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Bill Starr 5x5 or WSSB

As Anyone tryed Bill Starr 5x5 ( dual factor) program . On some website it sounds like a pretty interesting and very effective program for strenght and size . (Sounds almost too good to be true):

Exerpt from elite fitness discussion boards : “However this is one program i have had a LOT of success with. In fact i rarely if ever use it with athletes who are at the top of their weight class because it causes too much weight gain unless you severely restrict your food.”

Is it complete or is WFSB a more complete program for strenght and size.

I`m an intermediate lifter looking to gain a fiew pounds (5-10) and to gain max strenght .

I would suggest going with Bill Starr’s 5x5, especially if you are looking to gain 10-15 pounds. Then after you could go to westside for a more strength oriented approach. What do you guys think?

Are you a competitive athlete or are you trying to alter body composition? Both programs seem great, but I’d do the Westside for Skinny Bastards if you’re interested in gaining athleticism along with size and strength. If you’re just looking for a good mix of size and strength and don’t give a hoot about sport specificity, 5 x 5 is a classic program that works wonders.

If you do the 5 x 5 method, try following it up with 10 x 3 a la Chad Waterbury. I responded very well to this set/rep scheme. I followed the (CW inspired) workout recommendations that Chris Shugart posted with the Velocity Diet while on the diet, and believe it or not, I actually gained some lbm. Yep, I don’t know if I can attribute it to the workout, or the HOT-ROX, or just making sure I got my intake of protein and healthy fats, but I got stronger at every workout and added some lean body mass while shedding a significant amount of fat.

Whichever you choose, good luck and keep us updated on your progress.

I am with WarriorSpirit on this one, WSSB programme is a mixture of sport training, GPP and strength work, while 5x5 is more purely for strength and size.

However, if you want to turn WSSB into a more strength-oriented programme, just take away the sport/energy system training and throw another leg day into it (as suggested by Joe DeFranco himself).

Just my 2 cents,

Geek boy

5 x 5 will add more strength and size. You can do energy system work on the side even if it’s not included in the program. I would go with 5 x 5

I’m not trying to throw salt, but I tried the original wssb for about 3 weeks and lost a lot of strength and size. I had done my own version of 5x5 before the failed wssb experiment and decided to go back after, and lo and behold I regained my strength and atheleticism within a few weeks. I’m sure It is just the way I’m wired as others have talked about the phenominal gains they’ve had on wssb, but for me the 5x5 is THE holy grail of lifting programs.

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
I’m not trying to throw salt, but I tried the original wssb for about 3 weeks and lost a lot of strength and size. I had done my own version of 5x5 before the failed wssb experiment and decided to go back after, and lo and behold I regained my strength and atheleticism within a few weeks. I’m sure It is just the way I’m wired as others have talked about the phenominal gains they’ve had on wssb, but for me the 5x5 is THE holy grail of lifting programs.[/quote]

WSSB is just a template. A great one at that, but none the less it is a template. You have to adjust it to fit your needs and exercise selection is key. It also allows for a diverse range of set/rep scheme. It’s all about figuring out what works best for you.

Thanks for your input guys , this a version of the 5x5 program im interested in .

Volume Phase 4 weeks
Deloading Period 1 week
Intensity Phase 4 weeks

Mon…Volume Phase
Squat…5x5…
Bench…1x5…
Row…1x5…

Wed…Volume Phase.
Squat…5x5 15-20% less than Monday
Deadlift…5x5
Military…5x5
Pullups…5x5

Fri…Volume Phase
Squat…1x5
Bench…5x5
Row…5x5

Intensity Phase 4 weeks

Mon…Deload/Intensity Phase
Squat…3x3
Bench…1x3
Row…1x3

Wed…Deload/Intensity Phase
Squat…drop this lift
Deadlift…3x3
Military…3x3
Pullups…3x3

Fri…Deload/Intensity Phase
Squat…1x3
Bench…3x3
Row…3x3

*5x5 & 3x3 = warm up to working set weight
**1x5 & 1x3 = pyramid weights through 5x5 or 3x3 with the final set being target set weight

What about the classic westside template ,is it too hard on the cns for one who`s not an advanced lifter.

