Here are the basics of my weekly routine
Please tell me a little more about your 5X5 program.I have heavy days for each exercise.
Mondays are heavy (100%) days for squat.
90% (5 rep max) of bench press
80% (5 rep max) of deadlift.
so you see i put the exercises in rotation and each day has a heavy day
Do you pyramid the weights on the 5X5 sets or use the same weight for each set?
Yes i Pyramid the weights. for example for heavy day squat. I will start at 135 and honestly prob do 10 reps to get stretched out and warmed up. then pyramid up. so here is my last workout set on squat as an example.
Do you warm up before your 5X5 sets? If so, what do you do?
As i mentioned i usually use 135 as my warmup on all my exercises and do 10-12 reps as my actual warmup set and then just pyramid up to my heavy set. i feel like for me this is sufficient warm up.
Do you ocassionally need to lower your weights (cycle)?
Yes i do de-load or cycle the weight as needed. each week my goal is to put 5 pounds more on the bar. so if i do 440 x 5 on squat and i reach that goal then next week i will go for 445. however if i fail before i get that 5th rep give myself two more attempts or two more weeks at that weight. if i never reach that 5th rep with that particular weight they i de-load or cycle the weight down by 20% and work back up. so say i am using 440 and i fail 3 weeks in a row. I would drop the weight to approx. 360 as my 100% the following week and progressively put on 5 pounds per week and work my way back up to try and surpass that previous 5 rep max of 440. same applies to all three exercises.
as for my assistance exercises. those have been added in as i felt they were needed to strengthen muscles that were lacking and i felt would help in getting me past plateaus i was hitting in my main exercises.
thats pretty much the basics to it I have had great success with 5x5. i am hoping to to reach the 500 lbs pound mark on squat by the end of this year at the body weight of 190. the higher the weight on the bar the slower the process is but i really do enjoy it more than any program i have ever done.
Man O steel.