Quick 5x5 questions on sets

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Mezz, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Mezz

    Mezz Guest

    Hey,
    I plan on starting the 5x5 Monday, so im hitting the gym tonight to find out my 5 rep max for given exercises. I read through the S&P FAQ and followed this link (Eclipse Gym :: View topic - Bill Starr 5x5 Primer - How to create your own 5x5 program) to plan my 5x5 program. However, I was a bit unclear on rest period between sets and the sequence of sets.

    First, the way I understood it, whether I do volume or intensity, I always wait about 5 minutes in between sets, right?
    I know this might sound stupid, but would I ever "super" set? For example, I would do 5xbench, THEN move on to 5xsquats. I would NEVER do 1 set of BP then go on to do 1 set of squats, correct?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. takeahnase

    takeahnase watching the swarm

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    First, no super sets.
    Second, rest: On the pyramid days, keep the rest short till you hit your last set. Before your final set rest 3-5 minutes or however long you need to to be fresh. On the flat days, rest between 3-5 minutes on all work sets or however long you need to to be fresh.
     
  3. ThinkGreen

    ThinkGreen Der Übermensch

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    Your gonna do something like this:

    Bench Press:
    135x5
    -2-3 min. rest
    135x5
    -2-3 min. rest
    135x5
    -3-5 min. rest
    135x5
    -3-5 min. rest
    135x5

    That's what I would suggest at least. Once you finish this you move onto squats and do the same thing. Hopefully this answers your question
     
  4. On your 5x5, you're resting 5 minutes between sets, up to 7 minutes for heavy DLs and Squats.

    If you don't rest enough and miss a rep or two on a work set, you have a likely notion as to why.

    If you feel like 5-7 minutes is a lot of rest, you're not lifting heavy enough. Once you plateau out a little, you'll quickly see those 5 minutes tick away very fast.


    As for the pyramiding, you should only rest the 5-7 minutes before the last sec. Just rest as needed as you're working up to the end, but don't go over 5 minutes.


    This is a strength program, not a cardiovascular conditioning program. The priorities are getting stronger which means moving more weight for the assigned protocol. Resting and how long is down on your list. You don't want to waste time in the gym and be in there all day, but if cutting rest means you have to sacrifice, that's a no-no.
     
  5. Mezz

    Mezz Guest

    Thanks a lot! Cleared up everything. Might even start a log after tonight :) Thanks again.
     
  6. Mumrik

    Mumrik Silver Belt

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    That's a good one... If you aren't thinking "Really? Again already?", then you probably don't have enough weight on the bar...

    I'm trying to explain this to my buddy who refuses to go beyond 80kg. on the DL even though he obviously isn't having a hard time with it.
     
  7. JPC

    JPC Purple Belt

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    Three minutes is usually plenty of rest for me. Resting 5 minutes doesn't help my performance, just makes my workout longer. But I've spent a lot of time using shorter rest periods so my body has learned to recover faster between sets. Rest time is an individual thing, but as everyone has said, on a pure strength program, make sure you are fully recovered between sets.
     
  8. Mark Limbaga

    Mark Limbaga Amateur Fighter

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    If you are planning on lifting heavy, you need long rests between sets.

    If you are improving your work capacity and endurance, shorter rest periods are fine
     
  9. AnOddParadigm

    AnOddParadigm Blue Belt

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    I never superset either, but I do usually start the warm ups for my next lift in the time between my work sets. However, I did finally read Bill Starr's "the strongest shall survive" and he actually recommended doing the 5x5 as a circuit. One set of Squats, one set of Bench, one set of Cleans and repeat. If anything, that is logistically impossible for most of us at the gym.
     
  10. The problem I have with the BS 5x5 (at least the Eclipse vers) is that he says "do in this order: BP SQ PC/BOR" then in examples he has his guy do SQ -> BP - > BOR.

    Same with OHP/DL.

    I do like pressing first, then squat, then my pull, *but* most S&P lifters will tell you to do the heaviest (or most complex) lifts first.

    Maybe BS saw the common link where most guys are weak on the Bench and is using the priority training principle, IE putting focused lifts first.
     
  11. Mark Limbaga

    Mark Limbaga Amateur Fighter

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    Definitely. Most guys would squat first since it is the most demanding. However, others would bench first since its their weak point or use it to prime up their body for the heavier workouts.

    I Do cleans/snatch first since o lifts are more technical.
     
  12. When I did the 5x5, I used BORs and love them as they make me strong at pulling things.

    But I'm starting another 5x5 as soon as I'm healthy enough to do so, and I'm planning on dropping Rows for Cleans for the old "explosive" strength.

    I'll probably still do them last as I'm doing the Power version and I'd be likely to tank it in Squats if I did that after.

    My only concern is that the Clean is good, but doesn't work the arms at all if done correctly, where Rows had direct use of the arms to pull. I'll still have Pull-ups to help, but it's something to think about.

    Same thing with Strict vs Dynamic OHP (Push Press), as you use less arm, but gain "explosive" power. Same with any dynamic lift, really...
     
  13. ThinkGreen

    ThinkGreen Der Übermensch

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    3 minutes of rest time would definitely fall under the category of "long rest" though. If you're doing shit for endurance you don't want to rest at all, whereas you want to rest 90second-2minutes on DE sets, and I say 3-5 minutes on ME sets. If you're really resting over 5 minutes between sets I find it hard to believe that you're not over-training and I also don't think you'll have the gas to do other lifts. I could see if you were only deadliftting that day or something but consistantly waiting over 5 min. between sets is not efficient or smart imo.
     
  14. Mark Limbaga

    Mark Limbaga Amateur Fighter

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    That is your opinion, remember that cycling your training is also as important. the aim of the 5x5 is to improve your overall strength.

    IF one's aim is to improve endurance and work capacity, then shorter rests, and a higher work volume would be the way to go.
     
  15. ThinkGreen

    ThinkGreen Der Übermensch

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    But 3 minutes rest between sets is not endurance training man. Endurance training is taking NO breaks whatsoever, or the smallest amount possible. Resting 2-3 minutes between sets is still strength training. Idk if you look at a clock but I actually time how long I rest between sets and 5-7 minutes is a very long time.
     
  16. IronMaidenfan#1

    IronMaidenfan#1 Brown Belt

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    I tend to agree with Think Green on this one and feel that 3 mins is a decent amount of rest between sets. The thing is that rest between sets is an individual thing and people feel differently. I certainly would not advise taking any less than 3 mins between sets but 7 mins seems a bit long, imo.
     
  17. Do something like DL 5x5 with 405 and tell me 3 minutes is enough.

    The point is, when you're truly working volume with your 90% 5RM, 3 minutes is not going to cut it.
     

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