5x5 Dual Factor with sprint and plyo training

I was wondering if anyone here could offer some recommendations for sprints and plyos that could be included with my 5x5 Dual Factor workout? I am about 6’2, 205 lbs, an experiencd hockey player who has used the 5x5 DF before with great results, thanks

I’m not a sprinter or a hockey player so take what I say with a pinch of salt if you wish, but here goes anyway…

Assuming sprinting/speed is your main priority, I would train this at a seperate session prior to, and on the day of your strength training. I’d do some DROM, ground mobility work, light plyo’s, (bounding etc) then some short (>60 yards) runs and maybe some change of direction drills. Focus on the quality of work, and terminate the session if you notice your speed dropping markedly…

Less intense, longer conditioning runs could be done on the off days if your work capacity was up to it, or you could use these days for some sled dragging as an alternative.

The idea being to have a CNS-intensive day followed by a less ‘stressful’ one.

For more ideas you may want to check out the q&a @ elitefts - coach H uses the tier system - another full body 3x per week routine, and describes how he fits in running and conditioning work for his footballers in some detail.

Thanks for the input, what does the H stand for when you say Coach H?

Low volume of short sprint and plyo work during the accumulation phase. Higher volume (but still not really high) during the intensification phase.

You might find some examples in this article:

Is that the 5x5 popularised by Frank Zane ?

Either way i’m skeptical about achieving anything more than average results using such an arbitrary scheme.

This is not an attack on you my friend, but what improvements have you had following this approach ?


Based off of Bill Starr - modified by Glen Pendlay. Hardly arbitrary. Good results personally, and with others I have worked with.


Yeah I’ll second that - the Pendlay 5x5 routine is excellent. I’m yet to hear of someone doing it and not achieving decent strength gains.

Re the ‘H’ in coach H, I have no idea, but it may stand for ‘Hairy’. It may also stand for ‘Handsome’. Having not met the guy this is merely speculation, although both words do start with an H.

Dr Mauro di Pasquali used a 5 x 5 routine often when he was training towards Powerlifting World Records. He seemed to get pretty strong with it!!

You got that right!
I thought I had posted his progression through phases from one competition to the next, but I can’t seem to find it…

Therefore, here it goes again… :o

"Hi Nick,

Just thought I’d send you a note about my training. In the 2 decades that I lifted competitively I tried an endless number of training regimens to see what would work best for me and for others that I trained with. That included working out heavy on the three lifts every day but Sunday for several weeks. The result – I didn’t get injured but I also didn’t get any stronger.

I finally settled on three routines that worked best for me. After a competition I would rest up for a week or so and then get into an overall training regimen that was meant to work the whole body and build up some muscle mass. One of the best regimens I followed was the 4 day split routine (done during 4 consecutive days with 3 days of rest before hitting it again) that I’ve attached. I followed this routine for 4 to 6 weeks. Using this routine I gained a fair amount of muscle mass everywhere.

I then went to the strength phase of my training for about 10 weeks, plus or minus a few weeks depending on the competition I was aiming for. This phase allowed me to build tremendous amounts of strength and functional muscle mass. I did 2 workouts every 10 days, one heavy, then 5 days later a light one and then 5 days later a heavy one again. The heavy ones were about 4 hours long and consisted of descending reps with increasing weight, to a max for that day. I did most of the workouts following this sequence, with all of the lifts taken to a max single or two: squats, benches, incline benches, deadlifts, bent over rowing using straps, and then I’d do the squat routine again, going max for the second time that workout. The only gear I used was knee wraps and a belt, both used in a more relaxed way than during competitions.

Five days later I did a light workout that only took an hour or so to do – 5 sets of 5 reps in the squat, bench press and deadlift. I concentrated on form and technique and didn’t increase the weight until I could finish all 5 sets. And 5 days later I did the heavy 4 hour workout again. I found that these two workouts complimented each other to the point that I was able to maximize my functional muscle mass.

The next phase was the pre-competition phase in which I maximized my strength, while minimizing my body fat levels. I concentrated on doubles and singles in the squat, bench press and deadlift. Every week in this phase I did one heavy day that included about a half dozen singles to my max (after about 4 warm-up sets), with no assistance exercises on the heavy day, and one lighter day, again doing singles mainly for form, along with some assistance exercises. On both days I used the same gear and used this gear the same way that I was going to use in the competition. This meant very tight wraps on the knees and a heavier belt that was tight around the waist. I never used the squat suits or bench shirts when I was competing.

You can post this information if you like.

Best regards,

SVASS- yeah thats the program I am using and have used with great results.
Kellyb- do you recommend doing the sprints and plyos on the workout days, or on the off days Tuesday and Thursday? Or even on the weekends? Also can you give me an estimate as of what is too heavy a load? Is 15 sprints around 50 yards too much? I have a history of pulling hamstrings and quads during sprints, I think from overworking my muscles through combination of sprints, plyos, and lifting.

I’m not Kelly, but . . .

As you are probably aware - doing a DF 5x5 routine is VERY taxing on the body, especially if you have modified the routine to include the OLs. Adding sprinting on Tues/Thurs would kill your recovery and fry the CNS. I would do a Hi/Low intensity split, with High intensity days on M, W, F.

If you’re doing a three day split (a la Pendlays routine), you could go:

M am - Speed/Plyos
M pm - Workout 1
T - Light general conditioning (ie tempo; don’t overdo it, and Kelly might not even recommend it) and prehab work
W am/or preworkout - Agility
W pm - Workout 2
R - Light general conditioning/prehab
Fri am - Speed/Plyos
Fri pm - Workout 3
S - Light general conditioning/prehab
Sun -Off

There are a ton of different ways to fit in the plyos,agility and speed work - this is just one option (depending on your weaknesses).

As for speed volume, 15x50m (750 m) total is a huge volume. If you have had ham/quad problems in the past, you are setting yourself up for more injuries to occur as fatigue sets in in the final reps. Periodizing your speed/energy system work over the off-season (especially with a shorter off-season like hockey) is another discussion unto itself. In general, I would start with some hill work in early general prep, move to ~ 200 m (accumulation, up to ~ 300m) in total speed work on the track, and progress from there (intensification) depending on the length of the off season. Charlie’s GPP video does an excellent job of showing you how to set this up (although volumes would have to be modified).

I would also check out Kelly’s article entitled “A simpleton’s guide to speed training” on the articles page if you want more insight into Kelly’s ideas on speed/power development . . . but I’ll let him comment himself if he so chooses.

Thanks a lot svass—I appreciate that