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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. #131
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    75% of 5 RMs wouldn't really make sense if you up the weight 5 lbs. a session. You'd be at 85% and 90% in the 3/4 weeks in the beginning, and we want to break records here...

    Don't we?

    Then again, it could still stimulate hypertrophy, while allowing one to recover easier. Depends on the goals, I guess.

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

    So where one starts is going to vary a good bit. The higher one starts the closer one is to maximum total volume and the more taxing the initial weeks will be - this is what I mean about tolerances. Some might benefit from starting at 85-90% of record 5x5 weight while others might need a lower first week as they make too much of an inroad before the record weeks. HST is also lowering the reps which cuts the volume as intensity increases to accomodate a longer loading cycle (at least from what I recall - I didn't spend a lot of time reading it over but that's the jist as I understand it with the goal being a longer stretch of weight progression). Here, under the 4 week volume program the only factor moving is intensity itself so volume is still fairly high with upward ramping and it can't be maintained long. If you want 6 weeks you need to start fairly light and build up.

    Anything even close to maximum 5x5/1x5 is going to be very taxing even if you aren't at record weights. Even in the absense of records and just a prolonged series of small incremental jumps you won't last long. I did this very experiment taking small jumps to see exactly how long it could be maintained - no record lifts but if the record was 100% I was making incremental jumps for a long period in the 85-95% range. By week 8 I was absolutely crushed - not on the verges of overtraining but fully in the midst of major breakdown. We are talking standing up falling asleep, zero concentration, yawning all the time, all weights immediately and fully going straight to the shitter. The deloading required was so severe and so long that the net gains were about zero. It was about 2 full weeks of zero training and another 2 of light training before I could begin to seriously train again. Not worth it except for an oddball experimenter like myself but a great illustration of tollerances (sort of like a carpenter smashing his finger with a hammer on purpose to illustrate to himself that it hurts).

    Under correct weight settings you will be right on the verge of overtraining where your performance will begin to slide after week 4. You should be begging for the deloading week and absolutely loving it when it comes. This is about the ideal point where you want to take loading to - any further makes too great an inroad and any less does not provide an optimal adaptive stimulus, but will still be an effective stimulus to a degree so obviously you want to err on the side of conservatism your first time until you get a frame of reference for where you fall.

  3. #133
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up n

    In keeping with my all resources in one place mentality I'm going to link a few things for reference and easy access:

    My General Thoughts on the Current State of Training Knowledge in BBing/Gyms/General Fitness:
    http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...7&postcount=41

    I'll go a step further and be flat out honest without holding back. This isn't directed at you by any means but it's a good long rant and an explantion that's a bit less PC than usual for me but might prove beneficial because I'll just lay it on the line and tell it like it is.

    The typical split routines that have people training a bodypart once per week are shit - I would basically just recommend that everyone stop them right now and move on. They are so fundementally bad that it's not worth typing up an explanation for them - the whole reason why people arrived at this idea was because they didn't understand science and misapplied thinking that muscles needed to fully recover before training them again (look up the timeframe for complete tissue remodeling from a single bout of weight training - it's beyond a month as I recall but in any event it is far far longer than any of these splits allows for). These splits are a major reason why most people in the gym are spinning their wheels.

    The other major issue is that most guys put together their split, choose exercises, and then just go in the gym and work hard at it (and some don't even do that) - even using the 5x5 exercises and split as laid out under the 3 day protocol that I recommend (basically the best exercises and a solid frequency pattern) there is a major issue that will inhibit gains. The issue is that volume and intensity are not being regulated over a period to provide a training stimulus - this is the essence of loading/deloading and managing volume under dual factor theory which I will say again is at the near universal acceptance level everywhere in the world at the highest levels of research and athletic coaching but curiously most BBers couldn't give and explanation should their life depend on it.

    For a novice lifter this isn't a big deal, for an experienced lifter - they just won't progress or at least no where close to optimally and once they get past a point even that progress will stop. Basically, the only way an experienced lifter is going to get gains is to use drugs and create an environment where just about any stimulus will work because the body's response is so exagerated. That said, even the drugged lifter would progress much faster (or could use a lower dosage and achieve the same results) under a proper program.

    Look at the popularity of Needsize's 5x5 program. It uses good exercises albeit the 3 day split is present but the whole key is the progressive overload and systematically adding weight thereby increasing total volume. Also notice that stepping back and beginning again serves to deload. This is why people have success with it. There is no magic, it's basically just a rough form of dual factor training that he arrived at by paying attention to what worked over a period of time. If more people were applying some brain power basic training methodology wouldn't be so foreign.

