5x5 in the Max phase

How would you think the 5x5 reps and sets (squat, bench) would work for a maximal strenght phase for me? Do you think I might need to go lower on the sets and so on? Pros/Cons?

My lifting stats are:

Squat: 231pds/105kg
Bench: 176pds/80kg
Bodyweight: 165pds/75kg

Been squatting and pressing for about 5months.


Just one question: are you balancing out the musculature? I.e I see you are doing squats and bench. I assume that a lot of your hamstring work comes from actual sprinting…but what about upper body. It may be a good idea to work some kind of horiztonal pulling exercise (rows?) otherwise performance may suffer.

Hope this helps:)


Hi Rob!

Well, these aren’t the only exercises I will do.
In the GPP I will be doing Glute Ham Raises, Power Cleans, Chins, Reverse Hyper and Military along with Deads or Box Squats and Benchpress. This range will be 4x8 @ 80% of 8RM to build some muscles.

While in the Accume and Max phase I’ll be aiming at Cleans, Bench and Squats and maybe some Glute Hams and Chins + sprint and medicine ball work. But I’m not really sure what rep ranges these should be in. Obviously, I’m not that experienced with lifting. So how about 3w accum with 6x4 @ 80% of 6RM and a bit shorter rest than the Max phase, while Max phase will be aiming at 5x5@ 80% of 5RM with a little longer rest. I’m a bit confused about where to put these 2phases in the sets and rep ranges for the 12w Vertical Integretation. Thoughts? :slight_smile:

Personally I’m using 5x5 during accumulation (SPP) then moving down to 3x5 and again to triples and doubles in the max strength block. Don’t think ill manage them 3xweek though but we shall see.

At your level I think 5x5 would be good for intensification. It is good to keep the volume up since you are still getting a feel for the exercises.

this is purely speculative cause i dont knw how ur muscle development is at this point but i would make sure that u develop a decent musculature b4 jumping into a max strength phase. id say that 8 is the very least u should be using for ur gpp and u should consider lengthening ur gpp phase with a higher rep range so that wen u do decide u are ready to gain ur strength, the muscle will be there and all u will have to do is train the nervous system

Yeah, stronglifts recommends it and Charlie mentioned something about it to be the best way to gain strength fast when you have the time or something.

Well, I am quad-dominant and I’m working my best to fix this. I have bad gluteal fold (if thats when the butt DON’T meet the hamstrings to well). I did work with the Westside for Skinny Bastards this summer and so on, using some 3x3, 4x4, 5x3 and so on. But I realize afterwards that I really wasn’t too ready for it since I lack the big muscles and the experience with the Squats and Bench and so forth.

How 'bout 3weeks GPP with 5x10, 3weeks accum 5x8, max phase 5x5?

Thanks guys for your responses!

yea that looks like its a better set/rep scheme for your gpp. as for the quad dominance, that the case with alot of ppl. its just something that u should address in the gpp and accum phase so that wen u are ready to become a strength machine, u wont have any imbalances holding ur numbers and speed back, and u will be less exposed to injuries of course. As for the “big muscles” for “big lifts”, do not think that way. I always go back to charlie’s “looks right flys right” motto. U dont need to be overly muscular, just enough to fit ur body comfortably. after that, its all about the CNS

"Quad dominant individuals often tend to run back on their heels, their 10 and 20 yard sprints are relatively faster than their 40’s and flying 20’s, they often jump better than they sprint, their bilateral jumps tend to be ahead of their unilateral jumps, and their strength tends to be ahead of their reactivity." -Kelly Baggett

This pretty much fits in for me, which sucks! Except that I don’t run on my heels anymore even though I’m still overstriding a bit when sprinting. Need to keep training the technique of course!!

Right now I set up for the max phase.

  1. Power Clean
  2. Box Squat (wide stance) or Deadlift
  3. Benchpress
    and I suppose I might add Glute Ham Raise since I need extra work for the glutes, lower back and hams. Maybe I should add glute activation drills on tempo days since I seem to be suffering from poor glute activation as well. Thoughts on this?

The GPP, Accum and Recovery will contain all of these plus some more to really target all muscles and get som extra work for the hamstrings.

We have a weights download available in the site store covering much of this, including the need to think beyond just the movement of all weights into catagories and includes the possibility of advancing one lift in one block if it fits better with the general advancement of all necessary training componants as one example.

I just bought “Weights for speed bundle” 2days ago, and reviewed all 3 movies yesterday. Good stuff! Though I couldn’t really understand how low and how many reps would be prefered at the maximum phase for someone pretty much beginner to weights, and where the 5x5 would fit in!

Well a beginner in lifting heavy weights will not have the CNS to recruit nearly as many motor units as the more experienced lifter. Because of this tho, the beginner can also use a higher volume than the more experienced lifter, because he does not recruit as many motor units at once. That being said, id say something like a 5 x 5 or even a 3 x 3 would work well in a max strength phase and should not tire u too badly. With that u could test ur max every 4 weeks or so depending on ur percentage cycle. Any thoughts on this Charlie???

Yes. You’re right and of course the beginner can “go to the well” more often because of the lower capacity to drain the CNS.

What I don’t understand, is why some people like lou simmons will attribute “missed lifts” to muscle weakness (i.e. training triceps, lats, and delts to increasing bench), but from my experience most of my missed lifts have been attributed to a worn CNS from too much heavy lifting too often. People just do not realize how valuable it can be to just drop the volume off the table and carefully regulate how often and to what degree u “fill up the cup.” Many people just cant wrap there head around the fact that one can put 100 pounds on their bench or squat and not gain a pound of muscle in the process. I was someone who used to be guilty of misdiagnosing this problem

I’m sure Louie is talking about competition lifting where CNS “freshness” is a given.

i mean its i guess thats wat he meant, but i just kinda felt that if he felt that the powerlifter was lacking in muscle in a certain are, that would kinda call for a hypertrophy phase where they would try to pack more muscle on in a certain area

If this is the case, I would place ‘glute exercises’ first thing, when in the gym.

Yeah, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad idea! How bout the power clean (I do hang clean) then, skip or do after?
I should point out that I’m still in the learning process for the hang and clean. But I wanna be able to be good at it for the winter at the times that I’m not gonna be able to sprint outside.

As I said, first thing and even more so after what you’ve just described above (beginner, hang clean, etc). :cool:

Cool :slight_smile: thank you! I’m also gonna stay away from regular types of squat and stick to wide stance box squat. I still have the believe that these aren’t dangerous as long as you never relax your core.

So, thoughts on this:
3weeks GPP with 5x10, 3weeks accum 5x8, max phase 5x5?

…and also, you think I should add the glute/ham/lower back exercise first thing in the max phase as well?