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5x5 or 3x8 for Mass? HELP So much contradiction on the net

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2012/03/04 13:59:08 (permalink)

5x5 or 3x8 for Mass? HELP So much contradiction on the net

Hello all,
I'm 20 and Have been training on/off for the past 4 years, the majority was done with little knowledge and very little gains (training 5 days a week doing mainly isolation exercises and no compounds) and a crap diet.
Last year I discovered ripptoes starting strength and combined with eating the right foods put on over 3 stone in around 3 months, which considering the fact I had been stuck at 10.5 stone for 4 years until this point was a great result. I definately look a lot "bulkier" and my body is pretty solid, but it doesnt particulary look muscular. I havn't trained for around a year now, and after purchasing a power rack and some olympic weights, I'm now ready to get a serious routine going.
I've been reading up on various forums for the past few months regarding the best program to do to build mass. My goal is purely for asthetic looks, not strength. Something like this is what I am aiming for:

I'm 5ft 10, and 13.5st (190ilb 84kg)
Just a little confused on what is best for my goal, as theres so much contradicting information on the net. I've read that 3x8-12 is best for mass, and 5x5 is best for strength. But then Ive seen some of Frankie NY's routines on here which contradict that statement saying that his 5x5 routines are for mass. I've also read a bit into hypertrophy and all of a sudden everythings becoming a little confusing.
What routine would people recommend? Ideally I only want to train 3 times a week as I also train Muay Thai boxing for 2 hours 3 evenings per week and understand that recovery is essential. Ive been looking at Stronglifts, aswel as 3 day push/pull/legs splits.
Any help appreciated
post edited by Mync - 2012/03/04 14:04:43

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    Re:5x5 or 3x8 for Mass? HELP So much contradiction on the net 2012/03/05 07:48:17 (permalink)
    I'd go for a 5x5 to start with if you've been away for a while.  Main reason is most 5x5 routines concentrate on the big compound lifts which will help overall muscular development, technique and core strength.  Frankie NY's 5x5 is a good place to start.  Give it a go for a good few months, take photos before and after then compare to see how you've done, or better still start a journal on this forum.  You can then try changing your routine to keep things fresh and to try to avoid plateauing.  The thing with all routines though, is that everyone is different - what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another, it can also be the same with bodyparts (my chest responds well to 5x5, my legs not so much).  Don't forget though, diet and intensity are at least as important as the number of reps.
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    Re:5x5 or 3x8 for Mass? HELP So much contradiction on the net 2012/03/05 11:58:05 (permalink)
    general rule for bulking is eat big, lift heavy....i would go 5x5 personally but 3x8 isnt that bad at all for adding mass.....5x5 your strength should go through the roof
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    Re:5x5 or 3x8 for Mass? HELP So much contradiction on the net 2012/03/06 09:53:47 (permalink)
    Or why not just use both rep ranges! See what works best for you! The beauty of bodybuilding is there is no right or wrong, just trial and error!
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    Re:5x5 or 3x8 for Mass? HELP So much contradiction on the net 2012/03/06 11:36:55 (permalink)
    I have limited weights in my home gym and like the OP want to look good and am not bothered about strength due to lack of weights
    Am i right in thinking i need more weights to do anything as strength and size come hand in hand or are there other routines just for muscular development that use more isolation exercises meaning less weight?
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    Re:5x5 or 3x8 for Mass? HELP So much contradiction on the net 2012/03/07 13:48:00 (permalink)
    I'm currently doing an upper/lower split and alternating ranges between 4x5 and 3x10. I usually change routines every 8 weeks or so (no real need, I just get bored and want something different) but have decided now that I need some real consistency on constantly improving the big lifts. So my long term training plan now is to use routines based around Wendler's 5/3/1 principle. This currently seems the best option for me as it will increase strength (which should translate to size in the long term) on the big lifts: bench, military press, squat, deadlift whilst all accessory work can be geared towards hypertrophy. I like the idea that the 5/3/1 on the big lifts can also slot into most templates like full body, upper/lower, 4 day bodypart split etc. This is really useful as after each de-load I can switch programmes but keep the big lifts consistent.
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