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Medtreker
02-03-2012, 06:00 PM
Looking into 5x5 routines. Think I tried it, back couple of years ago but without understanding it, and abandoned it. I believe I would like to incorporate 5x5 technique into my basic routine I'm using now. Rather than my current rep/set on large compound lifts (they usually are 5 sets from 10+ reps down to 1-2 reps, then drop set), thought I would use the 5x5 technique of rep/set.

My question is in calculating one's 5 rep set. Is it 90% (89% actually) of your 1RM?

2 warm up sets, then 3 sets at 90% 1RM ?

90% seems high. Of course, I have not yet tried it yet... I know 531 uses lesser percentages, but it's different.

Just trying to understand the basics, and plan to begin once I can clearly establish a decent (and current)1RM for my squat and dead. Bouncing back from irritating upper back injury over Summer.

Medtreker
02-03-2012, 09:43 PM
Found this..

http://www.vicjg.com/aspx/madcowint.aspx

5 rep max is 89% of 1 rep max, but you don't start the cycle there. You start well below. But by 12 weeks, you're well beyond your original 5 rep max. By week 4 you're at original 5 rep max on 5th set, week 10 your doing your original 1RM for 5 reps!

boathead
02-04-2012, 08:22 AM
madcow is a fine routine. as you note, you start lighter than you might otherwise think. don't really know why people get caught up in percentages of 1rm....if you follow a steady progression, it doesn't really matter....it all comes out in the wash in time any way. i personally think it is more important to get used to the exact rotation of exercises, and to build some momentum.

good luck.

Dave76
02-04-2012, 08:43 AM
Beware that Madcow's program will seem ridiculously easy at first. Be sure to run the program as written. It gets excruciatingly hard in due time.

BTW, Madcow's program is a good place to start with 5X5 programs. It's probably the most popular 5X5 program on this site. Understand, though, that "5X5" is a style of lifting and Madcow is just one of an infinite number of progression schemes that can be devised for the 5X5 style. The 5X5 scheme is much more popular with strength trainees than it is with bodybuilders.

Smelly bull
02-04-2012, 09:43 AM
Beware that Madcow's program will seem ridiculously easy at first. Be sure to run the program as written. It gets excruciatingly hard in due .

Great advice...most people start way to high with their weights..

ironwill2008
02-04-2012, 10:06 AM
...most people start way to high with their weights..

^^^^ This.

I see it every day in the 'workout programs' forum. Guys who have been training long enough that they're no longer beginners (the primary target of Starr/Madcow) will think that it's a 'waste of time" to knock 20 pounds off their actual 5-rep maxes and start out so "light;" they see it as taking a bunch of steps backwards from where they're currently standing. They'll disregard this important step in the program not realizing that it's designed that way to give them a 4-week 'ramp-up' to getting into the part of the program that will move them forward in consistent fashion, if they just follow the program as-written.

Starr was/is a genius at taking a complicated topic and being able to apply it in a simple, systematic way that will work for anyone who will follow what he advises to the letter.

Medtreker
02-04-2012, 02:41 PM
That's why at first, I was mistaken thinking you started at 90%, then realized it was lower. But looking at program, it's clear to me that I would have difficult time keeping up with just the weight increase. 12 weeks in is really progressed.

I have other issues which I need advice on as well. It's clear I could mearly replace my rep scheme for a 5x5 rep scheme in my current program. But this would be only borrowing a technique from that formal program and plugging into mine. Say, in 1-2 lifts per day, bench, squat, dead, O/H press, even something like rows. Not sure if curls work too well, seems you're best off keeping the 5x5 stuff with the true compound heavy moves. This way I could "try out" the 5x5 technique.

But the whole program seems a good full step more progressed than I am. It involves strict rest time intervals. I simply have never followed strict rest intervals, yeah, maybe I should.

However, even today, I had to take another rest day cause I can feel the ping in my upper back. That's signaled trouble for me in the past... today was to be back day, including deadlift. I'm finally getting into good form and higher weight with squats(trailed in this lift in past). A good 36+ hours had nice DOMS kick in, legs of course, not back. But I did some heavy curls that day too. That was 3 days ago, and now I feel that upper/mid back ping. So rest is important to me, and it kills me to wait "another" day to see how it feels tomorrow.... but it is what it is. Short story, intensity can get me into a little trouble. I really do practice good technique, seems I just have a weak area in that region, it's muscular not spine.. it moves. Could very well be stress related too. Might be all stress related!!

