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Theory behind Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5


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Excerpt: Is there a reason that less emphasis is placed on deadlifts and the military press in Bill Starr's 5x5? Why exactly do those exercises only get one work day per week versus the bench press and barbell row which get two work days each? It seems like they should at least rotate where the deadlift/military get two days one week, and then the bench/row get two days the next (like the Rippetoe format). Also, why is it that the power cleans were replaced by the barbell row in the Madcow version of

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  1. #1
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    Theory behind Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5

    Is there a reason that less emphasis is placed on deadlifts and the military press in Bill Starr's 5x5? Why exactly do those exercises only get one work day per week versus the bench press and barbell row which get two work days each? It seems like they should at least rotate where the deadlift/military get two days one week, and then the bench/row get two days the next (like the Rippetoe format).

    Also, why is it that the power cleans were replaced by the barbell row in the Madcow version of the 5x5?

  2. #2
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    Re: Theory behind Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5

    In general, you can't alternate lifts with the 5x5 the same way you do as Rippetoe's because the former uses weekly progression while the latter uses daily progression.

    If you're an intermediate lifter, it's really hard to deadlift more than once a week without getting overtrained really fast.

    I think the bench might be emphasized over the press because benching is arguably more of a compound movement. But there's no reason why you couldn't press twice a week and bench once a week on the 5x5.

    I can't really answer the row vs clean question. I like rows because they improve my bench.

  3. #3
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    Re: Theory behind Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5

    Shoulders are a relatively small muscle group and they're going to get worked from other exercises like Bench and Rows. Working them directly more than once per week might be too much for them imo.

  4. #4
    BigboyAl
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    Re: Theory behind Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5

    shoulder and deads are the assitance lifts for the bench and squat..there important to have them done in a periodized fashion to build them up, but they are not the focus.they assist the bench and squat.

  5. #5
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    Re: Theory behind Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5

    Quote Quote posted by PoweredUp
    Also, why is it that the power cleans were replaced by the barbell row in the Madcow version of the 5x5?
    The barbel row is used in the program because it's easier to learn than the power clean. As Madcow states, his setup is "for someone who doesn't know the OLs. Starr's original workout included Power Cleans and High Pulls."

  6. #6
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    Re: Theory behind Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5

    Quote Quote posted by PoweredUp
    Is there a reason that less emphasis is placed on deadlifts and the military press in Bill Starr's 5x5? Why exactly do those exercises only get one work day per week versus the bench press and barbell row which get two work days each? It seems like they should at least rotate where the deadlift/military get two days one week, and then the bench/row get two days the next (like the Rippetoe format).

    Also, why is it that the power cleans were replaced by the barbell row in the Madcow version of the 5x5?
    you cant squat 3 times a week and deadlift 2 times a week, you would burn out in no time. Your CNS would be smoked. Military isnt needed more than once a week because your benching 2 times already, your shoulders dont need anymore work. Just do the program the way it is, no need to change anything it is a fantastic program.

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    Re: Theory behind Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5

    btw if this isnt enough proof that it works i dont know what is....

    my partner did this program with me after he got OFF a cycle and his deadlift INCREASED by 50lbs!

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