So after some thinking, I decided to cut my Madcow routine short. The reason being that I feel like I’ve hit a plateau on weight progression on my lifts. The final stats I’ve achieved from this Madcow cycle is pretty close to what I finished with on my 6 month SL5x5 cycle.
Squat: 275 -> 275
Bench: 165 -> 155
Press: 90 -> 95
Deadlift: 290 -> 285
As far as gains of raw poundage, well…it looks as if I didn’t improve much at all. But, on the flipside, Madcow is also considerably more volume compared to when I was doing SL1x5 near the end of my SL cycle. I definitely think diet also played a significant part in me getting stuck at these poundages for a long time. My body weight has been steady at 180 lbs for the last 3 months. I would also say my body fat has been at roughly around the same 11-13%- maybe a bit higher. I may start incorporating more milk into my diet again to get my caloric intake up to par with training intensity.
So after some deliberation with myself, I decided that the best course of action to get me the biggest gains possible is to hop on Wendler’s 5/3/1 periodized strength routine. This program is designed to be executed in “cycles”. Each cycle is comprised of 4 weeks. The set/rep scheme for each week is as follows
Week 1: 5 x 65%, 5 x 75%, 5 x 85%
Week 2: 3 x 70%, 3 x 80%, 3 x 90%
Week 3: 5 x 75%, 3 x 85%, 1 x 95%
Week 4: Deload – 5 x 40%, 5 x 50%, 5 x 60%
Each week is broken down into 4 days of work outs.
Thursday: Bench Press
After the 5/3/1 core lifts are performed, a variety of light assistance exercises can then be performed to supplement. I made a mistake today of going a bit too overkill on the assistance. This week will be my time to familiarize myself with assistance exercise intensity and to make sure I record poundages on these exercises to ensure that I don’t go overboard for the following weeks. What I like about this program is in my ability to change these assistance exercises to allow me to accommodate weak points in my core lifts.
Monday: Superset (5×10 Bench @ 50% TM + 5×10 Chin-ups/Lat Pulldowns), 3×10 Curls, 3×10 Tricep Pulldowns
Tuesday: 5×10 Squat @ 50% TM, Ab Wheel 5×10-20
Thursday: Superset (5×10 Press @ 50% TM + 5×10 DB Rows), 3×10 Curls, 3×10 Tricep Pulldowns
Friday: 5×10 Deadlift @ 50% TM, 5×10 Hanging Leg Raise