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  1. #1
    Member LP*'s Avatar
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    Smile LostProphets verdict on NeedSize's 5x5 routine

    CREDIT TO NEEDSIZE FROM ELITEFITNESS AND STERIODOLOGY FOR POSTING THIS.

    The 5x5 routine
    I get a lot of requests on Elite about my version of the 5x5, so I thought I'd share it here. The program results in great size and strength gains and is actually an enjoyable way to train. A lot of people on elite are having tremendous success with it right now.
    Here's the link

    new 5x5 link

    Here is a cut and paste of the original post

    Originally posted by Needsize:

    I'll do my best to try and remember all the elements that make the program work.

    The premise of the routine is progressive overload, meaning that every week you are putting increasing amounts of stress on the muscles, generally through small increases in the amount of weight used. The progressive overload forces the body to grow to adapt to the increasing amounts of stress, even though the body really isnt training to failure.

    The routine consists of choosing a heavy compound exercise to use for each bodypart, these can include, squat, deadlifts, bench press, close grip bench, standing barbell curls, military press, etc. On top of the initial 5x5, you also choose 2 other exercises, and aim to do 2 sets on each, of 8-10 reps per set.
    Here's a sample routine
    Chest
    Flat bench 5x5
    incline dumbell press 2x8-10
    incline flyes 2x8-10

    The key for me when using this routine is to start light, at weights that you can easily nail your reps and concentrate on form. For example, say you can bench 225lbs for 8 reps, start with 195lbs on the bar. This should be easy, but if you keep your reps slow and in control, you will still get a good pump and have a good workout. Next week, bump up the weight by a SMALL increment, remember the key is to be able to keep adding weight, it's not a race to get to the massive poundages. If you add too quickly you will plateau in a hurry and the routine wont do jack for you. So you hit 5x5 on 195, next week its 200, the week after 205, etc. When you get to a point where you're starting to have trouble hitting your reps, add something extra to help, if you're natural, thats when I would throw in creatine and whatever else as this will help you keep adding weight. If you dont get all 5x5, then do not add more weight next week, stick with the same and the odds are you'll hit it next time you try.

    This routine is very effective as it targets fast twitch muscle fibres(5x5) as well as slower twitch(8-10reps) all in the same workout. Generally when done correctly you can gain lots of size as well as some pretty incredible strength all at the same time. I'm only a bodybuilder and dont give a rat's ass about strength, but have hit lifts (ie, deadlift 550lbs for 5 reps) that would allow me to compete as a powerlifter.



    My theory is that if you can keep adding weight to an exercise on a consistent basis, then your body is going to grow to adapt to the increasing amounts of stress. Since I find I am much stronger in the 5 rep range, its much easier to keep adding weight each workout. Add in the stimulation of the slower twitch fibres on the 8-10 rep sets, and it ends up an efficient way to train that results in great mass and strength gains. The last 50lbs of mass i've put on my frame came from this routine or variations of it.


    When I plateau on the 5x5, I'll switch to the 5x3 for a while instead, in order to keep adding weight. I dont seem to gain much in the way of size from sets of 3 reps, but it does help me get past the plateau
    Last edited by LostProphet; 09-16-2004 at 10:19 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Hello.

    I am trying out a 5x5 based routine and thought I could give details of my results/progress and what I think of the routine in a thread. I have followed a max OT based routine for some time and made great progress in size on it. However I wanted to switch things up and came accross a routine which I really liked the look of, I am also keen to make some good strength gains as I am relatively weak for my size.

    Here is an overview of the routine and theories. http://www.steroidology.com/forum/sh...p?threadid=661


    I'm not on any gear at the moment, I've just finished cutting and am gradually increasing my cals and starting to clean bulk whilst maintaining cardio. Diet will be very clean and not too high above maintenance. Plan to run another cycle in a few months so will be blasting the cals then, for now I'm just looking to make some lean gains and some nice strength.


    Did my first workout today......shoulders/traps/forearms

    Seated smith military press 5x5

    Cable lateral raises 2 sets of 8-10 reps both sets to failure.
    Seated arnold presses 2 sets of 8-10 reps both sets to failure.


    Barbell shrugs 5x5

    Dumbell static holds 3 sets to failure



    Really enjoyed the workout, think it is going to work great. Only problem was that I hit failure on my 4th rep on 4th set of military press so will need to lighten the iron by 5kg next week.



