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MrAl

5x5 or 3x10? what is better/harder?

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MrAl

I have a three "basic strength" questions that really confuse me at the moment!

I read everywhere on this page, that 5x5 is kind of a mastery for exercises. Once you can do this amount, you should progress to the next step, shorten the rest in between sets, etc. to create new stimuli.

1) So I was wondering what the difference between 5x5 pull-ups and 3x10 would be? If you can do 5x5 reps of an exercise, will you be able to do one single set of half of them in one set? In this case about 12 pull-ups in a row?

 

2) Is there a necessity to train things like hollow rocks, toe touches, V-ups, planks etc if you can do leg lifts already? Let's say you can do 5x5 leg lifts, should you still go for other exercises? Or is it enough to train leg lifts and will you always be able to knock out lots of hollow rocks because leg lifts are actually harder?


I am asking because I want to get stronger with the help of specific strength work to help my tumbling and martial arts training. I am not aiming for "big skills" like iron cross, planche etc.  
But I do want to be good at the basic stuff like leg lifts, pull-ups, handstand push-ups and single leg squats. 

For example let's take handstand push-ups.

3) I want to get strong in my shoulders and chest through push-ups and want to master the handstand push-up. Should I aim for 5x5 or 3x10? 
Will it make me automatically stronger in normal push-ups or pseudo planche push-ups? Once I can do 5x5 or 3x10 handstand push-ups - should I do only those in my daily workout or should I add normal push-ups and pseduo planche push-ups?

Hope someone can help me here!

 

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Douglas Wadle

1) depends on your goals: 5x5 is max strength training, 3x10 is hypertrophy training, >10-12 is endurance training.

 

2) leg lifts may be harder for some muscles, but they don't train the transversus abdominalis like the hollow body holds/rocks do, so I would still do them.  I personally find leg raises much EASIER than hollow body rocks, at least if done properly.

 

3) if you're looking to building max strength, then once you can reach 5x5 you should make the exercise harder rather than adding more volume.  

 

** Caveats,  sometimes you need to build volume in basic exercises before adding max strength to avoid injury.  sometimes eccentrics are good for getting past plateau's or prehabbing/rehabbing injury. Sometimes the easier looking exercises are actually harder if done with proper form, and spending the time mastering that will help you with the harder exercises later.

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Flavio85

Horizontal pressing movements are different from vertical pressing movements. Clavicular fibers of pectoralis are more active in horizontal pushing while sternocostal fibers of pectoralis are stronger in horizontal pushing.

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Douglas Wadle

Flavio, as I mentioned, if you want to add strength, 5x5 is generally better. but as far as your programming, that's something you will need to discuss with your coach or figure out.  I don't know what your strengths and weaknesses are, so i can't tell you to do this many of this or that.  my answer was intended as a basic guide, but programming is a very complex subject, and you may benefit from coaching or programming in this regard.  This is one reason the foundation program is popular, as it does all this for you.  Many folks on this forum are looking for help with a single move, and don't realize that there are many factors at play, including mobility, proper progressions, proper timing of eccentrics and volume, and when max strength is most appropriate.  In short, horizontal pressing strength is different than vertical pressing strength, with some carryover.  HSPU's will help a little with push ups, but you're unlikely to be able to do much HSPU unless you're already good at pushups.  Daily work would probably be too much and would likely lead to plateau and injury.  max strength work is really optimal for most people only 2-3 days per week per movement.  Obviously there are exceptions, like grease the groove, straight arm strength, etc., but these need to be programmed carefully to avoid overtraining and then lack of progress.  

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Flavio85

Flavio, as I mentioned, if you want to add strength, 5x5 is generally better. but as far as your programming, that's something you will need to discuss with your coach or figure out.  I don't know what your strengths and weaknesses are, so i can't tell you to do this many of this or that.  my answer was intended as a basic guide, but programming is a very complex subject, and you may benefit from coaching or programming in this regard.  This is one reason the foundation program is popular, as it does all this for you.  Many folks on this forum are looking for help with a single move, and don't realize that there are many factors at play, including mobility, proper progressions, proper timing of eccentrics and volume, and when max strength is most appropriate.  In short, horizontal pressing strength is different than vertical pressing strength, with some carryover.  HSPU's will help a little with push ups, but you're unlikely to be able to do much HSPU unless you're already good at pushups.  Daily work would probably be too much and would likely lead to plateau and injury.  max strength work is really optimal for most people only 2-3 days per week per movement.  Obviously there are exceptions, like grease the groove, straight arm strength, etc., but these need to be programmed carefully to avoid overtraining and then lack of progress.  

you've answered to the wrong person :)  MrAl was the one asking.

btw, I'm training HeSPU with 5x5 as well

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José Ignacio Varela Suárez

I agree with MT Nordic. In addition, it is also important to say that It is not all about 5x5 or 3x10. It depends on the intensity you apply for that volume. If you are doing 5x5 but you are able to do 10 reps in a row it is not maximal strength, although you do 5x5. I know that you think the same but it is only an amplification.