    It kills me that the majority of the BBing/fitness world is so advanced when it comes to drug usage and diet yet so far behind when it comes to training. Yes I've had training conversations with multiple pros and worked for months right next to a guy who got his pro card just a few months later - he was unfit to coach a highschool team, his PT clients made shit for progress, his training was no better or more intense than many others at the gym 1/2 his size - his diet/dedication was admirable but if not for the drugs he'd be just another shmoe around the gym wondering why he's plateaued. He's not an exception to the rule either, anyone who knows training and watches the vast majority of Pro BBers train knows they don't know anything in about 10 minutes and usually much faster. If they open their mouths on the subject it's nearly instantaneous. Shit, look at the 1980's BBers training on nearly all machines and not squatting or DLing. They looked marvelous, way better than in the previous decade yet the training stimuli was garbage in comparison - the only difference were the dosages.

    EDIT: Okay, I do give props to Chris Duffy (pro back in the early 1990's for getting people to DL again by speaking out a lot on its effectiveness).

    BBing is almost totally focused on optimizing and increasing the response (drugs/diet) rather than ensuring that the highest quality stimulus (training) is applied. This is why kids and men get frustrated after tweaking their diets and taking all kinds of supplements yet getting little gains - they look at the programs some of the big guys are using and their's are not much different so they look to drugs and make some post like "I'm plateaued at 6' 185lbs after 2 years of training, diet and training are perfect, help me plan a cycle." I'm certainly not going to judge someone for using roids and I myself have used them but a lot of younger guys just want to see some progress, they may want 20lbs but if they were at least progressing consistently they'd have more patience and likely wouldn't be as quick to involve themselves in activities that could cause major issues in their lives down the road. Some will certainly still use drugs but I'd venture the proportion would be quite a bit less and hopefully those who have aspirations beyond what natural training can provide.

    The issue is that good training informaiton is simply not common and seems almost hidden. Most guys at Elite can probably tell you a ton about drugs/diet but ask them to explain dual factor theory or name a good book on training (hint: Arnold has not written one) and they are going to be lost - and that's simply an unacceptable imbalance to my mind. I don't know how training knowledge got obscured and glossed over for a few decades (I imagine the Nautilus machine crap, the near extinction of Olympic Lifting, and the white washed clean faux image of BBing that Weider has promoted to death over the years) but I'm a bit tired of honest people looking for training info and finding voodoo bullshit rather than basic fundemental information - I'm not even talking cutting edge here just basic training applied around the world.

    So if you ever wonder what purpose I might have in taking the time to write out lengthy posts and fully explain training info and make it digestable and available, this is it. I'm not trying to change the world or clean up BBing but I'd like to see training knowledge in the general population advanced to the point where someone can look for and actually find basic quality information that will allow them to progress. I make no money from this, my line of work is so removed from this it isn't even funny. When I see stuff like that printed in Flex, Muscle&Fitness, and Men's Health - I'll be damn happy and I bet there will be a lot more people making progress in the gym and enjoying the gratification that comes with laying out a plan and accruing results from solid execution.
    Why Focusing on Speed/Acceleration is Critical:
    http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...6&postcount=62

    2) Slow or super slow style training can have it's uses in some capacities but for consistently stimulating muscle growth, strengh, or performance increases it's really not something you want to be doing or focusing on. The jist of this is that muscles exist to perform work by generating force. Work = Force X Distance where Force = Mass X Acceleration. Work is closely related to volume in that a proxy for distance is reps X sets as one is moving through a range of motion repeatedly. That leaves Force. Obviously Mass is equivalent to the amount of weight being used which is being increased over the training cycle. Notice the multiplications sign attaching Acceleration to mass - this says an unbelievable amount about how acceleration plays into the generation of force and the stimulation of a muscle. Think about what you are doing when you lift a weight at a constant pace - you are actually exerting force to begin the inertia and then basically monitoring force by restricting or enhancing it as needed to keep the bar moving at a given pace. Basically, you are not generating maximal force throughout the range of motion - you are doing just enough to keep it moving at pace. To maximize the force generating stimulus you are supplying to the muscle consider performing a rep by exerting force to begin the inertia and then continuously applying maximal force to the bar to accelerate it throughout the range of motion (obviously the weight has to be reasonable so you don't throw the thing). Similar to a rower in crew, he doesn't put the oar in the water get it moving and then just move it at a constant pace. He continues to pull at maximum force and this accelerates the oar through the water. This is optimal force output and it will make a massive difference in your training success. Even though the Force equation is the classic Newton's 2nd law the majority of people ignore the 2nd component, acceleration, and focus only on mass (which many don't even systematically control for along with the volume of work). Acceleration has a multiplicative effect on mass and this greatly affects the quality of the stimulus.

