It doesn’t have enough volume for hypertrophy.
This is false. People forget that you’re training 3 times per week, and what matters is total weekly volume. For example on squats, you’re doing 75 heavy reps per week, that’s a pretty decent amount of volume. Research has found that the optimal hypertrophy is a volume of about 40 to 65 reps per session (1,2). However, that was assuming a twice per week frequency.
If we translate that into weekly volume, it’s about 80 to 130 reps. This likely depends on your volume tolerance and your experience level. Beginners, whom this program is made for, should aim for the lower end because that’s all they need to make progress. So our 75 reps are pretty close to what you should be doing, not to mention overlap between exercises such as squats and deadlifts.
It doesn’t include any type of auto-regulation.
Everyone has “good days” and “bad days”. Sometimes you feel really good and perform well, sometimes you feel really bad and perform badly. Auto-regulation is basically a more developed, objective way of the quote “listen to your body” that every lifter talks about. Even though auto-regulation is a great thing, novices can’t accurately auto-regulate weight. Nor is it very valuable at this stage of their lifting. What they can do however, it auto-regulate volume.
If they feel good, they do more sets, if they don’t, they do fewer sets. Pretty straightforward. This gives them the possibility to adjust, which doesn’t exist in 5×5. You just do what it tells you to do, regardless if you ate more than usual, regardless if you drank last night, regardless if your dog died. It’s just unrealistic to expect your performance to be consistent every time. A simple solution for this is just make a range for the sets in the program.
Instead of 5×5, by making it 4-6. This may seem insignificant, but this small change is important, and it will make a difference in the long run.
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