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  1. #1
    Registered User MedicalAuthor's Avatar
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    Fierce 5: What's 'failing'?

    Rudimentary question here.

    Been doing Fierce 5 with good gains. Started with bench 185@3x5. Up until about 210 pounds I was able to do the same reps throughout the three sets. As the weight has gone heavier it seems the movements take more out of me and for several weeks, on all my movements I've been marking progress by the first set. So, for example I did 220x6 on the first set last week but it took everything out of my and I went down to 215 and then 210 for the next two sets. Today I did 225 and got 5 reps but the last rep was a second away from failure (I got it up however). I had to go down to 205 on the 2nd and third set.

    Long story short, I've been treating the first set as the goal for what to increase on. Some of my movements have gone the way of the bench as weight gets higher but other movements like tricep press I will have to reduce the weight by 20% after the first set regardless of weight because of fatigue.

    For maximum gains, should I be using the third set as my indicator of whether I'm progressing or am failing and need a reset? How do people deal with regularly having a drop in strength after a hard fought first set?
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    Registered User LifterWest's Avatar
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    Failing is even one missed rep in any set. And I'd call a grinding rep completed with ****ty form a missed rep too. So you continue at that weight next workout. If you miss two times in a row, time for a de-load.

    Why are you decreasing weights within the same workout? I'd reduce weights to when you could complete 3X5 with good form.

    EDIT: It sounds like you are accumulating fatigue. I'd just de-load and recharge the body. Eat and sleep well too.
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    Depends if you want to follow the program.
    At the moment you are blatantly ignoring the program.
    Maybe this will be okay, maybe you'll just accumulate far to much fatigue
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    Registered User MedicalAuthor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Depends if you want to follow the program.
    At the moment you are blatantly ignoring the program.
    Maybe this will be okay, maybe you'll just accumulate far to much fatigue
    Respectfully, me posting this thread is to clarify and try to follow the program the best I can. 'Blatantly ignoring' would be knowing definitively what I should be doing and then not doing that.

    I do appreciate the clarification, though. Just don't understand the hostility
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    Originally Posted by MedicalAuthor View Post
    Respectfully, me posting this thread is to clarify and try to follow the program the best I can. 'Blatantly ignoring' would be knowing definitively what I should be doing and then not doing that.

    I do appreciate the clarification, though. Just don't understand the hostility
    What you quoted isn't hostility. It's just constructive advice. Take it for face value and take no personal attack.
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    Originally Posted by MedicalAuthor View Post
    Respectfully, me posting this thread is to clarify and try to follow the program the best I can. 'Blatantly ignoring' would be knowing definitively what I should be doing and then not doing that.

    I do appreciate the clarification, though. Just don't understand the hostility
    Nothing hostile in it my friend. I presume those running the program have read the instructions and faq (again this statement is neither hostile nor passive aggressive if that doesn't translate).

    One top set with back offs is a perfectly fine way to train. Whether you choose to modify yourself or run the program is up to you.

    To clarify further. If you don't meet the same weight and reps for all 3 sets that's a failure for Fierce 5 as it is written. If you hit them but form is way off base I'd also call it a failure.

    There's debate to be had whether resets are the way to go or not. But that's not to say the program as written doesn't work for purpose, it does, many have proven.

    Is it what I would write for a novice now? Unlikely.
    do I have the training experience and history, and records that Davis has?.
    Not even close.

    Does that matter?.
    Big question. Very debatable.

    Will the og program work, most likely yes.

    Will your current version work, possibly, yet to be shown, up to you whether you test it
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  7. #7
    Registered User TryingBB's Avatar
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    I’m a newbie and just switched from ICF to Fierce 5 and lovijf it.

    but as I understand failure = if you miss even one rep and/or if your form breaks.

    Take their advice and do a reset. I know I would.
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    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    I’m a newbie and just switched from ICF to Fierce 5 and lovijf it.

    but as I understand failure = if you miss even one rep and/or if your form breaks.

    Take their advice and do a reset. I know I would.
    Don't just take their advice, take the program's advice too

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=159678631
    What do I do if I fail on my sets?
    If you fail a lift two days in a row then drop the weight 15% for the lift you are failing (reset.) This is a good time to work on form since the weight is a bit lighter again. Form can make or break your lift. You will still be growing with lighter weight. If you don't reduce weight you will likely get slower results.
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    How do people deal with regularly having a drop in strength after a hard fought first set?
    Maxing out on your first set such that you can't do all 3 sets w/ the same weight/reps is the opposite of linear progression that revolves around straight sets.

    IMO the thing with weekly linear progressed straight sets is there should typically be some buffer from failure, since there will be strength fluctuations but you don't want to actually fail the reps.

    Not saying it won't be effective, but IMO it's in an entirely different direction.
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    Registered User MedicalAuthor's Avatar
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    Thanks, all. This is very helpful. I definitely do think I'm more fatigued overall, though I did a whole deloading week about 4 weeks ago with 50% weight and 50% volume, essentially a rest week. I definitely don't mind scaling back on the movements.
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    Originally Posted by MedicalAuthor View Post
    Thanks, all. This is very helpful. I definitely do think I'm more fatigued overall, though I did a whole deloading week about 4 weeks ago with 50% weight and 50% volume, essentially a rest week. I definitely don't mind scaling back on the movements.
    This is probably a sign that the intended method of progression would suit you better. You'll accumulate less fatigue with straight sets, since the level of exertion will be lower on the first sets.

