My first 5 x 5

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by Fausto, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Hi guys

    I decided to try out 5 x 5, whilst I was at the end of my 5's on HST!

    First feeling? Wow...really kicked my butt! [​IMG]

    I used the madcow's intermediate program, only thing I found strange, I slightly overcalculated the barbell bentover rows, so I stopped on the 4th round (K.O.) [​IMG]

    Anyway - my lower back felt like I was going to kell over soon, but after a nice slow warm bath I was fine again.

    My thoughts here, I will replace the b/b bent over rows with bent over cable rows (Seated) and keep the load the same.

    What's more wednesday program has squats as well as deadlifts, isn't this to much for the lower back?

    What is your take?
     
  2. Rotlex

    Rotlex New Member

    First off, cool! I'm currently on week 5 of Madcow's intermediate 5x5 as well. Yeah, it's been killer, for me at least, and I'm noticing I can push myself farther than I thought with it.

    I've basically been doing the program by the book, and add light cardio, i.e. incline walking, on Tuesday and Thursday. Weekend are totally off as I feel the time is needed to properly recoup.

    As far as Wednesday's with Squats and Deads, I have not found this to be a problem. I started out on my first week a bit lighter than I probably could have, in antisipation of a grinding routine, and the Wednesday's are kind of falling into place. I have been doing 4 sets on squats, lighter than Monday and Friday of course, and 5 sets of deads. (1st set really more of a warm up than anything).

    Anyway, I'm loving this as much as HST, and have basically come to the conclusion that 5x5 and HST will probably be my standard workouts for a VERY long time. As soon as I am done with this 5x5 cycle, I'm taking a 9 day SD, and doing another cycle of HST.

    I was actually going to startup and HST cycle back when I started this 5x5, but I've kind of become addicted to the 5x5 at the moment, and am actually looking forward to trying out the advanced methods with periodization sometime in the future.
     
  3. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    If you can't do all five sets, no big deal. Just keep the load the same the next week, until you can increase the load. I wouldn't substitute exercises unless you absolutely have to.
    The squats and deads on Weds shouldn't be too bad. Just remember, with 5x5 it's best to start a little on the light side and build up the load over each week, kinda like with HST.
     
  4. Omega_man

    Omega_man New Member

    Hey there,

    Where can I get more info on this Mad Cow's 5x5. I was looking at trying something to extend my current HST cycle at the end of the 5's/negs long enough that I can place my next SD at the most opportune time. This might be just the thing I need.

    Thx,
    Mega
     
  5. liegelord

    liegelord New Member

    I would suggest doing front squats. I did a month of 5x5 and hated it because I actually missed my maxes and I missed them badly, something that never happened with HST.

    Anyway, the lighter load on the front squats should help. I do my deadlifts first and front squats last.
     
  6. abarlament

    abarlament New Member

    <div>
    (Omega_man @ Apr. 04 2006,19:39)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Hey there,

    Where can I get more info on this Mad Cow's 5x5. I was looking at trying something to extend my current HST cycle at the end of the 5's/negs long enough that I can place my next SD at the most opportune time. This might be just the thing I need.

    Thx,
    Mega</div>
    http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/table_of_contents_thread.htm

    It's not madcow's program, he's just a big pimper of it. I believe it was written by Bill Starr and he is producing it verbatim.
     
  7. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">If you can't do all five sets, no big deal. Just keep the load the same the next week, until you can increase the load. I wouldn't substitute exercises unless you absolutely have to.</div>

    But Tot, bent over cable rows although seated are almost the same, do you really thing I should put myself through this torture? [​IMG]

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Anyway, I'm loving this as much as HST, and have basically come to the conclusion that 5x5 and HST will probably be my standard workouts for a VERY long time.</div>

    Thinking of it a staple diet as well, obviously one can never, ever throw away HST, remember these type of strength programs were also used to build what today is HST. [​IMG]
     
  8. Rotlex

    Rotlex New Member

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Thinking of it a staple diet as well, obviously one can never, ever throw away HST, remember these type of strength programs were also used to build what today is HST. [​IMG] </div>

    Absolutely! I really do think the two go hand in hand quite nicely, and also give a much needed change of pace as the weeks\months go by. I still get strange looks in the gym though, even after a year, when people see me doing squats and deads 3 times a week. [​IMG]
     
  9. liegelord

    liegelord New Member

    You're deadlifting 3x a week? No wonder you're getting looks. [​IMG]

    What are you lifting in the dead? I had to go from doing A &amp; B workouts alternating every MWF to only deadlifting on Wed. because the weeks where I was deadlifting M &amp; F there was too much fatigue and the Fri. workout was really tough. Going only every Wed. has helped that.
     
  10. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Liege

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">You're deadlifting 3x a week? No wonder you're getting looks.</div>

    Who are you talking about?

    I am only doing it on wednesdays lifted 100 Kg and it felt kind of alright, hopefully I did not over shoot, I think the max is about 120 I'm not sure right now!

    My concern was the deads and squats on the same day, but my lower back is holding out fine!
     
  11. liegelord

    liegelord New Member

    Sorry, I should have pointed out I was responding to Rotlex:

    Absolutely! I really do think the two go hand in hand quite nicely, and also give a much needed change of pace as the weeks\months go by. I still get strange looks in the gym though, even after a year, when people see me doing squats and deads 3 times a week.
     