    This is not a journal, I don't post poundages.........just wanted to let you know how I get on with it and what I think of it.


    Cheers.
    WOW, STRONG TEA - MY BRUV FITNESSMAN


    One of the most educational threads thats ever been posted. Thankyou DF1, madcow, Dom etc for increasing my knowledge on training tenfold. http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=591896
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  3. #3
    Velvet Hammer DarkFalcon's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I'm going to keep track of your progress on this one bro, I like the look of it too. Don't get lazy and stop updating though ka! Have some rep points for the effort!
    PSN name is Dark__Falcon

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  4. #4
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    LOL thanks mate.

    Yeah I will try and keep it up to date and include any adjustments to my diet and/or supplements etc.



    Next workout is back/biceps on Friday........can't bloody wait, I'm well up for it.
    WOW, STRONG TEA - MY BRUV FITNESSMAN


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  5. #5
    Registered User Kane Fan's Avatar
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    I see you like failure training
    that's probubly playing a big role in why you are weak for your size
    if you want to keep training to failure that's ok (much as I'd like to stop you unless you come to Rock Hill I can't) but if your 'lack' of strength is bothering you then you should seriously consider ditching failure training
    or at least peroidizing your training so you have a phase where you go to failure and other phases where you go shy of failure
    that should help a lot

    also stop using the smith machine
    use free weights whenever possible
    that'll help with strength as well
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  6. #6
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    LostProphet is offline
    Originally Posted by Kane Fan
    I see you like failure training
    that's probubly playing a big role in why you are weak for your size
    if you want to keep training to failure that's ok (much as I'd like to stop you unless you come to Rock Hill I can't) but if your 'lack' of strength is bothering you then you should seriously consider ditching failure training
    or at least peroidizing your training so you have a phase where you go to failure and other phases where you go shy of failure
    that should help a lot

    also stop using the smith machine
    use free weights whenever possible
    that'll help with strength as well

    Hi

    Yes I love failure training.

    Nah I'm not hugely bothered about my strength, size is my priority.....but wouldn't mind some strength along with it....thats why this version of 5x5 looks good to me.



    Yes I am more than aware of the benefits of free weights, I like to make use of the smith for militarys from time to time.......helps keep things varied.
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  7. #7
    Thor's Daddy Odin's Avatar
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    Will be following this one, I made alot of progress with 5X5. I have a question for you, LP. How long do you find yourself waiting between sets on the heavy stuff? I assume that you are working with around 90% of your 1RM since you only got 4 on the MP. How old are you? I am 36 and always found that my strength drops off alot between sets unless I let my CNS recover and breathing returns to normal. (Think maybe my endurance just sucks.) The problem got worse with 5X5. When I was doing 5X5 I was having to wait 4-5 minutes between sets to be able to keep coming back with the same weight. (And usually dropping to 3-4 reps for the last set anyway.) Flys in the face of what everybody says, but I saw my best gains off this program. I was doing 5X5 with 4 different exercises each night, took 1.5 to 2 hrs to complete, again contrary to what most suggest but it worked for me. Have been too busy to try it again, think I may try on this winter's bulk if I can find the time. Later, Odin
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  8. #8
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Odin
    Will be following this one, I made alot of progress with 5X5. I have a question for you, LP. How long do you find yourself waiting between sets on the heavy stuff? I assume that you are working with around 90% of your 1RM since you only got 4 on the MP. How old are you? I am 36 and always found that my strength drops off alot between sets unless I let my CNS recover and breathing returns to normal. (Think maybe my endurance just sucks.) The problem got worse with 5X5. When I was doing 5X5 I was having to wait 4-5 minutes between sets to be able to keep coming back with the same weight. (And usually dropping to 3-4 reps for the last set anyway.) Flys in the face of what everybody says, but I saw my best gains off this program. I was doing 5X5 with 4 different exercises each night, took 1.5 to 2 hrs to complete, again contrary to what most suggest but it worked for me. Have been too busy to try it again, think I may try on this winter's bulk if I can find the time. Later, Odin

    Hi mate.

    I am 22. I rest for 2 minutes between sets, usually a bit longer after deads and squats.

