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5x5 'Strong Lifts' Question

I’ve only recently started to appreciate the glory of compound lifts and periodizations routines. My confusion is about the 5x5 Stronglift programs: hitherto I have been doing the Madcow 5x5, only to realize now that it is a variation of Reg Park’s 5x5. While I have been having great success in terms of strength and mass I wonder if I should scale back my weight and work through Reg Park’s program, then go to the 3x5 variation until I am forced to switch to madcow. Does anyone have any insight on this? I’d appreciate any feedback from people that have had more experience with these programs.

Age: 21, BW: 159lbs.
Squat: 210lbsx5
Bench: 205lbsx5
Deadlift: 225x5

[quote]Goliath58 wrote:
I have been having great success in terms of strength and mass[/quote]
There you have it - if it works stick with it.
When you hit plateau consider other programs and by other I mean 5/3/1. Worked for me.

I think perhaps you are worrying about nothing. The idea behind most 5x5 programs is to make linear progress on the big 3 as a beginner. All the variations are roughly the same with a few differences in exercise selection for different goals, Stronglifts = general strength, reg park = bodybuilding foundation.
Stick with one until you can’t progress, then after a month (to make sure), do something else like 5/3/1 or whatever, depending on your goals.

Everybodys automatic response is 531 its hilarious. Run 3x5 until yiu stall except set it up like this.

Phase 1: 3 x 5 across, 2-3 days per week

Phase 2: 3 x 5 across, 1-2 heavy days and 1 light day (10-20% offload)

Phase 3: 4-5 x 5 ramping up to one top set of 5 (all warm up sets also for 5) - only done on heavy days, light day stays the same

Phase 4: work up to top set of 5 using singles only in warm up sets; light day stays 3x5 across at lighter

After this is all said and done go on to the texas method or madcow. Personally I would run madcow firstthen try to run the texas method

I agree that the question may be a little pedantic but I can’t help but obsessing over my work-out plans(i’m guessing i’m not the only one), I just want to make sure my ‘in-gym’ time is being used as effectively as possible. I made the mistake (?) of starting with Madcow but I am thinking of going down to the basic level of 5x5 (with daily progressions instead of weekly progressions) with the hopes that it with have a bigger payout in the long run. I feel like I am just starting to get decent returns from the program so I want to make sure I am running it so I can keep milking it as long as possible before I look at 5/3/1, Texas Method et cetera.

@casperthegst : what do you mean by the offload day in Phase 2? From what I understood I should consider dropping from 5x5 to 3x5 after I start stalling repeatedly on the 5x5, but I would still be working through daily progressions. With Phase 2 would that drop to a weekly progression, similar to the Madcow progressions?

The light day will.allow fatigue to dissapate once you can no longer recover from 3x5 3x a week. You will be making 2 progressions weekly instead of 3 still faster than madcow.

continue doing madcow if your getting results from it.

the stronglifts book even recomends switching to madcow after stronglifts stops working for you, so i don’t know why you’d wanna make a step back.

[quote]casperthegst wrote:
Everybodys automatic response is 531 its hilarious. [/quote]

Yep. good program, though.

Here is a new 531 template that gives you more volume. Many people find that the vanilla 531 is not enough. This setup allows you more heavy end work with the singles.
For example…

90%x1
90%x1
90%x1
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5 +
85% x 5
75% x 5
65% x 5 +

Do this on all of the days and the singles Don’t have to be 90% you can vary the percent here.

[quote]casperthegst wrote:
Here is a new 531 template that gives you more volume. Many people find that the vanilla 531 is not enough. This setup allows you more heavy end work with the singles.
For example…

90%x1
90%x1
90%x1
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5 +
85% x 5
75% x 5
65% x 5 +

Do this on all of the days and the singles Don’t have to be 90% you can vary the percent here.[/quote]

That is not 531.

[quote]solarFLARE wrote:

[quote]casperthegst wrote:
Here is a new 531 template that gives you more volume. Many people find that the vanilla 531 is not enough. This setup allows you more heavy end work with the singles.
For example…

90%x1
90%x1
90%x1
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5 +
85% x 5
75% x 5
65% x 5 +

Do this on all of the days and the singles Don’t have to be 90% you can vary the percent here.[/quote]

That is not 531.
[/quote]

No it is not the original 531 it is a modified version which has been working for a nunber of people for the reason I previously stated.

this may be a bit unrelated to what this topic is actually about, but I started using that exact 531 template minus the singles; and honestly, it seemed to work. The singles are an interesting twist and I’d be curious to play around with them, but may I ask why you would do the singles before the work sets rather than after? Purely to be fresh?

