the 5x5 on squat, bench and dead is plenty of weight training for the day. Having just become a new dad, I of- ten find myself short on time and the simple 5x5 S-B-D is perfect for 60 minutes in the weight room. However, when I have the time and, more importantly, the energy, (as I write this on three hours of sleep with the little one right beside me) the full 5x5 plus accessories is a butt-kicking program that bridges strength and power. It has served my strength throughout my MMA training, and is also my go-to program for periods of my life when I’m busy (also known as life happens). But, there’s more to this program than just 5x5 squat, 5x5 press and 5x5 deadlift. After each movement pattern is completed, a secondary acces- sory exercise is performed for a 3x20. For example, after doing 5x5 squat, one would complete 3x20 leg press. After doing 5x5 bench press, try 3x20 on dips. And, after 5x5 deadlift, you could do 3x20 on cable rows. So in its entirety, one would have done six movements in a training day: Three foundational lifts (5x5) and three ac- cessory lifts (3x20). I like this program because each lifting session is full body (and certainly no neglect to leg training, which is gener- ally most important for athletes). This program is also very simple to follow, something one can easily complete in any gym – barbell movements are as basic (and effective) as it can get. It’s a great strength program for two or three days a week in the gym. Incorporating It Into Your Training Maybe you can’t get to the gym every day, or perhaps you’re juggling weight training with another sport (which is 68 SEPTEMBER 2017 | ironmanmagazine.com why I say it’s great for performance athletes). I use this strength program in conjunction with mixed martial arts and it serves as a great asset to my power and muscular endurance while in the ring. Here’s an example of a typical training week using this program: Monday Squat 5x5 / Leg Press 3x20 Bench Press 5x5 / Dip 3x20 Deadlift 5x5 / Pull-Up 3x20 Wednesday Squat 5x5 / Walking Lunge 3x20 Overhead Press 5x5 / Handstand Push-Up 3x20 Deadlift 5x5 / Cable Row 3x20 Friday Squat 5x5 / Hamstring Curl 3x20 Bench Press 5x5 / Incline Dumbbell Press 3x20 Deadlift 5x5 / Lat Pulldown 3x20 Honestly, even if you couldn’t get to the accessory movement (let’s pretend you just don’t have time one day), just Crafting A Plan I’d like to add one final piece to the puzzle: A long-term plan. Typically, I try to abide by this 5x5 protocol for a good 10 to 12 weeks, slowly but surely increasing weight week by week. Then, after about three months, I’ll drop the weight slightly (usually to about the same weight that I started week one or two’s 5x5 with) and complete that given weight for 3x10. This not only serves as a much needed deload, but also reassures the significant strength gains received from the 5RM has now become the 10. I find it best to spend a solid two to three weeks playing with this deload. Here’s an example of week-by-week progression: Week 1: Top working 5x5 set: 225lb Week 2: 235lb Week 3: 240lb Week 4: 245lb Week 5: 245lb Week 6: 250lb Week 7: 255lb Week 8: 260lb Week 9: 265lb Week 10: 265lb Week 11: 270lb Week 12: 275lb Week 1: Deload 3x10: 225lb Week 2: 230lb Week3: 235lb You can either spend another week sticking to the deload, or jump back onto the 5x5 protocol, starting at, or around, the weight you left off at. I’d start at around 260 or 265 pounds.