    It sounds like you were using too heavy a weight to be honest mate, cut down the poundage so that it is no problem for you to get 5x5 with great form, a nice controlled negative on each rep and 2-3 mins rest between sets. Make it so you won't be hitting failure even on your 5th rep of 5th set. And then just add 5 pounds to the bar each week. Thats what I would do anyway.

    I overestimated my strength for the military press, didn't take into account that I have started controlling the negatives a lot more, which is why I hit failure in my 4th set. I'll be doing it with 10 pounds less weight next week.



    Will keep you updated, let me know how you get on.
    WOW, STRONG TEA - MY BRUV FITNESSMAN


    One of the most educational threads thats ever been posted. Thankyou DF1, madcow, Dom etc for increasing my knowledge on training tenfold. http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=591896
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  9. #9
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Here's a different version of 5x5.


    http://www.muscletalk.co.uk/m_8817/m..._//tm.htm#8817
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  10. #10
    I am not here zackmurphy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LostProphet
    I overestimated my strength for the military press, didn't take into account that I have started controlling the negatives a lot more, which is why I hit failure in my 4th set. I'll be doing it with 10 pounds less weight next week.

    Will keep you updated, let me know how you get on.
    This all sounds very good and rational.

    I like 5x5 a lot, as well as toying with failure, so I'll be eager to see what you think of a full 5x5 push/pull.

    I recently started a self-designed, scaled back version of 5x5, partnering it with some of the Doggcrapp principles, employing rest-pausing and a heavy 5x5, but with "warm ups" simply being 8-12 rep sets of the more peripheral movements.... blah blah blah, but to great success and enjoyment so far.

    So keep it up.

    Also, two points for you for noting when you'd gone slightly too heavy (tiring on the 4th rep of the 4th set on one day). Too many guys refuse to let their body talk back to them. Things sound good.

    And BTW: I love giving reputation points, but I seem to have hit my max for the day already (and it's still early). Another day for you.
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  11. #11
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by zackmurphy
    so I'll be eager to see what you think of a full 5x5 push/pull.

    Thanks for your input.

    I love the idea of mixing 5x5 with the 4 sets of 8-10 rep failure sets

    Seems like it will work great for both strength and size.
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  12. #12
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Good back/bi workout today.


    Deadlifts 5x5

    Hammer grip pulldowns 2x 8-10 Going to failure on both sets
    Dumbell rows 2x 8-10 Going to failure on both sets

    EZ bar curls 5x5

    Seated dumbell curls 2x 8-10 Going to failure on both sets




    Managed to hit all the reps with no problems and keeping form extremely strict, so will be adding poundages to all lifts next back/bi session.


    Enjoying this so far.
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  13. #13
    I am not here zackmurphy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LostProphet
    Managed to hit all the reps with no problems and keeping form extremely strict
    Awesome. Good workout.

    That's fun, eh? You're doing something right.
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  14. #14
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Awesome chest/tri session.......judged the poundages just right and will be adding to them all next week.


    Incline barbell bench 5x5

    Flat dumbell bench 2x 8-10 both sets to failure.
    Incline dumbell flies 2x 8-10 both sets to failure.


    Close grip bench 5x5

    Underhand 1 arm cable pushdowns 2x 8-10 both sets to failure.



    Great stuff.
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  15. #15
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    looking good lp strong poundages there...
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  16. #16
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Moved to journals......at the request of Scotty D



    ....

    ....

    ....
    ..
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  17. #17
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Cool

    Originally Posted by scott_donald
    looking good lp strong poundages there...

    Thanks mate.....didn't post any poundages though mate.
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  18. #18
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    Hey prophet whats ur split look like?
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  19. #19
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    Great to see that you started a journal LP!
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    Irrelevant John Promise's Avatar
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    Subscribing.

    Would be nice to see poundages, but will respect your decision.

    Good luck with this.
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  21. #21
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by warriors
    Hey prophet whats ur split look like?

    I work a 12 hour shift pattern including both night shifts and day shifts so I have difficulty fitting in a regular split, I follow a split that fits in with my hours.

