3 to 5 Method: How to build your own program.

Posted: April 6, 2013 by skipcharlie in Uncategorized

This is a method I learned from Pavel. Most programs are riffed off this same method. I’m not sure who invented it but It goes something like this…

3 to 5 lifts
3 to 5 reps
3 to 5 sets
3 to 5 minutes of rest
3 to 5 days of rest for each lift

As you can see there are an infinite amount of combinations. The only real recommendation is to choose full-body movements that hit every muscle group. Barbells are the right answer.

Hypothetical program based on 3 to 5 method…

Monday: Barbell Curl 5×5, Bench Press 5×5, Back Squat 5×5
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: Clean & Press 5×3, Deadlift 3×3
Thursday: off
Friday: Barbell Curl 5×5, Bench Press 5×5, Back Squat 5×5
Saturday: off
Sunday: off
Monday: Clean & Press 5×3, Deadlift 3×3
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: Barbell Curl 5×5, Bench Press 5×5, Back Squat 5×5
Thursday: etc, etc…

Feel free to do this one I’ve laid out or build your own. It’s up to you and that’s the beauty of it.



Day two.

Posted: April 5, 2013 by yaytodayefftmrw in Billy Training Log
Tags: , , , , ,

Squat 225 10 x 8.  These felt better.  Although my right knee is clicking.  I wrapped it up in the voodoo floss band I have.  I’m probably going to purchase a Rehband for it.  I didn’t add reps, but I probably could have.  This will serve as my “light/medium/volume” squat.

Deadlift 300 for five.  I picked something easy I know I could pull for five.  It wasn’t that easy, but I also haven’t pulled conventional in a while.  Felt nice to get back into it, but I’m torn between which I like better- sumo or conventional.

Power shrugs 300 3×5.  Nice pump.

Barbell shrugs 225 for 10 reps, 135 for 20 reps.  Just messing around with these.  Going to start lighter so I can do one full set of 20-40.

Deadlift 150 3×10.  Wanted to work on some form, grip work, and speed.  These tired me out.

So far I have done one set of ten push ups, and three pull ups/chin ups.  I switch it up.

As far as conditioning goes, the weather is kinda crappy.  I was going to do a barbell complex, but because of how tired I am from today’s workout, I may just hold off on it and save it for tomorrow.

Day one.

Posted: April 4, 2013 by yaytodayefftmrw in Billy Training Log

After a week layoff, I felt ready to get back into the swing of things.  And I went HAM and EGGS.

AM Fasted Walk

DB Rows 35 1×10, 45 1×10, 55 3×10

Dips 2×4 (practically full ROM)

EZ Curl Bar + 50lbs 1×10, 1×8

Push Press 145 1×5, 1×4, 135 1×5

Incline Bench 152.5 1×4, 1×3

Burpees 3×10, all sets in 20 seconds

So far I have accomplished three sets of 10 push ups, and four sets of one pull ups.  I’ll be doing more throughout the day.

I decided to do the auxiliary exercises first because the path I walk leads to my community gym that has the equipment I need to do the DB rows, dips, and curls.  However, this might have been a reason why I failed with the push press and the incline.  It’s also quit possible that the FM push ups were a factor, however I don’t think they were as taxing as say dips were.  So, for the future, I’m probably going to switch the order and do the two main movements first, and/or I’m going to have to eliminate either the incline or the dips and simply just pick one.  First, I’ll try just switching the order before I do that.

I’ll probably be sore tomorrow.

So I took a week off from Ripped to Shreds.  I had a lot of pain in my joints.  I wanted to start-up again on Monday, but Amy convinced me to finish out the entire week.  I’m glad I listened cause I feel refresh and I’m going to kill it tomorrow.

Except I’m not killing it on anyone’s program.  I’m customizing my own.  I’ve had a decent share of experience with coaching and other programs where I feel comfortable enough to address my own goals and desires on my own.  This will give me practice as a coach for the future as well.

I may be acquiring a few clients soon, which will be nice to really kickstart my goals.

As far as anyone I oversee, Don and Farris are still training and doing their things.  I don’t get as many updates as usual, because we all have been caught up doing our own things.  I do know their numbers though, but I’m going to be reformatting this blog and going to do a lot more writing than just people’s training logs.  Unless, of course, I feel like on a particular post.  (I’ll be posting some videos of Farris on this one.)

Don has been modifying his own programming, bouncing ideas off my head and trying stuff out on his own.  He is very happy with his programming.  Farris has been pretty strict to his programming, but we have modified a few things to keep training simple and to the point with the time allotted in his weeks to achieve his goals.

Amy is still training with me, but I decided to modify her programming as well.  I removed bench pressing from her routine and am currently training her on the push up.  We’ve also removed one day of weight training to incorporate more intense conditioning.  I want to keep her training basic as much as I can, because her time to train is limited as well.  As things improve and progress, I’ll open her mind up to more workloads.  Speaking of her mind, she is suffering from some pretty serious seasonal migraines.  We’ve been doing some mobility on her upperback and neck to relieve some tightness and stress in the areas, thus relieving some pressure off her brain.  She also frequents a masseuse, but I think the problem may be deeper than just tight spots in the fascia, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Farris’ intensity (the past two weeks):

That’s a pretty good squat.  I would have liked him to go for singles on this day, but he chose to leave it in the tank.  He didn’t like how the bar felt on his back, but from what I see, I don’t see much discrepancy.