    I'm not talking about jerking the weight but merely applying smooth acceleration. Getting the feel by using bands similar to westside training is a good example. To keep the bar moving at a constant pace when using bands it is necessary to continuously accelerate tha bar as a rubber band does not resist in a linear fashion but closer to exponential (probably not 100% accurate but the first little bit of stretch is magnitudes less intensive than the final increment and not 1:1 proportional to the distance the band is stretched). This is why Westside uses bands but even though they are training to increase their 1RM whereas BBers train for size they are using the same stimulus to increase force on a muscle - they just target different ranges of optimal work output (1RM vs. the higher range where hypertrophy is stimulated).
    Last edited by Madcow2; 12-Mar-2005 at 03:02 AM.

  4. #134
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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 Madcow2
    In keeping with my all resources in one place mentality I'm going to link a few things for reference and easy access:

    My General Thoughts on the Current State of Training Knowledge in BBing/Gyms/General Fitness:
    http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...7&postcount=41



    Why Focusing on Speed/Acceleration is Critical:
    http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...6&postcount=62
    Not to beat a dead horse, but Madcow2, I can honestly say you have changed my whole outlook on weight training in general. Although my pursuit of mass hasnt changed (Not Ronnie Coleman mass, mind you, but someone like Frank Zane comes to mind.... ), my training philosiphies are being drastically remolded. Ive been doing a GREAT deal of reading since we first began talking (arguing?-Soreness IS correlated to growth, DAMMIT!!! j/k) and youve, or should I say the info you've provided, has been a definate eye opener. I cant thank you enough.
    One question I have, can this 5x5 principle be tweaked, to say, somethinglike this: (rep/set scheme staying the same)

    Day 1
    Leg Press
    Incline Bench Press
    Barbell Rows

    Day 2
    Deadlift (or maybe even C's, since the beginning of the movement is basically the same as a deadlift)
    Military Press (behind the neck, instead of to the front-just for a variation)
    Pullups

    Day 3
    Same as Day 1

    Just an idea, I know squats are the core of your original writeup, but I want to develop more of a sweep to my quads-Squats are defiantely adding the mass, but moreso str8 out from my leg, and not so much width-wise. LMK your thoughts on this.
    Bionic

  5. #135
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up n

    So I'm betting you have been getting gains without being sore from each and every individual workout? The horror - the horror. LOL. Seriously, I'm glad to see you really interested in this stuff. Lots of good sources in this link that you might want to pursue if you feel inclined to learn more. I really only put forth the basics but if you are serious about understanding training and want to take your programs to the next level this is where it's at: http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...93&postcount=3

    My first thought is that the leg press sucks for a variety of reasons. You also don't have a squat/legpress movement on Day 2 for the volume phase. The legpress is a lot less taxing so this will lower total volume/stress to the organism in the loading phase. You could also just substitute in LP on Wednesdays but I wouldn't neglect squating. You might change your stance or add plates behind your feet (sort of a substitute for heal on OL shoes) as this will keep you more upright and facilitate transfering your gravity forward a bit keeping your torso more upright and distributing more of the load toward to the legs and away from the posterior chain which tends to be focused more when the center of gravity is father back (the PL stance maximizes this). You could also LP on M/W and just do the 5x5 pryramid working to 1 set of 5 for the squat on Day 3. Front squatting is also an option.

    I don't know what C's are in relation to deadlifts. Is this a clean? If so then yes it's a good substitute but once again will lower total volume/stress on the system which isn't a big deal except that you've pulling squats too. This in combination with subbing out the squat may require more workload for proper loading stimulus depending upon the individual. You could probably add cleans to day 1/3 and sub high pulls for day 2 deadlifts to better balance this out. If you do mean cleans or high pulls and are familiar with the technique let me know as I have an idea that you might like that would compensate for volume better - albeit adding a 4th day.

    I personally would not do behind the neck presses. I don't like where it puts the bar and I feel it is unnecessary yielding no extra gains even under best case scenario yet measurably increases the risk and you don't want an injury involving shoulder/neck/upper back as these take forever to heal. Better to just use dumbells. (and you will rarely hear me say anything like this so take that for what it's worth).

