5 reps is a strength rep range, and doesn’t build muscle.
There’s no “strength rep range”. If you’re gaining strength via progressive overload, size gains are almost inevitable, regardless of rep range. What matters the most is total volume. The reason why 8-12 rep range is famous is because it’s much easier to allow for greater amount of volume. If you want to hit about 25 reps, it’s much easier to do 3 sets of 8 than 8 sets of 2. Not to mention with this many sets, you would get so fatigued that the load would have to be reduced to the point it would go against the point of doing 2 rep sets in the first place. On the other hand, if you go too high on the rep range, let’s say 1 set of 25 reps, the load is so light it won’t produce any significant adaptation. Five reps build muscle just fine, as long as you get stronger overtime and there’s enough overall volume.
It doesn’t have enough direct work and will cause muscle imbalances.
This is a real concern if you have bodybuilding goals and even just general health and quality of life.
So let’s analyze all the movements from the routine and see what is being worked:
The target is the quads, having as synergists (a muscle that assists another muscle to accomplish a movement) the glutes, inner thigh and calves. As stabilizers, the hamstrings and the calves.
The target is the lower chest, having as synergists the upper chest, front delts and triceps. As stabilizers, the biceps.
The target is the front delt, having as synergists the upper chest, side delt, and traps. As stabilizers, the biceps and triceps.
The target is the back, with almost the entire body acting as synergists and stabilizers.
The target is the lower back, having as synergists the glutes, inner thigh, quads and calves. As stabilizers, the hamstring and calves.
This is just a general guideline, depending on how you perform the movement (your stance, grip, depth, etc) it will require different degrees of each muscle group. For example, although you can never completely eliminate the quads from a squat, the wider you go the less of a role they play, or the narrower you overhead press, the bigger the tricep evolvement.
Regardless, as you can see, you hit everything. There’s a reason why compound movements are recommended for hypertrophy: they’re highly efficient.
But the question remains, is it enough for optimal muscle gains and to avoid imbalances? Based on physiology, bio-mechanics and my experience: No.
This doesn’t mean you should add 15 different isolation movements to hit every single muscle group. Your training should be as effective as possible. In my opinion, the muscle groups that will lack the most and would benefit from modifications in the program would be the biceps, triceps, hamstrings, rear delts, traps and calves.
Continues on next page…