[quote]daking wrote:
What about the classic westside template ,is it too hard on the cns for one who`s not an advanced lifter.[/quote]

Not necessarily but if you are trying to gain mass WSSB or 5x5 might work better. Working up to a max of 3-5 adds volume to the classic westside template. Also swapping a dynamic day with a repetition day can be more beneficial to a novice lifter.

Would someone be kind enough to post the original 5x5 Bill Starr workout? Thanks!

question on the 5x5 program.

Do you target about 80% of 1RM on 5x5 days? And about 85% of 1RM on 1x5? Thanks.

[quote]neilbudge wrote:
question on the 5x5 program.

Do you target about 80% of 1RM on 5x5 days? And about 85% of 1RM on 1x5? Thanks.[/quote]

Probably around that , but in the first weeks , you work up your weights so that you set a pr in the last weeks (for the 5x5 and 1x5). For the 1x5 , you make 5 sets , but only the last is your max weight . the 5x5 is a fixed weight . (for that version of the program)

Only add weight when you ca do 5 complete reps , otherwise keep that weight the following week.

I would say WSSB would be great for competitve PLer and the Bill Starr program is excellent for guys and gals looking to begin power style training. There are definitely principles from both camps that compliment each other.

The original is as follows:

Pick big three. For Bill, who focused on football players, this was the bench, squat, and power clean. For size I’d go with a bent bb row cycled with pullup and chinups. Ditch the cleans. Also we should not use a movement for more than a few weeks before changing it. I also like push press, pullups, deadlifts, and dips as a grouping. I wouldn’t exceed 4 large movements or you’ll likely overtrain.

Monday: (heavy day)
Work up to a single hard effort of 5 reps. Bill used something like the following:

135 x 5
160 x 5
180 x 5
205 x 5
225 x 5 (Assuming that this was close to your 5rm.)

Wednesday: (light day) Use 80% of max weight on LAST set today. So our heavy set was 225 on monday. 80% of that is 180. So:

120 x 5
135 x 5
145 x 5
160 x 5
180 x 5 (top out here at 80% of monday’s max used)

Friday: (medium day) Use 90% of max on LAST set of monday. So our heavy set was again 225 on monday. 90% of that is around 200-205, take your pick. So:

135 x 5
155 x 5
170 x 5
185 x 5
200 x 5 (top out at 90% of mondays max weight).


5x5 a la’ Hoss:

I think that one modification should be made to make this better. There is no need to start so low and thereby reducing tonnage and not using an optimal load. Do 5x5 with your 80% 1RM (about 7/8 reps) on the heavy day. Keep weight and reps constant but avoid failure at all costs so if you only get 4 or 3 on the last set, don’t worry. That is fine, just leave a little something in the tank.

Monday: 5x5 (80% 1rm or about 7/8 rm)

Wednesday: 5x5 (80% of the above or about 65% 1RM or about 15 rm)

Friday: 5x5 (90% of Mondays 80% which is about 72% or your 11RM. You can make this either 70% or 75% (10 and 12rm respectively) for ease.

This will allow you to hit strength/size fibers (FF MU’s) on monday with sufficient load and volume.

Then you will use your 14/15rm (65% or so) on wednesday for an active recovery day that adds to the volume for growth and allows for some speed work. Keep the bar speed high to engage the FF MU’s. Important.

Then you finish the week working in the general hypertrophy zone of 70-80% range.

This will give you frequency, sufficient load, and sufficient volume for size. The “speed” day on wednesday and the heavy day on monday will also activate the FF fibers for strength.

That is a killer program that improves the core essence of Starr’s original. We remove the unnecessarily small initial sets and substitute quality sets/reps for a greater total tonnage moved. Tonnage equals mass. Load/speed of execution equals strength.

