The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Thread: 5x5 routine

  1. #1
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    5x5 routine

    I wanted you guys to check out this post because I found it very interesting. I found it over at testosterone.net and you can find the whole thing over there.

    (This is a post over at http://www.t-mag.com/forum/train.html by Joel Marion.)
    Question: What's the best way to look flat and soft when coming
    off a cutting cycle?
    Answer: Do Meltdown Training.

    Question: What's the best way to look full, hard, and ripped when coming off a cutting cycle?

    Answer: Do the classic 5x5 program.

    Question: Why?

    Answer:

    1. Anyway you look at it, the caloric and carbohyrate restrictions associated with cutting cycles don't go well with Meltdown training. Meltdown training is very glycogen demanding. When you are conducting a high repetition, lactid acid producing workout four times a week, you can bet your glycogen stores will become depleted rather quickly. Now, I realize that there are other ways that the body produces lactid acid, but they are secondary to glycogen utililization, and you better believe that glycogen stores will be the first thing to go. Bottom Line: You look and feel flat.

    2. Meltdown training does nothing for muscle tone. Muscle tone is simply the resting tension of a given muscle, and can only be altered through heavy, high tension training. Bottom Line: You very well may burn a few extra calories during a meltdown session, but when you reach your body fat goals, you'll still be SOFT, not ripped and hard.

    3. Meltdown does nothing to prime your system for new growth once hypertrophy training is resumed. Most individuals train with higher volume, higher reps (i.e. 8-12) for hypertrophy. Meltdown isn't much different. When you go back to bulking, not much has changed other than your diet. Bottom Line: High volume, high rep training won't be a shock to your system, and your muscles will likely respond in a mediocre fashion once hypertrophy training is resumed.

    4. It is not likely that you will gain much strength from doing Meltdown.

    Now let's look at the 5x5 program in the same way:

    1. 5x5 is not very glycogen demanding. Bottom Line: Provided that you are taking in some carbs, 5x5 won't take away from your "full, round" look.

    2. 5x5 puts greater tension on the working muscles by utilizing heavier weights. If you want to look ripped and hard, you have to train heavy. You can get incredibly lean, but you'll never look hard without increasing the resting tension of the various muscle groups (i.e. muscle tone). Bottom Line: 5x5, when accompanied by low levels of body fat, gives you the hard, ripped look that you are longing for.

    3. 5x5 will prime your system for even greater gains once hypertrophy training is resumed. When you go back to the 8-12 range, it will be something completely new, and your muscles will respond beautifully. Not only that, but if you were previously doing hypertrophy work, then you will likely gain lean mass during your 5x5 cycle, because your muscles are not used to the low reps. Therefore, meltdown has no advantage even from a hypertrophy standpoint. Bottom line: 5x5 will help you gain lean mass during a cutting cycle and at the same time will prime your system for greater gains once hypertrophy training is resumed.

    4. 5x5 is a classic powerlifting program and it will significantly increase your strength. It is obvious that if you can move more weight when you start bulking again, you will make greater gains than if you were moving the same weight, or less weight than you were on your last bulking cycle. Bottom Line: 5x5 will increase the poundage that you can lift, once again allowing you to make greater progress come your next bulking cycle.

    Question: Why the hell are you doing Meltdown?

    -Joel Marion
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

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  3. #2
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    Now what are your opinions?

    I have these 2 splits so far...

    M - Bench Press, Bent Over Row and Chins (5x5)

    W - Squats, Power Cleans (5x5) and Ab work

    F - Deadlifts, Push Presses, and calf raises (5x5)

    add little extra work at end if wanted


    Friday- Arms and Chest

    A1) Cambered Bar Incline Press

    A2) Weighted Dips

    B1) Power Rack Tricep Lockouts

    B2) Seated EZ-bar Bicep Curl w/ flexed wrist

    Sunday- (Legs, Back Extensors, Shoulders)

    A1) Sumo Squat

    A2) Sumo Deadlift

    B1) Dumbell Clean and Press

    B2) Calve Press in the Leg Press Machine w/ a 3 sec. pause at the top of the movement

    Tuesday- (Lats, Traps, Forearms)

    A1) Wide-Grip pullups

    A2) Explosive Barbell Shrugs w/ hip thrust

    B1) Seated Wrist Curls

    B2) Seated Reverse Grip Wrist Curls
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

  4. #3
    "Tuna Boy" NateDogg's Avatar
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    5X5 is AWESOME. I started 5X5 and for the first time I my life I have been experiencing gains. I am going to have to get off it soon as gains have just about stopped (after a great 3 months).

    Current workout...