For example:

1-5 RM (Maximal Strength)
5-12RM (Hypertrophy Strength)
More than 12--> (Endurance Work)

This is an orientation because it is not logical that if you do 5RM you only built maximal strength without building muscle and it is not logical that if you do 13 RM you do Endurance and you don't hipertrophy. These are orientations.


When you want to improve the maximal strength you want to improve the intramuscular coordination, it's said that your CNS must be able to sincronice all fibers in a brief short of time. For example: OAC.

When you want to hypertrophy you want to create metabolic stress over your muscles in order to they grow. This is why if you do more than five reps, hence more time under tension and hence more metabolic stress and more muscle grow.

When you do more reps your CNS does not have to sincronice all the fibers at the same time. They are used little by little until you can't more. When you feel the burn it is that the moment when the CNS have to sincronice more fibers so as to fight against the stress.

So 5x5 is not better than 3x10 and 3x10 is not better than 5x5. It depends on the goal that you want to reach. F1 is very smart because it starts with moderate intensity and high volume, which is very useful so as to get anatomic adaptations in the connective tissue, preparing the body in the right manner so as to be prepared to train with high intensity in the future. Moderate intensity and high volume training are very useful so as to create a good base in which you will be able to put intensity later. If you always push intensity it is likely to  reach a plateau or to have an injury.

 

The vast majority of us are adult who don't compete. Hence, we can do more extended periods of anatomical adaptations, without working with maximal intensities. If you compete or you need to do HSPU for a special day I personally think that you have to train the specific movement. If you don't compete, I would follow foundation progressions because they are the most safe and eficient way to progress.

 

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Douglas Wadle

great post, Nacho. (and sorry for the misquote, Flavio :) )

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MrAl

I agree with MT Nordic. In addition, it is also important to say that It is not all about 5x5 or 3x10. It depends on the intensity you apply for that volume. If you are doing 5x5 but you are able to do 10 reps in a row it is not maximal strength, although you do 5x5. I know that you think the same but it is only an amplification.

For example:

1-5 RM (Maximal Strength)

5-12RM (Hypertrophy Strength)

More than 12--> (Endurance Work)

This is an orientation because it is not logical that if you do 5RM you only built maximal strength without building muscle and it is not logical that if you do 13 RM you do Endurance and you don't hipertrophy. These are orientations.

When you want to improve the maximal strength you want to improve the intramuscular coordination, it's said that your CNS must be able to sincronice all fibers in a brief short of time. For example: OAC.

When you want to hypertrophy you want to create metabolic stress over your muscles in order to they grow. This is why if you do more than five reps, hence more time under tension and hence more metabolic stress and more muscle grow.

When you do more reps your CNS does not have to sincronice all the fibers at the same time. They are used little by little until you can't more. When you feel the burn it is that the moment when the CNS have to sincronice more fibers so as to fight against the stress.

So 5x5 is not better than 3x10 and 3x10 is not better than 5x5. It depends on the goal that you want to reach. F1 is very smart because it starts with moderate intensity and high volume, which is very useful so as to get anatomic adaptations in the connective tissue, preparing the body in the right manner so as to be prepared to train with high intensity in the future. Moderate intensity and high volume training are very useful so as to create a good base in which you will be able to put intensity later. If you always push intensity it is likely to  reach a plateau or to have an injury.

 

The vast majority of us are adult who don't compete. Hence, we can do more extended periods of anatomical adaptations, without working with maximal intensities. If you compete or you need to do HSPU for a special day I personally think that you have to train the specific movement. If you don't compete, I would follow foundation progressions because they are the most safe and eficient way to progress.

 

Thanks for your answer, now I understand everything a little bit better :)

One more question: What do gymnasts usually aim for? max strengtg, hypertrohpy or endurance? Or all 3?

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José Ignacio Varela Suárez

1. Endurance: High Volume, Moderate Intensity:

  • Anatomic adaptations in the connective tissue.
  • Being able to support the high level of strength needed for the routines (see the duration of a ring routine). At the end these become in endurance to maximal strength

2. Hypertrophy: I think that unless the athlete is very very slim, the hypertrophy is more a consequence of the training.

 

3. Maximal Strength: Think about being able to hold a cross without maximal levels of intramuscular coordination. For being able to hold a cross you may need a bit of this, but like coach said, the previous ones are also important if you want that your elbows allow you to survive.
 

However, Coach would answer your question much better.

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Ivan Pavlovic
3) if you're looking to building max strength, then once you can reach 5x5 you should make the exercise harder rather than adding more volume.

When you say you should make exercise harder you mean on adding weight or ?

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Barboy

When you say you should make exercise harder you mean on adding weight or ?

You can add weight or decrease the leverage of that movement.

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