).
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