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Old 04-07-2015, 06:52 AM   #1
LindenGarcia18
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Default Switching from 5x5 to sets of 8 & 12?

I was thinking about switching from 5x5 training to sera of 8, and on some exercises 12.
I've been doing 5x5 based training for a long time now, and just wanted to try something different.

I was wondering weather changing would cause any issues, and weather there's a specific approach to be taken when you do switch over.

I remember a couple years back, JD here on the forum suggested doing this from time to time, so I'm just interested in how to go about it.


Obviously, Everything I know has been 5x5.
That's how I know how strong I am, how to progress in that range, my body's just used to it.
Would there be anything I needed to think about when switching over?


Also - if I wanted to go back to 5x5 after trying sets of 8 and 12 for a while, would I be able to do so?
Or would I notice some sort of decrease in muscle when I switched, or a decrease in strength from doing sets of 8 and 12 as opposed to 5x5?


Thanks everyone!

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Old 04-07-2015, 08:16 AM   #2
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What I've learned so far from making some good decisions... and some very bad ones...

Sure, give it a go. Especially if 5x5 is not allowing for consistent progress atm, or is wearing you down somehow. But if you do this, make sure you don't start *way* too heavy (or, I guess, *way* too light of course). And stick with it, at least for a few months. Really see how it treats you, before deciding whether it's "right" or not. And on that note, keep in mind that almost anything can work, if you make it work. So yeah, 8 reps is fine. Just like 5.

I suggest 3x8, as 5x8 might be a bit much... at first, anyway. You might find that deadlifts are a bit of a snowflake. Then again, higher reps on those can be okay.

As for losing strength, yes, you might temporarily do so, whenever changing routines. Your body must adapt to whatever you throw at it, and this takes some amonut of time, every time. But generally speaking, it is temporary.


edit: You could also try rep goals instead. Actually, that's my recommendation, fwiw.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:57 AM   #3
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I agree with Dray's recommendation of going with 3x8, or rep goals of 25-30 in 3 sets for squats and deads.

However light you start, the volume will start to really test your endurance/ breathing capabilities as weight increases closer to your old working weights. This, IMO, would be a good learning opportunity as well as a good strength builder if you can handle the volume.

With the little experience I have, that's all I can share from what I've learned.

I have read and heard from a few experienced people about wave progression, also called undulating progression. You may research that as well.

Best of luck
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dray View Post
What I've learned so far from making some good decisions... and some very bad ones...

Sure, give it a go. Especially if 5x5 is not allowing for consistent progress atm, or is wearing you down somehow. But if you do this, make sure you don't start *way* too heavy (or, I guess, *way* too light of course). And stick with it, at least for a few months. Really see how it treats you, before deciding whether it's "right" or not. And on that note, keep in mind that almost anything can work, if you make it work. So yeah, 8 reps is fine. Just like 5.

I suggest 3x8, as 5x8 might be a bit much... at first, anyway. You might find that deadlifts are a bit of a snowflake. Then again, higher reps on those can be okay.

As for losing strength, yes, you might temporarily do so, whenever changing routines. Your body must adapt to whatever you throw at it, and this takes some amonut of time, every time. But generally speaking, it is temporary.


edit: You could also try rep goals instead. Actually, that's my recommendation, fwiw.
Thanks for the reply, mic.

My reason for change is simply to try something different.
5x5 has done me very well, but I just want to give something a bit different a go, really, and because I've nerver really gone into the moderately higher rep ranges I thought I'd like to give it a go for a while.

And I totally agree on the sentiment that anything can work.
As long as the fundamental principles are in there and you're progressing, you're pretty much set, which is why I had no quarms about those rep ranges 'working' for building muscle and strength.

It was just the change it's self that I was curious about.
Having never really deviated for a significant amount of time from 5x5 in two years, I'm just a little apprehensive as to how to go about doing so.

