5x5 vs. MadCow for early-intermediates
I am here for a bit of advice. I came the long way to reach my current numbers, so let's not talk about the past, let's assume I have completed the base-camp of power-lifting and focus on the future. I am trying to put together a training programme for the next 6 months. I was reading quite a lot about both the standard 5x5 and MadCow and I simply cannot decide. I have read a lot of articles about both containing exact kg values and / or percentages when to change, when to use which, but they are not consistent, and I am a bit confused. I used 5/3/1 (probably a bit too early) and a 4 day split routine alternated to get up to this point.
I am now 94 kg, and my personal best lifts are
Bench: 110 kg
Squats: 150 kg
Deadlift: 155 kg
Military press: 65 kg.
Raw: 80 ish, never tested
Technique and nutrition is relatively all right I think.
Question is: where to go?
Is 5x5 still viable for someone like me? I have ran a simulation for 16 weeks, but using the 2.5kg increments I am a bit sceptic about the possibility of those gains. Obviously breaking platous is sort of 'part of the plan' but still...
MadCow looks a bit more realistic in terms of gains, but I do not know if I am ready for that because the tonnage is less.
What would you suggest to do at this level to break into proper intermediate levels?
Thanks in advance
Bump. Sorry we didn't see this. The round table is a moderated forum.
BtB is the guru of course. And honestly you will continue to gain on anything at this point as long as you are persistent and progression focussed.
That said, I did what you are doing, then stalled a bit, so I moved to a lift a day type program where I absolutely hammered one lift and it's muscles once a week and a I took off again.
I'm sure there are proper intermediates that do full body, but then again at a certain point you need to hammer away at some growth in some very particular areas if you want to make your goals.
Hit some Squats, then quads hard
some bench and triceps hard
some OHP and some shoulders hard
then some deadlift and some hamstrings hard.
See how that treats you. If it doesn't work, you can always go back to what you were doing. But, bottom line is that what you were doing, you will adapt to. If you want to grow, you have to keep upping the ante.
As always, I'll preface this with the disclaimer that I have but a fraction of time behind bars that most others here have, however...
If you're going to do this I would pick a realistic ENDING goal. Work the progression backwards from there, and use that to choose your starting work set weights. It will mean a deload, but progression in a program is the name of the game right? We physically/mentally need to see the increases as we work, otherwise we're just in maintenance or stalled. I just started a new program and deloaded quite a ways just based on where I wanted to finish the program, not my current 5RM. Had I started at my current max, I would probably be quitting next week from low morale and missed lifts. Looking forward to seeing what you decide, and the results!
I did the same, deloaded big time and started 5x5 from scratch.
My personal 1PR's right now:
SQ: 155 kg / 342 lbs
BP: 110 kg / 242 lbs
DL: 155 kg / 342 lbs
MP: 65 kg / 144 lbs
My goals are very similar to your best lifts for the end of this year.
Thanks for the advice, it is always good to know that one does not walk alone.
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