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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. #1041
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up n

    Quote Quote posted by slyder190

    madcow, explain somethin to me. My last week, I nailed my 3RM max easy for bench, but for my 3x3RM I got one set for 2 reps and that was it. Why is that?
    Bad day or fatigue accrual. By the end of week 9 in the periodized version running at 3x per week, you are going to be pretty trashed. Then again, could be an off day - probably not though. Take a week or so of reduced volume before starting again (i.e. do rep or speed work 2x per week, work on any isolation stuff you feel might be lacking and would get you made fun of during a training cycle )

    Quote Quote posted by slyder190
    I'm actually takin a full week off as I just wrapped up week 9. My back has been botherin me, but I've been throwin back the Motrin before my workouts and gettin through them. The strength gains have been great, just like last time. But as i get heavier with the weight, it does take a toll on a sore back. Hopefully a week off and a few chiro visits will do the trick. Gonna be startin the volume phase again soon.
    If you've run this a few times through maybe try a different template and some higher reps for a bit. HST is a fairly nice structure (obviously you will have to choose the # of sets and not go 1 set all the way through) and gives you some time at a variety of rep ranges and high at the beginning to give you a break. Plus the power and neural adaptations from the 5x5 will really scale into these higher reps. DFHT is also a cookie cutter model that might work but workload is high so use your head when setting it up (i.e. 2 people that loved this program had completely opposite experiences on it, one did fabulous and one was too fatigued by it, didn't get much results due to this, and had a bad experience purely due to workload).

  2. #1042
    Good Broly siamesedream's Avatar
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    For the single-factor or for just general training philosophy:


    When failure on one exercise (i.e. rows) is reached and continues for 2 weeks -meaning it's time to ramp down and start progressive overload from a new point- should this be done for ALL exercises or just the rows?

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

    Just the rows. From what I've read madcow saying before, if only one exercise is stalling, just tinker w/ that exercise. If you start to miss on multiple exercises, you may be overreaching and may need to take a more drastic step. But if just one exercise is stalling, you can adjust some variables to keep progress going. I think reramping and dropping weights is only ONE option. Another option is reducing volume on your other 4 sets or w/e, leaving more gas in the tank for your last set.

    Straight from Glenn Pendlay's mouth (paraphrased): make the smallest change necessary to keep progress going.

  4. #1044
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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 Protobuilder
    Just the rows. From what I've read madcow saying before, if only one exercise is stalling, just tinker w/ that exercise. If you start to miss on multiple exercises, you may be overreaching and may need to take a more drastic step. But if just one exercise is stalling, you can adjust some variables to keep progress going. I think reramping and dropping weights is only ONE option. Another option is reducing volume on your other 4 sets or w/e, leaving more gas in the tank for your last set.

    Straight from Glenn Pendlay's mouth (paraphrased): make the smallest change necessary to keep progress going.



    Progress as in simply adding a heavier amount of weight to use? I ask this because say an individual starts failing on rows and they start decreasing the volume and using a higher weight, what should their "progress" be for the next week? Using the same weight while slowly adding more volume? Or should they continue w/ the same volume and increasing weight or should they keep decreasing volume and adding more weight or what?

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

    Another question:


    As of right now, I'm trying to decide whether or not I should change my diet to start bulking. I just got back from my dermatologist about what it is I can do about redundant skin, and he said that to continue cutting would be pointless since I need to fill it in with muscle in order for abs and super-ripped definition to come in. I've lost 130 pounds in the past year and am, for obvious reasons, extremely hesitant about the concept of gearing my goals toward gaining weight.

    My question is basically this: Can one successfully bulk on a ketogenic diet? Right, caloric excess is the most important thing, but on a ketogenic diet with a Sunday carb-up, can I expect to see good results in terms of muscle gain (since apparently that's the most important thing right now towards me getting ripped). I want to keep fat-gain to a minimum and don't want my dieting to be any easier than it has been, I simply want results.

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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 siamesedream
    Progress as in simply adding a heavier amount of weight to use? I ask this because say an individual starts failing on rows and they start decreasing the volume and using a higher weight, what should their "progress" be for the next week? Using the same weight while slowly adding more volume? Or should they continue w/ the same volume and increasing weight or should they keep decreasing volume and adding more weight or what?
    good question. LoL I've kinda' wondered about this myself . . . I've tried keeping the 5th set weight the same and adding the volume back in (so I'm doing 5 full sets of 5 rather than reducing the volume on the 4th set), and I've tried just pushing the last set up and keeping the volume reduced on the 4th set. I'm not sure which is "right" but I figure it'd be the latter. Wait for madcow's response.

