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View Full Version : 5x5 stalling after 12 weeks.



Goatofthunder
02-09-2011, 02:48 AM
Hi all.

i know this is probabgly a frequently asked question bet here goes.

I'm doing the 5x5 madcow and i fell like my bench and rows are stalling.
I also feel verry tired and beat up after 12 weeks of the program since the lifts are getting heavier and i have a pretty phisical job. My shoulders are dore and yesterday i neede help completing my last set of benching. :(

So should i deload ther bench and the row, take a break or what?

skiboy
02-09-2011, 06:41 AM
You got to listen to your body.
Do a week of deload for everything, squat, bench and deads then start up where you left off from.
Also make sure you are eating enough too.

Goatofthunder
02-09-2011, 06:55 AM
After some more reading i think that the weighten dips might be the reason for my shoulder pain and lack of improovment in the benching. I useually go all out in the dips. I did that only 2 days beofore my yesterdays failiure at the bench. i eat like a horse though and am improoving like crazy in the dead and especially the squats. Im squatting 320x5 at my heaviest set.

I think a week off would be a good idea. Deload the bench a few weeks and the squatts and deads maybe only 2 weeks.
Sound good?

joey54
02-09-2011, 07:57 AM
Just put your current 5 rep maxes in the spreadsheet and start from there. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Doing dips to failure is not ideal either. They are an assistance to the main lifts, not a hinderance. Do enough work to help you.

mchicia1
02-09-2011, 07:58 AM
Just put your current 5 rep maxes in the spreadsheet and start from there. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Doing dips to failure is not ideal either. They are an assistance to the main lifts, not a hinderance. Do enough work to help you.

Agreed, and this is what you are supposed to do on that program when you stall anyway.

Goatofthunder
02-09-2011, 08:11 AM
Thanks for the responses guys! I appreciate them.
What about te deqad and the squats, im not stalling there, should i deload them as well?

mchicia1
02-09-2011, 08:12 AM
Thanks for the responses guys! I appreciate them.
What about te deqad and the squats, im not stalling there, should i deload them as well?

No, keep progressing til you stall. You don't have to reset everything at once.

joey54
02-09-2011, 09:37 AM
If you are feeling tired and beat up, just reset everything. You'll be refreshed when you get back to those weights in 4 weeks anyway, provided you are doing everything correctly. When you are right at a wall, can you break through it with your nose against it, or by taking a few steps back to build momentum?

Goatofthunder
02-09-2011, 11:42 AM
Ok, ill reset everything. But just for fun, I want to see my 1RM before i reset.
Haven't done that yet :)

BloodandThunder
02-10-2011, 09:24 AM
Thanks for the responses guys! I appreciate them.
What about te deqad and the squats, im not stalling there, should i deload them as well?

5x5 does not require a deload as the tonnage you're using is not very high per week. Deloading is necessary when the load you use per week is sufficiently high and your strength gains are not linear. Assistance lifts are SPP work, not main work, so like the others said, simply follow what the program tells you as far as sets x reps but gradually increase the load.

Compare a beginner 5x5er with a 315x5 5set. This is his/her weekly workload
5675+3850+6868=16393 lbs in a week (using 135,185,225,275,315 for Monday workout numbers)

This is a random week an intermediate trainee might do for squat based on 600 max:
15400 +11045 = 26445 lbs a week (460 for 5x5 and 300 for 15x2 box squats - including low rep warmups)

So despite one fewer workout, trainee 2 put in almost 10000 more pounds workload in a week.
Over four weeks, thats going to translate to more than 50000 more pounds when you factor in that trainee 2 will be ramping his weights at a much higher pace than the 2.5% 5x5 calls for. Also, trainee 2 does a significant amount of GPP and accessory work compared to a 5x5er.

That's why 5x5 does not deload. You're squatting very little volume over 70% per workout. You're taking advantage of linear strength gains and fighting through accumulated fatigue.

Goatofthunder
02-10-2011, 10:48 AM
5x5 does not require a deload as the tonnage you're using is not very high per week. Deloading is necessary when the load you use per week is sufficiently high and your strength gains are not linear. Assistance lifts are SPP work, not main work, so like the others said, simply follow what the program tells you as far as sets x reps but gradually increase the load.

Compare a beginner 5x5er with a 315x5 5set. This is his/her weekly workload
5675+3850+6868=16393 lbs in a week (using 135,185,225,275,315 for Monday workout numbers)

This is a random week an intermediate trainee might do for squat based on 600 max:
15400 +11045 = 26445 lbs a week (460 for 5x5 and 300 for 15x2 box squats - including low rep warmups)

So despite one fewer workout, trainee 2 put in almost 10000 more pounds workload in a week.
Over four weeks, thats going to translate to more than 50000 more pounds when you factor in that trainee 2 will be ramping his weights at a much higher pace than the 2.5% 5x5 calls for. Also, trainee 2 does a significant amount of GPP and accessory work compared to a 5x5er.

