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  1. #1
    Senior Member Curiosity's Avatar
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    Favorite Routines

    Hi All,

    I'm gearing up for my first cycle and trying to decide on what lifting routine I want to use. I figured it might be cool to post this thread and everyone can post what splits/routines work best for them on or off cycle, or if they modify it at all between the two.

    Right now, I'm doing a modified 5x5 that I got off of Iron Addicts favorite routines thread on ology. I'm doing it for 5 weeks then deloading (vacation, so I don't have a choice really). it looks like this:

    "5 x 5’s are a classic way to add size and strength and have been in popular use since the 50’s. There are many, many variations of them, some very good, some….well, not so good—at least for the average lifter. I experimented with quite a few volunteer trainees looking for a “sweet spot” that had peanty of loading, but not the crushing 3 x a week squatting/benching many of them use. Here is the basic outline:

    Monday
    A chin or lat pull-down using 5 x 5, 4 x 6, or 10 x 3 No rowing done this day as deadliftts follow
    A curl—because, well, everyone expects them—lol.
    Deadlifts 5 x 5 using either a pyramid or fixed weight. Fixed weights are better tolerated by people with good/great recovery
    Ab or calf work

    Wedesday
    Bench press 5 x 5 using a periodized model starting light on week one working to a peak and unloading. Uses a pyramid starting light and working to a top set. Also done s a reduced ROM bench movement for 1 x 3- 3 x 4
    Shoulder rep work
    Tricep rep work

    Friday
    Rowing movement using a static weight 5 x 5—VERY demanding during the latter weeks.
    Squatting using a static weight 5 x 5—VERY demanding during the latter weeks.
    Glute/hams for some lifters.
    Ab or calf work if desired

    Sunday
    Bench press using a static weight for 5 x 5
    Shoulder rep work
    Tricep rep work
    Can do additional chest rep lift if needed.

    After 3-5 weeks a deload is done for all 5 x 5’s, either reducing reps or sets. Rep work can stay the same but at my discretion may be reduced.
    "

    Before that I did a month of straight up, Mike Metzner HIT... 1 day on, 3 off, 5 sets per workout.... I was feeling beat up from doing lots of 1 rep max work for a few months and thought it would be a good way to deload my joints and CNS while maybe gaining a little weight. I put on 10 lbs in a month natty, and got a little fatter, and I really didn't feel like it did much for my strength at all. Muscle gained felt soft and puffy. I like the 5x5 much better, after 2 1/2 weeks i've already slimmed back down a little, strength is up, and I feel and look harder. And I've kept all 10 lbs.

    Before that I spent alot of time doing Chad Waterbury 3 day a week full body routines. These are great for athleticism and strength, and getting shredded, but didn't work so well for me in terms of gains, I seemed to keep losing weight slowly on them, even with a pretty solid diet.

    For my next long-term routine, I was strongly considering DC training, or a 5 day BB split. Anyone have good luck with either of these, or anything else?

    Sorry for the long-ass post, I hope to get some good responses on here! Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Member Pikiki's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite Routines

    I like your 5x5 plan awesome, I used it on my cycle not exactly like yours but I did some 5x5. Was great for strengh. What works for me too was every 4-6 weeks change my routine. After 5x5 and heavy lifting for the first 6 weeks I switch to a 1 weeks mod weight 4 sets 8-10 reps with 2 muscle groups for day. Then next week heavy 3 sets 6-8 reps same muscle groups as the previous week and so on. Did tha for 6 more weeks, now I switch again to 1 muscle group a day 3 sets 15 reps for 2 weeks, next will be 4 sets of 12 reps, then keep downloading weight till get heavy and short sets again. Workout 5 on 2 off. M/T/W(off)/T/F/S/S(off). I think if your plans work for you start with that then adjust as need it. Great plan bro...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Curiosity's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite Routines

    Originally Posted by Pikiki View Post
    I like your 5x5 plan awesome, I used it on my cycle not exactly like yours but I did some 5x5. Was great for strengh. What works for me too was every 4-6 weeks change my routine. After 5x5 and heavy lifting for the first 6 weeks I switch to a 1 weeks mod weight 4 sets 8-10 reps with 2 muscle groups for day. Then next week heavy 3 sets 6-8 reps same muscle groups as the previous week and so on. Did tha for 6 more weeks, now I switch again to 1 muscle group a day 3 sets 15 reps for 2 weeks, next will be 4 sets of 12 reps, then keep downloading weight till get heavy and short sets again. Workout 5 on 2 off. M/T/W(off)/T/F/S/S(off). I think if your plans work for you start with that then adjust as need it. Great plan bro...
    Yeah changing parameters is absolutely necessary to continue to make progress. As you can see, I've been trying some very different approaches to see what works for me. I did ready something about someone recommending 1 month of strength work, then 1 month of BB work, back and forth... in theory the month of BB work deloads your joints and CNS and allows you to build some muscle, then the month of strength hardens up that muscle and allows you to continue getting stronger. Sounds kind of like what you're doing there.

    For me strength is as important as size, I'm not a pure BB. I certainly think that if you can get big and strong, or just get big without getting that strong, why wouldn't you go the strength route? So I like to have low rep sets on compound movements in my routines pretty much all the time, unless I start feeling really beat up in the joints and CNS and need a break.

    BTW, I am pretty much an ectomorph, not horribly I can gain muscle and fat if I work at it, but left alone my body tends to move towards an ectomorphic state.

  4. #4
    Senior Moderator NbleSavage's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite Routines

    Volume for me, but I'm training more for BB / aesthetics than PL / raw strength.

