T Nation

Doing 5x5 Without the Deadlift?

i wanna start working on 5x5 in some kind of this variation:

squat 5x5
incline bench 5x5
t-bar row 5x5
weight dips 3x8-12


light squat 4x5
military press 4x5
triceps extension/french press 3x8-12
pull up 3x8-12
biceps curl 3x8-12


squat 4x5, 1x3, 1x8
incline bench 4x5, 1x3,1x8
t bar row 4x5,1x3,1x8
weight dips 3x8-12

how is that?? my main goal is muscle gain but due to the fact that for long time im not getting any stronger i thought of trying this style of training, will this program give me muscle gain to? or just strength??

anyway, how is this routin looking for u? without the deadlift in tuesday?

Why would you want to take out the deadlift? I don’t understand.

I can’t really see why you’re not adding Deads. Explain please.

[quote]wfifer wrote:
Why would you want to take out the deadlift? I don’t understand. [/quote]

ditto. please explain the rationale for eliminating deadlifts. if your goal is to build muscle you are cheating yourself out of one of the best muscle building exercises available. and if your goal is to build strength then you are cheating yourself out of one of the best strength building exercises available.

If you CANNOT put deadlifts in, replace them with something like power cleans or an Olympic lift.

If something is preventing you from deadlifting, such as lower back pain from bad posture, I suggest you fix your posture and learn to stretch out your lower back daily.


You’ll want to keep the deadlifts in there. I did a very similar approach with the 5x5 approach when I first started it but deadlifted 2-3 TIMES a week instead (worked better for me to help improve form and thus the poundage). It will help you GAIN A LOT of mass as well (which I believe is what you want).

Before, I never gave 2 shits about deadlifts, mainly because I did not know the correct form and was extremely weak on the lift (Not to mention it burns like a mofo). When I first started deadlifting I was at a measly 185lbs max. 6 months after that I maxed at 350lbs(on average 5-10lbs gain a week according to the program. It may seem slow but over time you’ll be a lot stronger and bigger).

So TO YOUR benefit I highly SUGGEST you keep the deadlifts in (for mass and power). I would replace the triceps extensions with decline skull crushers. Everything else looks fine. Try mixing exercises such as T-bar rows with 1arm dumbbell rows up to continue to challenge yourself and master the exercises.

So man up and get the calluses rolling.

And why so much volume for your triceps? Seriously, you’ve got twice as many tricep exercises as anything else.

Read this:

and do what madcow says.

well, i do want to do deadlift but i cant.
non of my idiots trainers in m gym agrees to teach me how to deadlift, and i didnt found anybody else in my p the gym that does deadlift and can teach me…

im asking if this program would work without it…
and is that okey that im doing incline bench instead of flat bench??? i just hate the flat, not feeling chest there…

If you need help with deadlift form, then just ask.

Dave Tate and Mike Robertson both have articles on deadlifting; you should find and read those immediately.

For starters, I can give you some brief comments. Approach the bar attempting to bring your heels as close as possible. Your hips are going to “sit back” and you you are going to maintain an arch in your back. You should be pulling with your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back as you reach the top of the movement.

I suggest you read up on the articles on this site, and then browse youtube for deadlifting videos. Make sure you find some good ones and then watch those. I mean you got the internet; that’s how I learned.

Sorry to jump on this thread - ive been doing the 5x5 for 5 weeks now and Ive been doing 5 X 5 deadlifts and military on day 2 before i noticed that only 4 sets were laid out on madcows page…

Is there any reason for 4 sets of 5 reps on these excersizes instead of 5 sets like the rest of them? Is it something to do with getting heavier weights in before fatigue gets the better of your form and 4 sets is optimal?

As a reply to the first post - learn the deadlift then you will love it. Its pure power and also gives you a great pump if your looking for that.

[quote]redivote wrote:
well, i do want to do deadlift but i cant.
non of my idiots trainers in m gym agrees to teach me how to deadlift, and i didnt found anybody else in my p the gym that does deadlift and can teach me…[/quote]

That’s no excuse. What would you like to know about deadlifting? Im sure everyone here would be eager to give you advice. Plus there are plenty of articles floating around that give very detailed descriptions and pictures of proper form.

Any well rounded program needs some type of moderate to heavy pulling. As it is now, you don?t appear to have any type of direct work for your lower back or hamstrings. If your goal is to build muscle, why would you neglect 2 of the largest muscle groups on your body?

Plus you have no dumbbell work, no abdominal work, no forearm or grip work, no unilateral work. Personally I think the big hole in your schedule is Tuesday. Seems like a repeated and wasted effort on that day. I would replace the ``light squat’’ (not sure what the means) on Tuesday with deadlifts and power cleans.

