"I usually love your blog, but ur last post was total horse shit. Who are you to say that 5x5 sucks? It's worked for millions of lifters for years and years. ur way off base on that shit, brah."-- I couldn't really find any evidence that came close to supporting any part of this claim, which I consider to be wholly spurious. Glen Pendlay promotes 5x5, and he's a bad motherfucker. He managed to scrape up three names of marginally famous lifters who use 5x5 in an article. While I don't discount his advice, that's hardly incontrovertible evidence of its efficacy. And by the way, anyone who uses the word "brah" should be dragged into the street and summarily executed with a bleach and battery acid enema.
"5x5 fuckin rules, juicer."-- Well put.
"If it weren't for the 5x5 programs you claim don't work, I wouldn't be competing in powerlifting today. Your full of shit, and you're blog is full of shit."-- Anyone who is incapable of using the correct your/you're for a given situation should preheat their oven on broil, wait 20 minutes, and insert their head into the aforementioned oven. They should not, however, give anyone an opinion on anything. Ever. They've demonstrated as adults that they'd fail third grade, which means that my dog is smarter than they are. While Griz is awesome, he's really not that smart.
Grizzly can correctly use both "your" and "you're" correctly in a sentence, even while eating his own shit in the yard.
Clearly, there are some highly educated people whom I've gravely offended with my alleged assertions that 5x5 doesn't work. Well, except for the fact that they display the intellectual bearing of chimps and have likely read fewer than a single book in the last year... and the fact that I never suggested any such thing- I stated that it doesn't work for me, which would indicate that it's hardly the magical system people claim it to be, as there were neither unicorns with giant boners nor elfin fairy shit involved in its creation.
Conventional wisdom is that 5x5 is the bast basic program a person could follow in the gym. That's fanfuckingtastic. Conventional wisdom (52% of Americans believe this) is also that the sun orbits the Earth.(Strupp, 63) As such, you should probably shoot anyone giving you advice in the face with rocksalt and run screaming in the other direction unless they make a fairly compelling argument about anything at all. Even if they did, however, half of Americans are too fucking stupid to understand the simplest of concepts, so maybe you should just do some research and try shit for yourself.
Very much in line with my last recommendation, I found myself in a position to try something new after I found myself mentally exhausted from a couple of months of two a days, during which time I did a hell of a lot of singles at near max on one exercise per workout. Doing that got me to kick the fuck out of everyone at the comp, but I paid the price in mental burnout, some weird muscle knotting, and a general malaise. Frankly, I'll attribute this blog to part of that, as I find that spending as much time as I do blogging about training and nutrition reduces my overall enthusiasm for those two subjects.
To combat this, I intentionally gave myself exercise ADD. This is how I developed my version of 5x5, which ended up being 5x5x5 and for a while was 5x5x5x5. Confused? You should be. Allow me to explain.
I initially started running what was a fairly typical 5x5 program, alternating through three loading protocols on MWF and filling the other two days with bodyweight shit and random nonsense, just to be in the gym. I soon found that the MWF workouts were short unto ridiculousness and fairly boring, so I decided to start doing 5 exercises like that, making it 5x5x5. Pretty soon, I found that since the 5x5 wasn't all that hard to begin with, I started doing it 5 days a week, making it 5x5x5x5. What I found, however, is that I fucking hate doing 5 reps. I like to test myself in the gym, and 5 reps is more of a test of patience than of strength, generally. I can hear my max dropping as I cut out the top end lifts, and as my strength drops, so does my enthusiasm for lifting. Thus, what started as an effort to jump-start my interest in lifting ended up bending that interest over the table and raping it, as if 5 reps was George Bush, and my enthusiasm was our nation's economic ass, with a spiked bat. I did find, however, that doing 5 exercises in the gym 5 days a week forced me to do supplementary lifts I'd abandoned in my quest for a higher total, like neck, forearms, calves, etc... making that my version of 5x5.
But that's not 5x5! SCREEEEEEEEEEEE!
Yeah, I don't fucking care. I do what works for me. The failure to determine what suits one's personality, goals, and interests in the gym is likely the downfall of 90% of the useful motherfuckers who ever set in the gym. Instead, they grab hold of whatever programs in vogue and ride that motherfucker straight to hell. I intend to blog more about this soon, but to sum it up in short, 5x5 would seem to me to only suit those people with personalities that tend toward conformity or very normative and convergent values. (Young, 28-31, 33, 55) I, on the other hand, do very poorly in rigidly defined systems, as I'm (violently) inclined towards individualism and self-determination. That's not to say that there's anything wrong with people who are methodical or inclined to go with the flow- 5x5 would likely work pretty well for them. As I fucking hate that shit, however, my style of 5x5 allows me the freedom to do my own thing and prevents me from becoming so overly focussed on my immediate goal that I ignore shit that could prevent eventual systemic breakdown by balancing my workouts.
Probably big fans of the traditional 5x5.
Do I live and die by my newfound 5x5 program? Hell no. That'd defeat the purpose of designing a program that suits my personality. It does give me a good guideline to follow, however, and I ensure that I hit a wide array of exercises every week. I still have a day or two a week wherein I hit nothing but one or two exercises, but for the most part I've stuck to the idea that 5 days a week I'm going to hit 5 exercises a day, and it's definitely allayed a lot of the general disinterest I had previously had in hitting the gym without getting me involved in too much shit I detest (like doing 5 sets of 5 reps).
For those of you, however, who feel a desire to try a 5x5 style workout, I highly recommend the book Powerlifting Basics, Texas-Style. It's pretty much packed with 5x5-esque workouts designed by a guy who knows that about which he's writing (Paul Kelso) and written in a highly engaging, anecdotal style. For those of you like me, it's worth a read anyway, as he outlines the utility of his bench shrugs and explains how half of the shit you see in use in powerlifting gyms these days came to exist.
By the way, I'm apparently not along in my dislike for 5x5. According to Lyle McDonald, the "usual criticism is that 5X5 doesn’t provide enough heavy first reps to prepare someone for powerlifting. A routine based around triples, doubles and singles are often preferred since this not only lets you go heavier but you get more properly done first reps which is a key to optimal powerlifting performance. And there is much to this idea." (McDonald)
He does go on, however, to outline the ways in which that methodology is good for beginners and a variety of other people, so check the article out if you're interested in programming with 5x5.
Clear as mud, right? You should probably focus more on lifting, then, and less on random bullshit that doesn't really matter... like who said what on the internet.
There's no reason whatsoever for this pic other than the fact that I like it. Mya Nicole has the best ass in porn, by the way. And she squirts like the fountains at the Bellagio.Sources:
Kelso, Paul. Powerlifting Basics, Texas-Style. Ironmind: 1996.
McDonald, Lyle. The 5x5 Program. http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/the-5x5-program.html
Strupp, Peter. Fat, Dumb, and Ugly: The Decline of the Average American. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
Young, Peter. Understanding NLP: Principles and Practice. Norwalk: Crown House Publishing, 2004.