What would be the ideal rep range to train for both strength and hypertrophy?

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
I
s 3x5 once a week acceptable - or is that too low volume?

It depends. But for most people I would think that it is acceptable (for major complex movements like the 3 powerlifts). It is acceptable for me (not literally 3x5 every week but something similar).

Let's just pick 1 lift, the deadlift, for example. If you draw your goal around a short time frame such as 6 weeks. And your goal is to maximize your deadlift in 6 weeks, then 3x5 once per week is probably not the best way to achieve this goal.

However, if you think about the next 5 or 10 years... And maybe your goal is to get your deadlift from 315 to 600 lb and gain lean body mass, be swole, be healthy, etc... And besides just hitting an impressive number. Imagine what increasing your deadlift this much does to your body (core, musclature, bone density/thickness, and even mental aspects such as mindset, etc...). Then 3x5 once a week, might be very effective. It could be an effective way to get from intermediate to advanced level. Everything works from getting you from beginner to intermediate level.

My 2 cents...

Regards,

Eric
 

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
Awesome response @william bad butt.

Let me ask that question differently:

How big a difference would I see between 5x5 and 3x5? What are the trade offs?

My plan is to train 2 days a week with the following lifts.

Day 1: SQ and BP
Day 2: DL and OP

(I'm grappling the rest of the week - about 3-4 days).

Goal is to add 10 lbs each week. 3 min rest period between sets: 5 min rest period as the sets get heavier. I like 5x5, but I would like to cut my work out time shorter if I can which is one reason why I'm considering 3x5.

Your thoughts on the above? I always appreciate your input.
 
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william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
Awesome response @william bad butt.

Let me ask that question differently:

How big a difference would I see between 5x5 and 3x5? What are the trade offs?

My plan is to train 2 days a week with the following lifts.

Day 1: SQ and BP
Day 2: DL and OP

(I'm grappling the rest of the week - about 3-4 days).

Goal is to add 10 lbs each week. 3 min rest period between sets: 5 min rest period as the sets get heavier. I like 5x5, but I would like to cut my work out time shorter if I can which is one reason why I'm considering 3x5.

Your thoughts on the above? I always appreciate your input.

FYI, I'm not a trainer or coach or anything. I'm just a guy that lifts in his basement...

5x5 and 3x5, very similar. 5x5 favors a slight more hypertrophy over strength. 5x5 requires you to "own the weights" a bit more. 3x5 favors a slight more strength over hypertrophy. You might be able to do a 300 lb squat for 3x5: But, only 290 lb for 5x5. When in doubt, train for strength...

Here is an example. All rules are guidelines...

If I was a beginner (not an absolute beginner) or after a long layoff. I would just start light and do a simple 3x5 and add 5 or 10 lbs every week. Simple linear progression. After a few months you are going to hit a wall. It will become hard. Never fail. If you are not sure you can get that 5th rep, stop on 4.

At this point, I would take 1 week off. Then prob reset back to 60% of where I was on my lift (it will seem ridiculously light). Climb back up via linear progression. After a few months, you will hit that wall again. But maybe now your are 20 lb stronger than last time.

Reset. Take 1 week off. Go back to 60% again. Repeat linear progression. Maybe this time you introduce a little more volume on the lighter sets and introduce "3's" on the heavier sets. Example. Maybe your last progression yiu hit 300 lb on the squat for 3x5 (you only got 4 reps on the last set). So now you reset to 60% or180 lb. So maybe with 180 - 260 lb (assuming 10 lb jumps that's 8 weeks) you do more than 3x5. 5x5 or 6x6. Get some quality volume and practice in. From 270 to 290 lb maybe do 3x5. For 300 lb instead of 3x5 try 5x3. Make the jumps smaller. Next week only add 5 lb, 305 lb. Maybe you get 3x3. Congrats! PR! Following week, aim for 2x2 with 310. Another PR! Next week, reset. Or, if the previous week didnt feel too bad, maybe go for 1 more with 315 lb... do 1 rep (but it should feel like you can do 2, but dont). Be happy with your progress. Dont keep pushing. Dont spend too much time at your limit. This is where you are at risk and injuries can occur. Reset. Dont live at the limits of your nerve.

At this point, maybe 1 year has gone by. You get the idea... At some point, it may be time to switch to a different periodization scheme. Block periodization for example. I personally use undulating pendulum periodization, I've been doing it for a few years now. It is called the "10/20/Life Method". I start light with high volume. Every week I add weight but reduce volume. I make big jumps, usually 10% of max each week. About every 4 sessions I have a deload week and then start over with slightly less volume and slightly more weight vs my previous week#1. After 3 to 6 of these mini cycles my volume is ultra low and my weight is ultra high (relative to my 1RM) and I'm essentially maxing, or close to maxing. I deload, and start the ~20 week process all over again.

I hope this makes sense. Again, if you had a competition or bet with your buddy to see who could increase their deadlift or squat the most in 8 weeks, I would not do what I wrote above. This is a long game approach. Is it optimal? I dont know. But as long as you are making progress and getting stronger every week it doesnt matter.

The beauty of this is that it takes up 1 (or 2) days/week. That leaves you 5 or 6 days to focus on other stuff (sport, martial arts, cycling, bodybuilding, weak points, rehabilitation of issues, prehabilitation of issues, being a lazy a#@, whatever). For me, I use this time to work on weak points for the powerlifts (hypertrophy), kbells for conditioning (and strength too), lots of core work for prehabilitation of my lumbar, and lots of walking. As well as my many hobbies.

