reps with relatively light weight, followed by assistence exercises.
The heavy day aims to set PRs, either by increasing the weight of an exercise over a set number of reps, or increasing the number of reps performed at a certain weight.
The lifting schedule of this program appears a little more scattered than similar programs, such as Madcow 5x5, but it follows a set pattern.
The first week of the volume day (referred to as "Monday" for the rest of this article) starts with Squats. After the warmups sets are complete, five sets of five reps are performed. After that, you have a "press" exercise. Whether you pick bench press or standing press isn't important, as you'll focus on the press you don't pick in the second week, but this article assumes bench press is done here. As with the squats, after the warmup sets, the bench press will be done for five sets of five reps. The deadlift follows the press. After the warmup sets for the deadlift are complete, the lifter will perform the deadlift for one set of five repititions.
The first week of the light day (referred to as "Wednesday" for the rest of the article) starts with Squats. After the warmup sets, the lifter squats for two sets of five reps at a significantly lighter weight than was lifted on Monday. Following the squats, the press exercise that wasn't performed on Monday is done. For example, this article assumed one did the bench press on Monday, so one would do the standing press on Wednesday. This press is performed for three sets of five reps, once the warmups have been completed. Afterwards, assistance exercises, back extensions and pull ups, are done for five sets of ten, and three sets to failure, respectively.
The first week of the heavy day (referred to as "Friday" for the rest of the article) starts with Squats. After the warmup sets are completed, the lifter does one set of five reps of squats at a relatively heavy weight. Following that is the press exercise the lifter did on Monday, in this example, bench press. After warmups are performed, the lifter attempts a 1RM for the exercise. After the press, cleans are performed. If you don't have access to the necessary equipment, or no gym available to you allows cleans, Pendlay Rows are acceptable. After warmup sets are done, the lifter performs five sets of three reps on the cleans/rows.
In week 2, the squats are the same number of sets and reps as in week one, for every day. The difference is an increase in weight (usually five pounds over the previous Monday), every day. After the squats on Monday, you do whichever press exercise you didn't do Monday of the first week. So in this example, you'd do the standing press for five sets of five reps. The deadlifts are the same as in the first week, just heavier.
Wednesday of week 2 is similar to week 1, you do two sets of five reps of squats, followed by whichever press you didn't do on Wednesday of week 1 (in this case, the bench press) for three sets of five reps. The back extensions and pullups are the same as week 1
On Friday of week 2, you do the squats for one set of five reps like you did during week 1, but five pounds heavier than what you did in week 1. After squatting, you do whatever press you didn't do on Friday of week one (standing press, in this case) for a 1RM. Following that, you do cleans/rows for three sets of five reps, usually five pounds heavier than in the previous week.
Weeks 3 and 5 follow pretty much the same template as week 1 did, in terms of sets and reps of particular exercises on particular days. The only thing that changes is that, for the Friday press, you do 2 reps of the weight you used for the first week's 1RM in week 3, and 3 reps in week 5. Weeks 4 and 6 follow the same pattern as week 2, except the press exercise on Friday is done for two reps in week 4, and three reps in week 6. The only other thing that changes is the weight, which is covered below under "Programming."
For the first Monday of squats, you do your 5x5 RM, which is typically about 90% of your 5RM. That Wednesday, the works sets are typically 80% of whatever the Monday work sets were. That Friday, the work set is your 5RM. For the next weeks, you add five pounds to the corresponding day from the previous week. Which is to say, if you did 300 pounds Monday, 240 pounds Wednesday, and 335 pounds Friday, the next week you'd lift 305 pounds Monday, 245 pounds Wednesday, and 340 pounds Friday.
If you do the bench press on your first Monday, you'll do your 5x5 RM, which is usually about 90% of your 5RM, just like the squat. That Friday, you'll lift your 1RM. If you don't know your 1RM off the top of your head there are calculators to give you a good estimate. The next week, you'll only do the Bench Press on Wednesday, usually for about 90% of what you lifted the previous Monday. In week three, you'd add five pounds to the Monday lifts, and do two reps of the weight you used for the 1RM on the last Friday you performed the bench press. In week 4, you'd add five pounds to whatever weight you used the last Wednesday you bench pressed. In week 5, you'd add five pounds to whatever you did the last Monday you benched, and do three reps of the usual Friday weight. In week 6, you'd add five pounds to the previous Wednesday bench press.
If you did the bench press on Monday the first week, you'd do the standing press Wednesday for your 5x5RM (keep in mind, you're only doing three sets of five reps). The next Monday, you'd do the standing press for your 5x5 RM, for the full 5x5. In Friday of week 2, you'd do your 1RM for one rep. Wednesday of week 3, you'd do 2.5 pounds more than the previous Wednesday standing press (if you don't have the ability to "microload," you can just increase the weight by 5 pounds). In Monday of week 4, you'd add five pounds to the the weight from the last Monday you did standing press. In that Friday, you'd do two reps of whatever weight you used for the 1RM on Friday of week 2. In the Wednesday of week 5, you'd simply add 2.5/5 pounds to the weight from the last Wednesday standing press. In week 6, you'd add 5 pounds to week 4's Monday weight, and on Friday do the same weight for three reps.
You only do deadlifts Monday. The first Monday, you do your 5 RM. Every subsequent Monday you add 5 pounds to that.
You only do Cleans/Rows on Fridays. In the first week, you start with about 80% of your 1RM. For every subsequent week, you'd add five pounds.
After Week 6Edit
After six weeks, one typically "resets" the program by plugging in updated numbers to find the weight require for weeks 1 and 2. This is in large part because if you were to keep doing the program off into infinity, you'd eventually be doing 15RMs of the press movements on Fridays. It also allows you a chance to deload if any stalled lifts require it.
Programming Made EasyEdit
All that above confuse the hell out of you? Don't worry, it's only important if you plan on writing out the entire six weeks yourself. That is unnecessary because some kind people have made an Excel spreadsheet wherein you simply plug in the starting numbers, and the spreadsheet writes the the rest of the program for you.