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  • Curious about madcow 5x5: What is it and how does it work?

    Discussion in 'Training' started by Newstarter, Jun 8, 2024.

    1. Newstarter

      Newstarter Well-Known Member

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      I'm relatively new to bodybuilding/muscle building and have been hearing a lot about different workout programs. Recently, the term "Madcows 5x5" has come up a few times, and I'm really curious to know more about it. I've done some basic research, but I figured it would be best to ask here where many of you might have firsthand experience.

      From what I gather, Madcow 5x5 is a strength training program, but beyond that, I'm not too sure. Here are a few questions I have:
      1. What exactly is Madcow 5x5?
      2. How is it structured in terms of exercises, sets, and reps?
      3. What makes it different from other 5x5 programs like StrongLifts?
      4. Is it suitable for beginners or more geared towards intermediate lifters?
      5. What kind of results can I expect if I follow this program diligently?
      6. Are there any specific tips or things to watch out for when doing Madcow 5x5?
      I would greatly appreciate any detailed breakdown or personal experiences. I'm really keen to understand how this program works and whether it might be a good fit for my fitness goals.

      Thanks in advance for your help!
       
    2. admin

      admin Administrator

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      Hi @Newstarter

      Welcome to the world of strength training! It’s great that you’re exploring different workout programs to find what suits you best. I’m happy to provide a detailed breakdown of the Madcow 5x5 program and answer your questions in a way that's easy to understand.

      1. What exactly is Madcow 5x5?

      Madcow 5x5 is a strength training program designed to help lifters build muscle and increase their strength progressively. It’s an intermediate-level program that evolved from the original Bill Starr 5x5 routine, which was initially created for football players. The Madcow version adds a bit more structure and progression, making it ideal for those who have some lifting experience and are looking to take their strength to the next level.

      2. How is it structured in terms of exercises, sets, and reps?

      Madcow 5x5 focuses on compound lifts, which means exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at once. Here’s a weekly breakdown of the routine:

      Monday:
      • Squat: 5 sets of 5 reps (increasing weight each set)
      • Bench Press: 5 sets of 5 reps (increasing weight each set)
      • Barbell Row: 5 sets of 5 reps (increasing weight each set)
      Wednesday:
      • Squat: 4 sets of 5 reps (first 3 sets are lighter, 4th set is the same as Monday's 3rd set)
      • Overhead Press: 4 sets of 5 reps (increasing weight each set)
      • Deadlift: 4 sets of 5 reps (increasing weight each set)
      Friday:
      • Squat: 4 sets of 5 reps + 1 set of 3 reps + 1 set of 8 reps (5th set is heavier than Monday's 5th set, 6th set is a back-off set)
      • Bench Press: 4 sets of 5 reps + 1 set of 3 reps + 1 set of 8 reps (same pattern as Squat)
      • Barbell Row: 4 sets of 5 reps + 1 set of 3 reps + 1 set of 8 reps (same pattern as Squat)
      Progression:
      • You increase the weight for your lifts each week, typically by 2.5% to 5%. This progressive overload is key to building strength.
      3. What makes it different from other 5x5 programs like StrongLifts?

      While both Madcow and StrongLifts 5x5 are based on the 5x5 format (five sets of five reps), there are some key differences:
      • Experience Level: StrongLifts is more suited for beginners, whereas Madcow is designed for intermediate lifters who have already built a solid strength foundation.
      • Progression: StrongLifts typically adds weight to every workout, which works well for beginners. Madcow, on the other hand, increases weights on a weekly basis, accommodating the slower strength gains typical of more experienced lifters.
      • Variety in Sets: Madcow includes lighter sets on Wednesdays and heavier sets on Fridays, along with back-off sets to manage fatigue and promote recovery. StrongLifts is more straightforward with consistent heavy sets across all sessions.
      4. Is it suitable for beginners, or is it more geared towards intermediate lifters?

      Madcow 5x5 is generally recommended for intermediate lifters. If you’re a beginner, it’s crucial to first build a foundation of strength and proper form with a simpler program like StrongLifts or Starting Strength. Once you’ve made significant progress and find that your gains are slowing down, transitioning to Madcow can help you continue to make gains.

      5. What kind of results can I expect if I follow this program diligently?

      You can expect solid strength gains and muscle hypertrophy with consistent effort and proper nutrition. Over several months, many lifters report significant increases in their squat, bench press, and deadlift numbers. Remember, progress varies depending on individual factors like genetics, diet, rest, and training consistency.

      6. Are there any specific tips or things to watch out for when doing Madcow 5x5?

      Here are some tips to get the most out of Madcow 5x5:
      • Warm-Up Properly: Start each workout with a proper warm-up to prevent injuries and prepare your muscles for heavy lifting.
      • Focus on Form: Maintaining correct form is crucial, especially as the weights get heavier. If your form breaks down, consider deloading (reducing weight) and perfecting your technique.
      • Recovery: Ensure you’re getting enough rest and sleep. Your muscles need time to recover and grow stronger.
      • Nutrition: Eat a balanced diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates, and fats to fuel your workouts and recovery.
      • Consistency: Stick with the program for several months. Strength gains take time, and consistency is key.
      Madcow 5x5 is a robust program that, when followed correctly, can lead to impressive strength gains. Just remember to listen to your body, adjust as needed, and stay committed.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to ask if you have more questions.
       
    3. Newstarter

      Newstarter Well-Known Member

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      Wow @admin that is a lot of information you have posted!

      Thanks for that, it will take me a little while to get my head around it all - are there any decent YouTube videos?
       
    4. admin

      admin Administrator

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