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Old 02-10-2012, 03:57 AM   #11
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Both methods work, but... Important, but overlooked thing is that most important is adding volume over time... Just banging 5x5 month after month is not enough if volume only increases because of more weight is added. Much better system is to take a weight that you can just do lets say all out six reps, let it be for example in bench press 115kg. But instead of that six reps you do 3x4.. then in the next three months your goal is to add volume by increasing weight, reps, sets, goal being for example 122kg 6x6...

Every workout little more volume, and you can do ramping, or straight sets, or whatever you like. One session could be 120kg 4x5, next 115kg x5, 120kg x4, 125kg x3, 110kg 2x6.. Have more variation, have more fun, keep it interesting. Just add the volume and progress towards your volume-phase end goal. So starting volume was 1380kg, end volume 4392kg (over three times more volume). Then max strength phase and reap the rewards.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fazc View Post

One thing which wasn't mentioned was accruing a higher weekly workload by spreading the workload out over the week, rather than looking at a week-to-week progression.
This is something I tired previously with a program I called the drunk Russian. My body handled it well. I have noticed on days where I perform only one single I leave the gym feeling in good shape.

The only negative to this approach is dealing with the volume of warmup sets, but that really only becomes an issue if you do more than 2 big lifts per day.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:36 AM   #13
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Both methods work, but... Important, but overlooked thing is that most important is adding volume over time... Just banging 5x5 month after month is not enough if volume only increases because of more weight is added.
For what training levels?

Just playing the Devil's advocate here but I have seen more than a few people run 5x5s up the ladder to some very high numbers. I myself ran a simple 3 set per lift approach into a 500 squat and 365 bench. I was always a pretty low volume guy, never really training more than 9-12 sets per workout.

I am not trying to be argumentative, but rather want to better understand who you believe benefits from extra volume? Perhaps the late intermediate who has hit a 1300+ total with a 5x5?

I can't rule out the possibility that my 3 set approach might have been improved with more volume, but it worked so I didn't change things.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:48 AM   #14
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For what training levels?

Just playing the Devil's advocate here but I have seen more than a few people run 5x5s up the ladder to some very high numbers. I myself ran a simple 3 set per lift approach into a 500 squat and 365 bench. I was always a pretty low volume guy, never really training more than 9-12 sets per workout.

I am not trying to be argumentative, but rather want to better understand who you believe benefits from extra volume? Perhaps the late intermediate who has hit a 1300+ total with a 5x5?
The system I described is used in Finland from intermediates to top level athletes. Of course there is much more to it than just this method. But in a nutshell its that way in main lifts and in volume phase. Increased work capacity leads to bigger weights... At its simplest its nice little cycle, for example 3x4->6x6 volume phase 2-3 months, peaking phase 1-2 months when new PRs are made, bb phase 3x8->5x12 1-2 months and then again from the volume phase... But as I said there is a lot more to, accessory lifts based on weaknesses etc.. but lot of people train that way in here..
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:31 AM   #15
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Well it doesn't have to be quite as dramatic as one or the other But I'm curious as to people's opinions here. This is what I mean:

Multiple Sets Across

Back Squat 135lbs x 5 (WU), 220lbs x 5 (WU), 265lbs x 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Ramping to a Top Set

Back Squat 135lbs x 5 (WU), 185lbs x 5 (WU), 220lbs x 5 (WU), 315lbs x 5

Obviously both are used and will continue to be used by people, but I'm interested in what people think are the benefits of each. In terms of what they offer, how they play in with weekly volume, how they interplay with overall intensity. How they play out at different strength and experience levels, etc etc.

Discuss
Depends on what you are training for....but if you are a competitve powerlifter...at some point in those multiple sets..the technique will break down....I'd rather do something where my technique doesnt have to break down...like the 265 on the last sets..you end up with a total of 25 reps with 265....why not do 8 sets of 3 and make sure the technique is good on all three reps than 5 sets of 5 and likely have the last few reps of the set of 5 be bad? Its the same amount of reps and volume in reagrds to amount of weight lifted (5x5 @265=6625lbs lifted in the workout....8x3@265 (1 rep left off)=6360lbs in the workout) plus you are continually having your muscles feel good technique under heavy weight.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:42 PM   #16
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Which is the best all very interesting posts.Its good that all guys gave wide option in men multiple sets vs ramping to a top set.This will certainly convince us all to adopt this.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:01 AM   #17
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I would think that as long as you have a setup that encourages you to progressively overload and continue gaining strength you would be in good shape no? Now how you go about that would then come down to your comfort level and what you find to be most effective.

For example if you find you do well on the 5/3/1 vs the 5x5 then do the 5/3/1 you are still promoting growth.

When it comes to overall intensity, I believe intensity (in physical workout not your mental intensity) is basically a triangle of Rest, weight and reps.. That sounds right, so if your wanting to increase your intensity, you can shorten your rest, or increase the weight, or increase your reps. or some combination that makes it harder than before, so then I would say that at heavier weights, (so now we are at the advanced powerlifter not a novice/intermediate like myself for example) what is the best scheme to increase our intensity, in a safe effective protocol to progressively overload.

I think at that point it becomes a personal decision as the program I am running now (mine is slightly modified) but it was used a professional powerlifter and he would be doing 3 sets of 8 of 2 compounds a day AFTER doing a strength session. (20% heavier or so) for some people that my be too much just like a 5x5, and they find they respond better to something like a 5/3/1.

Basically this whole rant is me saying that you at some point are going to have to listen to your body on this, but the essentials remain the same.

always progressively overload
Chase Intensity

Thats my ramble
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:54 AM   #18
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I alternate between those two constantly. Makes thing i teresting and fun.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:58 PM   #19
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My approach to this varies with what kind of method I am using at the time. If I am using a method with a lot of emphasis on percieved intensity, and pushing very hard (think 5/3/1 type of routine) I prefer to ramp the sets to one all out top set where I give it my all. I think this works especially well for building muscle via the big lifts.

However, I think that for pure strength gain, straight sets are a better option for some lifters, myself included. I believe it gives you more attempts at setting up for the lifts. In addition, I believe that with a moderately heavy weight, you can still get stronger, but keep your technique tight so you don't get into bad habits. For this type of training, I think the name of the game is moderation; using manageable weights with decent volume to spur adaptation.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:21 AM   #20
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I've always Ramped up... Never was a Huge Fan of Straight Sets. If it's not to failure its a Warm up...lol
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