This is not the only way. But this way works for me. And since there is nothing special about me, I assume it would work for you.

Regards,

Eric
 

Steve A

Level 6 Valued Member
That's me!! So I suppose my question should be is 3x5 once a week with my program (described above in my response to Eric) too little, or good enough to make it work and make decent progress?

If your main concern is grappling, 3 x 5 is enough. If your main concern is lifting progress, your set-rep formula is hardly your biggest concern.
 

Steve A

Level 6 Valued Member
My main concern is grappling. Strength training is a secondary pursuit, but would you care to elaborate on what you mean?

If the strength training is to support grappling, you can go low volume. From my understanding of grappling, it seems like some pullups or rows should be in the mix, maybe replacing bench if you wanted to keep things brief. Don't you have more need to be strong at pulling/squeezing than you do at pushing your opponent away? You need to be the expert here, where do you feel more strength on the mat would help you, then figure out how to get it.

If strength training was your priority, you wouldn't be starting with 2 days of lifting and 3-4 of grappling. It starts there. Then you'd be looking at more details of your current strengths and goals. Sets x reps would come way down the line, a low level detail near the end.

Don't try to chase two rabbits.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
My plan is to train 2 days a week with the following lifts.

Day 1: SQ and BP
Day 2: DL and OP

(I'm grappling the rest of the week - about 3-4 days).

Goal is to add 10 lbs each week. 3 min rest period between sets: 5 min rest period as the sets get heavier. I like 5x5, but I would like to cut my work out time shorter if I can which is one reason why I'm considering 3x5.

Your thoughts on the above? I always appreciate your input.

You might be able to add 10 lbs a week if you're a new lifter or starting a new routine.

But you're only doing each lift 1 time a week.

Most linear progression 3x5 / 5x5 programs follow an A/B format with 3 workout days per week, and Starting Strength has you squatting every workout, so 3 squat workouts a week to get the default 10 lb/week progression.

Once you're past the "easy" phase, adding 10 lbs to your squat each week if you're only squatting once a week seems unlikely.
 

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
If the strength training is to support grappling, you can go low volume. From my understanding of grappling, it seems like some pullups or rows should be in the mix, maybe replacing bench if you wanted to keep things brief. Don't you have more need to be strong at pulling/squeezing than you do at pushing your opponent away? You need to be the expert here, where do you feel more strength on the mat would help you, then figure out how to get it.

If strength training was your priority, you wouldn't be starting with 2 days of lifting and 3-4 of grappling. It starts there. Then you'd be looking at more details of your current strengths and goals. Sets x reps would come way down the line, a low level detail near the end.

Don't try to chase two rabbits.

You are correct in the regards to pulling exercises being more important than pushing exercises for grappling - and ideally, I should switch it out either the BP or the OP with barbell rows or pull ups. I would like to do barbell rows but I haven't done them before and I don't want to start doing it without some coaching. I could do pull ups but they are pretty darn hard and I have tendonitis so they make me nervous. I also really want do the OP - it's an exercise I like and seems like a great exercise fo general strength and health.

I'm not sure I follow the second part of your post about reps and sets being low level details. How am I supposed to work out twice a week without a fixed rep and set scheme - pick them at random?
 

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
You might be able to add 10 lbs a week if you're a new lifter or starting a new routine.

But you're only doing each lift 1 time a week.

Most linear progression 3x5 / 5x5 programs follow an A/B format with 3 workout days per week, and Starting Strength has you squatting every workout, so 3 squat workouts a week to get the default 10 lb/week progression.

Once you're past the "easy" phase, adding 10 lbs to your squat each week if you're only squatting once a week seems unlikely.

I plan to start my cycles light. If I can't achieve the 5x5 (or 3x5 if that's the goal) then repeat for next several weeks untill I can and then add weight again. When I start to fail on multiple lifts for more than 3 weeks, I know it's time to reset and start a new cycle. I might end the cycles with 3x3 or something like that. And then repeat that again, an hopefully again and again. Not unlike what @williambadbutt outlined.

Essentially, I intend to follow the general principles of Faleev's 80/20 - that's a 5x5 program with only 1 heavy day and 1 light a week for SQ+BP , and 1 heavy day for DL.

I have stripped that down to just "heavy" days (and added a second upper body press). And I have cut the work out days down to 2.

I agree there is much greater volume with SS or SL, but they are also highly incompatible with grappling and grown up life...

I suppose I could add 5 lbs instead but Pavel doesn't seem to think much of little jumps apparently.... So I'm trying to use his principle of higher jumps...

Apologies for the typos...not good at typing on my phone.
 
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Steve A

Level 6 Valued Member
You are correct in the regards to pulling exercises being more important than pushing exercises for grappling - and ideally, I should switch it out either the BP or the OP with barbell rows or pull ups. I would like to do barbell rows but I haven't done them before and I don't want to start doing it without some coaching. I could do pull ups but they are pretty darn hard and I have tendonitis so they make me nervous. I also really want do the OP - it's an exercise I like and seems like a great exercise fo general strength and health.

I'm not sure I follow the second part of your post about reps and sets being low level details. How am I supposed to work out twice a week without a fixed rep and set scheme - pick them at random?

So do DB rows. Or cable rows. Or machine rows.

Grappling is your priority, so just ignore the second part of my post. As repeatedly stated, 3 x 5 is fine for your purpose.
 
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