Sets and Reps # 1: 5×5
So this blog marks the first in a new series with a goal to discuss different loading parameters and the practical applications of them for us coaches.
I thought I’d start off with one of the most commonly used and describe the how’s and why’s of my use of it.
5 sets of 5 is surely one of the most common loading protocols we have. I think I’ve been using this since I first started coaching about 9/10 years ago when I was training people for free in the uni gym and coaching my MMA boys back in the day.
There’s a reason it’s so widely used: It works by developing basic strength and accelerating work capacity to higher intensity levels…I think so anyway.
I like to use it for major strength movements rather than supplementary conditioning.
So squats, deadlifts, cleans, split squats, chins, horizontal and vertical presses and so on.
I also like to rotate between 5×5 and 5 x 3 fortnightly. Over 6 or 8 weeks depending on timescales.
If it’s 6 and the athlete is ready I’ll usually go 5×3, 5×5 then 5×3 to finish to give a chance to set some new PB’s on the 3’s in the final fortnight.
It’s probably not the way to go for some single joint assistance work such as curls, shoulder conditioning etc. I would opt for a little higher here generally. Same goes for endurance- based areas such as ankle work and ‘core’ training. I would go for a time based approach or rep ranges that demand some time under tension.
It’s a great protocol to use following an adaptation phase and prior to max strength.
How do you use it? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.
What do you want me to look at next? Leave a comment and let me know.