Rough.  We backed his volume off a lot from this.  Depending on how his next bench attempt goes, I may just call him to deload.

I’m convinced he could have pulled this for a 5RM, but I’m happy with this triple.  Once I saw this, I modified his deadlift programming a little.  The following week I called for him to pull 290 for a double.  After that, I asked him to pull 300 for a single (or more, if possible).  After that, I’ll deload him for a week.  Then, ask him to go back to 275 and get five, 290 for three, and 305 for one or more (then deload again; moving on each week with a new 5RM, 3RM, or 1RM per month).

The following intensity proved interesting:

He texted me immediately after his second single and said he didn’t feel comfortable going for  third.  So we agreed to deload his squat back to the week before his last 5RM (225lbs), so we landed at 220.  He will be adjusting the volume to match this accordingly.  After he accomplishes this, depending on the quality of the reps, we will determine how we will structure his volume.  We are taking his volume/intensity discrepancy week by week, and not just automatically increasing volume haphazardly.  The goal is to build a significant weight difference, as I feel this was the problem for some of his lifts.  The proof is in the pudding with his press:

I think the reduction in volume helped this a lot (115 5×5).  I asked him to hold his volume constant and go for 142.5 next press intensity.  Same concept as aforementioned.

Solid double.  I’m also convinced this could be a triple.  I like that he is keeping reps in the tank, though.  It’s an underrated strategy.  He will be going for the 300 next intensity after this


2×8 275 sumo deadlift.  This was pretty intense.  I may have to take my stance out a little wider.

2×10 decline sit ups with an oblique twist.  Man these were tough.

1×20 135 squat.  I saw God.  He asked if he can work in.

3×15 Burpees


9 minutes of jump rope (to make up for the missed minutes on Thursday).

5 100 meter jogs/sprints (I pulled my muscles in my legs during the first one, so I couldn’t power through too fast without pain.  I did the best I could.  I made up this by going on for an extra walk).


Incline Benched 150 2×5

Pressed 120 x8, 105 x11

Dumbell Curled 35’s 10x8x7

Will be doing 3×16 burpees later (probably on my lunch break)

Don, Tuesday

Push Press 120×3, 135×3, 155×8

Negatives 7x7x6 (PR)


Deadlift 250×3, 285×3, 320×5

Power Shrugs 350 3×5


Bench 140×3, 165×3, 185×7 (PR)

Yates 250 2×8 (PR)


Squat 165×3, 190×3, 210×3

RDL 170 3×5

Farris, Friday

Squat volume is at 200 for five sets of four.  We may be dropping a set soon, since he felt this volume being harder than the last time he did it.

Bench volume is at 130 5×5.  May have to drop a rep as I watched him struggle on the fifth reps.

RDL 185 3×8


2×12 Cable Crunches

185 deficit deadlift x 8, 135 x 12 (too easy)

165 front squat 5x5x8


3×13 Burpees

6 minutes of 30 second jogging/30 second sprints

7 minutes of jump rope


Fasted walk

2×6 Dips

1×12 EZ curl bar + 20lbs, 1×12 EZ curl bar + 30lbs (both too easy)

1×4, 1×5 54lb KB clean and press, each arm


Fasted walk

20 minute aerobic solution

5 minutes of jump rope (my jump rope broke)

(Everyday I do GTG pull ups and chin ups)

Farris’ Intensity:

I think a lot of the issues he’s having with the pressing movements is the percentage of volume he has been using compared to his intensity.  So we’re backing his volume weight up a bit, dropping a set, and going for doubles on the press and (probably) bench (depending on what happens on next week’s bench intensity).  We’re keeping the volume weight of the squat the same for maybe two or three more weeks before we increase it (also depends on how his intensity goes).  Sumo’s looking solid, glad that he’s back in PR zone, it’s been a long time.

It’s not adding some push-ups to an established program. It’s not training too “hard”.

It’s not training till muscle-exhaustion when you’ve always been told “Never train till failure”

It’s not “hypocondria” either though.

It’s a combination of eating, sleeping and training habits as well as biological and psychological stressors that lead to a decrease in athletic performance. This decrease in performance is usually observed after a 72 hour “recovery window” and is a result of the athlete “failing to recover” from the previous training stimulus.

That is the clinical definition of what over-training is (1)(2)(3)(4)

Calling it “under-eating” or “under-recovery” or whatever is just an excersise in symantics. Usefull for plowing down men-made-of-straw.

“Everybody who thinks…um..that you can totally give up food for good and still get big and strong is wrong!”


“Undereating” and “undersleeping” both lead to the same syndrome as “overtraining”

The idea that the “syndrome” doesn’t exist is completely backward and wrong.

Everybody with actual expertise on human biology agrees that the phenomenon exists. Everybody.

Tell an endocrinologist that there is no such thing as over-training and he’s going to smack you really hard and it’s not going to be pleasent.

Compare the human body to a car for example.

You can under-fuel your car or you can overdrive it.

In the end it’s still called running out of gas.

One in the same.