852 Programming (Full Body HLM) 852 Programming (Full Body HLM)

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Thread: 852 Programming (Full Body HLM)

  1. #1
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    Default 852 Programming (Full Body HLM)

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    Would like some input on if this is structured correctly. Upper body is far behind and still responding to linear weekly increases so this is only for the lower body. Looking to run an 8/5/2 HLM on my lower body that gets me the benefits of hypertrophy, and working at higher intensity in relatively small time frames.

    38 Male current 1RM's@208 BW:
    Squat - 375 lbs.
    Deadlift - 430 lbs.

    Week 1
    Monday; Heavy (8/5/2) Squat, Medium Deadlift:
    Squat: 3x8@70%
    Deadlift: 2x5@65%

    Wednesday; Light Squat, Light Deadlift:
    Squat: 2x5@60%
    Deadlift: 4x8 Rows or Chins

    Friday; Medium Squat, Heavy (8/5/2) Deadlift:
    Squat: 3x5@65%
    Deadlift: 2x8@70%

    Week 2; 3x5's week will see all 8/5/2 percentages move up to 80% and add 5lbs to the light and medium days.

    Week 3; 2x2's week will see all 8/5/2 percentages move up to 90% and add 5lbs to the light and medium days.

    After 3 weeks, start back at 8's, move everything up 5lbs. and run again ad infinitum. If necessary deload and test every 9-12 weeks.

    Some suggestions I've read are to add a heavy single as a top set (1x1@90%) before the 8/5 Heavy day work (skip on the 2's week). Apparently this helps keep top end strength "trained." I'm not sure if it's necessary though working in the 2 rep range every 3 weeks. I also want to make sure that the volume is set up correctly. Especially for the deadlift.

    Input would be greatly appreciated .

  2. #2
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    Hi, I have actually recently tried this program for myself and set an easy 5kg PR for my squat at the end (200kg/441lbs).

    I took some inspirations from john Petrizzo's training log here. And I set it up as a four-day split like this:

    week 1: day 1 SQ 3x8@70% day 2 Light SQ 3x8@60%
    week 2: day 1 SQ 3x5@80% day 2 Light SQ 3x5@70%
    week 3: day 1 SQ 3x2@90% day 2 Light SQ 3x2@80%

    If you intend to add 5lbs to your medium and light day 5s each week, they will probably get too close to your heavy 5s at some point. I would be better if you kept the same weight for a whole 3 week cycle and then add 5 lbs to them.
    I was also afraid to lose my top end strength by only keeping a high intensity session once every 3 weeks, so I tried the 1@90% for 1 cycle but I found that I didn't need it after all, If anything it only adds fatigue.

    Your volume is fine I think, i would keep the 3 sets of 2 though. I haven't tried this method for my deadlift but I think your setup is alright, a little less volume, personnaly I would do something like 1x8@~75% + 1 AMRAP backoff@90% of that --- 1x5@~85% + 1 AMRAP backoff --- 1x2@~95% + 1 AMRAP backoff on heavy days but the sets across approach works too I guess. Your light day deadlift volume is ok too, but if you feel like 5s take too much of a toll on your recovery, you can always try doing 5 speed doubles instead. Good luck, the program gets actually pretty hard, don't hesitate to take 10+ minutes of rest towards the end of a macrocyle

  3. #3
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    Practice with 1's may be a good idea.

    I'm not sold out with having your work set weights based on a 1RM test though. That may serve as a starting point, but I'd suggest you keep track of how you respond to various cycles of this program and fine tune %'s in relation to training weights, not an abstract 1RM that may not mean much...

  4. #4
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    I've mixed singles with reps in the past and have not found this to be effective. If your goal is hypertrophy then I would do a snatch grip or deficit deadlift on the day that you do 8s and would chin at the end of every workout.

    As this gets more difficult to recover from, make the following the changes in the order listed

    1) Drop the light squat day
    2) Cut 8s to 5s and 5s to triples
    3) Cut the above triples to singles and the above 5s to double or triples
    4) Drop the chin ups entirely.
    5) Work up to a new max
    Last edited by Robert Santana; 08-18-2020 at 09:38 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanMoi View Post
    Hi, I have actually recently tried this program for myself and set an easy 5kg PR for my squat at the end (200kg/441lbs).

