Madcow5x5 to Wendler’s 5/3/1

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.

Monday:  Press
Tuesday:  Squat
Thursday:  Bench Press
Friday:  Deadlift

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.

Assistance exercises:

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


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