The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    bill star 5x5 ?'s

    I started the Bill Star 5x5 a couple weeks ago and I feel as though I'm not getting a good enough workout. I am barely sore the next day because the weight is generaly so low until the last set. Is this an effective routine that way? If so can anyone explain why? I used to do mainly heavy lift at 3-7 reps per set with anywhere between 3-5 sets. The next couple days I was very sore and felt like I had a great workout. Just curious if I'm on the right track with this or if I should go back to my old system? Please help anyone!
    Man these weights are heavy!!!

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  3. #2
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    Well if you only started a couple weeks ago then you are in the warm up phaze. You dont even reach your PRs until week four then you keep increasing them. I've been doing it for 6 weeks now so I dont know how effictive it is, but I like this kind of training and do get sore the next day. The last set is a new PR, and the second to last set is only 12% below that so its still a good amount of weight. I'm going to stick with it to see how much I can improve.
    5'9" 159lb
    Squat 230X5
    Dead 240X5
    Bench 205X4

  4. #3
    Senior Member Natetaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicman12 View Post
    I started the Bill Star 5x5 a couple weeks ago and I feel as though I'm not getting a good enough workout. I am barely sore the next day because the weight is generaly so low until the last set. Is this an effective routine that way? If so can anyone explain why? I used to do mainly heavy lift at 3-7 reps per set with anywhere between 3-5 sets. The next couple days I was very sore and felt like I had a great workout. Just curious if I'm on the right track with this or if I should go back to my old system? Please help anyone!
    ^your "soreness" is not an indicator of growth or a good workout. If your making gains on 5x5 then what are you arguing about? 5% gain every week is really good. If its working its working..
    ________________________
    190ish lbs
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    Personal Accomplishments
    Bench:225x5, 255x1
    Squat:350x5
    Dead:370x5, 415x1

  5. #4
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    I havent made any gains yet because I just started a couple weeks ago, I was just inquiring because I dont feel like NOW I am getting that great of a workout. If you dont feel sore after how can that still be a good workout? Im not so concerned with lifting more just adding mass and weight and I thought that is what this program was for?
    Man these weights are heavy!!!

  6. #5
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    add more weight to your sets.

    everyone here always do these weak lifts or push themselves so they never get sore lol. get used to the same answers.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Natetaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicman12 View Post
    I havent made any gains yet because I just started a couple weeks ago, I was just inquiring because I dont feel like NOW I am getting that great of a workout. If you dont feel sore after how can that still be a good workout? Im not so concerned with lifting more just adding mass and weight and I thought that is what this program was for?
    Your supposed to start the routine with your 5 rep max on all of the lifts then increase weekly, you must not be doing the routine right ifyou have made any gains after a couple of weeks. I dont feel sore ever after i do push presses but yet i still get stronger at them almost every session. There is a guy on there called Stump and he almost never gets sore after squatting like 400 pounds some people dont really get sore, mostly because they eat ALOT and sleep alot. Bill starr is for increasing your 5 rep max on the big lifts. Mass and weight are both biproducts of this routine, that is if you have a good diet, sleep, and train properly.
    ________________________
    190ish lbs
    5'11
    Personal Accomplishments
    Bench:225x5, 255x1
    Squat:350x5
    Dead:370x5, 415x1

  8. #7
    WannabeStronger Scooter's Avatar
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    You know you are on the right track if you are able to do the weights on that spreadsheet. If that spreadsheet is not inline with your goals then maybe you should try a different or modified routine.

  9. #8
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Are you eating enough?
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  10. #9
    Getting Better..... bigmoney's Avatar
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    From my experience, around week 5 you should have more than enough hard work ahead of you

  11. #10
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    I currently am on week 8 and I can say its really getting intense. It started picking up at around week 5 and now I can barely make the last rep without a bit of help. Im getting alot stronger and bigger. Ive gained about 7 pounds in 8 weeks.

  12. #11
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    so basicly the first four weeks are kind of a waste of time if thats how long it takes you to get up to you 5 rep best? I guess maybe Ill try starting at week four and see where that gets me. Thanks peeps
    Man these weights are heavy!!!

  13. #12
    Banned Tofer's Avatar
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    *sigh* It's not a waste of time. The program is about linear progression. If you jump straight into your current PR's, I guarantee you're not going to make any progress. Just do the damn program as it's written and let your body adjust to the lifts and the increasing load each week.

