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Dual factor training


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After hearing good things about the 5x5 dual factor training programme, I decided to give it a go. In a nutshell, the programme consists of two phases - a 4-6 week volume phase, followed by a 3-5 week intensity phase. It's not rocket science, but it does discipline you to change the routine frequently. Here's what I did...

Volume phase

Monday Squats 5 x 5

DB bench 5 x 5

Rows 5 x 5

Tricep pushdown - rope 15, 12, 10, 8 *

Cable crunches 15, 12, 10, 8 *

Wednesday Squats 5 x 5 (10-20% lighter than Mon)

Military DB press 5 x 5

Deadlifts 5 x 5

Pull ups 5 x 5

Bicep curls - EZ bar 12, 10, 8, 6 *

Ab machine crunches 12, 10, 8, 6 *

Friday Squats 5 x 5

DB bench 5 x 5

Rows 5 x 5

Side lateral DB raise 15, 12, 10, 8 *

Tricep cable extension 15, 12, 10, 8 *

Leg raises 15, 12, 10, 8 *

* These exercises were optional extras, so they got skipped if there wasn't enough time - which was quite often.

Intensity phase

Just two workouts per week now, Monday and Wednesday - exactly as above, only use 3x3 instead of 5x5. Move Wednesday's workout to Thursday to spread it move evenly across the week.

I'm nearing the end of this programme now, and have mixed feelings about its success. I didn't gain any weight - although, to be fair, I was on a cutting diet (well, mostly! :pfft:). I think I've made progress in quads and chest, but there doesn't seem to be much improvement in my back. As I suspected they might, delts didn't get enough work, and actually slipped backwards.

So... my thoughts?

- By trying to fit in a full body workout every time, it meant that no muscle got worked adequately. Not even the cumulative effect of training the muscle three times a week seemed to make up for this. Certainly not what I would call volume.

- By sticking to the big three compound movements (squats, bench, rows) I felt that other muscles were left out, especially delts and hamstrings.

- I didn't feel that the "volume" phase, with only 5 reps, was much different to the "intensity" phase, with 3 reps.

- Doing the same exercises, three times a week, week after week, is really bloody boring.

On the positive side, I think my strength went up (despite the diet), and I still feel that the general principle behind the programme has merit. So... it occurred to me that it might be possible to divide the body in two, and have one half doing a volume phase, while the other half did an intensity phase. Then after four weeks, swap halves. That works in theory, but I haven't decided how to break the routine down into a usable split. Any thoughts?

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I think the results speak for themselves really.

My main concern on a cutting diet (with Glen's program like 5x5) would be to actually maintain LBM rather than trying to increase it.

And it is a strength routine so you'd expect to gain some good ol' strength too. Although, I'd be cautious exercising on low cals with that type of intensity (I don't know how low your cals went Pseudonym, just saying hypothetically).

To contrast it, try doing it again while eating more calories.

I might actually try the program too as a part of my GPP for Olympic Weightlifting along with technique work this year once I get all injuries and my massive hunger for progressive overload under control.

How much LBM did you lose vs. kgs/lbs of fat?

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I really wasn't keeping track of weight or body fat levels. At a guess, I'd say everything stayed pretty much the same.

I'm currently toying with the splitting-in-two idea I mentioned above.

The current thinking is:

Phase 1: High volume upper body, low volume legs

Phase 2: High volume legs, low volume upper body

The split is still under construction, and requires more fine tuning yet, but it would probably be something like:

Phase 1

Mon: High volume group (chest, delts), low volume group (quads)

Tues: High volume group (back), low volume group (calves)

Thurs: High volume group (chest, delts), low volume group (hams)

Mon: High volume group (back), low volume group (abs)

Phase 2 would be the reverse.

My initial plan was to split it front/back, rather than upper/lower. That would have meant doing grouping chest and quads, and hamstrings and back. I decided this routine would put too much stress on the lower back, since when hams and back had their high volume phase, you would not only be straining the lower back directly (and with lots of volume), you would also be giving it a further secondary hit through the quad training.

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I too have stumbled across the 5x5 workout in my surfing travels...

http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5 ... ed_5x5.htm

there it goes for those wondering...

Im about to start the grusome weeks ie wk 3 and beyond

From all the reading ive been doing, I dont think its a very efficient programme for cutting (hope im not stating the obvious :wink: ). Every where I look its says CALORIC EXCESS MUST BE PRESENT! lol

Those points you identified are fair points eg some muscle groups get little intensity

However as you also noted its good to have something to work with. I downloaded the template from that website and are looking forward to trying to knock myself out keeping up with the weights as they continually increase.

Im not so sure weeks 5-9 are going to keep me interested, seems a little low on frequency and reps, i guess they would argue thats what u need to get the big strength gains

You have probably found this website or similar

http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/t ... thread.htm

give some more thoughts about it and other things including what to do next

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