That's why 5x5 does not deload. You're squatting very little volume over 70% per workout. You're taking advantage of linear strength gains and fighting through accumulated fatigue.

I'm sorry, but i am not sure i understand this last post. If the program doesn't need to be reseted, should you then be able to go on forever?
Am i simply doing something terribly wrong ? :confused:

BloodandThunder
02-10-2011, 11:57 AM
I'm sorry, but i am not sure i understand this last post. If the program doesn't need to be reseted, should you then be able to go on forever?
Am i simply doing something terribly wrong ? :confused:

You misread my post. A deload is a sudden drop in volume to supercompensate. Advanced lifters do this because their strength levels can't improve linearly with time (like a week in 5x5).

Look at the program. Every week, you are increasing weights 2.5% each week for the same rep scheme.
An advanced lifter would not last very long doing this.

Read: The Sitehttp://madcow.hostzi.com/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm

In particular, read the Usage section
"If you miss reps, keep the weight constant the next week and don't move it up until you get all 5x5. When you eventually stall on the majority of lifts, and you will, meaning something like several weeks of no progress in that you can't add reps or weight, you'll have to reset lower back several weeks and begin again.If it's just one lift that has you stuck, reset on that and work up again but don't restart the whole program."

If you stall one lift, restart that lift. Maybe increase your ramping weights. Maybe change the assistance exercises. For instance if you notice you have terrible hip extension in the DL, incorporate GHRs or pull throughs. But don't overdo it. When you stall a few weeks on most exercises, then restart the whole program. Then after stalling again on all lifts, move on. By now your linear gains are exhausted.

There's a reason why a 250 lb squatter can hit a 300 squat after a few weeks. But it takes months, even years to get up to a 500 squat.

With 5x5, you're simply enforcing the movement with decent frequency and little assistance. Programs like Sheiko run on this principle. One way to increase your 1RM is to perfect your form. So you perform the movement several times a week. More efficient movement will lead to the ability to put more lbs on the bar. Same reason, if you don't bench press for several months, your 1RM is going down.

Another way to increase 1RM is to bring up assistance work. If you delts and chest are capable of a 300 bench, but your triceps 200, you're going to fail at lockout at 200. By adding in more tricep volume and raising the capabilities of your triceps to a 300 bench, you're going to now lock out that 300. Say you don't DL for several months, but instead do heavy Good mornings. Because the GM strains the same muscles as a DL, chances are your 1RM may go up. But your DL form might be sloppy.

5x5ers typically perform better technique after a few months on the program. They then need to start incorporating more weakness specific assistance work.

Goatofthunder
02-11-2011, 02:20 AM
Thanks for the post BloodandThunder, I am takin one week off let my shoulder heal. Then i'm making a nother attempt on my previously failed bench press weighths and keep on strong at the other.
After reading the program better, i feel more compitant.

One question remains, how far should one push him self in for example the dips and the other assistance lifts?

BloodandThunder
02-11-2011, 08:31 AM
Yea like any sport, there is fatigue, being hurt, and being injured. Know the difference. When you are injured, you don't lift period (think torn pec, torn acl, etc.). Being hurt, like having a banged up tricep or something (but not enough to get checked out by a doctor), you should scale back volume for a little to help heal. Lifters who are hurt typically push through to still peak for a meet (sometimes not the greatest idea). Being fatigued is another story. Unless you cannot physically get out of bed, think rationally, and not be sick, lifters need to overcome fatigue. This is how programs like Sheiko work. You destroy yourself from a base level to rebuild to a higher one.

With any program which you are taking hours to do in the gym, spend some time to understand it first. Reading 5/3/1 if you run that. Read Sheiko's book and read the forums about it before running it etc. Just dont get an excel sheet and plug in numbers. You're very lucky in that you have the internet. Years ago, hell even the early 2000's, there wasn't much info out there. You had to rely on older lifters to talk about training. Meets often were like forums in that everyone would talk about how to improve their squat and stuff. So take advantage. I wish I had a copy of 5x5 when I started out.

For the first waves of 5x5, do JUST as the spreadsheet tells you. If it says 3x8, do just that. You should be pushing through those 7th and 8th reps. It shouldn't be a breeze, but you should finish all sets. Over the course of a few weeks, increase the load. This is how you get stronger. Doing BW Dips 3x8 every week will not make you strengthen your pecs with time, just for the same reason benching 225 5x5 every week wont either. You need to increase the workload. So for dips, try adding 5 lbs a week or something to the weight belt. When you cant do 8 reps, try using a longer eccentric phase. Same thing with weighted abs. Use a 25 in your chest...move to 45....then move to 25 behind the head....Eventually move to Roman Chair or Decline Abs.

It's once you've stalled once or twice on all movements that you should switch things up with assistance work. IF one of my guys is having a hard time at lockout, I introduce throat presses or JM presses as assistance to increase the tricep volume. But no more than 3 assistance exercises a day. You should be out of the gym in 90 minutes or less. But in the beginning, it's really about improving your form on the big 5 (bench, squat, DL, rows, OH) so the assistance work is generic.