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The 5/10/20 method

Die 5/10/20 Methode

Is your current training program bland? Then you can use the 5/10/20 method to increase your endurance, break through plateaus and achieve an amazing pump.

Superset


Noun

  • A sentence that includes one or more other sentences
  • A combination of exercises performed one after the other without a break
  • The best way to get a massive pump

Ever since I started training with weights as a teenager, I've loved using supersets in my training program.

By definition, there are two primary ways to build a superset. The first is to combine exercises that target the same muscles. An example of this would be a superset of front raises and side raises for the shoulders.

The second method of building a superset is to use two exercises that are antagonistic, meaning that they train opposite muscle groups. An example of this would be performing a set of dumbbell curls (biceps) in superset with a set of barbell tricep presses lying down (triceps).

The great thing about both methods is that you can achieve more in the same amount of time in the gym and your heart rate stays high due to the shorter rest periods.

However, with these benefits comes a downside - some exercisers confuse heavy breathing with training hard and without a solid structure, you probably won't get as much out of your supersets as you think. Due to the cardio effect and inevitable muscle fatigue, it's normal for many people to scale back their efforts a little. As a result, form suffers and sets of 8 reps become sets of maybe 6 reps.

But today we are going to solve this problem!

Years ago I developed a repetition scheme for supersets known as the 5/10/20 method. In its simplest form, it represents a superset of three exercises for a single muscle group, where you do 5 reps of the first exercise, 10 reps of the second exercise and 20 reps of the last exercise.

I typically start with a heavy multi-joint exercise that works the entire target muscle group. Immediately after the basic exercise, I move on to 10 repetitions of an isolation exercise. To finish the superset, I like to use a bodyweight-only exercise with 20 killer reps that mimic the initial power exercise.

The exercise order is not set in stone here - I often use pull-ups as the second exercise as 20 reps of this exercise would be too heavy as the last set. As long as you always perform a heavy exercise with 5 repetitions first and then perform 2 additional exercises, you are in the green zone.

By sticking to the prescribed repetition pattern, you will achieve an amazing pump, increase your endurance and break through any training plateaus you are stuck at. Without further ado, here's a 3 day killer split consisting entirely of supersets using the 5/10/20 method.

Day 1: Press

Exercise

Repetitions

Dumbbell bench press

5

Flying movements

10

Push-ups

20

5 passes

Exercise

Repetitions

Dumbbell shoulder press

5

Side raise

10

Rear shoulder muscles on cable pulley

20

5 repetitions

Exercise

Repetitions

Overhead tricep press

5

Tricep press on cable

10

Skull crushers with your own body weight (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq0Mf8vAXu8)

20

3 rounds

Day 1 is the "press" training session, during which you perform chest, shoulders and triceps exercises. The first 5/10/20 superset starts with 5 repetitions of dumbbell bench presses (perform 1 to 2 warm-up sets of presses to work your way up to a higher weight before starting the first round of supersets). Once you have completed the fifth repetition, grab a lighter pair of dumbbells and perform 10 repetitions of flying movements, although you can also perform this exercise on cable pulleys.

Concentrate on tensing your chest muscles with each repetition and finish the superset with 20 push-ups. Rest for at least 2 minutes before performing the next of 5 supersets. If the 20 push-ups become difficult in later rounds, split them into several mini-sets to complete 20 repetitions.

Next is a superset for the shoulders, starting with 5 heavy repetitions of standing dumbbell shoulder presses. After the shoulder press set, grab medium dumbbells for 10 repetitions of side raises before finishing the superset with 20 repetitions for the rear shoulder muscles on the cable pulley.

This 5/10/20 superset works all 3 muscle heads of the shoulder muscles and after 5 reps your shoulders should be pretty much finished.

Day 1 ends with supersets for triceps starting with heavy dumbbell overhead shoulder presses as a power exercise. Make sure you choose a heavy enough weight that you can just manage 5 reps. Next, move on to cable shoulder presses for 10 reps and finish the superset with 20 reps of bodyweight skull crushers. During the next reps, you may perform the scull crushers at a steeper angle as your triceps fatigue. Perform 3 of these supersets to complete the workout.

