5x5 Intermediate (Madcow Version)

http://muscleandbrawn.com/bill-starr...diate-lifters/
**CORE DESCRIPTION:**
**CAUTION - READ THIS:** if you are going to devote hours and hours over weeks and weeks to a program, please take 10-15 minutes to actually read this page and understand it. That's a retarded method of saving time. Also, you will find it hugely useful to read the Training Primer I put together. You will understand so much more about training in general if you read it. Honestly, save yourself years of learning and spend 10-15 minutes reading that page. Hell just print it out and leave it in the bathroom. Within a couple days, you'll have it finished and you will be so much further ahead than so many others. Also, please make sure to read the Possible Issues section below - don't be a nimrod.

Before beginning it is useful to know your 1 rep maxes or more ideally your real 5 rep max in each lift (there is a table and calculator in the TOC). If you don't know this - it might be useful to test your lifts first or start light and allow for some flexibility in the weekly planning. The whole key is the weekly progression and keeping workload low enough to not overwhelm someone with fatigue and enable them to get out in front and set records for as many weeks as possible. Said a different way, the stimulus is not getting under the bar once with heavy weight but getting under it frequently and systematically increasing week to week starting within your limits and slowly expanding.

**Exercise Sets x Reps Details**
**Monday **
__Squat__ 5x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple)

__Bench__ 5x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple)

__Barbell Row__ 5x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple)

Assistance: 2 sets of weighted hypers and 4 sets of weighted sit-ups

**Wednesday **
__Squat __4x5 First 3 sets are the same as Monday, the 4th set is repeating the 3rd set again

__Incline or Military__ 4x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5

__Deadlift__ 4x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5

Assistance: 3 sets of sit-ups

__Friday __
__Squat__ 4x5, 1x3, 1x8 First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8

__Bench__ 4x5, 1x3, 1x8 First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8

__Barbell Row__ 4x5, 1x3, 1x8 First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8

Assistance: 3 sets of weighted dips (5-8 reps), 3 sets of barbell curls and 3 sets of triceps extensions (8 reps)

**The Progression:**
So it's pretty obvious what's going on in this example is weekly increases of 2.5% of your top set of 5 on Monday. So you do 100lbs for 5 on your top set on Monday. Then on Friday you do a triple with 2.5% more, or 102.5. The next Monday you come back and do 102.5 for your heavy set of 5, that Friday the triple is 105 and so on. For the non-squat Wednesday lifts you just increase by the percentage week to week.

Of course you start with a good margin to give yourself a run so you have to back into the initial weeks' weights. That means using some math. Put your current 5 rep maxes at week 4, figure out what 2.5% of the number is and go back and put that for week 3, do that back until you get to week 1. The Friday triple is always the next week's Monday set of 5. Pretty easy.*

Some people seem to think this is very slow progress (and maybe it is for a true beginner) but for most lifters this 2.5% weekly is fairly aggressive scaling. Think about building up for 4 weeks and then 2.5% compounded weekly on your personal records after that. If you can even get 4 weeks of PRs, that's over 10% on your lifts in just 8 weeks (there are people who would kill for this and many are lucky to manage 1-2% over that same time frame). People who can keep it up for anywhere near 12 weeks (8 weeks of PRs) are looking at 20%+ on their lifts. Even if one can't get long progression, this is still a good way to go for even a few increments as long as a lifter can make progress like this (and eventually they won't be able to and will have to do something a bit different that looks more like the Advanced version. (see below)

Carl.