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Old 08-10-2005, 07:39 AM
Darkhorse Darkhorse is offline
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More to add. I personally think that this plan is the absolute best. I'm not a fan of pyramids, but if you're slinging alot of weight anyway, just use smaller increments for an insane workout.

Post from Madcow1 @ elitefitness

4 Weeks Loading 5x5

Olympic Squats: 5x5
Benching: 1x5 (pyramid)
JS Rows: 1x5 (pyramid)
Accessory (skullcrushers and abs)

Olympic Squats: 5x5 (reduced 15-20% from Monday) or Front Squats 5x5
Standing Military Press: 5x5
Deadlifts: 5x5
Pull ups: 5x5
Accessory (incline curls and abs)

Olympic Squats: 1x5 (pyramid)
Benching: 5x5
JS Rows: 5x5
Accessory (weighted dips and abs)
With this one, it's not as hard as doing all 5x5 with the same weight. Benching and rows on Monday is 5 sets of 5 reps, but pyramiding up in weight. On Friday, they are both 5x5 same weight used, but squats are pyramided instead.

*Note that the 1x5 and 5x5 are totally seperate from one another. The 1x5 weight will be higher than the 5x5. An example would be on Monday for bench press I use 315 (1x5) as my targeted weight, on Friday, I might use 275 for my 5x5. Same goes for squats and rows.

Deloading and intensity. You can either use the alternate plan Madcow1's quote has on the first page, or keep the 3 times a week frequency, but drop Wednesday squats. He advises the alternate twice a week freq.

Volume Phase - Weeks 1-4:
So 5x5 is 5 sets of 5 reps with working set weight (warm up to the target weight for the week and proceed through 5x5 with that weight). Where 1x5 is present you are pyramiding the weights upward each set to a target set weight for a single set of 5 (it's still 5x5 but each set gets heavier and your target set is the top set of 5). The exception is the Wednesday squat for 5x5 using somewhere between 10-20% less than the working weight on the Monday 5x5 workout (the Wed squat may increase less than the Monday squat over the ramping weeks - meaning it may start at 12% less and wind up at 22% less by the last record week if one needs some extra recovery). What you are doing is gradually increasing the target weights week to week so you wind up performing record lifts in the final two weeks of the volume phase (weeks 3/4 in this case). Keep in mind that you have separate targets for 5x5 and 1x5 even though they are the same lift (i.e. benchpress). The ramping is set separately for these and they are treated separately. It's a good idea to start conservatively as this gets fairly backbreaking and you'll be begging for week 5. The most common mistake is people starting too high. It's useful to start light and then be flexible either adding an extra week to the ramp up or moving your targets a bit as you feel your way. This is far easier in the intensity phase because you already have a reference - likewise the next time you run this workout, it'll be a no brainer. The main point in this phase is the volume. Lower the weight if need be but get the sets and reps in. If you fail on an exercise just carry the target weight forward into the next week. Some people who are very new to this might find it easier to run this phase for 6 weeks starting much lighter and building slowly. If your working weights for the deadlift are 2x bodyweight (meaning you are a 200lbs lifter and you'll be doing 400+ for 5x5 throughout the cycle) it's probably a good idea to do lower the volume on that lift to 3x5 in this phase.

Deloading Week - Week 5:
On week 5 drop the Wednesday squat workout, begin using the Deloading/Intensity set/rep scheme (in parentheses), and keep the weight the same as your last week in the Volume Phase. In reality the whole intensity phase and this week are the same thing, I just break this week out because there is no weight progression so in reality after the volume phase the whole thing is deloading/intensity which for the purposes of this workout are synonymous. Also my 3x per week layout tends to get pretty aggressive so many find themselves fatigued again by the end so it kind of makes logical sense to break this period separately. Largely symantics.

Intensity Phase - Week 6-9:
Everything is the same principal except that you use 3x3 and 1x3 setting records on week 8 and 9 (or the final 2 weeks of this phase). No Wednesday squatting. The important aspect of this phase is the weight increases. If you are burned out and you need an extra day here and there that's okay - this won't hurt you at all and unless you are feeling ripe it's beneficial. If you can't do all the work that's okay too. Just keep increasing the weight week to week. During this phase you'll be ramping the weights from your deloading week to your 3x3 and 1x3 records in the final 2 weeks. In this 3x per week pattern, start light once again and get a breather. Most people find themselves getting reloaded if they don't cut volume and take extra days. If you reload without getting an adequate deload first (that 1 week may not be enough) you will cripple your gains. Better to get 90% out of a training cycle than 10%. You'll learn a lot about your tolerance for volume loading and unloading here - there is no need to try to be a hero. Get some experience and the next time you run this you'll be spot on but you wind up feeling your way to a degree the first time.

Post Cycle:
Depending upon how you feel, it's probably a good idea to deload again before moving back into another volume phase if you ran the 3x per week like I outlined above. See the alternative schedule below and perform this light for 2 weeks working on speed/acceleration. If you ran the 2x alternate schedule below for your deload/intensity you can likely move straight back into another volume phase.