By keeping all reps as fast as possible, as Waterbury suggests, you will have all you need. Your tempos will naturally vary, and you’ll always be tapping the IIB’s that have so much growth/strength potential.

Best,
DH

[quote]Xfactor88 wrote:
Would someone be kind enough to post the original 5x5 Bill Starr workout? Thanks![/quote]

I haven’t tried the Starr program but I lift WSB style and I believe that it is the best way to go because it is truly just a guideline to follow and you can make whatever changes you need to. Plus, you could go to elite and ask what might be best for you.

[quote]daking wrote:
neilbudge wrote:
question on the 5x5 program.

Do you target about 80% of 1RM on 5x5 days? And about 85% of 1RM on 1x5? Thanks.

Probably around that , but in the first weeks , you work up your weights so that you set a pr in the last weeks (for the 5x5 and 1x5). For the 1x5 , you make 5 sets , but only the last is your max weight . the 5x5 is a fixed weight . (for that version of the program)

Only add weight when you ca do 5 complete reps , otherwise keep that weight the following week.[/quote]

Thanks Daking. You say for ‘that’ version of the program. How many versions does Bill Starr or others have? Just for my information, where was this version published?

I’m into Olympic Lifting and the occasional competition. I would prefer to incorporate as many OLifts and variations (including pulls,etc.) into the program.

[quote]neilbudge wrote:
Thanks Daking. You say for ‘that’ version of the program. How many versions does Bill Starr or others have? Just for my information, where was this version published?
[/quote]

I’m not Daking, but I can answer this question :slight_smile: The program he posted is actually a minor tweak of coach Glenn Pendlay’s variant of Bill Starr’s 8 week squat program. On some other forums, he went by the name of JohnSmith and johnsmith182. If I’m not mistaken, this is a tweak by poster called Madcow. In “orginal” Pendlay’s workout, on Monday you do all main exercises for 5x5, while on Friday you do 1x5.

Starr has written a bunch of programs, and you can find many of them on the Internet. He is actually an Olympic lifter, however, the ones that can be found are usually adapted to football or general strength/size.

Anyway, here are the two of Starr’s programs I found on the net that haven’t alredy been posted:

[b]Hopkins Football 2000 Summer Lifting: Upperclassmen

by Bill Starr

Monday (Heavy Day)[/b]

Squats 5 x 5; 1 x 8 (back-off set)

Bench Press: Change your routine every week. Always do three sets of five as warm-ups then do three sets of heavier triples, doubles or singles. Some weeks you might want to find a work weight and do it for 3-5 sets of five. Do one or two back-off sets of eight.

Back Work: Alternate deadlifts with power clean and clean high pullsevery other week. Change up the reps on the deadlifts each time you do them. Do five sets of five, two sets of five, followed by three sets of 3, or four sets of eight. Work five sets of five on the power cleans, then do four sets of three on the clean high pull. You should be doing fifty more pounds on the high pull on your very first set than you used for your last power clean and aim at using 100 more pounds on your final set.

Auxiliary Work: Incline Dumbbells: Change these around also. One week do three sets of twelve or fifteen, then another do two sets of twenty. Do NOT do any less than 10 reps however.

[b]Tuesday (Light Day)

Power Snatches:[/b] Two sets of five, then four to five sets of three. As long as you are maintaining goof form, you can do extra sets but when the form gets sloppy, move on to the high pulls.

(Note from Coach Margraff??make sure you know what you are doing with this lift. Incoming freshman are not to attempt this lift until they are properly taught the technique here at Hopkins by Bill Starr)

Snatch Grip High Pulls: Five sets of three, again trying to handle at least 100 pounds more on your final set over what you power snatched for your last set

Overhead Press: Change the set and rep sequence like you did on the bench press. Until you get your form down, do five sets of five. An excellent formula to improve this lift is to do three sets of five as warm-ups, then select a work weight and do five sets of three. Follow these with one back-off set of eight. If you make all your sets, move the weight up five pounds the next week. Stay with the strict presses until you are able to handle 200 x 3, then you can add in some push presses. But the strict presses are more beneficial until you reach that strength level.