So my question really boils down to, what if I plan a new routine utilizing 5x5 rep technique, without a close following of actual program? Is it pretty much worthless without the rest of true program? Or is 5x5 rep scheme a good thing in and of itself?

And yes, I would start off most likely even a little lower than spredsheets program me in for. Maybe sub my 1RM for 85-90% of that and figure the chart as if my 1RM is less than I have acheived. Like it was said, doesn't matter in time, cause it revs up regardless. Just gives more build up time.

I have always been slow and steady, wish I could ramp up intensity, but I seem to get knocked back down, mostly by my back, when lifts progress to a point. It's then I am forced back down in lift weight. I struggle with just letting myself gain weight. Seems I could easily pack on weight. Yes, I keep the fat down by keeping weight down, so that itself could easily be reason I get to that "point" and can't pass. Just have trouble judging when to stop adding lift weight. I get stronger, but body perhaps can't handle it. I have an issue with real weight gain cause all definition goes right out the door. Bigger doesn't look good on me come Summer time.

Do I just maintain lift weight? Is that what guys here who maintain bodyweight do? No one ever talks about this. It's always gain, gain, gain. Seems like a RANT, but this is a real issue. How do you maintain and gain...you don't. Either put on pounds like it or not, or shut up. Hey if that's the only answer there is, and then screw the 5x5, just lift less to maintain lower weight if you only want to look good, then that's it. I just can't believe after 3 good years that's it. Where does the natural average lifter go at 50y/o?

ironwill2008
02-04-2012, 06:22 PM
So my question really boils down to, what if I plan a new routine utilizing 5x5 rep technique, without a close following of actual program? Is it pretty much worthless without the rest of true program?

It depends on your specific goal; Starr/Madcow is designed to take an Intermediate trainee (intermediate = someone who has burned through his noob gains and is no longer able to add weight to the bar at every workout) and make him much stronger overall. If that's what you want to accomplish, then do the entire program as-written.

There is nothing wrong with applying a ramped 5x5 rep scheme to just a few lifts, and using more-conventional bodybuilding training for other exercises. Such a hybrid routine can work very well; I've trained on such routines, off and on, for years.

The basic premise of Starr's 5x5 is to 'ramp' the sets in weight up to one heavy set of 5 reps. He specifies a 'heavy/light/medium,' 3-days-a-week frequency, but you don't have to do all that. You can simply use the ramped 5x5 plan one time a week, and progress it by adding 5 pounds to all 5 sets on any subsequent workout for that bodypart if you got all your reps on all your sets that week.




Or is 5x5 rep scheme a good thing in and of itself?
Sure, depending how/why you're using it. As above, you can modify it as you see fit.

ddeacon22
02-05-2012, 08:14 AM
Try reading Practical Programming for Strength Training. I found it invaluable for learning one key thing is determining where you are in beginner/intermediate/advanced curve. It has content on several strength training programs (SS, Starrs, Texas Method etc.) as well.

D

Medtreker
02-05-2012, 02:05 PM
It depends on your specific goal; Starr/Madcow is designed to take an Intermediate trainee (intermediate = someone who has burned through his noob gains and is no longer able to add weight to the bar at every workout) and make him much stronger overall. If that's what you want to accomplish, then do the entire program as-written.

There is nothing wrong with applying a ramped 5x5 rep scheme to just a few lifts, and using more-conventional bodybuilding training for other exercises. Such a hybrid routine can work very well; I've trained on such routines, off and on, for years.

The basic premise of Starr's 5x5 is to 'ramp' the sets in weight up to one heavy set of 5 reps. He specifies a 'heavy/light/medium,' 3-days-a-week frequency, but you don't have to do all that. You can simply use the ramped 5x5 plan one time a week, and progress it by adding 5 pounds to all 5 sets on any subsequent workout for that bodypart if you got all your reps on all your sets that week.



Sure, depending how/why you're using it. As above, you can modify it as you see fit.

Thanks for input, I really appreciate it.

Just this morning, I re-wrote my split and will be incorporating the 5x5 rep scheme on 4 lifts. I will attempt to work those via speadsheet after working out number to plug in. I have my basic 1RM's for these 4 lifts now.

I've also moved shoulder/trap workout day from following directly after chest day, as was recomended to me as well.

I believe the pain in my upper back to be a pinched nerve. I have it slightly, but managed to get through dead routine and post a decent result. Can never forget to keep thinking of form, especially on deadlift! I believe if I expect results from my program, I'll acheive what I want, remain positive and motivated, and I'll continue to drive forward progress. Thanks again.