    Legs / Chest & Back / Shoulders & Arms, each split 2x per week, at least 15 sets per muscle & 10-15 reps per set. Usually incorporate static holds / static contractions as well as 2-3 all-out failure sets.

    That said, your 5x5 is a classic strength & mass builder. Excellent choice.

    Best of luck in your training!

    - Savage

  5. #5
    Senior Member Curiosity's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite Routines

    Originally Posted by NbleSavage View Post
    Volume for me, but I'm training more for BB / aesthetics than PL / raw strength.

    Legs / Chest & Back / Shoulders & Arms, each split 2x per week, at least 15 sets per muscle & 10-15 reps per set. Usually incorporate static holds / static contractions as well as 2-3 all-out failure sets.

    That said, your 5x5 is a classic strength & mass builder. Excellent choice.

    Best of luck in your training!

    - Savage
    Yeah I actually tried a split like that for a month or two last year sometime, straight out of the arnold encyclopedia of modern BB... I felt like I was overtrained by week 2 or 3. My body can't handle lifting 6 days a week, each bodypart 2xweek, with BB volume. I was sore as **** every day going in to the gym and pretty soon I wasn't going up in strength anymore. Didn't feel right to me at all.

    You're lucky that works for you though, good recovery genetics. I think if I end up going high volume I'll have to do a split like chest/shoulders/back/legs/arms with a few days off in there to make it work.

    Thanks for the response!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hockeyplaya18's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite Routines

    Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    Yeah I actually tried a split like that for a month or two last year sometime, straight out of the arnold encyclopedia of modern BB... I felt like I was overtrained by week 2 or 3. My body can't handle lifting 6 days a week, each bodypart 2xweek, with BB volume. I was sore as **** every day going in to the gym and pretty soon I wasn't going up in strength anymore. Didn't feel right to me at all.

    You're lucky that works for you though, good recovery genetics. I think if I end up going high volume I'll have to do a split like chest/shoulders/back/legs/arms with a few days off in there to make it work.

    Thanks for the response!
    You'll recover a lot faster when you get on cycle, so maybe that will work for you.

    As for me, I started my Cycle with my modified 5x5, Mon.(Chest) Tues.(Legz) Wed. (Back) Thur.(Shoulders) Fri. (OFF) Sat.(ARMS) Sun.(Off)

    For Chest, Back, legz, and Shoulders I would start with the big workout(Bench Press, Squats, Military press, Deads) of each muscle group except arms. I would do the 5x5 for those workouts, then I would do 3-4 workouts after the 5x5, for those workouts I would do 8-12 reps of 3 sets. My strength and size went up considerably during the 6-7 weeks I utilized this routine.

    Then I did a little FST-7 variation, I would do 4-5 workouts of 3-4 sets doing 12-15 reps, then a final workout of 7 sets 12-15 reps. (45 sec of rest in between ALL sets)

    Currently at the end of my cycle (My fav workouts so far) 3 sets of 20-25 reps 4-6 workouts, I love that burn I get on the last 7 reps of each set, it feels like death but its soooo satisfying and Im really starting to feel my muscles harden up from it.

    No clue what Im going to do during PCT or off cycle, gotta feel it out.
    I SCORED A GOAL ONCE......

  7. #7
    Elite Lulu66's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite Routines

    I do a modified 5x5.

    Mon-back bis
    Tue-shouder-ab
    Wen-cardio
    Thur-legs-abs
    Fri-chest-tri
    Sat-cardio-abs
    Sun-off
    1 hr HIIT every morning on week days.
    Growing like weed on this routine.
    US Goverment Policy: If It Ain't Broken, Fix It Till It Is.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Curiosity's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite Routines

    Originally Posted by Lulu66 View Post
    I do a modified 5x5.

    Mon-back bis
    Tue-shouder-ab
    Wen-cardio
    Thur-legs-abs
    Fri-chest-tri
    Sat-cardio-abs
    Sun-off
    1 hr HIIT every morning on week days.
    Growing like weed on this routine.
    Yeah that sounds like a good split actually. I like it. 1 HR of HIIT 5 times a week? thats a TON of HIIT. What are you doing specifically in those HIIT sessions? You must be lean as hell doing all that.

    Originally Posted by Hockeyplaya18 View Post
    You'll recover a lot faster when you get on cycle, so maybe that will work for you.

    As for me, I started my Cycle with my modified 5x5, Mon.(Chest) Tues.(Legz) Wed. (Back) Thur.(Shoulders) Fri. (OFF) Sat.(ARMS) Sun.(Off)

    For Chest, Back, legz, and Shoulders I would start with the big workout(Bench Press, Squats, Military press, Deads) of each muscle group except arms. I would do the 5x5 for those workouts, then I would do 3-4 workouts after the 5x5, for those workouts I would do 8-12 reps of 3 sets. My strength and size went up considerably during the 6-7 weeks I utilized this routine.

    Then I did a little FST-7 variation, I would do 4-5 workouts of 3-4 sets doing 12-15 reps, then a final workout of 7 sets 12-15 reps. (45 sec of rest in between ALL sets)

    Currently at the end of my cycle (My fav workouts so far) 3 sets of 20-25 reps 4-6 workouts, I love that burn I get on the last 7 reps of each set, it feels like death but its soooo satisfying and Im really starting to feel my muscles harden up from it.

    No clue what Im going to do during PCT or off cycle, gotta feel it out.
    Thanks hockey, yeah that sounds similar to what I'm doing, as far as 5x5 on the big exercises and higher reps on assistance.

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