  14. #13
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    tofer-can you explain why lifting lighter for four weeks works, I guess I didnt pick that up in the read. Just a little lost I suppose. Are you still building muscle while on these lighter lifts or just acclimating the body? Thanks for your help Im not trying to beat a dead horse!
    Man these weights are heavy!!!

  15. #14
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    Its not like the weights are a huge difference in the first 4 weeks. To get up to 165 on bench in week four i did week 1 150, week 2 155, week 3 160. Its not like thats isnt working out at all.
    5'9" 159lb
    Squat 230X5
    Dead 240X5
    Bench 205X4

  16. #15
    Banned Tofer's Avatar
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    Well, think of it this way:

    On week four Day 1, you're going to be doing your 5 rep max for the squat, bench and barbell row. Your 5 rep max is the most weight you can put up for 5 reps, which means you're pushing yourself to the limit. If you start off by pushing yourself to the limit on all these exercises multiple times per week, your body isn't going to be used to it. It's going to be too much all at once. I mean, I'm assuming you only squatted once a week before you started the program. Think back to a really intense squatting session, and then imagine replicating that, but with even greater weight, only a few days later. By starting at lower weights than your current PR's, you're basically letting your body know what's coming, and allowing it to adjust to an increase in weight each session. You're getting used to lifting more and more weight each week. If you're jumping straight into week four, your body wouldn't have properly adapted, you won't be used to squatting three times a week, and you're going to burn out almost immediately. It'll just be too much.

    With linear progression your body just adjusts to putting more weight on the bar each week (don't forget that you need to get enough food to allow this to happen!). If you're doing everything right, your body will continue to get stronger each successive week at the same rate.

    It may seem easy now, but it does become very difficult and very intense. By week 8-9, I couldn't even handle doing the accessory lifts anymore because I had nothing left in me.

    Edit: Also, you're still lifting fairly heavy weights on important compound exercises for the first four weeks, so if you're eating enough then you're going to put on muscle too. As many people have already pointed out, soreness is a poor indicator of growth. The only place I ever get sore is in my hamstrings, and I've grown plenty in the past nine months.
    Last edited by Tofer; 02-07-2007 at 04:59 PM.

  17. #16
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    Awesome, that helps out alot. I just felt like I was doing nothing these first couple weeks, with exception to the last set. Im used to doing 3-5 very heavy sets. Ill keep on it and believe the system works. Thank for the info man!
    Man these weights are heavy!!!

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tofer View Post
    Well, think of it this way:

    On week four Day 1, you're going to be doing your 5 rep max for the squat, bench and barbell row. Your 5 rep max is the most weight you can put up for 5 reps, which means you're pushing yourself to the limit. If you start off by pushing yourself to the limit on all these exercises multiple times per week, your body isn't going to be used to it. It's going to be too much all at once. I mean, I'm assuming you only squatted once a week before you started the program. Think back to a really intense squatting session, and then imagine replicating that, but with even greater weight, only a few days later. By starting at lower weights than your current PR's, you're basically letting your body know what's coming, and allowing it to adjust to an increase in weight each session. You're getting used to lifting more and more weight each week. If you're jumping straight into week four, your body wouldn't have properly adapted, you won't be used to squatting three times a week, and you're going to burn out almost immediately. It'll just be too much.

    With linear progression your body just adjusts to putting more weight on the bar each week (don't forget that you need to get enough food to allow this to happen!). If you're doing everything right, your body will continue to get stronger each successive week at the same rate.

    It may seem easy now, but it does become very difficult and very intense. By week 8-9, I couldn't even handle doing the accessory lifts anymore because I had nothing left in me.

    Edit: Also, you're still lifting fairly heavy weights on important compound exercises for the first four weeks, so if you're eating enough then you're going to put on muscle too. As many people have already pointed out, soreness is a poor indicator of growth. The only place I ever get sore is in my hamstrings, and I've grown plenty in the past nine months.
    Hey Tofer since you seem very knowledgable about this routine can you please explain to me a couple of things. 1st is when it says "Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple"?

    I started doing squats starting at 2X45lbs plate and added 15lbs each set until I reached my maximum at set 5. Is this right?

    Or this:

    "First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8"

    So if monday I did 1set45, 2set60, 3set75, 4set90, I do it again?

    Thanx

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokinHawk View Post
    add more weight to your sets.

    everyone here always do these weak lifts or push themselves so they never get sore lol. get used to the same answers.
    Wrong. Follow the program like it was written. Don't give advice on routines you don't know. If you knew this routine, you wouldn't just say "add more weight". You add weight in a progression, not just max out right out of the gate. If you did that, the program wouldn't work as well. Sorry that everyone isn't hardcore enough for your liking. Or that Bill Starr didn't write the program the way you think it should be.
    Last edited by Mike G; 02-08-2007 at 11:53 AM.