Day 2: Pulling

Exercise

Repetitions

Lat pulldown

5

Pull-ups

10

Seated rowing

20

5 repetitions

Exercise

Repetitions

T-bar rowing

5

Inverted rowing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G28qN9FCKE)

10

Lat pulldown with outstretched arms

20

5 repetitions

Exercise

Repetitions

Barbell curls

5

Pull-ups with underhand grip 1/4 repetitions

10

Hammer Curls

20

3 rounds

Day 2 is your pull training session, which consists of back and biceps exercises. The first superset starts with 5 repetitions of heavy lat pull-ups before you perform 10 pull-ups. If pull-ups as the second exercise are too difficult for you, you can also swap the order of the exercises and use pull-ups as the first exercise. Regardless of which exercise you perform first, finish the superset with 20 repetitions of seated rows. Perform 5 reps of this superset, resting for at least 2 minutes between reps.

Next comes another superset for the back. This 5/10/20 set starts with T-bar rows followed by 10 repetitions of reverse rows. To perform reverse rows, place a barbell in a power rack, lie under the bar and grasp it with a wide grip, with only your feet touching the floor. Keep your body straight and pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar, pulling your shoulder blades tightly together at the highest point of the movement.

Complete the set with 20 repetitions of lat pulldowns with arms straight and perform 5 repetitions. The last 5/10/20 superset of the day will destroy your biceps, which are already pumped up from the pull-ups and rowing. Start with 5 heavy reps of barbell curls, immediately followed by 10 quarter reps of pull-ups. For the pull-ups, only perform the upper quarter of the movement to maximize the load on the biceps. Consciously contract the biceps to the maximum at the highest point. Complete the superset with 20 repetitions of dumbbell hammer curls and perform a total of 3 rounds of this superset.

Day 3: Lower body / core

Exercise

Repetitions

Bulgarian split squats (per leg)

5

Sissy squats (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et5EcOFC2RQ)

10

Lunges

20

5 passes

Exercise

Repetitions

Front squats

5

Glute Ham Raises

10

Step Ups

20

3 rounds

Exercise

Repetitions

Walk Outs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gYLJSdPWCk)

5

Ab Wheels (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5MT5omGNJI)

10

Stability Alternates (per side) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8ILCyZ4FeA

20

2 rounds

The leg day starts with Bulgarian split squats as a power exercise. Grab a pair of dumbbells and perform 5 repetitions per leg. Then perform 10 sissy squats on a power rack.

Sissy squats are an old-school quadriceps exercise that is performed using only your own body weight. Grab one side of the power rack and slowly lean backwards while bending your knees. When your body is almost parallel to the floor, straighten your legs and return to the starting position. Complete the superset after 10 repetitions of this exercise with 20 lunges. Rest for 2 minutes and perform a total of 5 repetitions.

The next 5/10/20 superset starts with 5 heavy medicine ball front squats (you can also replace the medicine ball with a barbell if necessary), followed by 10 glute ham raises or leg curls. Finish the superset with 20 bodyweight step ups per leg.

After a grueling 3 rounds of this superset, it's time to finish the session with some core training. After 5 walk outs (from a kneeling position or standing if you are more advanced), take an ab wheel and perform 10 reps of roll outs. Finish the superset with 20 stability alternates per side, which you can split into multiple subsets if necessary. Perform 2 rounds.

After you have completed days 1 to 3, take the fourth day as a rest day to allow your body to recover and then perform another 3-day cycle.

Change your training for optimal results

I know what you're thinking. No deadlifts? Where are the classic squats? I don't need to do bench presses?

Easy, easy. Due to the exhaustive nature of the 5/10/20 method, I don't like to use any of the heavy barbell exercises where you use a lot of weight, preferring to stick with dumbbell exercises. This exercise will not only give your body a shock, but also give you a break from the "big 3" basic exercises.

Use this program for a week or two and then go back to your normal program. I guarantee you will be able to approach your normal training with renewed energy and stamina after challenging your body with these extreme supersets.

You can also use the 5/10/20 structure for a final superset at the end of a training session instead of doing the full program, be creative. This is a tool in your arsenal that you can use whenever things get boring and bland.

Source: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/5-10-20-method-supersets

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