Thanks for the reminder about going rep goal.
I'd actually forgotten about that.
I was planning to switch my 5x5 routine to a rep goal a month or so back, so now would be a good time to switch to that method of training.
I bought massive iron around Christmas and haven't gotten round to reading through yet, so I guess that's my first stop.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belphegor View Post
I agree with Dray's recommendation of going with 3x8, or rep goals of 25-30 in 3 sets for squats and deads.

However light you start, the volume will start to really test your endurance/ breathing capabilities as weight increases closer to your old working weights. This, IMO, would be a good learning opportunity as well as a good strength builder if you can handle the volume.

With the little experience I have, that's all I can share from what I've learned.

I have read and heard from a few experienced people about wave progression, also called undulating progression. You may research that as well.

Best of luck

Thanks for the tips.

I agree it'd be a good learning opportunity. As I said to Dray, I've been in 5x5 for two years now, so it'd be a good time to learn about a slightly different way to Train and to explore that.

I'll have a look into wave progression also, can't say I've ever heard of it.

Thanks!
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:44 AM   #6
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Any strength you loose is temporary since you are doing the same volume (3x8 vs 5x5). Your muscle will remain and likely increase, so aft a couple weeks of going back you should be in great shape.
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:23 AM   #7
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Just my two cents…
switching from 5 x 5 to a higher rep range can be a breath of fresh air for the CNS. In my limited experience, the psychological effect of getting under(or over) a bar I've been methodically lifting for 5 reps at a time, and doing it for 8 or 10 or 12, is refreshing. It feels like some sort of reminder that I can in fact do more than 5 or 6 reps at a time, and it feels really nice.

You might look back through your logs 5 or 6 months, and pick a weight you struggled to get five with, then rep out three sets of 8 and feel superhuman. Nothing like feeling progression in action.
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BravenFenix View Post
Any strength you loose is temporary since you are doing the same volume (3x8 vs 5x5). Your muscle will remain and likely increase, so aft a couple weeks of going back you should be in great shape.
thanks for the information, man
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Likethebaldwin View Post
Just my two cents…
switching from 5 x 5 to a higher rep range can be a breath of fresh air for the CNS. In my limited experience, the psychological effect of getting under(or over) a bar I've been methodically lifting for 5 reps at a time, and doing it for 8 or 10 or 12, is refreshing. It feels like some sort of reminder that I can in fact do more than 5 or 6 reps at a time, and it feels really nice.

You might look back through your logs 5 or 6 months, and pick a weight you struggled to get five with, then rep out three sets of 8 and feel superhuman. Nothing like feeling progression in action.
I totally share that Logic, from when I've done the odd light weight session.

There certainly is that psychological effect you talk of, and it is really is very refreshing when you've been doing sets of five on everything for so long.

Cheers Alec
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:38 AM   #10
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Throughout the year I cycle between higher volume and higher intensity, and I have yet to see any adverse effects. I do it for the purpose of preparing for powerlifting meets, but the concept applies pretty universally.

For example, I'm currently on week 3 of a 10 week block in which I aim for about 24 total reps over 3 sets for my major lifts. Accessories I keep at 30-50 total reps over 3 sets.

After those 10 weeks, I switch to an 8 week peaking program in which I only do the big 3 lifts for 2 sets. The reps over those 8 weeks go: 8, 5, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1 with the weight increasing every week that I successfully hit my reps.

Then I take a week off completely and do my meet. Even if you aren't doing meets, cycling your workouts like this serves a purpose. In the simplest terms
1) Add muscle mass
2) Maximize power output from that new mass
3) Repeat

If nothing else it will keep your time in the gym from getting stale and boring

As far as the rep goal system, in my opinion, it's far superior to setting hard and fast reps per set (5x5, 3x8, etc.). I did SL 5x5, Madcows and 5/3/1 prior to getting Massive Iron, and at the risk of sounding cliche, it really is a game changer.
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