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


Welcome to the EliteFitness.com Bodybuilding Site! Please join this discussion about Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now! within the Weight Training & Weight Lifting category.

Excerpt: Content by Madcow2 Last Revised 1/11/2006 UPDATE - I have updated program descriptions, template downloads, and an updated Table of Contents on my Geocities site (i.e. lots more topics and better organization). This will be the final update of this TOC in the thread (and it's an incomplete one because there's just too much) but the one on that site essentially links all the topics below and more, many of which come to this very thread. This is easier on me and the better descriptions with

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  1. #91
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    I'm going to stick with 4-1-4.

    I'm sure this routine could be run as pretty much any combination of 5-1-4, 5-1-5, 4-1-4 etc. madcow has mentioned even 3-1-3. It's in the principle not the fine details. I've aimed for 4-1-4 and I'll stick with it.

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

    Generally reasonably experienced trainees can run 4:1:4. The single deloading week I just happen to break out as 1, it would be equivalent to say 4:5 with the first of the 5 weeks being held constant at week 4 training weights as the majority of the 2nd phase serves as deloading.

    Someone getting back into training or very unfamiliar with this type of training would benefit from running 6:1:4 where they would just start much lighter and take longer to build up. The initial weeks for them would be very light and just going through the motions.

    As far as 3:1:3, the only benefit of doing this would be in compressing the training cycle. Note that record weeks in this program are now 4 of the 7 weeks rather than 4 of the 9. This is very significant and requires some fairly serious recovery and acclimation to work capacity. This assumes perfect weight selection, a large tolerance for work capacity, a complete understanding of your own body's tolerances and requirements for recovery and probably a good amount of genetics. I'd imagine even under these scenarios the total volume would probably still be excessive for a good percentage of the population making this option less effective rather than more so. The benefit to someone who can tolerate a more condenced verision is the ability to compress the amount of time spent in ramping the weights - for the vast majority this time is hugely beneficial if for nothing else just some recovery. I actually only mentioned this 3:1:3 once and the vast majority of everyone would do well to ignore it since the % of the population likely to benefit is very small and largely at the elite levels.

    Anyway, the gravy of the program is simply that it works very well accross a broad spectrum of athletes producing tons of hypertrophy and strength while being a very easy to understand example of a dual factor program. After one gains some experience with these and better understands individual limits to loading and deloading one can easily tailer customized programs using similar framework.
    Last edited by Madcow2; 05-Mar-2005 at 10:04 PM.

  3. #93
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    MADCOW2..This thread is awesome, great program here! I cant wait to start this program with my next cycle in may. I will be doing a test/deca/tbol/var cycle with this and was wondering if you would recommend any changes, as my recovery times will be sped up alot. Though a am on the higher end of the experience spectrum. Another question i have is this... All 5x5 and 3x3 exercises are to be done to near failure correct, meaning last rep on last set is a real bastard right lol? Or is this only to be focused on during deloading/intensity phases, and volume phase only worry about doing all reps and sets without much trouble...like if i can barely get 405 5x5 on squat, should i do 385 and get though it a little easier? Thanks for any help you can offer madcow!

    AND WHY ISNT THIS A STICKY YET??? More wholesome juicy info in this thread than on 95% of elitefitness. BIG props to you madcow

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

    Thanks for the good words.

    In both phases you are building to records. Your best 5x5 and 1x5 in weeks 3 and 4 for the volume phase and for the intensity phase 3x3 and 1x3 in weeks 8 and 9. Obviously the nature of records mean that you may encounter failure so if you have another week you simply use the same weight the following week. It's important that the weights be ramped over the time period to the target records so you want to start within yourself a bit. Failure may happen but great results can be had by someone who works slightly within themselves and never fails furing the whole program - conversely, someone failing every week will ruin this thing. Consistently training to failure is about the best way to not get stronger or grow that I can think of. Most experienced naturals will not progress well at all on a program focused on failure and those using anabolics will require an increased dosage to get a decent effect - both do better in the absence of a train to failure methodology but enough drugs will allow someone to grow on shitty stimuli all machine program a la the mid to late 80's BBers (they still looked great but their training wouldn't grow a 16 year old novice lifter).

    As far as training on drugs, everyone's natural tolerances for loading and deloading vary widely so drugs only moves an individual's scale up progressively with dosage (albeit in diminishing returns per mg past a certain threshhold). Typically a drugged lifter will take his natural baseline program and add volume and frequency as needed to maximize the training effect. Messing with intensity (% of 1RM) or training to failure consistently is not advised as it screws up the pattern of the stimuli and the waves. Basically anabolics increase training tolerances/recovery, and the body's response to the training stimuli. The optimal stimuli remains the same, you can just handle more of it. I would definitely advise that you set your program so that in PCT you are in a low volume high intensity protocol - this will allow you to retain your strength/muscle without putting undo amounts of stress on the body as the goal is to retain while minimizing the catabolic effects of training in a no-test environment. You also don't want to come straight off a heavy loading period and go right into a zero test environment. It's important to think about how this fits into your cycle length and tapering of the longer acting injectibles and cessation of orals. Needless to say, it complicates things a bit and a journal proves to be invaluable in this scenario as experience helps vastly in regards to training in a non-standard hormone environment..

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

    once you finish the intensity part, do you go straight into the next volume phase?

