WS4SB vs Madcow 5x5 for Non-Athletes

I’m going to be finishing up my first round of Madcow 5x5 and I’ve gotten great results out it for my deadlifts and squats, bench not so much. I’m going to give it another 8-16 weeks to see where I get with it.

I will have time starting in late April/early May to workout 4 days a week so if I did decide to switch to a four day routine I could. However, 3 days a week works for me so Madcow and WS4SB are my best bets right now.

I know things are different for each person but I would like some idea of if I should continue with Madcow 5x5 or switch to WS4SB throughout the summer.

My strengths if it matters are deadlifts and squats. I’m not an athlete if you haven’t gather, rather someone who is simply interested in general overall physical strength and health.

I did WS4SB once. I’m doing Madcow now. I’m getting better results with Madcow, for several reasons. Mainly, I like the fact that it’s simple. Mondays and Wednesdays are pretty quick, and then I really blast it on Friday. Simple doesn’t mean easy workouts, but for me it means easier to follow consistently.

Also, the spreadsheet template that exists for Madcow helps me because I’m not great at setting goals or knowing when to progress.

5x5 is the first program in a while that I’ve followed consistently for several months without getting burned out or deviating in some other way. You may not have the same weaknesses as I do with regards to training, but I figured I would throw in my two cents. WS4SB is a great program, but I find that Madcow is more effective for me.

One final note about Madcow is that it can be taxing on the lower back. I substituted lunges and rack pulls for squats and deads on Wednesday in order to give my back a break. Good luck with whichever program you choose.

Are you doing the advanced or intermediate? What are your lifts? How long have you been training the squat, deadlift & bench seriously?

I’ve followed madcow’s intermediate & advanced 5x5’s multiple times, and my own “versions” for a year and a half. I’m currently following WS4SB, and have been for almost 2 months now; and I’m still making progress.

If you are doing the intermediate program right now, keep going! There is NO “time limit” on the program. When you stall, reset your lifts. Or, you can try another program for ~3 weeks, perhaps WS4SB, then hit madcows intermediate again. I made the best gains doing the intermediate program.

If you’re doing the advanced program then it would probably be best if you ran another program, like something that contains some accessory work: WS4SB.

I also second what timbofirstblood said about it taxing on your lower back. I had no problems on the intermediate (probably due to my poor deadlift strength), but I could NOT do 5x5 deadlifts on the advanced. I had to lower the volume to 3x5, and in hindsight, even that was too much.