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5 x 5 strength training program

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5 x 5 strength training program

Old 11-01-08, 07:48 AM
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hanshun
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5 x 5 strength training program

I just started a 5x5 program, its three times a week alternating between a and b workouts. A is squats, bench, invert rows, push ups, abs. B is squat, overhead press, deadlift, pull/chin up, prone bidges. 5 sets of 5 reps with adding weight each time. I'm adding this to my other workouts, 2 swim, 2 run, 2 bike a week. I was reading the program and they really advise against doing much cardio, I was wondering if anyone else has used this program and what their thoughts are on it, if I should add my tri workouts to it or ditch this program and do something else. I am 6'6" and 190 lbs, I'd like to add a little mass to my upper body and really work on my core during winter. I would hate to cut the running/biking/swimming as I think the 2 a week is pretty low as is. I'm very proud of my ability to run longer distances (longer distances to me, ie 5-10 miles). My swim has just started to get a lot faster, under 1:30 per 100. My bike has gotten a lot faster since I got a proper bike, shoes, and started training with a friend from class. Like I say I would hate to loose any of the progress that I have made, but I do want to add mass to my upper body and work on getting a defined six pack.

By the way, I had this posted in the TRIATHLON forum, but I got no response so I moved it here, I hope that doesn't bother anyone.
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Old 11-01-08, 12:15 PM
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Sounds like you are doing a starting strength program. It's a great beginner STRENGTH program, and can be used to add bulk. But, increasing strength does not necessarily equal added mass; you will have to tweak your nutrition to optimize results. Also, the goal of adding bulk will be difficult to do while doing serious cardio and it's difficult to stay as lean as possible while adding muscle, that's why bodybuilders do bulking and cutting phases.

Cardio and bulking are not mutually exclusive, you just won't be doing either optimally if you are doing them concurrently.
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Old 11-01-08, 05:56 PM
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i guess I was a little misleading in what I wrote. I am more interested in strength then bulk, I would like to add a little mass, but strength matters more then looks. I've only been doing the program for 2 weeks and I already feel a lot stronger, I use to only be able to do a couple pull ups, now I can belt out 10 no problem. I think that I'm going to stay away from any serious cardio over winter, both because its cold and I want to work out more in the gym and leave my triathlon workouts as just maintenance workouts. By the way, I'm 6'6" 195, so I wouldn't want to add more then 5-10 lbs. I've been trying to eat as much as I can, but its hard to get those excess calories
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Old 11-01-08, 06:59 PM
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That's a big difference. 5X5 is great for strength and you'll see big gains. Unless you've pulled your exercises straight from a good source, I would drop the pushups on "A" day since you are doing bench.

You'll be able to add strength and still do some cardio workouts.

Congrats on the pullups, that's a big jump in 2 weeks.
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Old 11-01-08, 07:28 PM
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Training is my life and I can tell you that the 5x5 STRONGLIFTS PROGRAM. Does NOT mix well with cycling or running. They will not complement each other. Infact they will get in the way of each other and you will end up frustated. I know you will not listen to this, then tell me how wrong I am, but keep it in the back of your mind, so when you do end up frustated maybe you will remember the other advise.

Try a traditional bodybuilding program. By traditional I mean high volume. Look into Serge Nubrets program. That WILL compliment your cycling running and swimming.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ottsville View Post
That's a big difference. 5X5 is great for strength and you'll see big gains. Unless you've pulled your exercises straight from a good source, I would drop the pushups on "A" day since you are doing bench.

You'll be able to add strength and still do some cardio workouts.

Congrats on the pullups, that's a big jump in 2 weeks.
The idea of the pushups is that originally the program called for Dips which are useful. But people complained that "they are difficult" and the little guy who came up with it said "fine" and put pushups instead. Yeah I know kinda useless if you are already doing benchpresses, you're right.
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Old 11-02-08, 06:08 AM
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The idea of the pushups is that originally the program called for Dips which are useful. But people complained that "they are difficult"....
I thought I recalled something else being there.

For me, 5x5 was difficult from a time standpoint unless I did it as a circuit, which can be a problem in a busy gym. I found that it was just easier to utilize a more standard 2 or 3 set routine.
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Old 11-05-08, 11:27 AM
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I tried to respond in the tri forum, but wanted to get an idea of the program's background before I did. Trouble is you try to shoot from the hip and you end up with confusing advice.

Anyway, I've been using 5x5 as a component of strength training in conjunction with extensive (up to 9 hrs/week) cardio for almost 2 years now. The 5x5 regimen is considered hypertrophic which means that it causes your muscles to increase size. That said, unless you have been doing serious lifting for many years, that hypertophy will come about with increased strength.

If you're really interested in strength gains, I would recommend a month on of hypertrophy and then a month of dedicated strength training with even fewer than 5 reps per set. Something like 4/3/2, 4/3/2. I strongly recommend against a "traditional bodybuilding program" with high volume, especially if you'd like to fit in a lot of cardio.

Regarding the inclusion of cardio, muscleheads of all ilk will tell you over and over to keep high volume aerobic work and strength/hypertrophy work separate, e.g. --
they will get in the way of each other and you will end up frustated.
There is truth to what they are saying, but ottsville's comment is more helpful: they don't complement, but they aren't mutually exclusive either. Like I said, I've been doing them both and increasing my aerobic and anaerobic endurnace while getting bigger and stronger for almost two years.

So, it can be done. But the biggest hurdle you will have to jump is CALORIES. If you are having trouble with that now, you will have to try harder. You need to get your gastrointestinal system used to the intake of calories during exercise so that you can replenish gylcogen stores as you are working. Intake protein during weight training as well. As a point of departure, when I was 6' even 155, I worked up to taking in about 4,000-4,5000 calories a day (that is like 4 Chipotle burritos with everything). I seriously bulked up on that, though. The point is, you need to replace EVERY calorie you burn, and then have some protein and fat on top of that to regenerate your muscle tissue.
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