    Day1: Back/Biceps
    Day2: Rest - Cardio/Abs
    Day3: Chest/Triceps
    Day4: Legs
    Day5: Rest
    Day6: Rest
    Day7: Shoulders/Traps/Forearms
    Day8: Rest

    Pretty weird but its the best I can work things.
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  22. #22
    Thor's Daddy Odin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LostProphet
    Hi mate.
    It sounds like you were using too heavy a weight to be honest mate, cut down the poundage so that it is no problem for you to get 5x5 with great form, a nice controlled negative on each rep and 2-3 mins rest between sets. Make it so you won't be hitting failure even on your 5th rep of 5th set. And then just add 5 pounds to the bar each week. Thats what I would do anyway.
    I dunno, sounds like a slightly different theory on 5X5. I haven't read your links yet, I will do so. I followed a program that says you start off with a weight you CAN'T do 5X5 with. On this program you pick a weight that is 85-90% of your 1RM. You should be able to get 5 reps on the 1st set with this weight. If you picked the correct weight you will only be able to get 3 or 4 reps on the 5th set. So it looks something like: 5,5,4,4,3. Continue with this same weight until you CAN get all 5 sets of 5 reps, then you bump the weight up. The theory with this program is that always use the same weight, never dropping down in weight to get your 5 reps. This forces your body to adapt to the new heavier load as 'normal'. It is due to these extremely heavy poundages that I am unable to come right back in 2 mins, the CNS load is very high. Anyway, just another take on the 5X5, I followed the Ripped, Rugged, and Dense program by Joel Marion on T-mag, it's a good read. Look forward to your updates. Regards, Odin
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  23. #23
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Odin
    I dunno, sounds like a slightly different theory on 5X5. I haven't read your links yet, I will do so. I followed a program that says you start off with a weight you CAN'T do 5X5 with. On this program you pick a weight that is 85-90% of your 1RM. You should be able to get 5 reps on the 1st set with this weight. If you picked the correct weight you will only be able to get 3 or 4 reps on the 5th set. So it looks something like: 5,5,4,4,3. Continue with this same weight until you CAN get all 5 sets of 5 reps, then you bump the weight up. The theory with this program is that always use the same weight, never dropping down in weight to get your 5 reps. This forces your body to adapt to the new heavier load as 'normal'. It is due to these extremely heavy poundages that I am unable to come right back in 2 mins, the CNS load is very high. Anyway, just another take on the 5X5, I followed the Ripped, Rugged, and Dense program by Joel Marion on T-mag, it's a good read. Look forward to your updates. Regards, Odin

    Hi mate.....yes different theories.......I have heard of that way as well.


    I like this way because you can use a low weight, get your form spot on, nice controlled negatives and just keep adding iron to it until you eventually start hitting failure in the 5th set.


    I'm sure both work well. Yes please read the link I posted, its a great thread, lots of feedback.
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  24. #24
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Very satisfying legs session today.

    Everything was strict as hell and arse to the grass of course.

    Squats 5x5

    Front squats 2x 8-10 both sets to failure
    Leg extensions 2x 8-10 both sets to failure

    Leg curls 2x 8-10 both sets to failure

    Calf raises 2x 8-10 both sets to failure



    Those high rep failure sets of front squats were a ****er I tell you, painful stuff.


    Was supposed to have a couple of sets of SLDL's in there after leg curls but my hams were battered so I think I will see how I go with just the leg curls.


    Next workout is Thursday, shoulders/traps/forearms........looking forward to seated smith military press baby !!!.
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  25. #25
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    was aobut to say you need more hammie work but then finished reading...
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  26. #26
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    why isnt 5x5 used for every exercise, i see that u would do about 3 excercises per bodypart, but only one of the excercises would be performed in 5x5. why is it done this way, rather than 5x5 for every single excercise?
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    Irrelevant John Promise's Avatar
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    Because in his version, only the primary exercise is done 5x5.
    I'm #12 in Y2J's "club"...and I'm scared.

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  28. #28
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by XjmOoChX
    why isnt 5x5 used for every exercise, i see that u would do about 3 excercises per bodypart, but only one of the excercises would be performed in 5x5. why is it done this way, rather than 5x5 for every single excercise?


    I guess the theory is that the combination of high rep failure sets and low rep volume style progress sets will work great for both size and strength........we shall see.....I like the idea of it.
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  29. #29
    Registered User LostProphet's Avatar
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    Sample of needsize's 5x5 split


    Day 1 chest/calves
    Chest- see earlier post
    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
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  30. #30
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    looks good so far LP, how many months are you going to try this for?
    PSN name is Dark__Falcon

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