The 5/4/3/2/1 Question

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

It's a big day today -- I'm live on Super
Human Radio with Carl Lanore at 12:00 noon
EST. Catch it live or listen to the podcast
by grabbing the download later on.

I hope to have as many Dinos as possible
tuning in for the show -- it will be a good

On the training front, let's talk some
more about sensible sets and reps -- and
about adding weight to the bar.

Several readers have asked me about how
to increase the weight from set to set
when they do 5/4/3/2/1.

"Do I start with my 5 rep max?"

"Do I work up to my max single?"

"Do I use percentages?'

So here's the answer.

Like everything else in life and lifting,
it will vary from person to person. Some
lifters are better at 5 rep sets, and some
are better are triples or doubles, and some
are better at singles.

And that may vary from exercise to exercise,
as well.

But that said, here's my general guideline.

1. Do 3 or 4 progressively heavier warm-up
sets -- 5 reps per set.

2. Do a set of 5 reps with a weight you could
use for 6 or even 7 reps if you really gutted
them out.

3. From the 5 rep working set, go up in evenly
spaced jumps to a heavy single. Not your PR,
not your all time best, not even a "maybe"
lift - but a weight you can handle for a good,
solid single in perfect form, with full focus
and total concentration.

4. Obviously, your weight jumps will vary
depending on the exercise and the weight on
the bar. If you do squats and you're working
up to 405 pounds, you'll take bigger jumps
than if you're doing presses or curls.

5. The key thing is to get a good workout,
and hit it hard, but to get all of your reps
on each set.

6. And here's a gold medal tip -- you do NOT
have to add weight to each set to show
progress. Instead, you can add weight to the
5 rep set and keep everything else the same --
and in the next workout, add weight to the 4 rep
set and keep everything the same -- and so on,
until you've upped the weight on the bar for
all 5 of your working sets.

7. You also can progress by doing extra sets.
For example, 5/4/3/2/1 can become
5/4/3/3/2/1 -- working up to 5/4/3/2/3/2/2/1/1
before you add weight.

In short, there are lots of different ways to
train with 5/4/3/2/1. They all work, and they're
all good -- and they'll all build plenty of
strength, muscle and power.

As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Gray Hair and Black Iron is must reading
for all older trainees:

P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right here:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "The barbell doesn't
count your reps for you. That's not it's job."
-- Brooks Kubik