    SUN
    Squats
    leg X
    leg curl
    calves (usually donkey raise)

    TUE
    DB bench press
    DB incline press
    military press
    incline or flat flye
    lat raise

    THU

    Deadlift
    pullups
    some sort of row

    SAT
    BB curl
    concentration curl
    close grip BB press
    1 arm pushdown

    Awesome training method. Been reading up on HST lately and might try that next for a serious change of pace...

    ND
    "damn...can't beat logic like that.
    NAte is exactly right." - Tryska

  5. #4
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    Nate - Your routine looks like a good option too. I pretty much have to decide on a split. Thanks.

    Your opinions are appreciated.
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

  6. #5
    "Tuna Boy" NateDogg's Avatar
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    I like your first one better...

    You split up squats and deads, which I am a fan of, as I feel putting them together risks injury as they both require great concentration to do correctly and keep up intensity.

    ND
    "damn...can't beat logic like that.
    NAte is exactly right." - Tryska

  7. #6
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    Up it goes...PowermanDl, Chris Mason, Gino, Paul, Adam, Belial, Severed Ties, Wizard, Monstar, Cbates, Chigs, GoPro, Maki, and all of you! Comments please...
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

  8. #7
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    How does this one look???(5x5 of course)

    Day1:
    A1:Incline Hammer Bench
    A2: Dec.Db Bench
    A1:Skulls
    A2:BB curls

    Day2: OFF

    Day3:
    A1:Squat
    A2: Sumo Deadlift
    A1: Shoulder Press
    A2: Calf Raise

    Day4: OFF

    Day5:
    A1: Pullup
    A2: Shrug
    A1: Row
    A2: Reverse Curl

    Day6: OFF

    Day7: Start over!
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

  9. #8
    "COUNT CRACKULA" Bam Bam's Avatar
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    i am interested in this aswell as i am going to start training for my next fight
    Blocka Blocka

    I am AMINAL

  10. #9
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Marcel-
    Whatsup bro? 5x5 looks like it could have some big time potential. Never read anything about a 5x5 classic powerlifting program. Seems like it would be very very promising though dude. Good luck with it! Let us know how you do and everything like that.

    NateDogg-
    What kind of gains have you experienced?

    MS
    Last edited by MonStar; 05-12-2002 at 09:29 PM.

  11. #10
    "Tuna Boy" NateDogg's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MonStar
    Marcel-
    Whatsup bro? 5x5 looks like it could have some big time potential. Never read anything about a 5x5 classic powerlifting program. Seems like it would be very very promising though dude. Good luck with it! Let us know how you do and everything like that.

    NateDogg-
    What kind of gains have you experienced?

    MS
    I have gained 10 lbs or so, mostly muscle.

    Squat is up to 270 for 5 below parallel reps (up from 240)
    deadlift is up to 315 for 5 (up from 285)
    DB bench press is up to 90 for 5 (up from 75)

    All in three months, which is more than I can say for myself than any other training method ever.

    ND
    "damn...can't beat logic like that.
    NAte is exactly right." - Tryska

  12. #11
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    Awesome results man! Thats good to hear, for Marcel especially. Doing HST now I always like to hear that other people have done it and achieved awesome results. This way I really feel like I am going to get some at least decent results.

    MS

  13. #12
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    There is nothing magic about any combination of reps and sets.

    Figure out your goals, and then apply what you know about training to them.

    The post from t-mag ain't all that. 5X5 is not a classic PLing program, it is a classic Bodybuilding program (Reg Park, anyone?), and he probably got it from OLers.

    Add weight every week, you'll do fine.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
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    I has a facebook.

  14. #13
    260(-62) from 193 from 275
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    5x5 is from OLers...

    Poliquin is huge on it.

    The way he has his guys do it is to use the same weight on all 5 sets and as soon as they can do 5 reps on the last set they move up weight.

    He says it is key for NOT gaining weight.

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  15. #14
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    Okay first off did you guys read the first post??? The purpose of it would be to use it while cutting...as the post says...

    Bottom line: 5x5 will help you gain lean mass during a cutting cycle and at the same time will prime your system for greater gains once hypertrophy training is resumed.

    Now I haven't tried it yet so I can't say if it's true. Joel Marion from testosterone.net says so and I just wanted to hear other peoples opinions on the subject.

    Paul - Yep sounds like a plan to me.

    Nate - good gains bro. As long as my strength goes up some and keep all my LBM. I want to get to single digit bf% this summer.

    Any other people c'mon what do you think?
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

  16. #15
    Banned kaleido's Avatar
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    My brother has almost hit 290. When he does, he'll start cutting. I'll tell you how it works for him.

