5thSet for Powerlifting: Methodology for Training & Competition: Second Edition (5thSet Methodology)

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 19:51 -- admin
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5thSet is a training system for the sport of powerlifting. That includes a periodization model, a system for routine composition, procedural guidelines to transition from and to different phases within a mesocycle or between mesocycles, and very precise instructions concerning execution. All that said, I believe the 5thSet, being a better powerlifting training system than those previously available in neat, written form, can be a more widely useful tool than it appears to be. So why is the 5thSet a better powerlifting training system? The chief reason is that it solves the paradox of biological individuality versus a formal method (in the form of a recipe). Before the 5thSet, you had to settle for the latter. You had to settle for a recipe and, like all of the good ones, it will be very good for about 10-15% of users and fall, like a well behaved bell curve, into uselessness to everybody else. With the 5thSet you have a self regulating mechanism within the system that is pretty much the “individuality-meter." It is the 5thSet itself: after four sets with a given weight, calculated according to a percentage of the individual’s estimated 1RM and progressing linearly, there is a 5thSet of “as many reps as possible” (AMRAP). The AMRAP set, or 5thSet, will determine decision-making in a manner that the resulting routine is both formally in accordance to the method (recipe) and strictly adjusted to the individual. The progress from micro-cycle to micro-cycle and the shift to a new meso-cycle in the 5thSet system makes the tiring question as to periodization linearity or non-linearity quite obviously futile. There are many other aspects of the 5thSet that deserve praise. The early emphasis on the unequal nature of strength gain and technical proficiency in powerlifting and the adjustment of the method to this (and not vice-versa) is important. The practitioner may choose any one or two lifts for the 5thSet protocol (the others being speed/technique lifts for that mesocycle), but never the deadlift and the squat together. Without worrying about any complicated technical speculation (which is all they would be) as to why this choice would lead to disaster, the reader is told it does. The choice and use of assistance exercises in a given routine is another item where Swede makes a huge contribution. We are plagued, today, with the “magic bullet” assistance work for the squat, the bench press or the deadlift. Each week the powerlifting community is bombarded with blog posts about “that” incomparable exercise that will add 50lbs to your bench press. This is confusing for the majority of the lifters. In the 5thSet, the choice of the assistance work is well explained in connection to an inventory of weaknesses. Randomness is taken out of the way. If the reader cares to pay attention to the text (and not skip to the templates), he will be introduced to the concepts of exercise, training, training programs, among others. He will understand that the execution of an exercise out of the context of a plan is usually poorly correlated to improvement towards any type of goal. So, whether the exercise is done in the same sequence, form, intensity and volume or whether it is done randomly, the practitioner doesn’t have great chances of achieving anything. Although the book is written in a concise and objective manner with the explanation of the training system on focus, it doesn’t fail to address all important items concerning a powerlifter’s career, such as: expectations as to progress rate, choice of attempts in a meet, the role of recovery and how to use it to make important decisions in the program, among many others.

Submitted by Team McCloskey on

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