Let’s face it – a lot of us worry more about looking fierce than about actually improving our muscle strength. But the truth is, the stronger you get, the bigger muscles you have, so throw some more weight on the barbells and try this awesome training plan that will dramatically increase your strength in a short period of time. The 5-3-2 plan works so well because it uses a form of periodization in your training, involving a change of weight and number of reps over a period of time, which results in gaining muscle mass and strength.
How does the 5-3-2 plan for strength gain work:
This simple program will give you a 200% increase in strength over the course of ten weeks of intense training. The numbers 5-3-2 are here to represent the number of sets you need to perform, the number of reps you need to complete on each set and the number of weeks you need to train with that set/rep scheme. This program forces your muscles to adapt to the progressively heavier weight by becoming stronger.
Choose the weight you want to work with during each of the three phases and then keep it the same on all of the required sets.
- Start with 5 weeks of 5 sets with 5 reps, taking 2-3 minutes of rest between sets.
- Follow it up with 3 weeks of 3 sets with 3 reps, taking 2-3 minutes of rest between sets.
- Finish with 2 weeks of 2 sets with 2 reps, taking 2-3 minutes of rest between sets.
Chest: Bench Presses
Shoulders: Overhead Barbell Presses
Triceps: Close-Grip Bench Presses
Biceps: Barbell Curls
Traps: Barbell Shrugs
Forearms: Barbell Wrist Curls
Back: Barbell Rows & Deadlifts
A method for measuring the strength gains:
If you want to measure the gains you are about to make, start by testing your two-rep maximum with each of the nine exercises just one week before starting the 5-3-2 program. Do this by beginning each exercise with two warm-ups of lighter weight for 2-5 reps and then estimate the weight you can most likely do for two reps of that exercise. If you’ve successfully completed two reps, rest for a few minutes and try again with 5-10 more pounds, and if you didn’t make it, rest a bit longer and try again with 5-10 pounds less weight. Then, one week after you’ve completed the 5-4-3 routine, re-test your two-rep maximum and see the results.
Once you return to your regular training you’ll be using more weight than before, pushing your muscles to grow more. As you’ve noticed, some of the strongest professional lifters have shaped their massive bodies with the help of powerlifting, making them actually as strong as they appear to be!