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by theman View Post
    Hey Tofer since you seem very knowledgable about this routine can you please explain to me a couple of things. 1st is when it says "Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple"?

    I started doing squats starting at 2X45lbs plate and added 15lbs each set until I reached my maximum at set 5. Is this right?

    Or this:

    "First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8"

    So if monday I did 1set45, 2set60, 3set75, 4set90, I do it again?

    Thanx
    I'll explain it, but I would really recommend downloading the spreadsheet MadCow offers, because by plugging your numbers into the yellow cells, the formulas he has inputted will outline every single weight you should be lifting on each day, throughout the whole program.

    Anyways, here's an example (let's say, for bench):

    Week 1:
    Monday
    5x135
    5x155
    5x175
    5x195
    5x215

    Friday
    5x135
    5x155
    5x175
    5x195
    3x220
    8x175

    Week 2:

    Monday
    5x140
    5x160
    5x180
    5x200
    5x220

    Friday
    5x140
    5x160
    5x180
    5x200
    3x225
    8x180

    Do you see what I mean? You want to add ~5% of the weight you lift on your last set on Monday to what your lifting for 3 reps on Friday (on the fifth set). Then the following Monday you want to use that same weight (from the 3 rep set on Friday) for a set of 5. And so on.

    Hope that helps.

  21. #20
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    Ok so I finished my 1st week of 5X5 and here is how I felt. I can feel my chest, back and quads the next day. I can't feel my hamstrings, calves, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and traps. By the way when its says to do either inclines or military press on wednesdays, which is better? Is it incline with dumbells or barbell? Is the military press standing up or sitting down? I don't know how this routine builds your shoulders because 1 exercise(military), if you choose it over incline, a week, is not enough.

  22. #21
    Banned Tofer's Avatar
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    Both bench and rows will hit your shoulders. Do the standing barbell millitary press on Wednesday.

    Squats will hit your hamstrings. So will the weighted hypers (or GM's if you want to do them instead) on Monday.

    Traps will be hit by heavy deads and rows.

    Triceps get hit by bench and then by weighted dips and extensions on Fridays.

    Biceps get hit by rows and curls on Fridays (and by pullups if you want to add a couple sets to Wednesday).

    I really don't think you need to worry about directly hitting your calves yet.

  23. #22
    Senior Member Natetaco's Avatar
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    lol god people and this routine...

    The routine hits all muscles and your whole body will grow stronger and bigger. The routine is basically perfect for strength and mass. If you really worry about your calves then do a set of calf raises on any of the days as your last exersise, it wont effect or mess up anything.
    ________________________
    190ish lbs
    5'11
    Personal Accomplishments
    Bench:225x5, 255x1
    Squat:350x5
    Dead:370x5, 415x1

  24. #23
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    Yeah it's starting to become annoying. I don't think I'll be posting in too many more of these Bill Starr threads. It's always the same questions over and over. If I can understand it just by reading Madcow's writeup I don't see why everyone else has such a problem with it.

    And besides that, why are all these people starting this routine if they have so many hang-ups about it? If you don't feel comfortable with working out your muscles with compound exercises instead of isolation exercises (which IMO, is completely stupid) then go try out some other routine! No one is forcing you to do it.
    Last edited by Tofer; 02-11-2007 at 09:29 PM.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tofer View Post
    Both bench and rows will hit your shoulders. Do the standing barbell millitary press on Wednesday.

    Squats will hit your hamstrings. So will the weighted hypers (or GM's if you want to do them instead) on Monday.

    Traps will be hit by heavy deads and rows.

    Triceps get hit by bench and then by weighted dips and extensions on Fridays.

    Biceps get hit by rows and curls on Fridays (and by pullups if you want to add a couple sets to Wednesday).

    I really don't think you need to worry about directly hitting your calves yet.
    Thanks again for your response Tofer. You are the man. Just one last question , I promise. How do I do hypers? Is it hyper-extension because I have googled it and could not find what is it? Thanks.

  26. #25
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    Sorry, that last post wasn't directed at you so I hope it didn't offend.

    Here's an animation of what the hyperextension looks like:



    http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html is a great site to bookmark on your browser, just in case you ever need to know how to do a certain exercise in the future.

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