First 5x5 cycle

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by imported_goal220, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. I`ve trained HST for a year now and have had amazing results.  Although my LBM gains are still strong, I`ve noticed my maxes not moving up as much as I`d hoped.  Saw a post regarding doing a strength cycle (5x5), it made sense (i.e. augment my HST regimen with a strength cycle to up my maxes) so I`m ready to give it a good go.
    Read quite a bit on 5x5 and this link seemed to clear up a lot of my questions:
    Question 1:  Say all my core lifts are 100kg for 3 x 5 in HST, even if I could complete 5 sets of my max, would it be advisable to start out do the first week or 2 of the cycle at 80 to 90% of my 3x5 max (from HST) and then work up to my PR in weeks 3 and 4?
    Question 2: Understandably the pyramid`d 5x5 set will be higher than the straight 5x5 but should I guestimate over my HST 5rm or under to play it conservative for the 1x5?
    Question 3:  Answered already. Looks like I`ll try my hand at deads.
    Question 4:  Was considering doing squat, bench & row or lat pulldowns as the core lifts straight through with ham curls as a 4th excercize thrown in to keep things rounded out.  Is this a problem?
    Question 5: Military press once/week, is that really enough?  Should I just drop this and focus on the core lifts?
    Any feedback and/or tips would be greatly appreciated.  I don`t let my ego get in the way of my lifting and I`m presuming going lighter at first is better but would like to hear from the more experienced out there.
  2. combat_action

    combat_action New Member

    1. Absolutely not, unless you are doing a one week cycle of 5x5. Just like HST, you need to go and find your 1x5, 5x5 maxes and either input them in week 3 or week 4. If week 3, then you'll be setting new PR's in that final week of volume. Since it's your first run through, I'd advise you to put them in week 4. It's a lot of volume.

    2. Again, you go and find your RM's for 1x5, 5x5. You don't want to guestimate because you'll be screwing yourself.

    3. [​IMG]

    4. It looks like you want to substitute JS rows for pulldowns?! Hopefully not. You also do not need no isolation crap like hamstring curls. Squatting @$$ to the grass like you are supposed to and deadlifting will more than take care of your hams. If you want to do extra, fine, I really don't see a need.

    5. You're mixed up with "core lifts". Core lifts aren't pulldowns and stuff like that. Military presses should be done standing of course, and it's enough. That's 5x5, and before and after it you're doing bench presses which also work your front delts as well. Don't finger #### the program if you want good results. If you reread that thread from elitefitness, they go over this on the first page.

    I've done the full program. Went up to 250lbs at 17%. I also hit new PR's on every exercise....All by doing exactly as prescribed. I bested my old bench of 365x3 to 405x2, probably could've done more during the intensity phase. Also, A2G is just that, rock bottom. This is the program. The only things Madcow/JS/AM/whoever else says are changable would be to switch incline press for military's. I wouldn't. You want to get stronger, then put your faith in Bill Starr's hands. This program isn't like HST where you can pick whatever you want. The best ones are already chosen.

    I'm usually never at this site. But, if you still have questions, it might be a good idea to post them at elite as well. Looks like this stength forum isn't used very much. [​IMG]
  3. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    Combat pretty much nailed most of it. I'd like to add, though, that you should run the single-factor version for as long as you can. It's much more simple, and will still provide great results. Just milk single-factor training as long as you can.

    Do not throw in isolations the first time through. Try it as prescribed. I bet it will turn out to be more than you expected.

    Military presses once a week, to reiterate, are more than enough. Do them standing. You can do push presses as well, as the weight gets higher. I also advise a clean-grip deadlift until you feel you can't hold onto the weight any longer, then switch to a mixed-grip, alternating every week.

    Not much else to say. Just figure out your 1x5 weights, and start a few weeks worth of progression below them, then jump into single-factor training. Let us know if you need anymore help.
  4. Combat,

    Thanks for the response. Silly question but what are JS rows? Glad to hear that it`s progressive loading, as I suspected. I already know my maxes but will set week 4 for setting pr`s. I`ll drop the hams and just do a little ab work and will not skip military press. While I always squat at least parellel, I`ve never done A2G. Should be interesting. As I said I want to get it as close to right the first time which is why I asked.