    I took some inspirations from john Petrizzo's training log here. And I set it up as a four-day split like this:

    week 1: day 1 SQ 3x8@70% day 2 Light SQ 3x8@60%
    week 2: day 1 SQ 3x5@80% day 2 Light SQ 3x5@70%
    week 3: day 1 SQ 3x2@90% day 2 Light SQ 3x2@80%

    If you intend to add 5lbs to your medium and light day 5s each week, they will probably get too close to your heavy 5s at some point. I would be better if you kept the same weight for a whole 3 week cycle and then add 5 lbs to them.
    I was also afraid to lose my top end strength by only keeping a high intensity session once every 3 weeks, so I tried the 1@90% for 1 cycle but I found that I didn't need it after all, If anything it only adds fatigue.

    Your volume is fine I think, i would keep the 3 sets of 2 though. I haven't tried this method for my deadlift but I think your setup is alright, a little less volume, personnaly I would do something like 1x8@~75% + 1 AMRAP backoff@90% of that --- 1x5@~85% + 1 AMRAP backoff --- 1x2@~95% + 1 AMRAP backoff on heavy days but the sets across approach works too I guess. Your light day deadlift volume is ok too, but if you feel like 5s take too much of a toll on your recovery, you can always try doing 5 speed doubles instead. Good luck, the program gets actually pretty hard, don't hesitate to take 10+ minutes of rest towards the end of a macrocyle
    Great info here. I really appreciate it. I can't make 4 day splits really work for me. I get lucky to get to the gym 3 days (travel for work), and I need frequency. I stalled hard doing 5/3/1 only squatting heavy every week and a half. I tried to structure this similar to a "classic" HLM. I think I'll start without the singles, and maybe just do heavy one on the 2's week if I'm feeling frisky.

    If you had to pick, would you do the AMRAPs on deadlift instead of the sets across? I did AMRAPS in 5/3/1 and love/hated them. I always end up doing way more reps than I thought I could, but it seems to kill my recovery by digging so deep.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReconquistaBarbell View Post
    Practice with 1's may be a good idea.

    I'm not sold out with having your work set weights based on a 1RM test though. That may serve as a starting point, but I'd suggest you keep track of how you respond to various cycles of this program and fine tune %'s in relation to training weights, not an abstract 1RM that may not mean much...
    Work sets starting weight based on percentages is purely for the first cycle. This percentage is an extrapolation of advice from Andy Baker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    I've mixed singles with reps in the past and have not found this to be effective. If your goal is hypertrophy then I would do a snatch grip or deficit deadlift on the day that you do 8s and would chin at the end of every workout.

    As this gets more difficult to recover from, make the following the changes in the order listed

    1) Drop the light squat day
    2) Cut 8s to 5s and 5s to triples
    3) Cut the above triples to singles and the above 5s to double or triples
    4) Drop the chin ups entirely.
    5) Work up to a new max
    I wouldn't say the goal is hypertrophy. It's actually strength. I have read some very good things of people's results with this because of the rep range difference. Something along the lines of setting Pr's on 8's every 3 weeks drives hypertrophy, the 5's are general strength and the 2's absolute strength. This mix leads to good overall gains, and provides some variability.

    I am to the point that I can't recovery increasing the weight on 5's weekly, so I'm seeking something between that and going full-on Garage Gym Warrior (which I own and am considering). I'm reticent to wait 12 weeks between increasing 1RM's to work off of. That seems an eternity vs most intermediate programming. Maybe I'm just inpatient.

    The largest critic I've heard of that program is working in the 2-3 rep range every 12 weeks (during the testing phase) hurts your ability to work at the top end of your strength. This seems a good medium, or maybe a rotation to throw in somewhere in there.

    Thank you for the tweaks you've provided as things get tougher . Any comments on GGW vs. 852 would be appreciated as well.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate35 View Post
    Great info here. I really appreciate it. I can't make 4 day splits really work for me. I get lucky to get to the gym 3 days (travel for work), and I need frequency. I stalled hard doing 5/3/1 only squatting heavy every week and a half. I tried to structure this similar to a "classic" HLM. I think I'll start without the singles, and maybe just do heavy one on the 2's week if I'm feeling frisky.

