5x5x5: High Frequency Training for more Strength

beyond-bodybuilding coverIt’s time for a new program.

I like to change my program every once and awhile, but I make sure I give the program enough of a chance to see how my body reacts and adapts. If I like the program, I’ll stick with it for a few more phases (usually 4-8 weeks). I’ve been doing a body part split for just over 2-months now and think it’s time for a change.

The other day, I was flipping through Beyond Bodybuilding by Pavel (a great read by the way) and found this strength training program called 5x5x5. It looked different and challenging and like something I’ve never tried before. I’m a fan of high frequency training for low intensity-type exercises, but this is a high frequency form of training on a whole other level! Here’s the program:

5x5x5

I decided to go with this plan:

A1. Barbell Bench Press (day 1 weight 205lbs)
A2. Conventional Deadlift (day 1 weight 305lbs)
B1. Front Squat (day 1 weight 225lbs)
B2. Weighted Chin Up (day 1 weight 45lbs)
C. Barbell Overhead Press (day 1 weight 115lbs)

I also decided to add a few low intensity exercises to the end of the workout as circuits D, E and F. This plan is modified from strength coach Chad Waterbury’s High Frequency Training ebook.

D. Bicep Curl variation (weight 35lbs)
E. Lateral Raise (weight 25lbs)
F. Narrow Pushups (body weight)

The rep/set scheme for circuits D, E and F are as follows:

Perform 30 reps of exercise D and E on day one with a sub maximal, easy load. Perform daily, Monday through Friday (as in the 5x5x5 program above). Add 1 rep every day for 4 weeks. Therefore, day two would have 31 reps, day 3, 32 reps, etc. Don’t worry about how many sets to perform. Use as many sets necessary to complete all reps for that day.

Lastly, for exercise F, perform 50 reps on day one. Perform daily (Mon-Fri) and add 1 rep every day for 4 weeks. Don’t worry about how many sets to perform, just use as many sets necessary to complete all reps for that day.

As I write this, I’m currently on day 4, but here’s the best part: seeing how this high frequency training program has increased my 1RMs.

My current 1RMs before starting this program are 395lbs for the deadlift, 260lbs for the front squat, roughy 60lbs-ish for the chin up and 135lbs-ish for the overhead press. I took time off bench pressing last fall, but managed a 275lbs bench last spring (all this at a body weight of 177lbs). Not bad for a x-distance runner but nothing compared to internet standards.

This program isn’t for everybody. You’re probably thinking to yourself, that’s a great way to overtrain, and you’re right, but don’t get your tighty-whities in a knot. This program should only be done for 4 weeks straight…and that’s it. If you want to try this plan, make sure your recovery ability is almost perfect. Get 8 hours sleep a night, eat healthy and try to minimize stress in other areas of your life (yeah, easier said than done).

*****

 
high frequency training cover waterburyIf you want to read more about high frequency training, I highly suggest you check out Chad Waterbury’s ebook High Frequency Training. I think it’s a great resource for all trainers and trainees. I picked up many tips that I now incorporate into my own training, and client’s training.

Check out this resource HERE.

If you plan to start this program with me, good luck and let me know how it goes.

-JK

3 Comments On “5x5x5: High Frequency Training for more Strength”

  1. Sounds like a fun and challenging program! Why A1 and A2 if you’re only doing one working set? It’s not really a circuit, so wouldn’t the program just go A, B, C D, E, instead of having A1, A2, B1, B2? Just want to make sure I understand before I give it a try! Thanks!

  2. Sweet programme, will incorporate shortly!