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Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!


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JKurz1 said:
hey phys - will you post your monday w/o?

Flat Bench 5x5
BB row paralell to ground 5x5
ATF Squat 2x20
Skull Crushers 5x5
DB Hammer curls 1 drop set 7-5-5-5 I beleive
Seated Calve Raise 1x20, 1x15


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have you read any of the conversation that's been going on?

there are two distinctly different 5x5 workouts on elite.


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JKurz1 said:
now you f-d me all the 20 reppers?
He changed the squat part - otherwise it's still the same program. Nixing the heavy squats does take away from the overall stress/stimulus/effectiveness of the program. They really are a full body exercise. That said, it's still a good enough program to produce gains but in general, the squats are the last thing you want to screw with.


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Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up n

Here's another boardmember experiencing some very positive results with the program. This is really some solid progress - he's up 16lbs in 7 weeks and making good strength gains.

Source Thread:

ceasar989 said:
Yeah, im in the program you recommended, and everything is going extremely smooth. It turns out the my choice for starting weights turned out to be alot better than i orginally expected. My starting weight was 215, now, week 7, I am at 231. All of my lifts are higher than they have ever been, my speed is phenomonal, and my chin ups have improved dramatically despite increasing in weight (i address before i started that i had problems completing them). Also, as a result of perfoming the various excerises in the program as you said they should be done, my core strength is through the roof as well. Grip strength is doing very well. To be quite honest, i dont see any slow down in my progress in any of my lifts. But the one thing i love most about it, is the simplicty of no more than 3-4 excerises per workout day, very simple set-rep structure, and i can easily go into the gym, give it my all and get out without having to worry about calculations. I've been making sure I get optimal and nutrition despite being in university just so i can really maximize my gains in all areas. Im seeing a major improvement in my delts and upper back espeacially (even though all areas are growing well). LOL, actually, i had to buy new pants because my quads are getting too big.

But yeah, overall, Im getting VERY good results...And im defintely gonna stick with this type of lifting from now on. Probably next time i will throw in some power shrugs to build up them traps a bit more too. I was wondering though, do you think it would be bad to always use this method, because i dont want to go back to the shitty old ways of iso exercises, i love this shit?


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Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up n


Multiple things are covered - this was actually a response to ceasar989's question in the quote above. The main point is to understand that the 5x5 is just a very well laid out general purpose dual factor program. It has produced great results accross a very broad range of athletes over decades. This serves to intoduce the implementation of dual factor theory and give someone a level of experience and comfort (as well as a lot of gains!) with the system. All that said, you can't do it forever (although a couple runs back to back is fine as well as cycling back to it semi-regularly as your core fundemental training). But, you can use the structure and adapt it. In this explanation I'm trying to illustrate how one might utilize and adapt the structure as well as how one would use a dual factor structure to plan longer training cycles. There is some terminology macro/meso/microcycles but this is just so people can talk about it logically and organize around it - they actually fit nicely into a full year training plan. You can call them whatever you want but the terms are standard and as you gain experience, pin down your own tolerances, and find the need to incorporate specialized training they are the easiest way to think about it.

Source Thread:
Madcow2 said:
ceasar989 said:
I was wondering though, do you think it would be bad to always use this method, because i dont want to go back to the shitty old ways of iso exercises, i love this shit?

Really great results - I'm going to copy and link it to the 5x5 thread just so that others can see it. Great job on executing - you can definitely take some pride in that work.

This is a fairly ideal style of program. Dual factor (loading/deloading) is the way to train as is focusing on the exercises that provide 95% of the progress and not diluting your limited recovery with the other 5% unless they specifically address a weak point. As to different ways to do it here is another example of a dual factor program. It might be beneficial to run the 5x5 one more time before starting this one but this is a very solid program and fits within a single mesocycle so it makes for a great 4 week run. Also, a lot of people who have used the 3 day Intensity program end up acutally getting reloaded again by the final week. A separate deloading week (2 workouts light weight just basic exercises - no exercise more than once) might prove a helpful break in between. Go to Post #3 in this Topic:

As for the powershrugs - they probably fit into the 5x5 best this way which is similar to the way Bill Starr originally set it up as he had Power Cleans on M/F instead of rows. Substitute them for bent rows but in doing this I recommend that you pull the weight from just above knee level as this makes it more of a full body exercise (like a clean grip high pull from the hang position).