[quote]wildcat09 wrote:
this may be a bit unrelated to what this topic is actually about, but I started using that exact 531 template minus the singles; and honestly, it seemed to work. The singles are an interesting twist and I’d be curious to play around with them, but may I ask why you would do the singles before the work sets rather than after? Purely to be fresh?[/quote]

There is benefits to doing it either way. Some people find that the amrap sets prime them for the singles some find vice versa. Either way will work most likely. Keep in mind you do not have to go for a 1rm attempt on the singles although you certainly could. I think this is relative to the topic at hand 531 is an option to run if you want a change from 5x5 g though IMO 5x5 will work for a very long time perhaps even your entire training life.

[quote]caveman101 wrote:

[quote]casperthegst wrote:
Everybodys automatic response is 531 its hilarious. [/quote]

Yep. good program, though.
[/quote]

The best, most proven, highest results program system protocol in history.

Maybe I’m just getting old, or I’m out of shape (or both), but the AMRAP is by far enough for me, especially on the squat and pull days. Bench and press, maybe I could do some extra work afterwards, but definitely not if I’m really doing a legitimate AMRAP on squat and dead days. No way.

I can understand the need for more volume, but personally I would never do anything after the AMRAP, only before. To each his own I suppose.

[quote]KRC wrote:

Maybe I’m just getting old, or I’m out of shape (or both), but the AMRAP is by far enough for me, especially on the squat and pull days. Bench and press, maybe I could do some extra work afterwards, but definitely not if I’m really doing a legitimate AMRAP on squat and dead days. No way.

I can understand the need for more volume, but personally I would never do anything after the AMRAP, only before. To each his own I suppose. [/quote]

Yea I wasn’t too keen on doing the singles after amrap when I first discovered this variation but from the look of a lot of logs I’ve seen it seems to work either way. Persoanlly I would do the singles first. I have done the vanilla 531 and found that one amrap set was not enough for any lift. Results were much better on this variation though I am a 5x5 advocate first and foremost.

[quote]casperthegst wrote:

[quote]KRC wrote:

Maybe I’m just getting old, or I’m out of shape (or both), but the AMRAP is by far enough for me, especially on the squat and pull days. Bench and press, maybe I could do some extra work afterwards, but definitely not if I’m really doing a legitimate AMRAP on squat and dead days. No way.

I can understand the need for more volume, but personally I would never do anything after the AMRAP, only before. To each his own I suppose. [/quote]

Yea I wasn’t too keen on doing the singles after amrap when I first discovered this variation but from the look of a lot of logs I’ve seen it seems to work either way. Persoanlly I would do the singles first. I have done the vanilla 531 and found that one amrap set was not enough for any lift. Results were much better on this variation though I am a 5x5 advocate first and foremost.
[/quote]

I second the fact that 1 amrap set is usually NOT enough for most people

[quote]daraz wrote:

The best, most proven, highest results program system protocol in history.[/quote]

lawl

I’ve been doing singles after the AMRAP set and so far it’s proven to be effective. Other days I’ll include heavy work sets ranging from 4-10 sets of 3 etc. Not a fan of the 5x10 BBB stuff TBH.

I agree though AMRAP alone did nothing for me.

[quote]casperthegst wrote:
Here is a new 531 template that gives you more volume. Many people find that the vanilla 531 is not enough. This setup allows you more heavy end work with the singles.
For example…

90%x1
90%x1
90%x1
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5 +
85% x 5
75% x 5
65% x 5 +

Do this on all of the days and the singles Don’t have to be 90% you can vary the percent here.[/quote]

Wendler has recommended this set/rep scheme in http://www.jimwendler.com/2012/01/all-about-the-bench-press/ except you have written two sets of C instead of one.

Work set a
Work set b
Work set c (AMRAP)
Work set b
Work set a (AMRAP)

Plus singles if desired…

Good option for extra volume. I wouldn’t do the heavy singles alongside the 2 x amrap sets every week personally.