Baby Cows:Start doing three to five sets of thirty reps and if possible alternate the standing and seated calf machines.

Chin-ups: Do four sets of all you can do. Try to add at least one rep, total, to each workout and these will steadily move up.

[b]Wednesday (Light Day)

Squats:[/b] Five sets of five, using 50 lbs less than you did on Monday or do Front Squats, three sets of five followed by three sets of heavier threes

Good Mornings: Four sets of eight. Remember you want to keep your top set of eight at 50% of your best squat

Incline Bench: Follow the guidelines set down for the bench press on Monday. Change the routine weekly but always look for a PR

Dips: One set without weight, then start adding resistance for three or four more sets. Do eights, fives and threes. In order for dips to help your other lifts, you have to move past 100 for reps

Beach Work: Do two or three sets for your triceps and biceps, but don?t get nuts on these for you are already doing lots for you upper arms and adding in too much will not help, but hurt. For the triceps: straight-arm pullover or pushdowns on the lat machine are good. Any type of curling is useful for the biceps and some reverse curls are beneficial for forearm development. Keep the reps high, twenties, fifteens, and never less than ten

[b]Friday (Medium Day)

Squats:[/b] Three sets of five followed by two sets of threes and one back-off set of eight. Try to move your triple up five to ten pounds each week and come back the following Monday and do that same weight for five reps.

Hang Cleans: These are optional. If you think you need more work on your power clean form, do three or four sets of five before doing your shrugs. Always do these before shrugging.

Shrugs: Five to six sets of five. Alternate the Hawaiian kind with the ?in the rack? type, if possible

Bench Press:Four sets of eight followed by two sets of doubles

Close-grip Bench Press OR Overhead Press: Do NOT do both!! You can alternate these every other week. On the close-grips, do three or four sets of eight. On the overhead presses, do five sets of five

Beach Work: Optional. If you have some energy left over at this stage of the week, you can add in more curls, triceps or chins. But don?t overdo it or you will be shot for Monday.

[b]ALL WORKOUTS:

Abdominal Work:[/b] Include ab work at every workout. In fact you can do something for your abs every day. Be sure to hit the high and low portions of your midsection every time. High reps are better than multiple sets of lower reps.

Stretching: Spend time stretching after each workout. It is also a good idea to start doing some stretching during the workout in-between sets.

Leg Machines: If you have them available, utilize the leg machines at least twice a week. Leg extension, leg curl and adductor for two sets of twenty.

[u]Bill Starr’s 10/3/5[/u]
A post from another forum:

Wow! Thanks Disc Hoss. I appreciate that alot! Would you recomemend using going 4 weeks on 5x5 then following it with 10x3? In your opinion, which would you choose for size and strength? 5x5 or 10x3?

The program above was from The Strongest Shall Survive. I modify it for the added tonnage, etc… to enhance the growth stimulus. I think that 10x3 and 5x5 are equally effective. 5x5 allowing for a bit more density and 10x3 allowing for a slightly heavier weight. Both are excellent for functional growth.

Best,
DH

[quote]Xfactor88 wrote:
Wow! Thanks Disc Hoss. I appreciate that alot! Would you recomemend using going 4 weeks on 5x5 then following it with 10x3? In your opinion, which would you choose for size and strength? 5x5 or 10x3?[/quote]

[quote]slotan wrote:
neilbudge wrote:
Thanks Daking. You say for ‘that’ version of the program. How many versions does Bill Starr or others have? Just for my information, where was this version published?

I’m not Daking, but I can answer this question :slight_smile: The program he posted is actually a minor tweak of coach Glenn Pendlay’s variant of Bill Starr’s 8 week squat program. On some other forums, he went by the name of JohnSmith and johnsmith182. If I’m not mistaken, this is a tweak by poster called Madcow. In “orginal” Pendlay’s workout, on Monday you do all main exercises for 5x5, while on Friday you do 1x5.[/quote]

You got it right slotan !