My Perspective #42: “Why 3? Why 5? Why 9?” Let me explain.

The quick answerto generate confident adaptations as competently as possible and as often as required while maintaining responsible, pain-free ranges of motion, in addition to enforcing life-applicable bonus features (that last part will make sense in a second). This video explains it well, but keep reading the article!

The even quicker answer: 3 reps for power because it’s harder, 5 reps for strength because it’s already within your wheelhouse and 9 reps for speed because it’s a little easier.

Now, the detailed answer. You can handle it. Here we go…

• First: 3 reps for Power. We’re going “backwards” here with the heaviest weight first. You heard that right: Three reps of the heaviest weight first! The Power component combines both the Strength and Speed components. The Power component should be performed as quickly as possible* under maximum tension.** This is not a careless movement! These are very conscientious movements. Three (3) reps is the number that prevents a quicker fatigue and develops a level of confidence to immediately transition to the 5 strength reps. 

— Life-applicable bonus featurePower through the hard things first.

• Second: 5 reps for Strength. The Strength component is the amount of force that can be created via stress resulting in greater muscle endurance. Five (5) reps is a weight performed at a medium weight. Five (5) reps is the number that also prevents quick fatigue, but still allows the confident & immediate transition into the 9 reps for speed.

— Life-applicable bonus featuredevelop and maintain a pattern in your life that is strong, effective & sustainable.

• Third: 9 reps for Speed. These reps are the “easiest”/lightest weights of The Protocol. The Speed component promotes a confidence in performing the exercises/movements well over a longer period of time. The 9 reps is a number that, although strenuous, doesn’t overly tax the muscles and doesn’t deplete the “gas tank” to get the additional rounds.

— Life-applicable bonus featuremake what others see as hard and arduous look fast, smooth, easy and effortless. 

All of the components hit the different stimuli at different, but appropriate, times which lends itself to hypertrophy development  – aka BIGGER, shapelier, stronger muscles, while also strengthening bones and tendons – albeit in a seemingly counter-intuitive way (says conventional wisdom).

OKAY, SO WHAT?: One round is the entire rep scheme of 3 heavy/challenging movements immediately into 5 medium-challenging movements immediately into 9 lighter/less-challenging movements. The idea is to repeat this protocol for a minimum of 3 rounds which will end up totaling 51 reps hitting all the 3 components (Power-Strength-Speed)!

This innovative approach promotes muscle endurance and muscle development for anyone and everyone in a way that’s opposite to how we’ve always approached working-out/training in the past.

Gone are the days of the conventional 3 rounds of 10 reps (30 total reps) at one weight of a certain movement with no variability. 

Usher in 3 rounds of 17 reps (3+5+9 = 17) (51 total reps) that hit the three stimuli that matter: PowerStrength and Speed, performed with a greater intentionality and intensity in arguably less time. 

The 3•5•9 Protocol can be appropriately adapted to anyone regardless of age, abilities, faculties or training preference (HIIT or MISS, circuit-machine training, weightlifting, track work, etc).

Sidenote: For the advanced athlete, percentage training can absolutely be applied using The 3•5•9 Protocol. On that note, it’s time well spent, but not necessary, for anyone to learn his/her 1-3 Rep Max lifts from which to calculate training percentages.***

     *all the movements should be performed quickly (the weight used in the exercise will dictate how quickly), but fluidly and confidently and never under unnecessary duress. Your main focus is to move quickly, not carelessly.
Remember, a 
pain-free range of motion and a posture above reproach is essential to your long-lasting training. 

     **Yes, absolutely, there are benefits to slow-moving concentric & eccentric movements as well as isometric/TUT (Time Under Tension) holds, all of which The 3•5•9 Protocol can be applied.

     ***Rules of thumb for percentage training: Power component = 3 reps @ 75-90%, Strength component = 5 reps @ 60-75%, Speed component = 9 reps @ 45-60%

The Arena Disciplina uses The 3•5•9 Protocol for the workout Challenges in the weekly Calls To Action towards an orderly way of life

Join now. Invite someone to journey with you.

(just like any workout routine or any chosen avenue of fitness, get clearance from your doc, stop if you get dizzy or lightheaded, warm-up appropriately, drink lots of water throughout and just be a responsible human being when deciding on your weights and exercises).

Welcome to the world of The 3•5•9 Protocol. 

You’re welcome. 😉

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