    Now you're essentially doing max effort every set, which might be too much for you to recover from.
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    Originally Posted by OldFartTom View Post
    Don't just take their advice, take the program's advice too

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=159678631
    What do I do if I fail on my sets?
    If you fail a lift two days in a row then drop the weight 15% for the lift you are failing (reset.) This is a good time to work on form since the weight is a bit lighter again. Form can make or break your lift. You will still be growing with lighter weight. If you don't reduce weight you will likely get slower results.
    Isn’t 15% a lot? It can take someone 3 maybe 4 weeks back.

    Let’s say someone benches 125lbs and fails twice. Reset will be 105lbs. That’ll take freakin 5 weeks to get back to 125. 105/110/115/120/125

    Even worse if loads are higher 225lbs drop to 190lbs. This will take someone back 8 weeks!

    I plan on following the program but would that slow the gains?
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    Isn’t 15% a lot? It can take someone 3 maybe 4 weeks back.

    Let’s say someone benches 125lbs and fails twice. Reset will be 105lbs. That’ll take freakin 5 weeks to get back to 125. 105/110/115/120/125

    I plan on following the program but would that slow the gains?
    "This is a good time to work on form since the weight is a bit lighter again. Form can make or break your lift. You will still be growing with lighter weight. If you don't reduce weight you will likely get slower results."

    The statement above is very true, I wish I had taken that advice more seriously back when I was a novice. Wouldn't have had to bang my head against the wall grinding the same weights week after week. You don't really ever want to be in a state where you have to grind reps on compound lifts.

    The 15 % is a good guideline, all though personally I would probably reset myself back so that it takes 3-4 weeks to reach the same weight again.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by FaIIen View Post
    "This is a good time to work on form since the weight is a bit lighter again. Form can make or break your lift. You will still be growing with lighter weight. If you don't reduce weight you will likely get slower results."

    The statement above is very true, I wish I had taken that advice more seriously back when I was a novice. Wouldn't have had to bang my head against the wall grinding the same weights week after week. You don't really ever want to be in a state where you have to grind reps on compound lifts.

    The 15 % is a good guideline, all though personally I would probably reset myself back so that it takes 3-4 weeks to reach the same weight again.
    Noted!

    Anything else you’d like to say to a newbie? First few months I just didn’t listen. Now I’m listening and following through.

    E.g. I was told to not recomp. Either cut or bulk. Well, I didn’t listen. I recomp’d and I feel like I lost 2 to 3 months. My lifts went up, which is a good thing, but I look exactly the phucking same over the last 3 months.

    Since receiving that advice, By now I could have been 13% bodyfat or lower already and started a slow bulk. But no, I had to live and learn. I guess Better late than sorry
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    Registered User dazitmayn's Avatar
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    it's pretty clear

    if you fail to complete all three sets with the designated rep scheme then you have failed the lift. don't try to force progression that isn't there by training to failure then reducing the weights. actually follow the program or run something else
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    Originally Posted by dazitmayn View Post
    it's pretty clear

    if you fail to complete all three sets with the designated rep scheme then you have failed the lift. don't try to force progression that isn't there by training to failure then reducing the weights. actually follow the program or run something else
    On everything but deadlift, every set is a grind every workout unless I did is reset cuz you’re adding weight every week.

    If I just did a reset, I’m flying through sets like Superman. lol (read this somewhere here on BB)

    I’ll just follow the program. I’m loving the results so far. Body is actually changing...results are slow, but they’re there. I know I can feel the muscles and the energy and the increased power/energy the muscles hold now compared to before


    Question about isolation exercises:

    Let’s say program calls for 2x10 on bicep curls

    Week 1: 20lbs got 10, 10
    Week 2: 25lbs got 8,6
    Week 3: go back down to 20lbs? And do 10,10

    ??

    Or keep grinding 25lbs and try to get more reps?
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    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    Noted!

    Anything else you’d like to say to a newbie? First few months I just didn’t listen. Now I’m listening and following through.

    E.g. I was told to not recomp. Either cut or bulk. Well, I didn’t listen. I recomp’d and I feel like I lost 2 to 3 months. My lifts went up, which is a good thing, but I look exactly the phucking same over the last 3 months.

    Since receiving that advice, By now I could have been 13% bodyfat or lower already and started a slow bulk. But no, I had to live and learn. I guess Better late than sorry
    To think about the bigger picture. You didn't lose 2 to 3 months, your lifts went up and you learned how to train. Could you have got better results? Maybe, but now you know that doing that particular combination of nutrition and training didn't give you the results you had hoped.

    If training is something you like doing and you have goals you want to reach, then this'll probably be hobby for the rest of your life. Sure, 2-3 months seems like a lot of time at that stage, but there will come a time when you'll be happy to make any progress in that time frame.

    Originally Posted by TryingBB View Post
    On everything but deadlift, every set is a grind every workout unless I did is reset cuz you’re adding weight every week.

    If I just did a reset, I’m flying through sets like Superman. lol (read this somewhere here on BB)

    I’ll just follow the program. I’m loving the results so far. Body is actually changing...results are slow, but they’re there. I know I can feel the muscles and the energy and the increased power/energy the muscles hold now compared to before


    Question about isolation exercises:

    Let’s say program calls for 2x10 on bicep curls

    Week 1: 20lbs got 10, 10
    Week 2: 25lbs got 8,6
    Week 3: go back down to 20lbs? And do 10,10

    ??

    Or keep grinding 25lbs and try to get more reps?
    Can't remember what F5 suggests to do with isolations, but in general you'd probably apply double progression. Keep trying to increase your reps with 25 lbs. Every time you manage to increase the total reps over those two sets, you've made progress. If you can't make progress for a month or so, consider moving to a different rep range, adjusting volume or switching it for a different exercise that has a similar function.
    Last edited by FaIIen; 11-11-2019 at 10:39 PM.
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