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Strength Training

The 54321 Workout

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Our Performance U training programs have quickly built an international reputation for being some of the most innovative and most effective programs in the world at getting you both the hustle and the muscle.

Training Movements vs. Muscles!

As you can clearly see by the two workout splits above: there’s more similarities than differences between the exercises used in strength program and the Size program.

Aside from some emphasis differences in set and reps used, the biggest difference between the Strength and Size workout is the way I’ve classified each training day.

On the 3-Day workout split for size, you can see I’ve labeled the workouts by the muscles trained that day. This is a great way to ensure each major (and minor) muscle group is trained and allowed optimal recovery between workouts.

On the 3-Day workout split for Strength gains, I’ve classified each workout by the movement pattern emphasized that particular training day. Since strength is more about performance, this classification system ensures each of the three main movements is trained and allowed to recover.

Tempo

On the lifts in the 5 set and 4set range, we recommend lifting the weight as fast possible. The weight loads in these rep ranges will be the heaviest. So the movement will not appear fast. But, to ensure maximal intensity: we cue our athletes to “explode into the weight” on each rep.

On the set 3,2 set range exercises, we recommend to use a normal tempo, which involves a natural concentric and a controlled (2-3 second) eccentric.

On the 1-set burn out finisher exercise, we simply tell our athletes to “just get it done” in good form. In other words, we throw tempo cues out the window for the finishers.

Rest

On the lifts in the 5 set and 4set range, we recommend resting 2-3min between sets.
On the set 3,2 set range exercises, we recommend resting 60-90 sec between exercises.
On the 1-set burn out finisher exercise, we simply tell our athletes to “finish in as little time as possible.”

Our Favorite “Plug & Play” Exercises

To close out this article I’ve provided you with a (non-exhaustive) list of our favorite exercises to use within each given rep range of our 54321 workouts.

Since there’s so much crossover between strength training and bodybuilding modalities, as I mentioned in the beginning, you’ll see that we often use different exercise concepts can be applied to several sections of the workout:

For the 5-4 set Range:

- Powerlifts like: Squat, Deadlift and Bench press variations
- Compound Strength lifts like: Presses, Row, Chin up/ Pull-ups, etc.
- Explosive exercises like: Olympic Lifts and variations, Box Jumps, Long Jumps medicine ball throws, etc.

For the 4-3 set Range:

- Powerlifts like: Squat, Deadlift and Bench press variations
- Compound Strength lifts like: Presses, Row, Chin up/ Pull-ups, etc.
- Machine Exercises
- Bodyweight Exercises

For the 3-2 set Range:

- Compound Strength lifts like: Presses, Row, Chin up/ Pull-ups, etc.
- Isolation exercises
- Machine Exercises
- Bodyweight Exercises

For the 1-set Finisher (Burn Out)

- A timed set of basics exercises performed for high reps (50-100) for time, like: push-ups, bodyweight squats, Band pull aparts, etc.
- Complexes using multiple barbell, dumbbell, bodyweight or Band exercises strung together (back-to-back) with no rest between exercises.
- Farmer Walks

Final Thoughts

As you can see, at Performance U we don’t to limit ourselves to using any particular strength training method or pledge our allegiance to any school of thought. We’re dedicated to designing the best hybrid programs that using the best means available. And, we feel the 54321 workouts is one of those programs.

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