5x5 in the Max phase

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?

I am not sure to what exercises this volume refers, but it seems a bit too much to me. Perhaps a 3 x 10, 4 x 8, 5 x 5 would work well towards maximum strength in your case, keeping the volume relatively the same. As for your last question, I think it’s better to wait and see the response to these exercises first and the improvement you’ll have in the rest of the exercises and then decide. But if you want to improve something, starting with it usually works well and this is the time/phase to do it, since the rest are still in the development stage. I hope this helps.

Yeah thanks! Actually helps alot. Makes sense to only manipulate the recovery time and make the sets x reps = same volume, but different intensitys of course.

I’m planning on doing 2speed/weight days per week, and I’m not sure if I should switch exercises for each day.
For example:


Glute Ham/Hip Thrusts
Power Clean/Dumbbell swings
Box Squat/Deadlift

…or would you say that going for the same exercises, but only manipulating the xRM % for each day is enough, together with the diffrent sets x reps for each phase of course?


I would say just switching up the percentages would suffice, its not like ur in a Westside type system where ur success will depend on how well u “mix things up.” Basically by the time u get to the max strength phase u will have cut out almost all of the exercises that u were doing in the gpp and accum with the exception of the bench, a row/pulldown, and w/e u 2 u choose for the lower half. Also, u will not really want to start a max strength workout with a “glute specific” exercise. The goal here is to start the workout off with the main exercise u are tryin to gain strength in, take care of the glute problem in the gpp and accum phase.

Alright, thank you! :slight_smile: makes sense once again.
What about 5x5@80% of 5RM Monday, 5x5@70% Thursday? And in the GPP and Accum 4x8-10@80% of 8-10RM?
I’m probably only gonna be doing Deadlifts as my Main Lower Body Lift, since squats tends to be Quad dominant exercises and I’m gonna get away from all those type of exercises.

I’ll start all weight sessions, regardless if it’s GPP, Accum or Max phase with 1-2 glute activation exercises. This would work as a warmup.

starting with glutes as a warm up would be completely fine, just keep it at a low enough volume so that its stays as “just a warmup” and doesnt affect ur main exercise. The percentages for ur lifting stages also look good. One thing to keep in mind tho, the deadlift will drain ur CNS more so than a squat will, so i would be very careful with my sets and reps with the deadlift, cause if u do too much it will affect ur bench press progress. Unless u are SEVERELY lacking in the posterior chain of your body by the time u get to ur max strength phase, id stick with a wide squat.

Hm, but the bad thing about Wide Stance Squat is that it will still train my quadriceps more than a deadlift. Maybe I’ll have to reduce some of the medicine balls and sprints to manage the deadlift. Aren’t there any other way to come around the quad problem for the main lift other than box squats?

If you ever seen the picture “what looks right, flyes right”, well my legs are pretty identical to the ones that DON’T fly right. So, should I do wide stance squats and just add glute hams and other extra things for my posterior chain, or should I cut down sprint and med ball volume in order to do the deads?

Just to clarify, you have made a few references to your loads like…

This range will be 4x8 @ 80% of 8RM to build some muscles.
At first I thought this was a typo. While 4 x 8 at 80%(which is about an 8RM) would be very tough, it would be of little value for hypertrophy if you are actually talking about 80% of 80% (64%) which is a 14RM load, give or take. That’s too light for hypertrophy using the sets/reps you discussed.

In later posts, you say similar things, (80% of 6RM, 80% of 5RM). Make sure you understand which rep/load ranges work best for which training goal (hypertrophy, strength, power) and that in general, we talk in reference to 1RM, i.e. >85% of 1RM for strength, 30-70% of 1RM for explosive power, etc. The ranges are debatable, I realize, but keep in mind when reviewing the training of others that their percentages are based on their 1RM.

Why is a 14RM load too light for hypertrophy (or even strength for a non-elite lifter)?

If you look at Charlie’s GPP program and many others, sets of 8-12 are quite common and almost always had one or more reps left in the tank (making it ~a 14RM load). Even if you look at more traditional bodybuilding programs (pretty much the definition of hypertrophy oriented programs), that vast majority of their work (probably >95% of their total training loads) is well under 80% of 1RM (think about the regular use of 20 rep squats and things of that nature).