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

    Yeah, you can go right back in. An easy thing to do would be to take your previous records from the past cycle's volume phase and apply it to week 3. Take the intensity phase records and apply to week 8. You should acheive these and surpass them by a margin in the following week. If your training is going really well or your shot low last time, you can increase the weight for weeks 3/8 based on your previous records. Just back out the target weights for the rest of the weeks from these points. It makes it a lot easier once you know your current records in these lifts and how easily/poorly you tolerated a given ramping..
    Last edited by Madcow2; 07-Mar-2005 at 05:25 PM.

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

    Quote Quote posted by Kane Fan
    I know
    believe me I want to get one
    do you think I could substitue Deadlifts for Squats and SLDL for BLDL?
    Could a hack squat substitute for squats in a pinch? It's basically a deadlift with the weight behind the legs. Obviously to do with deads in the same day would put a huge strain on your grip.

    Even if you don't do the program just yet, you might consider doing hack squats until you can get some squatting equipment.

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

    The program is intriguing, but I'm still confused with something.

    Part 1) I understand in the beginning, you more or less guess your weights. I see you ramp them up in week two, and then try to use a 'record' weight in week three, a weight you think would be your max (or close to). Do I have this correct so far?

    Part 2) Now, how much of a "ramp up" is done? For example, if someone felt they could roughly squat 5x5 for 315 - where would weeks 2 and 1 start, about? Are we talking large jumps in weight? This reminds me of HST, in the way weight is set in backward intervals to your first day/week. Am I on target here?

    Part 3) Okay, so assuming it was something like 255 for week 1, 285 for week 2, and 315 for week 3, you'd probably only jump up a small margin (say, 5-10 lbs.) for week 4. Is that correct?

    Part 4) Hopefully I have it all so far. Week 5 I get. You keep the weight steady, lowering reps and frequency. Now, I hear that even though weeks 6-9 are the "intensity phase", your body is still deloading and this is where you'll see growth. How is this so? I figure it's not exactly deloading when you're pushing the weights higher and higher. Is it due to the lowered volume?

    Part 5) I'm guessing even though you drop to 3x3/1x3 in the intensity phase, the jumps you make in weight will still be relatively small, compared to earlier (assuming I was right in using large jumps). Now, you would choose a weight in weeks six and seven you could perform with confidence, nothing record setting. In the eigth and ninth weeks, though, you would try to set records again. Right?

    Part 6) Finally, after going through the ninth week, I could start week 1 all over again immediately after, yes? If I do that, should I bump all my previous weights (assuming I nailed them all with little problem, and the records felt dead on) by an interval of 5-10 lbs? Or should I just move up the maxes and not worry about shifting the other weights that lead up to them?

    I'm looking forward to delving into this program. I already started yesterday, and I'm excited to go further.

  9. #99
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up n

    Part 1) Yes

    Part 2) That's a matter of individuality. Under a 4 week ramping program you obviously have to start fairly high to be ready to perform record lifts be week 3/4. The higher the start the higher the stress on the body over the period. In it's optimal form it comes down to the individual and his/her tolerances. For someone newer to this, you'd want to ensure you start reasonably (the weights you mentioned look good) that way you know you won't botch the weight selection and you'll be able to get a reference for how well/poorly you tolerated the volume phase for the next application. Novices would start very light and ramp for 2 extra weeks maybe even more in some cases(volume phase would be 6 weeks).

    Part 3) Yes - you could also base the jump on how easily you handled the 315. If you blew it out of the water you might want more.

    Part 4) Yeah, the lowered total volume is the key. The intensity is not so high that you are really taxing the CNS until toward the very end. Lowered frequency can also come into play with the 2x per week intensity phase described on page 1 as a lot of people cannot tolerate the strict 3x per week and it may fail to deload them if they don't adequately monitor themselves and adjust (given that most using this program are new to it and haven't spent a lot of years in the gym building tolerance - the 2x will take the guesswork out of it as the essential factor is to deload, I just happen to use the 3x but I can also adjust on the fly fairly well if needed where someone without a decent amount of experience probably can't).

    Part 5) Depends on the individual again with regard to the jumps - experience is the best teacher here so going through the program once will give you a great reference point for the future and as with the volume it is better to start on the conservative side. You have the weeks right, you train within yourself ramping the weights to records in weeks 8/9. Incidentally, if you fail on a record or even during the ramp you keep the weight the same for the next week.

    Part 6) You should be able to restart at week 1 immediately. Judge how you feel, it might be worth taking a light week between. You're definitely going to move the maxes. If you nailed week 4 and week 9 you can make them your week 3/8 or add another margin if they were very easy. For the ramping weights I'd reflect back and see how you set them previously and how well/poorly you tolerated it. With records moving up, your ramp should move up but it's more important that you understant where your tolerances are and peg the ramps accordingly.

    I wish I could provide better guidlines but tolerances vary widely and are very individual. What is deloading for one person might exceed another's loading. Even at the world levels tolerances have a wide variation with lifters who perform very similarly on the platform but one can tolerate a hurculean workload while the other handles much less. Their top lifts are the same but the stimulus required and tolerable for each is individual. The real key is getting an idea where your tolerances are and that's a lot easier once you've run this once.

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

    Wow, you covered all the bases just as I had hoped. I don't have any other questions in mind at the time, but should they come up, I'll be sure to ask. Thanks a lot, it's much appreciated.

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