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

    The juice in the linear program is always the top set. Generally one lift or so fails before the others, sometimes you can drop some volume from the early sets and buy yourself some extra progression on the top end. Sometimes, you might have to drop the reps down on the top set if that doesn't do enough. More than anything, this is to be used to keep the lifts in sync (i.e. if your squat, dead, and military are increasing why start over just because the bench failed - that's horribly inefficient). Failing that or if the difference is massive, drop back in the compromised lift and deal with it in isolation. Basically, you don't want to sabatoge the whole program's progression due to 1 or 2 lifts if the others are still moving for you.

    For the diet question, I always liken caloric requirements to a wavy line with a lot of noise and volatility (and assume there is no magic in prediction other than making sure you eat post workout just to make it clear). If you feed yourself right at the average there will be a lot of points above and below your feeding - obviously you won't be meeting needs when the wavy line drifts above so you sacrifice some potential gain there. Eating above all the peaks makes sure you always have enough to deal with any spikes in requirement but obviously this is a higher average so needs for growth are always met but fat accumulation is much more likely since there will be a lot of periods where your intake is far above the wavy requirement line. Basically it comes down to how well are you going to meet the body's needs, the lower you are on average the more times you don't have sufficient intake to meet the spikes. You can't predict the state of the body on an hourly or daily basis so your intake is an average - if you eat at the margin or misestimate your caloric requirement this cuts into your potential gains or erodes them. I think this is the easiest way to understand this stuff.

  8. #1048
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    Alright, I've decided then to simply do a real bulking diet. Still, how much cardio can I get away with? Would 1000-2000 calories burned a week on cardio alone be okay? I'm around 180 pounds, and was thinking eating 3600-4000 calories while continuing to do a good amount of cardio and situps and want to make sure I don't do so much aerobic activity as to cause my training to be maintenance. I'm used to burning 3200 calories on cardio every week, so 1000-2000 sounds like a small bit to me, but I don't know if it is or not since bulking is an entirely new game to me.

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

    To be honest, everyone's base caloric requirement is different even if LBM and activity are equal. Just depends on the body. I also don't like getting too much into diet because people are neurotic and the more micromanagement that they do, the more they tend to screw things up (not in every case, just the vast majority). Visit any diet forum on the net and there will be plenty of psychos willing to help you out and most of these are the 160lbers with low bodyfat, no muscle, and no strength that are convinced they blew their last "clean bulking" cycle by not disolving an extra 5mg of some horse piss under their tongue each day after their 3rd meal which was a very specific 30/40/30 split and high in antioxidants.

    For cardio - why don't you just do some intervals 3x a week and call it a day? Doesn't need to be 100% or sprinting, just high bursts interspersed with low period (very much like lifing in sets and thinking this way you likely see why this works). Much better for lifters, muscle, and staying lean. You don't get fat overnight so if it drifts up too high just eat a bit less. I know there's a lot of anxiety as you don't want to become fat again but becoming fat is a lengthy process and if the correct lifestyle is in place it shouldn't be a problem.

  10. #1050
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    Hey Madcow, I was just wondering if you had a few more moments to answer some 5x5 questions, if not I understand - you've already helped me out a lot.

    Firstly, I have question on why there is 4 weeks of the loading and then 4 weeks of the deload when the dual factor theory says fatigue dissipates 3 times faster than fitness. So how come the program isn't something more like 4 weeks loading and then 2 weeks deload with you instantly trying to get more record lifts (which should be easier since the volume and frequency has been lowered)? Wouldn't after 4 weeks of the deload some of your gains from the volume phase (fitness gains) have been lost? Then after the 2 weeks of deloading and some PR's you might take a week of going light and then jump back into the volume phase, keeping it as close to the 3:1 ratio of fitness to fatigue.

    Secondly, what is the point of reducing the reps from 5 to 3? If someone's 5RM was 300 for the Squat, then they went into the deload and was doing 3 reps and managed to get 315 as a 3RM, how would they even know if their 5RM increased? How come the program doesn't just stay at 5 reps during the whole cycle so you can clearly see where you are progressing or lacking without putting numbers into a conversion calculator?

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