    Pretty sure I got it now. Really pumped to get started.

    Thanks for the help.
  5. combat_action

    combat_action New Member

    JS Rows: (By: Madcow1)
    Regular rows: end up straightening up at the hips along with the arching of the back. But if you can master doing them this way (JS) you will get a big back. This works because the lats actually extend (arch) the middle back in addition to other functions, just like with glute-ham extensions compared to leg curls…you always get a stronger contraction when you move both the origin and insertion of a muscle, flexing it from both ends so to speak.

    The bar returns to the floor after each rep. The bent row is actually best done as an explosive movement and the bar is moved fast. I have trained many people who could do this exercise with 350 or more lbs. I myself (Madcow) have done reps with 425, Ed Coan, who also knows how to do them properly, has done reps with over 500lbs without his back ever coming above parallel with the ground. That is stronger than Dorian Yates or Ronnie Coleman, by the way.

    I did rows with Coleman once, actually, and I was far stronger than he was. He could not do more than 350lbs strictly although he could do over 500lbs by standing almost all the way up at the completion of each rep. Ed Coan is probably the strongest person on these, although one power-lifter I trained did manage 525 for a double done strictly.

    Rows look at an anatomy chart. if the scapula and upper arms are held in a constant position, shortening of the lats WILL result in arching of the middle and upper back. i AM NOT saying that the lats are primarily responsible for upper back flexion... what i am saying is that they can assist in this.

    i also HAVE done EMG work on various different rowing techniques... and there is not doubt that rows performed as i describe them will activate the lats more completely than done any other way i have ever seen. i have done EMG work on a large quantity of people for rows... and ive always found that these kind of rows activate the lats most completely. and besides, even if you dont buy the fact that they activate the lats better,

    (Regular barbell rows)hell, you can always be content with the fact that your getting an erector workout.

    I'm the only one in my gym doing A2G squats and standing military's. I go to L.A. Fitness in CA, so it's a little alarming since there's a ton of people lifting every day there. 90% of bodybuilders just go halfway down. You'll benefit more going rock bottom.

    Here's a cut/paste from midwestbarbell...Which will end up being your new favorite site once you start the program:

    "There are several schools of thought on squat depth. Many misinformed individuals caution against squatting below parallel, stating that this is hazardous to the knees. Nothing could be further from the truth. (2) Stopping at or above parallel places direct stress on the knees, whereas a deep squat will transfer the load to the hips,(3) which are capable of handling a greater amount of force than the knees should ever be exposed to. Studies have shown that the squat produces lower peak tibeo-femoral(stress at the knee joint) compressive force than both the leg press and the leg extension.(4) For functional strength, one should descend as deeply as possible, and under control. (yes, certain individuals can squat in a ballistic manner, but they are the exception rather than the rule). The further a lifter descends, the more the hamstrings are recruited, and proper squatting displays nearly twice the hamstring involvement of the leg press or leg extension. (5,6) and as one of the functions of the hamstring is to protect the patella tendon (the primary tendon involved in knee extension) during knee extension through a concurrent firing process, the greatest degree of hamstring recruitment should provide the greatest degree of protection to the knee joint. (7) When one is a powerlifter, the top surface of the legs at the hip joint must descend to a point below the top surface of the legs at the knee joint."
  6. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    Madcow isn't the origin poster. That was cut and paste from a John Smith article at Meso. Madcow didn't do reps with 425 lbs.
  7. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    also known as pendlay rows
  8. combat_action

    combat_action New Member

    Yeah, I just cut and pasted it myself...Didn't actually read it. Too much effort.

    I've actually made spreadsheets for this kind of program. I'm almost ready for round two, trying to gun for a 425+ bench and my A2G of 365. That's what I like with this program. I gain some good mass, but the strength gains are truely awesome. I recommend going from the full 5x5 to something like DFHT, then go back and forth.

    Even though everyone here doesn't like the DFHT,,or so I read. But ####, works spectacular for me. [​IMG]
  9. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    How well has DHFT worked for you? What kind've results did you come out with?
  10. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    doesnt like?


