Find Your 5

by Sean St. Onge

“Find your 5…”

Words many of our clients have heard from me at 212 Health and Performance. For almost a decade now, the resident clients of  212 Health and Performance in Rumford, Rhode Island have endured my cockamamie ideas and silly overplayed Descendents, Metallica, and RUSH laden lifting soundtracks. But, I would like to think, they have also been helped by the coaching and attention to detail we have provided as well. 

So back to “Find your 5.”

What that is in reference to is the concept of asking the client to find what their best number of repetitions with serious effort is for a particular exercise. Or, in other words, “EDM”. 

Electronic Dance Music…?



If you know anything about me, that’s just not my bag. 

Estimated Daily Max. 

When life gets in the way, whether you are a mother of 2, airline air traffic controller, CEO of a company, entrepreneur, or professional wrestler, for as much of our lives is routine, there is something to be said about how everyday does not have consistent energy.

Having the same gusto to perform what is asked of you when you finally have made those 60-90 minutes for yourself is rarely ever the same from training session to session. So, we implore our clients to find their “insert number here” for the prescribed exercise.

The Estimated Daily Max concept gives the client a measured success rate judged on what is anticipated from the coach as well as whatever they had to exert and work hard for based on how their day went. This concept we use is very helpful because although it does create a valued number required of the client to work to, it eliminates the need for a solid and concrete  prewritten expectation for long term goals.

Example: Finding your 3 best challenging dumbbell goblet squats. 

For someone that traditionally can perform 50 pound goblet squats for 8 repetitions, it is now obvious that they can achieve more of a weighted load if only having to do 5 less reps. 

But, from day to day, as we all know, that 50 pounds may feel different. So we are out there with you guys trying our best, like Malorie in “Bird Box”, to feel our way around. 

By finding your “insert number/exercise here” creates a expectation of what is standard or normal to each individual while they continue to work and train hard. There are many ways to skin a cat and this is obviously not the only method we have to creating challenges for our clients, yet it serves many purposes.

It also helps a larger portion of our demographic of “Average Joe’s”, or clients that are in the mold of “General Physical Preparedness” where it is the goal of those clients to gain conditioning, strength, mobility, and flexibility for an overall improved quality of fitness. The “EDM” method allows them to stop counting reps. Sure we want our people to log and track everything for sure, that allows this process to work. What I mean by “stop counting reps” is many people get hung up on gaining a specific set number of reps for individual lifts. Be it for personal reasons of maybe clients feeling that the number 10 or 15 is the sweet spot for muscle growth, or a sick pump dawg. When there is some science to all of that sure, the concept of just applying a good amount of hard work and going off of what feels good in that moment in a pain free situation. This also allows the client to dictate when it feels good and ramp up on a drill and when to back off. Many times we have said it, YOU are the one doing it, so how do YOU feel? 

Hope you found this helpful and plan to use it if you already do not. '