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  1. #1
    Registered User xagent's Avatar
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    Texas Method vs. 5/3/1 vs. Madcow 5x5 for intermediates

    I know what all 3 programs are. I just can't figure out what to do. What do you guys recommend? if you've tried more than one, which worked the best?

    by Madcow 5x5, it may also be called Bill Starr 5x5. Either way, it's this one: http://stronglifts.com/madcow/5x5_Pr...Linear_5x5.htm

    I am leaning towards 5/3/1, only because of the added variety (squat press pull... rinse and repeat. getting a bit boring), and because I have the time available to go 4x a week.
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  2. #2
    Registered User SonOfTowelHorn's Avatar
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    To be honest, it doesn't matter. As long as you progress. Just stay on the program for atleast 6-8 months.
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  3. #3
    NorseManPowerlifter BigJon55's Avatar
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    I prefer the Texas Method for no other reason than I did for a while, it worked and I live in Texas.
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  4. #4
    Legen-Dairy justroberson's Avatar
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    I've only done Texas Method (still on it) so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    5/3/1- seems better for advanced/end of intermediate lifters (weight progresses only monthly, even though rep PRs weekly)

    Madcow/Starr- Hit a new 3 rep PR at end of week, then do it for 5 reps the next week? How long can that be maintained?

    Texas Method- PRs at the end of every week, awesomeness. But volume day makes you feel like dying during and for half the week afterwards, and its tough to fine tune the program when you stall. Plus I also live in Texas.

    Really only you can know which one fits you best.
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  5. #5
    Shenanigans! lts1ow's Avatar
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    I have taken a 5x5 program to a 475x5 squat, does get tough, but, worked great for me.
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  6. #6
    Deadlift King Liftamulti's Avatar
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    5x5
    I don't care.
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  7. #7
    Registered User ByronOrpheus's Avatar
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    I'd say do madcows till you can't, then switch to 5/3/1... only 2 things come from texas...
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  8. #8
    Team Gynecologist Shaun_W's Avatar
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    I've done both the Texas Method and Madcow's 5x5. Both are quite similar. The key difference was that with the Texas Method there is one absolute bitch of a workout (volume day), with recovery day being fairly easy and intensity day being the best day of the week as you hit new PRs. With Madcow's there were no easy days, but there were not excruciatingly difficult days either. The Texas Method allowed more variety and customisation which is handy for many. But there was also a greater chance you'd miss a lift as you'd be working closer to your actual %RMs for more of the time than with Madcow's. But Madcow's was more sure and steady; you could rely on it to make you X% stronger in Y months.

    I wouldn't recommend 5/3/1 for people that can still make weekly progress.
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  9. #9
    Strong just got Stronger 7399martyn's Avatar
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    5/3/1 if you're already lifting big numbers.

    Madcows 5x5 and Texas Method if your lifts are under advanced level and you dont mind pushing PRs every week.
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  10. #10
    Registered User samsont's Avatar
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    I don't understand why you have to be a certain level to do 5/3/1 or any program.. that doesn't make sense.


    just do a program and stick with it. no need to "do this program then you can do this program".
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  11. #11
    Intense as fuk bro austin.j.taylor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ByronOrpheus View Post
    I'd say do madcows till you can't, then switch to 5/3/1... only 2 things come from texas...
    This is exactly what I am doing and have seen good progress. I would recommend a 5X5 until you cant progress every week, then 5/3/1 and progress monthly. I consider 5/3/1 as more of an advanced intermediate programs. Milk linear progression for everything that its worth.
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  12. #12
    Cyclin' dianalol. MegaDave's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by samsont View Post
    I don't understand why you have to be a certain level to do 5/3/1 or any program.. that doesn't make sense.


    just do a program and stick with it. no need to "do this program then you can do this program".
    Well, if you've been lifting for 10 years and you try the texas method, you will get nowhere...
    forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=135804641
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  13. #13
    Registered User samsont's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MegaDave View Post
    Well, if you've been lifting for 10 years and you try the texas method, you will get nowhere...
    thats looking at my statement backwards.

    i'm talking more like.... Why should someone have to do SS or madcows before 5/3/1? when they could just do 5/3/1 theoretically forever from the beginning while making nice slow gains allllll the time..

    Like me for example, at my strength numbers/experience level everyone on this forum would tell me to do madcows or SS when I started.. However i've been on the conjugate system(i did spend a few months reading and asking questions before doing the conjugate system though) for awhile making great gains and I plan on using it for years if I can.
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  14. #14
    Intense as fuk bro austin.j.taylor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by samsont View Post
    thats looking at my statement backwards.

    i'm talking more like.... Why should someone have to do SS or madcows before 5/3/1? when they could just do 5/3/1 theoretically forever from the beginning while making nice slow gains allllll the time..