  17. #16
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    kaleido - Oh I plan on trying it...but I'm trying to get other peoples thoughts on the subject.
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

  18. #17
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    5x5... I'll go with Paul. There's nothing magical about the numbers, what's more important is tempo and percentage of sets done to failure.

    During cutting cycles, I think pure bodybuilding-style training is idiotic. You're not going to gain any mass, so why are you training for hypertrophy? I prefer to see fewer sets, heavy weight, and a slightly lower rep range. 5x5 would fit the bill, but keep the total number of lifts down. I like some programs, but I've never been a huge fan of pre-made routines, just because they don't take into account individual recovery capabilities, etc. Why 5x5 for 4 lifts? Why not 5x4 for 5 lifts? It takes some of the guesswork out, true. And I like the 3 day a week routine you had up above. What's key is understanding WHY a certain routine should be adopted, and modifying it with that purpose in mind.
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
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  19. #18
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    B - I didn't really pay much attention to the fact that when cutting you shouldn't train pure bb style because a. you wont be gaining any mass with low cals and b. your strength will suffer if you continue pure bb style training.

    Also about trying to understand WHY a certain routine should be adopted you are completely correct. Good thing we have some smart peeps here!

    Now you like this routine?...I think I'm gonna go with this one...(5x5 of course)

    Day1:
    A1:Incline Hammer Bench
    A2: Dec.Db Bench
    A1:Skulls
    A2:BB curls

    Day2: OFF

    Day3:
    A1:Squat
    A2: Sumo Deadlift
    A1: Shoulder Press
    A2: Calf Raise

    Day4: OFF

    Day5:
    A1: Pullup
    A2: Shrug
    A1: Row
    A2: Reverse Curl

    Day6: OFF

    Day7: Start over!
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

  20. #19
    fat and small Blood&Iron's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Belial

    During cutting cycles, I think pure bodybuilding-style training is idiotic. You're not going to gain any mass, so why are you training for hypertrophy?
    I was of pretty much the same opinion, and a few people might recall my reticence to switch to HST during my diet for this very reason. But as Lyle McDonald quite correctly pointed out on MFW some time ago, anything that's going to maximize hypertrophy will also minimize muscle loss.

  21. #20
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Unless it breaks down more tissue than can be repaired with the limited nutrients.
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  22. #21
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    hmmmmm.......
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

  23. #22
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    5x5 is no more a magic bullet than any other routine out there. I think it looks fine, definitely worth a go, but all of that crap about sparing muscle and priming the body for post-diet training etc. is just that, crap!

  24. #23
    Wannabebig Member
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    I have always liked the 5x5. here is what I did:
    Sunday: Deadlift, Bench,Chins,skull crushers.
    Wed: Squats,Mil press,shrugs,straight bar curls
    Cardio 3x per week on opposite days.

  25. #24
    bien bueno! Marcel's Avatar
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    B&I and PowermanDL - Makes sense. I think the reason why 5x5 'works better' while cutting is because it is less volume then most people do...so since they are taking in less calories and in a deficit they can recover better from 5x5 routine then their regular higher volume routine.(I dunno if that is correct at all but I think it might be true.)

    Chris Mason - haha! Your post was funny to me. You are probably right though but I still think it will be a good change.

    HOOT - it looks like everyone who has tried 5x5 has liked it and gotten good results. I havent heard one complain yet.
    "In the grand scheme of things, both things are quite superficial(obsessed with being muscular&ripped and incredibly strong). And yet lifting can teach you so much. My time at the gym--at least when I'm lifting--is invariably the high-point of my day. There aren't any questions; I almost don't even think. I go into an almost meditative trance-like state. Day-to-day worries become insignificant. I'm focused solely on the weight, and my reason for existence is clear. To move the bar and to improve on what I accomplished last time. Seldom are things so simple." - Blood&Iron

    "Most people cannot understand what burns in our blood, the gym is our addiction and iron is our drug. People don't understand why we commit hours a day to a goal where progress is so small it seems immeasurable, why we do cardio instead of watch TV, why eat 6 meals a day, why we insist on ordering diet soda or how we can drink skim milk. Most people will simply never grasp why we refuse to settle for a mediocre body." - Severed Ties

  26. #25
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Blood&Iron

    I was of pretty much the same opinion, and a few people might recall my reticence to switch to HST during my diet for this very reason. But as Lyle McDonald quite correctly pointed out on MFW some time ago, anything that's going to maximize hypertrophy will also minimize muscle loss.
    I notice no discrepancy between what I've said and the truism that Lyle noted on MFW.
    "Except Belial. He knows everything. This isn't a sarcastic attack, either. He really knows everything." -----Organichu
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