    It adds greater complication to a program than is needed for most people.

    But why a 365 squat but 425 bench?
  11. Hypertrophier

    Hypertrophier New Member

    True. You load, and then unload. Pretty complicated. ;)
  12. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Compare teh DF style with teh standard 5x5 program Glenn recommends and you have two seperate things. Both unload, however one is specifically designed to over-reach, a point most people dont need to hit.
    he ahs also said none of the programs are magical or required to achieve anything. His comments int he past have been do the simplest until it doesnt work. When you become advanced level lifter you need more complicated stuff to progress, most people just need to spend more time under the bar. Dual factor is for the upper level, becuase to achieve significant gains you have to plan far in advance, and develop a system to allow adequate fatigue and recovery to achieve optimal gains. I dont think I have talked to many people on this board who approach advanced/elite level. I certainly am not.

    And FWIW, Glenn also has a book comming out shortly.
  13. combat_action

    combat_action New Member

    I read a couple of pages from Matt Reynolds here a while back about DFHT that didn't receive very favorable remarks.  I'll definately find that link.
    Loading and deloading is the easiest thing I've ever done.  So far since switching from the 5x5 intensity phase to DFHT, my fitness has increased alot.  I'm on my second loading week, the first being very difficult going from 3x3 to 4x10.  I haven't done enough to see any results, not until the deload.
    365 is @$$ to the grass with no wraps or anything.  My @$$ rests for a second on my calves.  Squatting like 99% of most people in the gym I could easily put down 450.  You know what I mean.  LOL, maybe in the end of my next cycle I'll go just above parallel to boost my number up.  [​IMG]
  14. combat_action

    combat_action New Member

    Ok, found it.  Actually, this thread should be destroyed because after rereading it, there's nothing but name calling. I think the reason why everyone was aggravated was because the author of the post asked if it was "better than HST"
    I also that applying dual factor isn't hard. I'm certainly not elite either, but I got killer results with this method as did all my friends.  It does allow you when combining both programs to plan far in advance. I use a spreadsheet that takes me each full cycle to 16 or so weeks of planned training.

    BTW, you're looking thick Aaron, what are you putting up?
  15. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    isnt Animalmasses setup of dual factor different than Madcows/pendlay style of setup?
    my training takes 5 mins to think of what I want to do :)

    but in terms of hte origonal poster, he is having enough trouble with the setup of the program. he should just stick tot he absolute basics and work up from there. 5x5 just done with the basics without set intensificiation and all the bells and whistles. work up to a new max, drop back and repeat until the maxes aint comming.

    havent maxed out in a while, been having issues with my shoulder from a buggered bar during squats.  But the bench is up to 375x5, squat is 463x5 and deadlift was up to 530x3 awhile back but I avoid doing it too much beucase it destroys me for weeks, which screws up everything - including bench - which i have to hit 408x5 in before I start working up to a single again.
  16. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    oh ya, no gear either, apart from belt/wrist wraps. Im not allowed a new shirt until I hit 501 bench without one. Nor a squat suit/wraps until I hit 601 without them
  17. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    This may be of interest to others.

    A quote from Glenn Pendlay

  18. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member


  19. combat_action

    combat_action New Member

    "isnt Animalmasses setup of dual factor different than Madcows/pendlay style of setup?"
    Yes. The main difference being inclines instead of flat bench on the third workout, and everything under the sun being 5x5, instead of any 1x5 pyramids. I did AM's version, but pyramided up the third workout JS rows because it was too much, esp. at the end doing 315+....Not at that amount of volume!

    "but in terms of hte origonal poster, he is having enough trouble with the setup of the program. he should just stick tot he absolute basics and work up from there."
    Yeah, he could always do single factor for 6 weeks or so, just to get a feel for the program and establish his maxes. That's what most beginners do. Just start off really light and increase 5-10 pounds every week.

    Aaron, any idea when his book comes out? I'm gonna have to post this in one of the forums that he's on.
  20. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    he said early 2006 for "Practical Periodization"

    but there is already starting strength out and about from Glenns partner in crime Mark Rippetoe... Jim Wendler reviewed it awhile back at

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