  12. navigator

    navigator New Member

    <div>
    (Totentanz @ Apr. 04 2006,16:30)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">If you can't do all five sets, no big deal.  Just keep the load the same the next week, until you can increase the load.  I wouldn't substitute exercises unless you absolutely have to.
    The squats and deads on Weds shouldn't be too bad.  Just remember, with 5x5 it's best to start a little on the light side and build up the load over each week, kinda like with HST.</div>
    I totally agree, here. I'm working on my 3rd 5x5 cycle, and at first had all the same concerns. I stuck with the version Madcow has posted on his site, and have found that I have more core strength, now. At first, floor rows felt cruel and unusual, but now are a staple of my training. Same thing with squats and deads on the same day--you'll adapt to the higher workload if you stick with it.

    My advice is in line with what Madcow keeps saying: don't change the program in any way unless you are injured or over 65 years old. After you go through the 5x5 cycle once, then you are in a much better position to evaluate whether anything needs changing.
     
  13. navigator

    navigator New Member

    Hmmm...

    Had some sort of wierd error--made me think my posts weren't being posted.

    Sorry about that.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. carpenter

    carpenter New Member

    Fausto:
    Great minds think alike and fools seldom differ. I'm at about the same place as you in my first 5x5 and agree about the lower back thing.

    I tweaked my back at work making it tough to get through the deads and rows. I actually went out and purchased a lifting belt! [​IMG]

    I'm keeping the deads in the cycle and subbing Hammer Strength machine rows.
     
  15. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Ok guys

    I admit, after really chjecking I think I overshot the weights on the floor row, yep navigator it is brutal, but I have adjusted it and will stick it out.

    I made a small modification though, instead of incline bench, ther is already flat anyway, I changed it to military presses and I think it will work.

    Opinions? Have I sinned [​IMG] ?
     
  16. navigator

    navigator New Member

    <div>
    (Fausto @ Apr. 08 2006,13:11)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I made a small modification though, instead of incline bench, ther is already flat anyway, I changed it to military presses and I think it will work.

    Opinions? Have I sinned [​IMG] ?</div>
    Hi Fausto,

    Remember, military press is a recommended exercise for Wednesday. You're already flat benching on Monday and Friday, anyways.

    Also, remember that the military press is recommended to be done while standing, not sitting. This further works your core strength.

    Speaking of strength, a really good investment is the book &quot;Starting Strength&quot; by Mark Rippetoe. Check it out!
     
  17. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'd be interested to see what kind of strength gains you get on the core lifts, Fausto, comparing your previous 5 RM with whatever your 5 RM ends up at after this.
     
  18. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I'd be interested to see what kind of strength gains you get on the core lifts, Fausto, comparing your previous 5 RM with whatever your 5 RM ends up at after this. </div>

    You bet mate! I'll post it as soon as I get there, I think this time I'll get to the coveted 140 I always wanted to squat, that'll be 2x my body weight!

    Nav, I always do mil presses standin' up I have tried it sitting but that is when I have mate sto help me getting new PR's, and that is more push press or OHP tahn mil press anyways. [​IMG]
     
  19. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    I've looked over the Madcow program and it looks interesting. Nice and basic, which I like. However, I have a few questions:

    If you wanted to prolong the 5s, would you start a Madcow program instead of starting 5s for your HST cycle or would you do the 5s first and then do Madcow?

    Do you prefer Madcow to continuing the 5s into negative territory or dropping the reps further and clustering?

    As this is effectively a high strain workout, similar to the 5s in HST, have any of you decided to add in a high-rep set to finish off each movement? And, if not, have you noticed any drop in muscle size?

    Have any of you folks completed a 9-week Madcow cycle and made all the target reps (after completing HST 5s and instead of going on to do negatives or clusters)?

    Does this suggest that the RBE takes longer to catch up with the loads being used than I thought from reading Bryan's HST articles?

    My strength gains in the big compounds have improved so much with HST thus far (and still this cycle too) that I'm finding it hard to see the point in Madcow other than it would make a change. Until my progress peters out I think I will keep on experimenting with HST. I'm only on my third cycle after all. [​IMG]

    I'd love to read any results that come from Madcow and if your joints are still happy after 9 weeks of heavy lifting. [​IMG]
     
  20. liegelord

    liegelord New Member

    I would say that if you're making good strength gains with HST, then keep doing it.

    I did a month of SF 5x5 and it was a diseaster, I missed my previous maxes on everything except squats and the deadlift. I ditched the 5x5 for the deadlift after the first deadlift workout. My previous max from my last HST was 465x5. I know I may not have started low enough, but 455x5 should not have felt like a max lift.

    I went back to ramping the deadlift like I do with HST and it's been much better. I started with 405x15; my last cycle I maxed with 405x12, in a month, with one deadlift workout a week, ramping 10 pounds a workout, I hit 445x12. My 10RM this time should be 465.

    I also do only one work set with deads. Warm-ups seemed excessive with 5x5. Instead I'll warm the dead with 135x5, 225x2, 315x1 and then 445x12. I started doing the same thing with squats, cut the warm-ups and did at least 10 reps. With 5x5 I barely did 315x5 (full olympic). In only three weeks I hit 325x12 and 5 in the second set.
     

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