5×5 Reloaded, Part II

Today, Chris and I did our first „Push“ session in our reloaded 5×5 program. All those little tweaks probably make the program even more awesome than it was before.

As usual, after warming up, we worked the pads for 5 rounds each. Today, we didn’t freestyle a lot but rather worked on specific drills, some of which are inspired by Anderson Silva’s instructional videos. (I’ve compressed the video to just a few seconds per drill so as not to bore you.)

Then, we hit the gym and lifted some heavy stuff. Well, ok, nothing all too heavy today, but then it was only our first session. Basically, there’s been two changes (improvements?) over the original program:

  1. Front squats became Overhead squats
  2. At the end of the session, we’d do 25 bottom-up presses on each arm, following Chad Waterbury’s recommendations in his article, the 25 Method.

Hence, the new „push“ session is structured as follows:

  1. (Snatch to) Overhead squat, 5×5
  2. Clean & Press, 5×5
  3. Bench Press, 5×5
  4. Bottom-Up Press, 25 reps

Although the overhead squat will not be as effective as the front squat in terms of leg and hip strength due to the relatively low loads, we’ve decided to give it a try. After all, we’ll still deadlift heavy, so I’m not really concerned with getting weaker. Speaking about deadlifting, that was the primary reason for us to incorporate the bottom-up press – we both tend to be too weak when it comes to grip-strength. As a side effect, we now put stress on the shoulders during the overhead squat (isometric), during the clean&press (dynamic, heavy) and finally during the bottom-up press (dynamic, light). This will either burn us out or really strengthen our shoulder girldes. Obviously, I hope for the latter.

After 9 months of not doing proper, heavy training, my strength levels went down to the basement. Never mind, though, I’ll get back to form in no time. I’ve compiled a short clip for you, showing us work our… arms off in today’s strength session. Hope you enjoy it!

We’ve decided to do an A-B-A, B-A-B split, so we’ll pull twice in week 1 and once in week 2. Conversely, we’ll push once in week 1 and twice in week 2. This modification was necessary for us in order to maintain our saturday conditioning sessions. Training 5×5 four times a week and then doing more explosive lifts and circuit training on saturday would probably kill us after a couple of weeks. This week won’t be a full week, so we’ll start out by doing a second session on friday, then conditioning on saturday. Starting next week, though, we’ll be back to business.

So long,

take care.

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