Alternative Deload/Intensity: All this alternate is for is most people feel like they can't stick to working out three times a week during the Deload phase. So instead of three times a week and dropping Wed. squats, you do Monday and Thursday 3x3 instead to recover better. Personally, I'm sticking to three a week because I have excellant recovery.
This is really the one that most people should be doing. If you don't handle the other correctly you can blow your program but I didn't want to switch it and confuse people.

Week 5 and on switch to 3x3 and drop the Friday workout altogether. Week 5 weights are the same as the final week of volume. Over the next 2-3 weeks increase increase the weight workout to workout if you get all 9 reps. If you don't get all the reps, week the weight constant. You'll likely be able to move straight back into another volume phase after this is complete.

Oly squats: 3x3
Bench: 3x3
Rows: 3x3

Wednesday (or move this workout to Thursday if you'd like)
Light Oly Squats (70% of monday): 3x3
Deadlifts: 3x3
Military Press: 3x3

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Last edited by Darkhorse; 05-24-2007 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 08-10-2005, 07:41 AM
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This is the beginners version if you haven't been training seriously for a while.

Source post is here:http://www.deepsquatter.com/strengt...es/manrodt4.htm

For those unfamiliar with the olympic lifts make the following substitutions:
Powerclean = Bent over Rows
High Pulls = Deadlift

You'll notice the weights are moved in a pyramid fashion as not to overload someone new to this. You'll also notice the absense of loading/deloading periods. This is not a dual factor program, it is a single factor program based on supercompensation (like most BBer programs except that this one is one of the better ones). Single factor is very good for a beginner but not someone who is very accustomed to training.

The Bill Starr Power Routine

When I was a freshman in college, Bill Starr gave me this routine to follow. It was designed for off-season football and general strength training. In the first 16 weeks I was on it, I added about 35 pounds of bodyweight, and took my total from a paltry 600 to over 950. Of course, I was also on the dorm’s prepaid meal plan, and ate like it was going out of style. Plus, I only had four classes that semester, so I spent lots of time sleeping.

Perfect program description found by clicking Here...Highly recommended to read through.

Monday – Heavy Day
Squat – 5 sets of 5
Bench – 5 sets of 5
Powercleans – 5 sets of 5
2 sets of weighted hypers
4 sets of weighted Sit-ups

Wednesday – Light Day
Squat – 4 sets of 5
Incline Bench – 4 sets of 5
High Pulls – 4 sets of 5
Sit-ups – 3 sets

Friday - Medium
Squat – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, back-off
Bench – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, back-off
Powercleans – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple
Weighted Dips – 3 sets of 5-8
Triceps and Biceps – 3 sets of 8 each

Key Features:

* On Monday, the weight for each lift is increased on each set of 5, from a light warm-up to an all out set of 5. For squats, something like 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 275x5, 315x5. The weight should be increased evenly from your first to last set. If you are working up to bigger weights, say above 500, you can add a sixth set of 5 just to avoid making large jumps between sets. I’ll explain how to choose the top weight in a second…

* On light day, Squat the first 3 sets of 5 just as you did on Monday, and then do a fourth set of 5 with the weight used on the third set. An extra fifth set at this same weight can be added. Incline bench is done using the same scheme, working up to 2-3 sets of 5, but with about 70-80% of the weight flat bench, to accommodate the leverage difference of the incline. High Pulls are done by feel, but usually pretty heavy.

* On Friday, the first four sets are the same as they were on Monday. The fifth set, done for three reps, should be a jump of about 2.5% over what you did for your fifth set on Monday. As you become more experienced with the system, you can experiment with the weight you use on this triple. This should NOT be a PR triple attempt every week. In fact, the goal is to come back the following Monday and get the same weight for 5 reps that you got for 3 reps the Friday before. To avoid missing reps, pick weights carefully. Take it easy the first few weeks, and don’t over do it. After the big triple, drop back to the weight you used for your 3rd set and try to get eight reps.

* Deadlifts, or Speed Deadlifts can be substituted with Powercleans if you so desire. Powercleans are pretty popular among football players for working on explosiveness. They are not as specific for the powerlifter, but they can add strength to your traps and shoulders as well as thicken up your back. They can also improve speed-strength.

* I always trained with three to five guys on a single bar. The rest time between sets was helpful for making an all out assault on that top set. I also used no gear except a belt, which we used only for squats and powercleans. Some guys used grip straps on powercleans or high pulls when attempting heavy 5’s and 3’s.

* The dips, bi’s and tri’s are what Bill called “Beach Work,” in that they tend to have a bigger cosmetic effect than squats or deads. The scheme for these varied by need and based on what I thought my weaknesses were. I went very heavy on the dips, for sets of 5, to help build up my triceps. Other guys did closegrips, or even added in some rowing movements for the lats. No matter what you pick, try and move quickly though this stuff, like one minute rests max.


