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3-5 Gradual High Volume Program For Incredible Gains In Size And Strength!

When it comes to getting bigger and stronger, I love high volume training. However, high volume training is only effective when executed properly. I've put together a program that will not let you down. Check it out right here!

By: Mike Mahler

When it comes to getting bigger and stronger, I love high volume training. However, high volume training is only effective when executed properly. It has to be cycled and worked into gradually. One of the most popular high volume programs is "German Volume Training."

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The program calls for doing 10x10 on a few major exercises. While the program is effective for size, it is not very effective for strength. The intensity is far too low, and many trainees notice strength decreases after several months of GVT. Not exactly desirable results. Moreover, starting with ten sets for someone that is not used to high volume training can lead to overtraining with the quickness.

GVT has to be worked into gradually, applied for a short period at an intense level, and then cycled down again. Starting with five sets instead of ten is a smart move and working with reps in the 3-5 range is a big step in the right direction. This week, I am going to go over the 3-5 program and how to apply it for strength and size purposes. Let's get started.

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The "3-5" Exercises

Similar to all of my other programs, the "3-5 Program" focuses on compound exercises that provide the most bang for the buck. Isolation exercises are out and the following are in...

Barbell Clean And Press

Barbell Clean And Press Barbell Clean And Press
Click Image To Enlarge.
Barbell Clean And Press.

Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

Barbell Bent-Over Row

Barbell Bent-Over Row Barbell Bent-Over Row
Click Image To Enlarge.
Barbell Bent-Over Row.

Video GuidesWindows Media - Real Player

Weighted Pull-Up

Pull-Up Pull-Up
Click Image To Enlarge.
Pull-Ups (Shown Without Added Weight).

Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

Weighted Dips

Dips Dips Weighted Dips
Click Image To Enlarge.
Weighted Dips (Shown Without & With Added Weight).

Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

Barbell Squat

Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
Click Image To Enlarge.
Barbell Squat.

Video GuidesWindows Media - Real Player

Front Squat

Front Squat Front Squat
Click Image To Enlarge.
Front Squat.

Video GuidesWindows Media - Real Player

Deadlift

Deadlift Deadlift
Click Image To Enlarge.
Deadlift.

Video GuidesWindows Media - Real Player


The "3-5" 12-Week Plan

Here is how the program breaks down:

  • Week 1: 5x3 (Five Sets Of Three)
  • Week 2: 5x4
  • Week 3: 5x5
  • Week 4: 6x3
  • Week 5: 6x4
  • Week 6: 6x5
  • Week 7: 7x3
  • Week 8: 7x4
  • Week 9: 7x5
  • Week 10: 8x3
  • Week 11: 8x4
  • Week 12: 8x5
  • Week 13-17: Low Volume Training, 2x3
  • Week 18: Start Over Again.


The "3-5" Split

In order to avoid overtraining and burning out, you are going to do two high volume workouts per week and two low volume workouts per week. Rotate the exercises each week to balance the high volume workouts for each exercise. Here is an example:

Week 1

Monday.
WorkoutExerciseSets x Reps
A-1 Barbell Clean And Press 5x3
A-2 Barbell Bent-Over Row 5x3

    Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. Do a set of A-1, rest for a minute, then do a set of A-2, rest for a minute and repeat A-1 again. Continue until all five sets are completed.

Tuesday.
WorkoutExerciseSets x Reps
B-1 Front Squat 5x3
B-2 Stiff-Legged Deadlift 5x3

    Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. Do a set of B-1, rest for a minute, then do a set of B-2, rest for a minute and repeat B-1 again. Continue until all five sets are completed.

Thursday.
WorkoutExerciseSets x Reps
A-1 Weighted Dips 2x3
A-2 Weighted Pull-Ups 2x3

    Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. Do a set of A-1, rest for a minute, then do a set of A-2, rest for a minute and repeat A-1 again. Continue until two sets are completed per exercise.

Friday.
WorkoutExerciseSets x Reps
  -- Barbell Deadlift 3x3 (Two-Minute Breaks)

Week 2

Monday.
WorkoutExerciseSets x Reps
A-1 Weighted Dips 5x4
A-2 Weighted Pull-Ups 5x4

    Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. Do a set of A-1, rest for a minute, then do a set of A-2, rest for a minute and repeat A-1 again. Continue until all five sets are complete.

Tuesday.
WorkoutExerciseSets x Reps
  -- Barbell Deadlift 5x4 (Two-Minute Breaks)

Thursday.
WorkoutExerciseSets x Reps
A-1 Barbell Clean And Press 2x3
A-2 Barbell Bent-Over Row 2x3

    Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. Do a set of A-1, rest for a minute, then do a set of A-2, rest for a minute and repeat A-1 again. Continue until two sets are completed per exercise.

Friday.
WorkoutExerciseSets x Reps
B-1 Front Squat 2x3
B-2 Stiff-Legged Deadlift 3x3

    Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. Do a set of B-1, rest for a minute, then do a set of B-2, rest for a minute and repeat B-1 again. Continue until two sets are completed per exercise.


Conclusion

As you can see, the exercises are rotated each week so that everyone gets a chance to play with some high volume. The program has a built-in cycling mechanism every week and over the long haul. Thus, this is a great program to break into high volume training with in order to avoid the pitfalls of going from low volume to high volume too rapidly.

Need help with program design for your specific goals? Click here: http://www.mikemahler.com/services.html

3-5 Gradual High Volume Program For Incredible Gains In Size And Strength!
mahler25@yahoo.com

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