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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. #1051
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    Deload is about workload even if weight per lift is higher the total is a lot less lifts.

    Think tonnage 100x5x5= 2500lbs while 110x3x3= 990lbs

    There really aren't 4 weeks of loading, there are 4 weeks of progression maybe more for someone newer or starting lighter. Probably 2 weeks of peak loading and really the way most guys set it up maybe less. Not many people can tolerate 3 weeks of peak loading which is what that 3:1 is getting at i.e. a lifter with all lifts already in shape.

    Anyway the 2nd half training 3x a week with records in 8/9 is really a peaking program based on 3s not pure deload. For pure deload run 2x a week (just longer for a basic peak). So you could run 4 weeks, 2 weeks of deload or less if needed and then step back into 3 hard weeks of volume phase and see how you tolerate it. Fatigue is personal and accumulates according to what you do not just because you have 3 weeks on a time clock.

  2. #1052
    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!

    Can someone in this thread critique this workout plan I've been following for a bit over a month? I don't have access to a gym and don't have room to build my own (until I move), so I currently use a backpack and plates to do my own version of the 5x5. This was my plan for the past week, and I add weight to each lift every week. The weight after the exercises are how much I put into the backpack while doing that exercise, obviously. Now that I'm bulking for the first time as of yesterday, I'm going to sub in 100 crunches for the 3 sets of 20 situps.





    Plan for week beginning January 3, 2005



    Tuesday
    1-L Squats 30 lbs. 5x5
    Push-ups 45 lbs. 5x5
    Chin-ups 12.5 lbs 5x3
    Dips 20 lbs. 5x7
    Sit-ups 3x20



    Thursday
    1-L Squats 30 lbs. 4x5
    Incline Push-ups 35 lbs. 5x6
    Chin-ups 12.5 lbs. 5x3
    Curls 75 lbs. 3x5
    Sit-ups 3x20



    Saturday
    1-L Squats 30 lbs. 5x5
    Push-ups 45 lbs. 5x5
    Chin-ups 12.5 lbs. 5x3
    Diamond push-ups 15 lbs 5x7
    Sit-ups 3x20




    Think I may start an online journal here once I get an approved plan. This week I'm barely completing my pull-ups, so I'll probably keep that the same for next week and ramp back down on it if it fails next week as well.
    Last edited by siamesedream; 05-Jan-2006 at 08:13 PM.

  3. #1053
    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!

    Push-ups felt way too easy today, so I might start making increases by 7.5-10 lbs. every week instead of just 5 now that I'm bulking. Have gone about a month or so without reaching failure as of now.


    Every now and then I like to do one set of normal push-ups to total failure for the mental strength of it in place of one weighted set of push-ups. Hopefully this isn't detrimental to anything.

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

    A coupla' SF 5x5 progress questions . . . figured I'd just post 'em here, hope that's OK.

    First, the backoff set. Should we bump that up each week even if our ramping weights haven't moved up? For instance, I always move my 5th set up, and sometimes my 4th set so I don't have to make a huge jump, but my 3d set usually stays the same. Should I go ahead and bump up my back off set by 5 lbs? I've been doing 8x135 for several weeks now b/c my 3d set hasn't changed . . . just my 4th and 5th.

    Second, bench. If you're adding one rep per workout, and you've attempted to set a new 1x5 max for three sessions now, should you adjust something else or keep going until you can't even add a rep? I've tried 3 times now to get one set at 5x180 . . . first time I got 2x180, then 3x180, and yesterday 4x180 . . . I assume I should just try it again on Monday for 5x180 but this is a SLOW boat to China. Any thoughts? One rep per workout seems awfully slow progress. LoL

    Thanks as always.

  5. #1055
    Da Pope blut wump'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!

    Going from a single at a weight to a triple at that same weight corresponds to approximately a 10% strength increase. My whole first run of the 5x5 took my bench from a 135Kg 1RM to a triple at the same weight and I was pleased. So long as it's going up then you are making progress. You could invest in some of the micro weights to reduce the size of the jumps after making a weight for 5x5.

    I just plugged the move from 2 to 4 reps into a calculator and it seems to correspond to about an 8% increase in 1RM. Not bad for two weeks work.

  6. #1056
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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 for you Madcow, thanks ..

    Next week I start my deload, and I'm thinking that since this is my first time on the program I would be better suited starting out with the 2x per week deload/intensity split at first to see how I feel. I can always switch back to the 3x per week intensity phase after right?

