07/10/2009 - bob

The Five Set-Five Rep Week

Now that I’ve posted the free workout routine videos from DelMonte’s blog site (allowed, of course), I’ve been able to watch a couple of times. I’ve been all over the map on my recollections of when I finally got through three sets, how many weeks of that, etc.

All I know is that this week marked the transition into five sets of five reps of each exercise.

We went away for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, and stayed with family right near Cape Cod. Let’s just let it suffice to say I did not eat or sleep all that well… but I had a heck of a lot of sorely needed fun.

We were all a bit wiped out on Monday, and made the call that this week would be a Tues-Thurs-Sat workout week. It turned out that my wife’s schedule changed, so we haven’t worked out together yet this week. Tuesday’s workout had a huge break after the first set. I can’t remember exactly, but I know it had something to do with the boys. So, as I re-started the routine on set two, my perspective on weights was a little off. I increased weight on a couple of exercises I may not have if I’d never had that break.

Today I finished the five sets of five reps in one hour and 15 to 20 minutes. I had increased weight on a few of the exercises, pushing hard. I read the free “Insane Muscle Gain” report from Vince DelMonte and was inspired to up my intensity. Mind you, I only had about 4 hours of sleep…

In trying to figure out how many reps for the body weight exercises like dips I should do, I figured that I should probably try to do just a little more than last week’s 4 sets of 10 reps, so I settled on 5 sets of 9 for dips. 45 dips on the day… and I pulled it off, without compromised form.

In fact, the reduction in reps to five helped a lot for all the exercises. I tried pushing up the weights I use for every other exercise… Success!

The intensity of the superset workout can not be understated. I have read more and more about intense resistance training having more cardio benefit than hours on a treadmill or bike. The clincher I read today: If you can actually watch television (at a gym) while you’re “working out,” you’re not working anywhere remotely near the intensity you should be for any benefit. I can’t argue with that one bit.

Maybe I worked too close to “failure” over the last couple of weeks doing ten reps, but with the five reps, it seemed easier to just get five out and get on to the next exercise. It felt like a different kind of intensity doing the more rapid transition from muscle group to muscle group. I quickly began to sweat profusely… There’s a psychological benefit to “I only have to do five?” which I find encourages me to push harder through reps with the extra weight.

Tonight I’ll definitely get more sleep, and tomorrow I’ll finish my first week of 5 x 5. Today is the 10th of July… so seven or so weeks into it since May 18… and I’m using weights nearly double what I started this program with on most exercises. I have to admit that when I started, I didn’t think I had this kind of reserve left in me, nor did I think I’d progress as fast as I have. I’m enjoying progress!

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