Week 5 – Madcow5x5 – Day 13B

Squats:

5 x 125
5 x 155
5 x 190
5 x 190

These were really easy.  Not much to point out.

Press:

5 x 55
5 x 65
5 x 75
5 x 85

Not bad.  A bit difficult.  Right triceps were working a bit harder again.

Deadlift:

5 x 155
5 x 185
5 x 215
5 x 245

Not bad.  Did touch and go on the first set.  Banged my shin up in the process, so that’s a no go.  Back was a bit more strained than last week.  I think I rushed it a bit.

Accessories:

Sit-ups – 33/13/11:  Used a 20lb dumbbell counterweight.  Actually worked quite nicely.  Feels as though my lower abs are being focused more than my upper abs.  Can’t complain.

HIIT – 4-7-4-8-4-7:  Legs were feeling tired.

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Week 4 – Madcow5x5 – Day 10B

Squats:

5 x 120
5 x 140
5 x 180
5 x 180

Not bad.  Was noticing again that my left side was dropping down a bit lower than my right side and the weight was rolling forward a bit.  I think this has to do with not shoving my knees out evenly with my right leg.  Mental cue once reaching the bottom should be “split the floor apart and drive your ass up”.

Press:

5 x 50
5 x 60
5 x 70
5 x 80

Tried going for a more natural grip and widened it a bit.  Felt better.  Made me have a bit more control and felt like my shoulders were working evenly.

Deadlifts:

5 x 145
5 x 175
5 x 205
5 x 235

These felt great today.  Noticed that I was shrugging and rolling my shoulders back at the top.  Not sure if this is good or not, but felt natural to me in order to lock out the weight.

Accessories:

Situps – 30/15/16:  Did these until “failure”.  I think next time I might change it so that I have to do as many situps as possible within a predetermined amount of time.  Doing this exercise to “failure” seems a bit ambiguous and form definitely begins to deteriorate rapidly once my abs get tired, aka my lower back starts to round lordotically.

HIIT – 3-7-8-3-7:  Legs were pretty beat by the end of these intervals.  I felt a cramp coming along on my right calf.

Week 3 – Madcow5x5 – Day 7B

I had family over for dinner so I was a bit late to the gym, so I ended up having to rush the workout.  No situps or cardio post workout.  I had also eaten a bit before going to the gym so I was definitely feeling bloated.

Squats:

5 x 115
5 x 145
5 x 175
5 x 175

I’ve noticed that my workouts have been pretty exhausting, even on light days.  Last time I ran Madcow, I wasn’t as fatigued by this week, but then I remembered that previously I had used Madcow, my 4th week PRS were considerably no where near what I’m doing now.

Press:

5 x 55
5 x 65
5 x 75
5 x 80

Read somewhere that my grip width should be about 1-1.5″ wider than my shoulders.  Definitely felt awkward, I normally tuck my elbows so from the mirror, my hand grip was wide but my forearms were at a 45 degree angle with my elbows tucked into my waist.  Definitely feeling heavy again.

Deadlift:

5 x 145
5 x 175
5 x 205
5 x 230

Lightweight!  But, seriously, these weren’t bad at all.  I used the hook grip on the 3rd set and alternating, left-right, supinate-pronate, grip.  On the lighter weights, I tried for pulling as hard as I can and as fast as I can.  But, what I notice when I do this is that I straighten my legs out too early, therefore leading my back to do the work on the second half of the positive.  This issue, more than anything, is most likely to do with problems coordinating full body sequential movements when exploding from the lift.  Much props to olympic lifters, moving hundreds of pounds in a blink of an eye.

Week 2 – Madcow5x5 – Day 4B

Squats:

5 x 115
5 x 145
5 x 175
5 x 175

These were about average, maybe a bit on the difficult side.  I don’t think my legs are recovering quite as well as I expected even with the drop of weight.

Press:

5 x 45
5 x 55
5 x 65
5 x 75

Pretty easy.  Form was a bit off when descending and repositioning elbows forward.

Deadlift:

5 x 145
5 x 175
5 x 195
5 x 225

Pretty easy.  Did touch and go on the first rep, it was too light for me, so I focused on explosion from the bottom of each rep and performing them in quick succession.

Accessories:

3 x 30lb Crunch machine – Using the machine felt very awkward.  The back padding wasn’t stationary so I felt like I was losing workout efficiency.  I’m going to go back to old fashioned sit-ups on light days.

3 x 2 x BW Chin-ups – These were very hard.  Felt slightly light headed after first set.

Week 1 – Day 1A

Today starts my first day of Madcow5x5.  This is after being on a 2 week hiatus due to vacation.  I’ve started the program with the following stats.

Squat:  5 x 254
Bench: 5 x 135
Row: 5 x 135
Press: 5 x 85
Deadlift: 5 x 250

Due to being out of the gym for a while, I decided to match these PR numbers in week 6 instead of week 4 of the program.  All the weights have been calculated in a spreadsheet I downloaded from the Stronglifts website.

I just got back from the Philippines this past Sunday so I’m still experiencing jet lag; definitely not helpful with getting proper sleep and more importantly proper recovery.  Hopefully my body can get back into the swing of things by next Monday so I can have the mental focus to get these lifts going.  I’ve also ordered some extra supplements that will hopefully help me break preexisting plateaus.

Aside from the whey protein I’ve been scarfing down, I’ve also purchased a tub of the pre-workout supp, White Flood, as well as the intra-workout supp, Purple Wraath.  I’ve dabbled with these two about a year ago when I was actually also running Madcow at the time and they helped me wonders- especially the pre-workout.  I’ve also ordered a 2000g tub of ON creatine monohydrate.  I don’t think I’ll be touching these supps until week 3 or 4 depending on how fast my body acclimates itself back into prime lifting condition.

With the conclusion of my Stronglifts regimen, I’ve managed to break and reach many PRs.  Here are final program stats:

Squat:  3 x 270 PR
Bench: 2 x 165 PR
Row: 5 x 165 PR
Press: 4 x 97.5
Deadlift: 4 x 290 PR

I’m extremely happy with these numbers, especially my squat.  I never thought I’d be able to rep even a single of my 1.5 x BW, but I managed to get 3!  I was also very impressed with my deadlift early on.  This was before I even had a lifting belt.

Here’s today’s workout:

Squat:

5 x 115
5 x 140
5 x 170
5 x 170

Pretty easy.  I looked up to change things up a bit and noticed that I engaged my glutes much more when looking up than when looking in the mirror.  Mental focus is definitely heightened and not seeing yourself makes it so that the body needs to “feel” the lift, resulting in better engagement of my posterior chain.

Press:

5 x 45
5 x 55
5 x 65
5 x 75

Pretty easy.  Made sure elbows were in front of the bar before lifting.  Pushing elbows out while simultaneously exploding from the chest up helps with making the lift easier.

Deadlift:

Felt unusually heavy.  I was struggling with my grip on the second to last workset.  Switched to alternating for the last set.

Accessories:

3 x 12 x Situps – Pretty easy first two sets.  Third set was a bit more difficult as my abs fatigued very easily.