How to peak for a 5rm – Galway Strength and Performance

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How to peak for a 5rm

This post goes through how to set up an 8 week training cycle to peak an exercise for a 5 rep max. We generally divide our training into 4 day Upper/Lower body split so 2 upper body days and 2 lower body days.

On the first upper body day we would work on some of the stuff we let lag a bit throughout the competitive strongman season such as the bench press. Supplemental and accessory work on this day would be picked based upon building a bigger bench press.

On the second press day we would work on whatever other weak press variation or weak pressing muscles we need to work on such as a standing military press/ seated dumbbell press to build weak delts or close grip bench press to build weak triceps.

Over the course of 8 weeks you will aim to build a massive base and bring up any weak points you have by doing tons and tons of total volume.

Day 1

At the end of the 8 weeks we would aim to hit a 5 rep max on our bench press. Starting the cycle with high volume and reducing that volume while increasing the weight until we get to week 8 where we go for the 5rm. It might look something like this;

  • week 1: 60-65% 4×8-10
  • week 2: 65-70% 3×8-10
  • week 3: 70-75% 3×6-8
  • week 4: 60% 3×5 (Deload)
  • week 5: 75-80% 3×5
  • week 6: 70-75% 4×6
  • week 7: 80-85% 3×3
  • week 8: 5 rep max

Day 2

There will be no testing at the end of this cycle for day 2, we will simply do tons of volume to add lots of muscle and strength that will later be utilised to peak our overhead press. Lets say well be doing seated military press, it might look something like this;

  • week 1: 60-65% 3×8
  • week 2: 60-65% 4×10
  • week 3: 65-70% 4×8
  • week 4: 60% 3×5 (Deload)
  • week 5: 65-70% 3×10
  • week 6: 70-75% 3×8
  • week 7: 75-80% 4×5
  • week 8: 65% 3×5 (Deload)



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