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Thread: Stalled at fifth week on Madcow 5x5!

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    #11
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    Thanks guys
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    Quote Quote
    Originally Posted by 20v View Post
    No it's not strange at all. Tbh I'm kind of surprised you are on Madcow already. How many stalls & deloads did you go through on 5x5/3x5? As above....how have other lifts progressed?
    I did Stronglifts as outlined and as many deloads as outlined until I stopped doing 1x5. I.e. three stalls, then deloading 10%, when that happens three times, switch from 5x5 to 3x5 and then to 1x5. My other lifts except the overhead press have progressed fairly steadily with only a few stalls and deloads, but I seem to gain much slower on the bench and press. Perhaps because my main sport as a child was soccer where I exercised my legs constantly but not my upper body? But thanks again for all the help. Steady does it.
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    Did you switch to 3x5 etc on just bench or all lifts?
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    No, everyone progresses slower on bench press and OHP, it's not just you.

    What are your lifts for each of the exercises?
    "Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better."
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    In very basic terms, to progress you have to do something your body is not accustomed to but can recover from. You need to gradually increase intensity or volume over time to progress. Predominantly volume as there only so much weight you can continue add to the bar.

    So, on Stronglifts you did 5X5 and you progressed that by adding weight until you stalled. At this point Stronglifts calls on you to decrease volume to allow further increases in weight.

    So you've ended up at 1x5 for your 5RM. But, in getting there your body has become accustomed to an awful lot volume (5x5 up to 3 times per week).

    Madcow 5x5 is dropping your volume even further, its basically just 1x5 as you've been doing but with a light recovery day. There's nothing there that's going to be a new challenge for your body to adapt to, quite the opposite, your body is accustomed to a lot more volume than in Madcow 5x5.

    It's not necessarily that Stronglifts or Madcow 5x5 are bad programmes (although imo Stronglifts is and Madcow is a flawed interpretation of a Bill Starr HML programme taken out of it's group training context), but I don't think Madcow 5x5 is a suitable progression from Stronglifts because of the drop in volume.

    You need something with enough volume to give your body a new challenge, I'd suggest that Texas method is probably the best way for you to go.
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    I followed madcows for about 4 months, added 30kg to my squat 5rm and about 5kg to my bench. Madcows is renowned for being horrible for the bench press, one top set works great for deadlift, fine for squat, but the bench actually needs volume to fuel progression.
    Texas Method is what I am now following and it'd superior for your upper body and probably squat too, although volume day is hard work.
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    Thanks an awful lot guys. I might try the Texas method, but I kind of already started Smolov Jr. for the bench press (for 3 weeks). Perhaps that's too soon, I don't know, but my plan was to try and see how it worked. GBB, that's some VERY interesting stuff. I also find it interesting (and a bit good) to hear that you don't find it strange that doing everything right doesn't 100% gaurantee results and not gaining on a lift doesn't mean that you've failed to follow a program 100%.
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    Also, interestingly, some people in this discussion think that me being 38 is too old to use the Texas method: The Texas Method – Part 1 | 70's Big . Do you agree? This relates to my very first post in this topic about me never having been strong and starting weight lifting late in life (compared to many). Note that in no way am I going to be giving up.
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    Why are you doing Smolov Jr for bench after 1 year of training? Smolov is a specialisation programme and you should be concentrating on working on ALL of the main lifts together.
    "Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better."
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    Quote Quote
    Originally Posted by johnny5x5 View Post
    Thanks an awful lot guys. I might try the Texas method, but I kind of already started Smolov Jr. for the bench press (for 3 weeks). Perhaps that's too soon, I don't know, but my plan was to try and see how it worked. GBB, that's some VERY interesting stuff. I also find it interesting (and a bit good) to hear that you don't find it strange that doing everything right doesn't 100% gaurantee results and not gaining on a lift doesn't mean that you've failed to follow a program 100%.
    What you need is a little bit more volume, Smolov Jr is a whole lot more volume!

    Why is this bad?

    Loads of people look at the programming of those who are already at an advanced level and think that's the way to get there, it is not! As I said before, doing something your body is not accustomed to drives progress; adding a bit more each time your train.

    People don't get to an advanced level by doing massive volumes of training all the way through their lifting career. They get to that point by adding a little bit more consistently over years and years, until they get to the point where the volume of work they need to drive progress is massive.

    Advanced programmes like Smolov and Smolov Jr are meant to be used at the point where, after many years of increasing workload, someone has advanced to the point where they need that level of volume to drive adaptation.

    If a beginner or intermediate jumps into something like Smolov (and it doesn't completely burn them out straight away) they probably will progress over the course of the programme, maybe slightly more than they would have done on a more appropriate programme. But, when their body has become accustomed to that level of work, where do they go from there to drive new progress? They can't, they'll either continue doing cycles of Smolov burn out and backslide or switch to another programme with a big drop in volume and stall.

    Do Texas Method, it's appropriate to your current level and your training history, you will see much more progress on it in the long run than Smolov Jr. Also, 38 certainly isn't too old, especially as you started late.
    Last edited by GBB; 07-05-2014 at 06:59 PM.
    Mowens800 and 20v like this.

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