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  1. #1
    Registered User mac520's Avatar
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    Substituting power cleans into 5x5

    I'd like to replace with rows with power cleans since I hate rows and love power cleans. I noticed in SS, the program calls for 5x3 for power clean instead of the 3x5 for all the other lifts. Should I change the 5x5 to 5x3, or keep the number of reps the same, and do 8x3? Also, should I still ramp the weight with power cleans, or so the same weight across all sets?
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    Originally Posted by mac520 View Post
    I'd like to replace with rows with power cleans since I hate rows and love power cleans. I noticed in SS, the program calls for 5x3 for power clean instead of the 3x5 for all the other lifts. Should I change the 5x5 to 5x3, or keep the number of reps the same, and do 8x3? Also, should I still ramp the weight with power cleans, or so the same weight across all sets?
    Starr had his athletes ramp the weight for five sets of five. If you're following the madcow 5x5, you should do the same.
    The guys who claim "I did GOMAD and got fat" are just stupid. - Dave76
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  3. #3
    Registered User mac520's Avatar
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    I'd like more feedback on this. A few months ago I asked the same question and some people told me I should do 5x3 same weight across since you don't want to exceed 3 reps for explosive lifts, and there's no point in lifting light weights for explosive movements.
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    Registered User kziwarrior's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mac520 View Post
    I'd like more feedback on this. A few months ago I asked the same question and some people told me I should do 5x3 same weight across since you don't want to exceed 3 reps for explosive lifts, and there's no point in lifting light weights for explosive movements.
    They are exactly right, it's an explosive motion so you should do it with the heaviest load you can w/o loosing form (this means no cheating by pulling quickly off the floor).

    Rippetoe uses 5x3 because at high weight it is just way to taxing to go 5 reps. But he and Starr differ on how they teach/use the power-clean motion so adapt accordingly (i.e. stay low reps for Ripps technique and go for 5 reps with Stars).

    You should note however that a power-clean is NOT an good substitution for rows. While they both are "back" lifts they work the muscles in a VERY different way and train you for different things. Personally I use power-cleans for their explosiveness (important to martial artists) and then I use pull-ups for my "back". For me it's the best blend. Experiment and find what works for you, but IMHO pull-ups are the king of back lifts.
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  5. #5
    Registered User mac520's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kziwarrior View Post
    They are exactly right, it's an explosive motion so you should do it with the heaviest load you can w/o loosing form (this means no cheating by pulling quickly off the floor).

    Rippetoe uses 5x3 because at high weight it is just way to taxing to go 5 reps. But he and Starr differ on how they teach/use the power-clean motion so adapt accordingly (i.e. stay low reps for Ripps technique and go for 5 reps with Stars).

    You should note however that a power-clean is NOT an good substitution for rows. While they both are "back" lifts they work the muscles in a VERY different way and train you for different things. Personally I use power-cleans for their explosiveness (important to martial artists) and then I use pull-ups for my "back". For me it's the best blend. Experiment and find what works for you, but IMHO pull-ups are the king of back lifts.
    Well Monday/Friday I do Squat/Bench/Clean and Wednesday I do Squat/Press/Deadlift. That doesn't really leave any room for adding in pull-ups. Madcow's 5x5 program doesn't even include power cleans it just includes rows and it says if you want to substitute power cleans for rows you can. This advice doesn't seem to be adding up.
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  6. #6
    Equipment Geek Mod Wildtim's Avatar
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    I would just ismply sub the cleans in for the rows 5x5 ramping sets same as the other exercises. With the ramping sets and only one at top weight I think you can probably manage to hold form for a simgle set of 5. Rippoetoes would have you doing 15 reps with working weight where Starr would only have you at 5.

    If you didn't know Madcow was developed based on this program:

    Originally Posted by Originally Posted by Bill Starrs "Big Three" off season football program

    This program is designed to build maximum strength and flexibility in all the major muscle groups....

    Perform the exercises 3 times per week for the first six weeks, and use the heavy, light, medium system. The heavy day each week is test day. The light day (70% max) is a form day- the day you should concentrate on honing your skills in each movement. This attention to form helps you in making faster gains. The medium day (85% max) sets you up for the next heavy day. Light medium and heavy refer to the total poundage's for each day. They do not refer to the amount of effort you put forth. Always give 100% and follow the prescribed order for the exercises.

    Before each session do 10 to 15 minutes of stretching and abdominal movements for the upper lower and sides of the midsection. This helps eliminate the chance of injury. Your body will respond more favorably when Warmed-up properly.

    In addition to the "Big Three" perform 2 sets of leg extensions and 2 sets of leg curls in supersets fashion. This additional high rep work is a preventative measure for the knees.

    Wrap up the workout with another 10-15 minutes of stretching, emphasizing the shoulder girdle and hamstrings.

    Circuit Training: For the first couple of weeks on the "Big Three", work the three lifts in a circuit. This ensures that all major body parts are being worked equally. In other words, do a set of cleans, then a set of bench press, then followed by a set of squats until all sets are performed. After a few weeks begin doing all the sets of a single exercise in order before moving on to the next.

    The heavy day sets the pace for the rest of the week. The rest of the week is based on the accomplishments of the heavy day. Increase the power clean and the bench by 5 pounds each week, and the squat by 10. Do not increase the poundages unless you have successfully completed the prescribed number of reps the previous week.

    Use the weight of the third set of the heavy day as the top end weight for the light day.

    Use the weight of the fourth set of the heavy day as the to[p end weight for the medium day.

    Monday, Wednesday, and Friday do the following.

    5x5 Power Clean
    5x5 Bench Press
    5x5 Back Squat
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  7. #7
    Registered User ThiZzNation925's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wildtim View Post
    I would just ismply sub the cleans in for the rows 5x5 ramping sets same as the other exercises. With the ramping sets and only one at top weight I think you can probably manage to hold form for a simgle set of 5. Rippoetoes would have you doing 15 reps with working weight where Starr would only have you at 5.

    If you didn't know Madcow was developed based on this program:
    x2. Mac, the original program actually had powercleans in stead of rows, and high pulls in stead of deadlifts; it was a program designed for Olympic lifters. Putting rows in for cleans and deadlifts in for high pulls was a quick and dirty way of completely changing the routine from Olympic based to strength-bodybuilding based.

    As far as the set/rep scheme, you can do whatever you'd like. If you would like to focus more on your strength endurance, then you should probably gear more towards 5 reps. If you would like to focus on your functional strength, and ability to withstand heavier weights, then 3 reps would be more ideal. It's really up to you.
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  8. #8
    Registered User kziwarrior's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThiZzNation925 View Post
    As far as the set/rep scheme, you can do whatever you'd like. If you would like to focus more on your strength endurance, then you should probably gear more towards 5 reps. If you would like to focus on your functional strength, and ability to withstand heavier weights, then 3 reps would be more ideal. It's really up to you.
    And this is really what it comes down to. As I said before experiment and see what works best for you. Bottom line is the same program can have dramatic results for one person and not do squat for another. And both Starr's and Rippetoes programs have undergone numerous evolutions and redesigns over the years. But the basic setup has remained the same and that is the important thing (i.e. Squat, Push, Pull).

    Edit:
    Also note, neither Starr or Rippetoe use their programs explicitly as they are given for every trainee. These programs are meant as primers, nothing more. While the programs have earn a reputation for success they are not set in stone and should, like ANY program be adjusted as needed. Just adjust smartly (i.e. have a legitimate reason backed by facts not stupid "bro science" or wild guessing).
    Last edited by kziwarrior; 10-20-2009 at 04:43 PM.
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