    If you had to pick, would you do the AMRAPs on deadlift instead of the sets across? I did AMRAPS in 5/3/1 and love/hated them. I always end up doing way more reps than I thought I could, but it seems to kill my recovery by digging so deep.
    I would personally do the amrap method because it works well for me, I found that I made far better progress with the least effective dose of work and one high intensity all out set on the deadlift. I keep the backoff set just as a safety net to make sure I do enough volume + a light day speed work. And for AMRAPs, you want to stop the set before it is too much of a grind. (after 1x8, I'd do 90% x 8 to 11; after 1x5, 90%x5-8 for instance).

    Your deadlift being farther from your squat than mine is, maybe you'll find that you can get away with more work with a sets across approach, I know that's what Andy recommends in this article.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanMoi View Post
    I would personally do the amrap method because it works well for me, I found that I made far better progress with the least effective dose of work and one high intensity all out set on the deadlift. I keep the backoff set just as a safety net to make sure I do enough volume + a light day speed work. And for AMRAPs, you want to stop the set before it is too much of a grind. (after 1x8, I'd do 90% x 8 to 11; after 1x5, 90%x5-8 for instance).

    Your deadlift being farther from your squat than mine is, maybe you'll find that you can get away with more work with a sets across approach, I know that's what Andy recommends in this article.
    Thanks again for the info Stan! Last couple of questions.

    For the speed doubles on “light” deadlift day. How does 70% sound? How would you profess them?

    How many cycles did you get out of 8/5/2 before switching? What did you switch to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate35 View Post

    The largest critic I've heard of that program is working in the 2-3 rep range every 12 weeks (during the testing phase) hurts your ability to work at the top end of your strength. This seems a good medium, or maybe a rotation to throw in somewhere in there.
    Elaborate.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate35 View Post
    Thanks again for the info Stan! Last couple of questions.

    For the speed doubles on “light” deadlift day. How does 70% sound? How would you profess them?

    How many cycles did you get out of 8/5/2 before switching? What did you switch to?
    For speed DL, I follow the same pattern as in PPST, a 3 week wave of 65-70-75%. The book recommends 10 singles but I just don't like setting up for the deadlift 10 times every 30 seconds ^^. I do 5 doubles at about the same percentages and keep the rest time between 1 and 2 minutes depending on the weight. You probably want to use straps for these and focus on a fast lockout.

    I got about 6 cycles of 8-5-2 but I started it a little conservatively since I had just acquired a home gym. The last cycle was getting pretty hard, so I decided to PR on the doubles day, and it felt relatively easy. I then switched to another approach, something I've done in the past, a top set of 5-3-1 (not a 1RM) followed by volume work that linearly increases each week. I may come back to 852 for my squat later since it worked so well. Also, if you liked that type of approach, you can surely continue the program as coach Santana presented it and reduce the rep ranges to accomodate for the increased weight, it may won't last as long as your 852 run though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    Elaborate.
    Robert,

    Being as time-strapped as I am (work 80 hours a week, kids on the weekends etc), I try and optimize the time I have to lift. Selecting the correct program has become even more important to me after wasting 4 months going nowhere on 5/3/1 last year.

    I'm not quite an early intermediate anymore (can't recover in a week), but I don't think I need 12 week cycles either (Garage Gym Warrior).

    I purchased that program, and it looks great, but am loathe to try it for fear of not getting the most out of it due to being such a "fresh" intermediate per say. These fears have been allied by reading training logs, and having people report that their ability to handle top end loads (90-100%) suffered because low rep ranges were only worked during the testing/peaking phase (every 12 weeks or so).

    The 8/5/2 program is appealing as it has that spread of hypertrophy AND strength within a microcycle (3 weeks). It also moves up those working sets on a 3 week cycle, which would appear to be closer to where I am from a recovery perspective.

    To elaborate further, I have read of people throwing in a cycle (3 weeks) of 8/5/2 in the middle of GGW to keep that low rep range worked. Some have just worked in a "2's" week only to not mess with the equilibrium of the program as much.

    I am really split, as today is day 1 for me, and I need to make a decision on which way to go (8/5/2 or GGW as prescribed). I've never run either, and just need to commit to one or the other.

    If you can recommend a course of action, that would help. If you need more context, I am a 38 year old male. Coming back after a year layoff (still only 90% of the way back to former 1RMs), I ran LP for about 2 months, and early intermediate weekly progression for about a month. I am a hard gainer (eating 4k calories of quality food leaves my weight static), and recovery compromised (work a lot, get bad sleep despite using Magnesium, Melatonin etc).

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