    Like me for example, at my strength numbers/experience level everyone on this forum would tell me to do madcows or SS when I started.. However i've been on the conjugate system(i did spend a few months reading and asking questions before doing the conjugate system though) for awhile making great gains and I plan on using it for years if I can.
    Read Ripps book pratical programming. The reason you progress as fast as possible in the beginning of strength training is to take advantage of an untrained CNS that recovers quickly. As weight increases, frequency must decrease to maintain recovery. Its explained much better in the book, than in what I just typed.
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  15. #15
    Registered User nmballa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by austin.j.taylor View Post
    Read Ripps book pratical programming. The reason you progress as fast as possible in the beginning of strength training is to take advantage of an untrained CNS that recovers quickly. As weight increases, frequency must decrease to maintain recovery. Its explained much better in the book, than in what I just typed.
    Agreed. With that in mind I would say go 5x5, then when you stall (meaning no progress in several weeks) then make the jump to 5/3/1. What is nice with 5x5 is frequency which helps develop your form as well. I ran 5x5 for 2 years. Progress stalled and I couldn't maintain the frequency due to aching joints. Granted I am running smolov jr for bench at the moment.
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  16. #16
    Registered User hsilman's Avatar
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    I'm currently doing 5x5. Basically, 5x5 spreads the volume out over the week, vs TM has you do one big "go **** yourself" workout once a week. I like the mental focus of 5x5 so far. Friday comes "ok only 5# more and only for 3 reps instead of 5? no problem". Two days off, then Monday "I've had a nice long rest and I only have to add 2 reps to Friday's workout? easy peasy". That's how it feels for me at least.

    Time is also a factor. I average 1:20 to get all my lifts in, including supplementary work each day. Vs, 2+ hours for volume day on TM. Don't have that kind of time. Obviously Friday's workout makes up for it when you set a new PR and go home.
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  17. #17
    Strong just got Stronger 7399martyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by samsont View Post
    I don't understand why you have to be a certain level to do 5/3/1 or any program.. that doesn't make sense.

    just do a program and stick with it. no need to "do this program then you can do this program".
    why make 5-10lb increases a month when you can make 5-10lb increases every session?
    Powerlifter at PTC Performance Training Centre

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  18. #18
    Registered User Try.Hard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 7399martyn View Post
    5/3/1 if you're already lifting big numbers.

    Madcows 5x5 and Texas Method if your lifts are under advanced level and you dont mind pushing PRs every week.
    What's considered an advanced level? I just started 531 for powerlifting last month.
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  19. #19
    Strong just got Stronger 7399martyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Try.Hard View Post
    What's considered an advanced level? I just started 531 for powerlifting last month.
    i would consider the advanced levels in this website advanced.

    http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...hStandards.htm

    Thats not to say 5/3/1 wont work for a beginner, but a beginner can make faster progress on something more aggressive and linear like Madcows 5x5.
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    Team CESA thom2355's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 7399martyn View Post
    why make 5-10lb increases a month when you can make 5-10lb increases every session?
    I understand what you are saying, but in 5/3/1 you up your training max 5-10 lbs per month. Your performance on the weight derived as a percentage of that training max during your AMRAP sets could equate to a much larger increase in performance (than just the 5-10 lbs per month) if you compare them using Wendler's provided formula for comparing weight-reps from wave to wave. 5/3/1 is based on a training max not your actual max. Your actual max could be increasing at a much higher rate than your training max, which was shown by a couple of testimonials in the 5/3/1 book where the lifters had a 550 training max in the deadlift and pulled 600 in competition.

    I am not saying 5/3/1 is great for beginners, but it is not the worst thing. The greater training frequency supplied by TM/Madcows is what will benefit beginning to intermediate trainers with a fresh CNS (as austin mentioned) more than the weight progression. Once you cannot handle the frequency, a switch to 5/3/1 or similar split type programming would be beneficial.
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    yer, i understand.

    you can do 135x5 one cycle and then 140x8 the next.

    and i agree, its not bad for a beginner. But something more aggressive and linear is more suitable.
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    Intense as fuk bro austin.j.taylor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Try.Hard View Post
    What's considered an advanced level? I just started 531 for powerlifting last month.
    I dont put numbers on levels. I think an advanced level is when linear progression is done. At that point its time to look at a much slower linear progression (5/3/1) or some of the more advanced programs like sheiko, conjugate, etc.
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