    Also, about the 2x per week alternate deload, you drop Friday and then assign the 3x3 weights to the Monday's bench and Row which were originally pyramiding .. so would you use the weights you previous used on your friday for 5x5 (since they are lower than monday's 1x5 bench and row weights)?? And also, same with questions, getting rid of Friday gets rid of the 1x5 Squat weight so since I did 255 for 1x5 let's say, and Monday for 5x5 I did 225, I would use the 265 for 3x3 or the 225 for 3x3? I would just hate to go from the heavy weights coming from pyramiding the sets back down to the light weight for 3 sets. Am I making sense? Basically for example, if I got 255 at the end of week 4, I would like to try for 265, then 275, etc - not drop back to 225.

    If the 2x/week deload allows less progressive overload then I might just try the 3x/week and just make sure I don't do too much volume.

  7. #1057
    Elite Bodybuilder nelmsjer'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!

    Well, I've gone through my first 5x5 cycle, madcow style. And I'm hooked, not to the program, but to what I have learned along the way. I did the Dual Factor version and had the following results:

    At 5'8", my weight increased from 185 to 202. A 17 lb. increase with only a moderate increase in bodyfat. I'm definitely satisfied, there. Calipers say I'm around 13-14%. I did not have the calipers when I began, but I am going to guess that I have added 2%, based on previous measurements and experience. At a worse case scenario, I went from 11% to 14%, which would equate to a 9 lb. gain in LBM in 9 weeks. I'll take it and smile.

    1RM on bench increased from 275 to 305. I am 32, and this matches my PR I set as a junior in college. Granted, I'm a little heavier now and have ~5% more bodyfat, but frankly, I never thought I would see it happen again. In college, I felt like my shoulder joint was going to come out the back. I felt a LOT more stable this time around.

    1RM on squat increased from 375 to 405+. I definitely feel like I had 20 lbs. or more and may try again , but 1RM squats aren't something I do very frequently. I know enough to know that my 1RM went up substantially, and that is good enough for me.

    I will test deadlift later this week and find out how that went. My previous is 425. I REALLY want 455, but we'll see what happens.

    Overall, I am absolutely thrilled with it. I am now going to test a higher volume method and see how my body handles it. After that, I will be running through 5x5 again, but I plan on waiting longer to switch to 3x3, if my body allows the extra time. I know for a fact that I had more in reserve when I switched over this time, so I either want to prolong it (my preference) or perhaps start at a slightly higher weight, in comparison to my 5RM. Maybe I'll do a little of both and see what happens.

    Overall, I'm happiest with what I have learned. Life is good, and I'm starting a journal this week for my next program. I realize now that I will easily surpass ALL of my lifetime bests this year and reach a lot of goals this year. Thanks to all that I've learned from.

  8. #1058
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    Wow! Impressive results. Congrats! I was reading that post, hearing the great results and thinking, "this is some kid, of course he'll get amazing results." But then I saw that you're roughly my age, so there IS hope! Awesome job, man! I'm doing single factor and hoping to make similar progress.

    BTW -- anyone know an answer to my Q above on the backoff set?

  9. #1059
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    You youngsters! I'm 49 this year.

    It's user's choice on the back-off set. The back-off should feel very comfortable compared with what you've just done as a last set. If you bump it and it still feels overly stressful or you're in any danger of failing it then it's probably too heavy.

  10. #1060
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    Thanks, Protobuilder! The other great thing about the program is that it is also a blast to go do! One thing that may or may not have had an impact on the results is that there were 3 of us going (my wife and her coworker) through the workout, and we completed every workout within 45 minutes. So, there was no dawdling. Also, I forgot to mention that on Tuesdays and Saturdays, we would go in and do abs, hyperextensions, and some bodyweight based metabolic conditioning...also known as "2-minute hell drills" by various people I have trained. So, my point is that we moved quickly through the workouts and made sure to throw in some enjoyable active recovery during the week. Thursdays and Sundays were completely off.

    Incidentally, my beautiful wife made some GREAT strength gains on it while eating above maintenance (gained approximately 4-5 lbs. (after coming off a cutting cycle) with VERY minimal fat gains, ladies...she is still well under 20%), and her coworker lost some fat and got a lot stronger. He looks quite a bit different and more athletic. Successful program for them, too.

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