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Switch to 5x5 After a Few Months Lifting

Hi all

I’m 41 and started lifting weights in October 2016, but dropped December 2016 and June 2017 because I was travelling overseas. I must say that I haven’t been 100% consistent during the months I did go to the gym, but I would say that I was very close, around 75%. I’ve been following Michael Mathews’ Bigger Stronger Leaner program (the 5 day split), I went from 186lb of body weight down to 160lb, and at the same time increased my lifting stats from 0 (not lifting anything) to the following ones:

  • Bench Chest: 110lb
  • Squat: 120lb
  • Deadlifts: 160lb
  • Pull ups: 3x10 my weight 3 times a week

The thing is that I don’t have good form in any of the above exercises (specially squats and dead lifts), or at least that what I think. I also started noticing that for the last 2 or 3 weeks I haven’t made much progress on the gains (I can’t add more weights), and what I think is more important to me, I’m getting bored with the program.

Because of these concerns, I started investigating other programs and found 5x5. I really liked its simplicity and what it promises, so here are my questions:

a) Is it a good idea to switch to 5x5 after having some experience lifting?
b) If it’s a good idea, should I start from zero (with the bar) and go increasing the weight after each training in order to learn proper form and make my body to adapt to it while increasing weight? Or should I start with some weight in order to make sure my I don’t loose all the hard work I did so far?
c) If it’s not a good idea, what other programs do you guys recommend? 5x5 Madcow? 5x3x1? I’m interested in achieving (1st) a good physique and (2nd) strength.


Is there a way you could get a strength coach to look at your form? If not, perhaps it may be worthwhile posting a video of you doing these lifts on here so some of the more experienced guys can give you some tips. Form is handy to get correct from the start because you don’t want to ingrain bad habits for when the weights start increasing.

If you post a form check video, use around 80-90% of your estimated 1 rep max.

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Yep give madcow a run. Works great and the weights are very light first few weeks so can really focus on form

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