* Some research shows that full body workouts tend to stimulate more hormone production than isolation workouts.

* Focus on the big three can help with developing good exercise technique for the beginner, and the weekly goal setting from Friday to Monday helps keep you motivated.

* The program is relatively simple, and easy to follow. If you can figure out how to pick your weights, then this can be a very effective program. By starting out with less than max poundage, you can work on form, and build good habits as you increase the weight. You also choose weight week-to-week by feel, instead of calculating reps and sets way in advance.


* Not a lot of exercise variety.

* Some people find training the Big three more than once per week to be too taxing, but the total volume is actually not that high because there is not much focus on assistance exercises.

* This method is good for muscle growth and strength, but may not be as effective if you are trying to lose weight, or maintain a weight class.

Recommended for:

* Beginners that are still learning how to squat and bench effectively. If you are new to free weights or to lifting in general, this is a good way to spend a lot of time with real iron learning the basics, because you can start off slowly and train each core lift more frequently.

* Lifters trying to gain both size and strength, who want to add to their core of muscle mass. If you stick with this for more than 12 weeks, you will make muscle gains if you keep up with food and rest.

Last edited by Frontline; 09-20-2016 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 08-10-2005, 08:43 AM
Darkhorse Darkhorse is offline
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This is an example of something very different than all the other's. It's called Needsize's 5x5 found at this website: http://www.xtrememass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=159

It's only a one muscle per week frequency using single factor theory. Alot of people have good results on this one as well. This one adhere's to the supercompensation wave like in the diagram. This means to hit your muscles, wait a week to recover, hit them again. This workout is good for people who prefer more volume per bodypart per day than full body routines spreading out the total volume like the others posted.

Day 1 chest/calves
Flat bench 5x5
incline dumbell press 2x8-10
incline flyes 2x8-10
standing calve raises 5x15

Day 2 Back/Shoulders
military press 5x5
side laterals 3-5x8-10
deads 5x5
chins 2x8-10
shrugs 2x8-10
rows 2x8-10
bent over laterals 2x8-10

Day 3&4 rest

Day 5 Bis/Tris
close grip bench 5x5
standing barbell curls 5x5
weighted dips 2x8-10
incline dumbell curls 2x8-10
skull crushers 2x8-10
preacher curls 2x8-10

Day 6 Legs
squats 5x5
leg press or hacks 2x8-10( I dont do any more exercises for quads as I dont need to)
stiff legged deads 2x8-10
leg curls 2x8-10
seated calve raises 5x15
abs - weighted static holds

Day 7 rest

Last edited by Darkhorse; 08-10-2005 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 08-10-2005, 08:52 AM
Darkhorse Darkhorse is offline
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Default Types of 5x5's


Good writeup explaining the different ways of going through the 5x5's. Any way uses progressive overload so it doesn't matter. Just as long as you continue to increase the weights used. IMO, I don't see these working for the variations of Bill Starr's 5x5 program. For that I'd stick to what the actual program says to do, whether it be a pyramid or using the same weight for every set. I could see the application working more for single factor 5x5.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:01 AM
Darkhorse Darkhorse is offline
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From my experience so far with this program, enjoy the first week, maybe two. Your rest time will be faster between sets and it shouldn't take you long in the gym. However, the last two weeks is fucking hell, and seems to go on forever. Basically everyone should view the first 4 weeks of loading like this:

Week 1: Nice hard workout. No spotter needed.
Week 2: Very tough.
Week 3: Extremely difficult. Had to try my hardest on every set to hit my reps.
Week 4: Insane. No way can I do another week of loading! Thank God for a deload...
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:10 PM
Darkhorse Darkhorse is offline
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Default Dfht

Here's a very good article going into the explanation of the exercise selection with DFHT. It also has pictures and links for some of the exercises...

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Old 08-16-2005, 03:28 AM
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Nice article. No higher than rock bottom.
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:39 AM
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I'm liking this thread more and more. Good article. this is were I looked for the HST also...

keep it coming.. I'm going to start my HST 5x5 and 2HT at the start of Sept. which will be the end of my cut cycle..
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BULKING: My 5X5 Journal

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Old 08-16-2005, 04:08 PM
Darkhorse Darkhorse is offline
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When you start definately post what you think here. Elitefitness.com has a thread that has somewhere around 50 pgs. of experiences. Hopefully we can start one here.
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Old 08-17-2005, 06:11 AM
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my god guys, there is just an amazing amount of info in this thread. I can share my personal exsperience with using 5x5 routines. Of course this was back in the day, and I didnt utilize any Dual Factor training, it was old school one muscle group a day, five day a week training ... before I knew better hahaha.

I pushed my max bench up from 215 x 1, to 315 x 2 in under a years time. like i said, this was back in the day (freshman yr in college) when things like bench mattered to me.

I would love to try out some of these aproaches to 5x5, but I just started my HST cycle on monday, and my last two weeks will be as 0311 said earlier 2x5, ect ect.

With all these programs, how do you purpose to pick one 0311?
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