Pavel's 5x5x5 vs. Dan John's Even Easier Strength - Why one or the other?

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by freeflowme, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. freeflowme

    freeflowme Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Hey all,

    I've been doing PTTP with deadlift and overhead press for about a month and a half now, as my entry back into the world of lifting weights. While I still look forward to the opportunity lift each day, I find myself starting to want to incorporate a few other movements, and thus I've been considering a few options:

    1) Continuing to PTTP with DL and OHP, while perhaps adding some GTG pull-ups and some planks throughout the day.

    2) Doing Pavel's 5x5x5 with squat, deadlift, overhead press, pullups, and barbell rows (or some other similar variation - I know there might be too much back involved in this arrangement).

    3) Doing Dan John's Even Easier Strength with a similar collection of exercises.

    One of my questions is why would a person choose either Pavel's 5x5x5 or Dan John's Even Easier Strength over the other (i.e. what are the core differences between the programs that make them appealing for various applications)? I might just be understanding one or the other of them wrong (or both), but they both look like 5 day a week, 5 exercises/day programs, but Even Easier Strength involves different rep schemes and generally a lower volume of work each week. The lower volume on EES is appealing to me right now, as I just want to build strength in major movements without accumulating fatigue. That said, PTTP has been awesome for me so far - both in weight on the lifts and development in musculature. Maybe I should just stick with what's working?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  2. jef

    jef SFG1, SFB Certified Instructor

    If I read you correctly: you did about 6 weeks of PTTP, and it works well so far. I would stick with it a bit more.

    Additional questions to give you a better answer:
    - what progression scheme did you use?
    - At what weight are you? Where did you start?
    - How experienced were you before you made this entry back into strength training?
    - How well are you recovering?
    - And of course, what is your goal?
  3. ShawnM

    ShawnM Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    You could always do Even Easier Strength's movement list of a press, pull, hinge, squat and carry using PTTP rep range. You'll get in a few extra lifts without adding a bunch of time. 1a. Deadlifts 1b, Press, 2a Squats 2b Pull Ups, 3a Ab Roller 2b Farmers Carry, all done for 2 x 5. And yes, I realize you aren't doing either plan, just a nice, neat way to get the extra work you are looking for without having to leave PTTP and the strength gains you are getting from the progra
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    freeflowme likes this.
  4. freeflowme

    freeflowme Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Thus far, I've just been doing linear progression and continuing the cycle for somewhere up to 16 sessions until I start to feel like I'm not recovering and then resetting. So my 1st DL cycle went from 115-185 over 15 sessions, my 2nd from 150-200 over 11 sessions, and I'm currently in my 3rd cycle which started at 175 and just pulled a pretty easy 195 today.

    Prior to starting PTTP, I had been out of any type of physical activity for the better part of a decade following a surgeon telling me in my early 20s that my L4/L5 was multiply herniated and required either surgery or just getting cortisone shots to deal with pain. So, in general I'm kind of a weakling at this point with a low base strength.

    I feel like I'm recovering pretty well between sessions. The only thing that ever really feels taxed is my hamstrings. I've been trying to up my protein intake and get as much sleep as I can.

    I suppose my primary goal is to build "general strength." I went with PTTP because it's shorter and simpler than Starting Strength, because given that I've started this at home PTTP requires less equipment, and I don't like how little Starting Strength programs DLs, which I quite like. Following that, I'd like to develop a better physique, as I've got something of a dad bod going on right now. I think weightlifters and lower weight class powerlifters have great physiques - not a lot of "show" muscle, just a lot of " do work" muscle. And finally, I'd like to get familiar with more forms of training and movements. I'd like to squat. I love pullups and would like to start programming them. Eventually, I'd like to develop enough strength and mobility that I can start practicing cleans, jerks, and maybe even snatches. But those things are probably a long way down the road. For now, just continuing to get stronger, building a better body composition, and adding a few other core compound movements to my repertoire.

    Would that be too much volume? I can't help but wonder, if PTTP calls for 50 reps of DL and 50 reps of a press every week, and expects that that'll tax one's system enough to produce strength gains, wouldn't going with 2.5x the total volume of workload be too taxing to recover adequately? Speaking from ignorance here, just kind of looking at the numbers.
    ShawnM likes this.
  5. ShawnM

    ShawnM Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @freeflowme - your weights should not be so heavy you can’t recover. I’d go 3 steps forward/2 steps back instead of resetting after 16 training days, adding weight for 16 days straight would give you problems.
    If you stick with the traditional plan only 5 reps a day would be heavy as you would drop weight for the next 5 reps. I think you should be good to go.
    freeflowme likes this.
  6. jef

    jef SFG1, SFB Certified Instructor

    I would keep on going with what you are doing for a few more weeks. You are progressing and still have a lot of room for getting stronger. Keeping things simple is the best you can do at the moment.
    Deadlift and OHP are a good combo for PTTP. Treat each cycle independently. Remember to use your lats in your deadlift and presses, and your pullups will be better when you start doing them.
    Come back in a few weeks to see how to incorporate squats and pullups.
    freeflowme likes this.
  7. Chrisdavisjr

    Chrisdavisjr Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @freeflowme I've been following PTTP and doing GTG pull-ups and I'd strongly recommend it as a solid combination. I feel that including planks in a program that already includes deadlifts and overhead presses would be of little merit, however, as the 'standing plank' is already a prominent feature of the deadlift (the lock out) and the overhead press.

    Stick with PTTP until it stops working. If you get bored or just feel the need to do more, devote some of your training to mobility work and stretching. Pump stretches and face-the-wall squats are wonderful drills to supplement pretty much any lifting you'd want to do.
    freeflowme and ShawnM like this.

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