Gonna be going over my progress on the first time I did Madcow 5x5. This is really for my own record, buuut I guess I can share The program was something that interested me after stalling out on Starting Strength a bit much around month 6. What I liked was obviously the weekly progression as linear progression every workout felt like a beating, even if it seems I could have squeezed more out of SS (believe me, it was something I battled with internally). I did about 10 weeks on Madcow which seems to be in line with what the website said, usually around the 12 week mark is when progress begins to stall. So on to the progress.
This might get lengthy...
Squat 235 x5 ----> 250 x 5
I am really tempted to say 255, but I produced a lousy 5th rep with awful depth. One thing that I struggle with is mental toughness. As a former grunt, I know I have what it takes to hack it, but for some reason I get a little scared of injury. Working on form and manning up is what I want to focus on this next cycle.
Bench 180x5 ----> 210 x 5
Bench, although a weak point a long time go, isn't something I am too worried about. I love this exercise. If anything, I want to fine tune my form. Focus on a tight back, planted ass, and learning proper leg drive will be my goal for this next cycle. Ok, I guess I do have another concern. My right wrist has a pin from a fracture back in the day. Used to be a problem for benching so it is something that I still keep an eye on.
Deadlift 265 x 5 ---> 285x5
I stalled pretty bad on the Deadlift on Starting strength and did a big deload. Form is something I really need to think about. Once I work on one thing, I do something else a little wonky. I was doing 290 and recorded that and to my horror my back was rounding a bit. Something I thought I didn't have an issue with. This next cycle I really need ensure I am using proper leg drive, bracing the thoracic area and providing my lower back with a solid brace. I love the challenge the deadlift brings, but it's easy to get frustrated because I am not happy with how much I am pulling.
Overhead Press 110x 5---->120 x 5
Yep, this one is a pain. I have a problem with extending my lower back on heavier weights. I think a stronger core will help get this lift up as well as remembering to properly brace during the heavy set.
Pendlay row 165 x 5
I didn't include this in my previous program so I started pretty low to learn the form. At 170 I was getting gassed and not pulling the weight all the way up to my upper abdomen. I am curious to see how this lift progresses next cycle.
Diet and weight:
181lbs ----> 185lbs
Didn't realize that I gained 4 pounds! Something I pooped up was the bulk. During SS I was putting on weight a bit too fast. For Madcow I became much more conservative as I neared 20 percent bodyfat (this is not accurate! just eyeballing here). During the 10 weeks I ate either at maintenance (roughly 2,800 calories) or +100 on rest days. Workout days was originally +300, lowering down to +100 or +200. Much different from eating plus 500 every day.
I am going to be watching my waist line as I do have a bit fat. As far as I know, it is very hard to build strength when in a caloric deficit and easier to build when leaner, and because I want to build strength I do not want to cut just yet. The way I adjusted my caloric intake allows me to be in excess,but stay around 185.I have hovered between 183-185 the last 6 weeks, which is fine with me. I am going to keep this the same next cycle, possibly only eating at maintenance on rest days.
And as far as sleep goes I get around 8 hours a night, 6-7 occasionally if it's a bad night.
I'll be doing this again in about 12 weeks when I am done with my next cycle. As said before, I will be working on hypertrophy after this next round of Madcow. The goal for that will be to increase muscle size as well as strength (emphasis on size). I am going to have to learn about volume and programming around that goal. Eventually I do intend to cut so I can get leaner and have that positively affect my strength growth. But that's down the road.