  6. #136
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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 Madcow2
    So I'm betting you have been getting gains without being sore from each and every individual workout? The horror - the horror. LOL. Seriously, I'm glad to see you really interested in this stuff. Lots of good sources in this link that you might want to pursue if you feel inclined to learn more. I really only put forth the basics but if you are serious about understanding training and want to take your programs to the next level this is where it's at: http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...93&postcount=3

    My first thought is that the leg press sucks for a variety of reasons. You also don't have a squat/legpress movement on Day 2 for the volume phase. The legpress is a lot less taxing so this will lower total volume/stress to the organism in the loading phase. You could also just substitute in LP on Wednesdays but I wouldn't neglect squating. You might change your stance or add plates behind your feet (sort of a substitute for heal on OL shoes) as this will keep you more upright and facilitate transfering your gravity forward a bit keeping your torso more upright and distributing more of the load toward to the legs and away from the posterior chain which tends to be focused more when the center of gravity is father back (the PL stance maximizes this). You could also LP on M/W and just do the 5x5 pryramid working to 1 set of 5 for the squat on Day 3. Front squatting is also an option.

    I don't know what C's are in relation to deadlifts. Is this a clean? If so then yes it's a good substitute but once again will lower total volume/stress on the system which isn't a big deal except that you've pulling squats too. This in combination with subbing out the squat may require more workload for proper loading stimulus depending upon the individual. You could probably add cleans to day 1/3 and sub high pulls for day 2 deadlifts to better balance this out. If you do mean cleans or high pulls and are familiar with the technique let me know as I have an idea that you might like that would compensate for volume better - albeit adding a 4th day.

    I personally would not do behind the neck presses. I don't like where it puts the bar and I feel it is unnecessary yielding no extra gains even under best case scenario yet measurably increases the risk and you don't want an injury involving shoulder/neck/upper back as these take forever to heal. Better to just use dumbells. (and you will rarely hear me say anything like this so take that for what it's worth).
    So whats your 4 day idea? How about this (feel free to change to incorporate your 4 day a week idea)

    Day1
    Squat
    Incline Bench
    Barbell Row

    Day 2
    Squat (15-20% less, or could i do leg presses HERE instead??)
    Cleans
    Military (okay, no behind the neck... I might go to dumbells for variation, but i like the "lockout" feel of standing barbell military presses)
    Pullups

    Day 3
    Squat
    Incline Bench
    Barbell Row

    Also, on Day 1, Ive been doing Tricep Cable Pushdowns, 3 sets (15, 12, 10 reps), and on Day 3, Incline Dumbell Curls (12, 10, 8 reps) just to throw in a lil arm work. Is this okay? LMK....
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  7. #137
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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 an idea - rather than create a different variation of the 5x5 which tends to be a longer foundation cycle (and which no doubt everyone who reads this thread will find and use to change everything around and then wonder why it doesn't work anymore), why not build an abbreviated mesocycle that you can do to address some weak points before going back into a core training program or the 5x5 in this case. You are still using dual factor theory but this might resemble a 2-3 week period followed by a week of deloading. You could also use some type of 2 week microcycle period instead of a dedicated deloading week to address some of this but you'd want the volume to be such that you can step right back into the core training.

    So basically your longer term layout would be:

    4 weeks Volume 5x5
    1 week Deload 5x5
    4 weeks Intensity 5x5 (*if you use the 3x protocol you will likely need to deload)
    *1 week Deload

    Now This:
    2-3 Weeks Specialized Cycle (address your weak points here)
    1 Week Deload

    Or This:
    2 Week Microcycle

    And Then:
    Repeat/Begin new Core Hypertrophy Program

    Here is an example of a 2-3/1 (load/deload) program. http://forum.mesomorphosis.com/showp...52&postcount=3
    Why not throw what you need into this protocol and PM me with it so we don't have everyone customizing the 5x5 and creating a 3 day split and training each bodypart once per week to failure and then telling me the program doesn't work and they get better gains from their own machine based protocol that they based on some Pro BBers shrunken scrodum.

    EDIT- terminology
    Last edited by Madcow2; 12-Mar-2005 at 09:47 PM.

  8. #138
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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 Madcow2
    (*if you use the 3x protocol you will likely need to deload)
    *1 week Deload
    I can vouch for this. I reckon I'd hit a wall if I went in for full workouts next week.

  9. #139
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    Re: Bill Starr's 5 x 5 program... Variation per Madcow2 (thanx) So here it is! K up now!

    Karma for someone to post their routine, sets, reps, etc...maybe even a log....so we can get a better grasp of what is working for you.......

  10. #140
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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 JKurz1
    Karma for someone to post their routine, sets, reps, etc...maybe even a log....so we can get a better grasp of what is working for you.......
    http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=372361

    i was up a little over 15lbs after 6-7 weeks. then the flu came. i'm sitting at 172 right now, totally dehydrated and in the morning.

    the weight gain does not kick ass much ass as the strength gain. but that's just my opinion

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