Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5x5x5 first cycle results and observations

After my last summer 40 days challenge, I was looking for something similar considering the awesome results I got. I came across this other instant classic Pavel’s program 5x5x5 from Beyong Bodybuilding which would solve most fatigue/injuries  issues I experienced with the 40 days challenge. The outlines are similar : 5 exercises (at least 3 compoud lifts), 5 days/week / 5 reps (workset) / 5 weeks. The reduced volume and the taper week (4th) got my attention and would keep me fresh for dancing.

My 5 exercises / starting weight 5 reps /  max out 5th week / previous best:

Bench press

155lbs x 5
195lbs x 1 (easy no spotter)
195lbs x 1 (hard with spotter)
Sumo deadlift

305lbs x 5
425lbs x 1
405lbs (conventional)
Weighted pull ups

15lbs x 5 (187lbs BW)
45 x 1 (192lbs BW)
25lbs x 1
Clean & push press

95lbs x 5
175lbs x 1
Suitcase deadlift

135lbs x 5
185lbs x 5

  • That’s a lot of pulling!!! Even with such a low volume, my performances dropped drastically after my deadlifts. Plus, the deadlift, the clean and the suitcase have a similar pattern. Considering all the above, I was still way less tired than during my 40 days challenge.
  • As expected, my deadlift loves an everyday approach and my bench not that much even I put it as my 1st exercise.
  • Cleaning everyday really improved my shoulders mobility.
  • I put on 5lbs in 5 weeks. Fivers makes a good difference compared to sets of 1-2-3 reps.

  • I’ll keep the same basic 5 weeks structure 5x5x5 for my posterior chain move (probably back squat next). My body seems to respond really well to this everyday approach.
  • I’ll try ladders for all upper body movements (5 days press/pull/press/pull/press) starting with a weight I can handle for 3x(1,2,3 reps).
  • I still hesitate between variety of movements (like 3 presses/2 pulls) or 2 movements (1 press/1 pull). From my understanding, variety would help with shoulders health and fewer movements for maximum strength.


Floor press should help to keep those forearms in line.

It wasn't even that hard, but I prefer to stop when I feel that my technique is going south.

I guess I didn't make it entirely to the top...

I really enjoy doing those! 1.5x my BW is my goal.

I trained those with lighter weights and Fatzgrip for 3 weeks.