If you absolutely refuse to deadlift, at least work in some good mornings. Also the tricep extensions on Tuesday seem like overkill. Your triceps don’t need that much work. If I were to rewrite this program for myself here is what I would likely do:

Back squat 5x5
Single-leg Bulgarian squat w/bodyweight
incline bench 5x5
weighted dips 3x8-12
t-bar row 5x5
Abdominal work

Deadlifts or Good Mornings
biceps curl 3x8-12
Hang Clean (warm up weight)
military press 4x5
pull up 3x8-12
some type of pull throughs either with dumbbell, KB or cable

Back Squat 4x5, 1x3, 1x8
Single-leg Bulgarian squat w/bodyweight
Barbell Row 4x5,1x3,1x8
reverse grip curls or wrist curls
Flat Dumbbell Press 4x5, 1x3,1x8
weighted dips 3x8-12
Abdominal work

Here’s how to deadlift.
Barbell on floor.
Squat down.
Grab bar.
Head & chest up.
Butt down & weight on heels.
Stand up.
Return bar to floor.

This isn’t rocket science people.

If you don’t know how to deadlift properly, how do you know how to squat or bench properly?

I learned deadlift on video and I’m still alive to speak about it, that’s true !

I never deadlifted until I found T-Nation 2-3 years ago. I learnt mostly by reading articles on this site and on EliteFTS. I’m sure I could improve my deadlift form, but it’s probably 95% correct, which is enough to make gains without injury.

Learn how to dealift, seriously. Take a couple of weeks to practice with very low weights, do it every day (I would practice with a broom-stick at home), and when you’re ready, start the 5x5 routine.

Do the 5x5 as its written. I think someone already posted that link. Dont fuck with it.

Go to www.elitefts.com and read some of the articles there…there are tons of articles on deadlifting there.

Like the others have said, try to practice daily with light weight until you get the proper form. When you feel comfortable, up the weight and go for a set of around 8 reps or whatever you feel comfortable with. 8 reps or more so that you can learn and memorize the right technique. Ask somebody about your posture and form.

Read all these articles about having a great lift:

Now ask somebody for help once you think you got it down and you’ll most likely will get an even better form for a heavier lift and the benefits of deadlifting will become evident.

Also, be aggressive on the lift. The deadlift is a very explosive lift. The first rep is the one you’ll most likely have the most trouble lifting explosively with.

Do not drop the weight too slow (like you would for other exercises), otherwise you’ll be prone to injuries (as a couple of articles have mentioned). Be aggressive and quick and you’ll see results within a month.

That’s about all I can think of when offering a solid deadlift. Read all the articles and you’ll be on your way to a great deadlift.

Also, get use to calluses too. Do not use gloves while deadlifting, you’ll find out the weight tends to slip even more. Keep a tight grip and if you must, use athletic tape to prevent the ripping and bleeding of calluses on your palms.

[quote]RockmanX88 wrote:

Also, get use to calluses too. Do not use gloves while deadlifting, you’ll find out the weight tends to slip even more. Keep a tight grip and if you must, use athletic tape to prevent the ripping and bleeding of calluses on your palms.[/quote]

Best to get a callus file and keep them smoothed down.

To point out something no one else has, in your post you asked whether or not you will get size from this program or just strength. GAINING MUSCLE MASS DEPENDS ON EATING ON A CALORIC SURPLUS. That was not screaming just a hook to draw your attention. Also, yeah deadlift is a great exercise, learn it you can teach yourself through video and reading, that’s how i learned. Keep your back straight, and form tight. I don’t think your program is so bad, and i don’t really agree with the guy that posted about needing ab work, dumbell work, unilateral work, etc. Not that they are bad but just…i don’t know…something in my gut tells me that you should concentrate first on learning the basic deadlift, increasing your strength, and eating more…i don’t know…i just feel you need to get a grip on some basics first…

I do agree that if you have never deadlifted before you need to do that but abs are an assential muscle in your body Its a core muscle that helps you in many exercises because the stronger your core muscles are the more weight you can lift over time but i would first teach yourself how to deadlift

Don’t add any dumbbell or Unilateral work, or weighted dips everyday of the week. The link I posted doesn’t work, so do a google search for Madcow 5x5.

To quote Madcow “Don’t fuck with this.”

This is a great routine, and volume and exercise selection have already been thought out by people far smarter and more experienced than you or I. So Don’t fuck with it.

If you don’t know how to do any of the exercises, don’t do the routine yet. Take the next 2 months to learn how to Deadlift and get your squat form down, and then come back and do this routine. Don’t worry about those dipshit trainers who won’t teach you how to deadlift. They are obviously worthless. Don’t watch the Video above with the Big Shirtless guy, his form isn’t very good. Drew’s explanation above is perfect.