EDIT: Another alternative is that if the loading you used wasn't horrible on you this time you might be able to fit them in as assistance work doing 3x8-12 on M/F. Just don't get more aggressive with the loading if you do this. Ideally you want to peg the weight dead on so both week 3 and 4 are record lifts based on pertinent maxes (most people won't have those but you will because you've just completed the program). Adjust for your maxes (maybe plan on near record in week 3 - if you got a lot stronger from the 3x3 though your new records may have moved up substantially) but play the ramps conservatively (meaning don't rachet them up hard) and see how it goes. Note- you are not maxing the powershrug under this structure, it's just basic assistance work during the program.

Also, you can begin to think about longer programs and structures to address specific needs. The 5x5 is basically 2 mesocycles (4 weeks each but they can range from 3-6 weeks). For reference a microcycle is 1-2 weeks (or look at a macrocycle as 4 semirelated microcycles although this is unnecessary for the 5x5 program or anything that general) and a Macrocycle is closer to a year and this is what I'm getting at although for a non-competitive lifter it's unnecessary to plan to that degree. Anyway, you are looking at stringing together a series of meso/micro cycles into an abbreviated macrocycle (yeah a lot of bullshit terms but you'll see the sense).

So, assuming you wanted to run 2 5x5s back to back (we'll just assume you will deload a week and start at the next one) and then continue into the other dual factor program (DFHT) and for the sake of fun you wanted to run a two week specialty program to address something else before beginning the core 5x5 again you'd have something like this:

Mesocycle 1:........................5x5 Loading
Mesocycle 2: Microcycle 1:.....5x5 Deload Week
Mesocycle 2: Microcycles 2-5:.5x5 Intensity Weeks
Microcycle 1 (separate):.........Deloading - 1 week
Mesocycle 3: Microcycles 1-3:.DFHT Loading
Mesocycle 3: Micocycle 4:.......DFHT Deloading
Microcycle 2 (separate):..........Specialty work - 2 weeks

This is roughly 4 months or 16 weeks

This is really kind of rough and the numbering is a bit confusing but it illustrates how you want to handle this stuff and the type of framework under which you want to plan your training. This is also why a training log and really knowing your tolerances (they will build gradually over time) is invaluable.
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Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up n

JKurz1 said:
its 99% diet ............

LOL - Ironically, even though it doesn't apply to the BBers who's training is shit for the most part, there is a huge focus on pumping quality food into athletes. Assuming training is excellent and the athlete is dedicated (a lot to hold constant) - diet becomes a very large factor again. The main problem is that the majority of the people who say it have dogshit training and perfect diet. Under that scenario as long as diet is reasonable and we aren't eating Aushwitz style meals training is an overwhelmingly important factor.

Basically, if you hold constant a perfect stimulus (training) maximizing the response (diet) is a controlling factor. However if you let the stimulus vary, the best diet (response) won't get you anywhere if the training sucks (stimulus). Of course the way BBing has approached it is to take enough drugs to magnify the response to where any stimulus (even none - just look at farmers juicing cattle) will work and then they tweak diet to maximize it. Of course, a better stimulus allows even a drugged athlete to either get more gains from a given dosage or make equivalent gains at a lesser dosage. But really, if someone below their genetic potential requires the testosterone of 20 men just to put on some muscle - we are dealing with a horrid imbalance here.

EDIT: Ironically this was ceasar989's last post making specific mention of eating a shitty diet and still gaining.


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JKurz1 said:
now you f-d me all the 20 reppers?

I might do a couple days of 5x5 of 5x3 or something in there, but basically, my thigh development is quite satisfactory at the moment, and I am not interested in building them up so much as mainataining them. I find 20 rep squats to be great for getting the metabolism going to. Might be all psychological, but I swear they really get it going fast.


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I've been reading this thread for the last few days and I just want to make sure I have the routine right.

If my max bb row is 1x5 for 200

In week 1 I would start off lighter and work up to and try to beat my max. So on Mon my rows each week would look something like this.

week 1 pyramid up to 160
week 2 pyramid up to 180
week 3 pyramid up to 200
week 4 pyramid up and set a new record

If I get 210 in week 4, week 5 on Mon would be 1x3 210.

If my 3 rep max on the bb row is 225. I wouldn't ramp correct? I would look at week 4 weights and add 5-10 and go from there trying to add weight each workout for the next 4 weeks?

When I start back on the volume phase I would put my record weight of 210 in week 3, start lighter in weeks 1-2 and set a new record in week 4?

Is this right?

Question about exercises selection.

Could I do sumo deadlift instead of conventional deadlift?

Why are military presses done standing? I've always done them seated are standing better? How do you recommend to do them. From vids and pics online some people lower to their chin and others to their chest. Should I keep my elbows out or close to my body?

I tried the bb row from the floor yesterday. Even though the weight was light I was having a hard time keeping my head, I should be looking up and not down?