Reviews of Training Programs

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Hmm, isn't this more of a SST question? ;)

Short Optimization Technique

If you want to make 5x5 REALLY sing, then pre-empt your 5x5 cycle with a 2 to 3 week EDT-style phase in order to jack up mitochondrial density and raise up potential anabolic vs. catabolic energy state. (Try doing with pulse-style exercises.) During this period, eat big and emphasize a carb load. Then give yourself about 5-7 days to reset your CNS partially, and *then* start out on 5x5. Makes your glycogen stores are extremely high going into 5x5.

When you get into 5x5, your strength will take off. But, you'll also notice big size gains from the get-go, if you eat like a linebacker. The upside is that your LBM to fat ratio should be terrific as well.

Yeah, I have a lengthy interpretation of 5x5. In short, it has to do with how E-C decoupling basically comes from two factors (elevated rate coding and sarcomere microstrain), and how 5x5, through cluster mechanism, keeps both within a "normal" level, allowing a continuance of an acclimation process whereby the target load's effective necessary rate coding will be significantly lowered over a 6-10 week time frame.

Anyway, it'll eventually go into a weird, 2nd generation tweak of HST that's going to combine cluster-density training, EDT, and metabolic workouts, using a three variable time table which will decouple mechanical strain, metabolic adaptations, and nutrient repartioning stimulated from metabolic work.

Then again, it's baseball season and I'm really worried about the A's catching up to the Angels. Maybe after October? ;)

Anyone have a good guide to 5x5? I've found plenty of threads on other sites, but I don't want to wade through it. I'm considering doing a strength specific cycle between HST cycles in a few months, after I do the cutting cycle that comes after I finish this current bulking cycle. Or just an example routine would be sufficient.
Good info Jules, albeit short. October?
Now, now, don't make us wait that long.
Seriously though, any in depth information you could provide is appreciated, so just do your thing and try to come up with it as soon as possible. I'll await that tweaked 5x5, and then give it a shot after I run the program one or two more times.
well this is what I'm doing and have been very happy with.


Bench 5x5, either all sets with the same weight or a slight wave (ie. 205, 215, 225, 215, 205)
Squat 5x5, all with the same weight. brutal.
Row 5x5, same weight all sets.
Curls 1-2 x 8
Calves x2


Military 3-4 x 5, generally same weight
Weighted Chins 5x5
Lat Raises 3x8
Curls 2x8
Lighter Squats
calves x2


Incline Bench 3-4 x 3-6 (relatively heavier than I go on flat bench on Monday, more intensity based than volume based)
Row 5x5
Weighted dips 2-3 x8
Deadlift - work up to ~2 heavy sets

it's all about intensity cycling. I usually go 5 weeks or so then take a week of deloading, but it depends how my workouts are going and how I'm feeling. Also, it helps sometimes to lower the weight on deadlifts and work on technique/speed, since heavy deads every week can wear me out pretty fast.

ya and eat like a horse. I weigh about 215 now, I'm taking in about 300g of protein, 90-100g of fat and countless carbs (lots of running/basketball and an active job)

I'd be quite interested in any optimizations Jules might have in mind
That looks interesting... I'm now seriously going to read about this and set up a cycle for after my cutting cycle. I've got decent size but my strength isn't as good as I would like (is it ever??) so this sounds like something that would be perfect to toss in between every few HST cycles.

I'd like to see what optimizations Jules can come up with as well.
Heh, there seems to be a 5x5 bug going around here lately. I've just started doing Reg Park's old 5x5 routine from 1950 for this cycle. 5x5 seems to incorporate many HST principles. SD, progressive load, increased frequency, big eating. I am psyched!
Big eating isn't a principle of HST.

The 5x5 routine is great for strength and certainly throws on some extra mass as well. The only thing I would do is keep an eye on the joints. Feel any pain, then be sure to incorporate a week or two of 15's, just like HST. That, or do tedious, repetitious band work on off days for active recovery and to possibly get some lactate going.