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Thread: 5x5 is getting old

  1. #1
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    5x5 is getting old

    Ok so I started lifting a few years back with a super bad program and diet, then experimented with some things and didnt really get anywhere.

    So ive been doing the madcow bill starr 5x5 forever now. I did it in high school for a while and made some ok gains. I did it last school year in college for about the second half of the year, then did not do much during the summer. Recently I have been doing it again. I feel i have been doing this rep scheme too long now and need something else. I went from 145 lbs bodyweight to like 185 right now. Ill admit my diet needs some work, I just need to ****ing eat more. So im still skinny looking, im 6'1. I want to get bigger, but I also want strength. So what should I do? Higher reps? Stay with the program? 5x5 is basically all I know.

  2. #2
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Madcow is an intermediate routine... so its gonna depend on some things... What are you stats? (height, weight, bench, DL, squat)
    Sarvamangalam!

  3. #3
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    Height: 6'1
    weight: 185
    I dont know what my 1rm lifts are, I havent done that in a long time. I took this week off and I am actually planning on testing them on friday just for kicks, but my best last sets with the 5x5 are...
    bench:205x3
    dl:330x5
    squat:290x5

  4. #4
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    It sounds like you haven't even been training consistently for very long. If you want size and strength the first thing you have to do is be consistent (no summers off etc...). It also sounds like you need to eat more.
    For size and strength, some variation of 5x5 is probably your best bet. If you are bored, do a different variation of that type of protocol (Texas method or something similar). Whatever you do, don't stray too far from the idea of increasing your strength in the main lifts (SQ, DL, BP, overhead press, rows). Heavy sets of 5 in these movements provides an excellent stimulus for both size and strength.
    In summary:
    1) Train consistently.
    2) Eat more.
    4) Focus on increasing strength in the big, compound movements.

    I wish I had followed this advice when I was starting out.
    Last edited by Sean S; 11-04-2009 at 08:13 AM.

  5. #5
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Youre in a tough spot right now if youve been on madcow, as it is more advanced than SS and TM. Youre numbers suggest you should either be on SS or TM.. maybe try one of those and see how well you progress. If those dont work well maybe try 5/3/1 but I try something simpler than that first.
    Sarvamangalam!

  6. #6
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gooby View Post
    Height: 6'1
    weight: 185
    I dont know what my 1rm lifts are, I havent done that in a long time. I took this week off and I am actually planning on testing them on friday just for kicks, but my best last sets with the 5x5 are...
    bench:205x3
    dl:330x5
    squat:290x5
    Those are quite respectable numbers for being on and off at your body weight. There are quite a few options available to you, I know ALOT of people on this forum will throw Starting Strength and the Texas Method (http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=130170) at you, they are both very good programs - but I'm going to suggest a few different options.

    You have the WBB staples of the classic WBB1/2/3 (http://www.wannabebig.com/category.php?cat=4), which are also very effective. I did enjoy that more than 5x5, WBB1 that is, I felt like I was doing more work. Not that you don't do any less on 5x5, but it was just that feeling from the slightly higher reps.


    Another option which I have started to incorporate into my training is ditching the notion of sets and reps, and just getting the required total reps done. Ie; If my rows require me to have a 5x5 (25), or a 4x12(48), I'll do one set of 20 reps and then another of 5 (25) - OR for the 48 you could do 5 sets of 6 (30) and then rep out a set of 18 to bring you upto 48. You could even do all of the allocated reps in a long rest/pause set, which will give you MORE than enough stimulous to grow!

    Travis started doing higher db presses (in the 40 reps I believe!) with a lighter weight than normal, and I think you can see the difference in the videos he has been posting. I've been doing the same, along with 100 rep tricep extensions, and I've put on a good piece of size on my arms. No malarky or internet bull-plop, I have better looking triceps and shoulders.

    This really went against the grain of what WBB was all about a few years ago when I started lifting, eveyone advocated heavy - low reps. I think a balance between the two is required for strength and size (My goals), 1 - 2 heavy compound movements and 3 - 4 high rep movements. Now, I'm not talking about doing 100 reps of cable cross-overs, there has to be some form of logic going into your exercise selection. If your interested I can do a up a Push/Pull/Legs routine with suggest numbers and exercises?

  7. #7
    I drink your milkshake twm's Avatar
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    you can take 5x5 so much further than your numbers are at right now. a new program isnt going to do a thing for you unless you eat to support more muscle mass

  8. #8
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    I'd say stick with madcow, unless you are tired of it and need a change. In that case I would go with TM. I think you are at a point where you could benefit from either one. They both focus on weekly progression, so in my opinion you would do well on each. You are not ready for 531. It focuses on monthly progression and would slow your progression.

  9. #9
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    Ok, I think illtry staying with the 5x5 and make it my priority to eat more.

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