For seven weeks, this was my program:
Heavy = 3-4 exercises per part, 3-4 sets, 8-10 reps
|Monday||Back, biceps, rear delts, traps|
|Tuesday||Chest, triceps, front & side delts|
|Wednesday||Glutes and hamstrings|
Light = giant sets of 6 exercises, 5 sets, 8-10 reps
|Thursday||Back, biceps, rear delts, traps|
|Friday||Chest, triceps, front & side delts|
|Saturday||Quads – always heavy|
I’m pleased with the results I got on that program – gained inches, lost some fat. However, starting around the 4th or 5th week, my back did not recover from Monday’s workout before I had to work the back again on Thursday. There were a couple of weeks when I had to skip the second back workout entirely and just do arms and delts on those days. Traps stayed sore ALL the time, so I quit working them separately. I was still not happy with the form on my squats. I had to skip dead lifts a lot because of a pulled muscle in the back that wasn’t healing fast enough. And my strength gains leveled off. Basically, this program beat me up. It was time to change things up, but I didn’t have anything else I was excited to do.
A fellow blogger, Martha84, wrote about a program she loved and said produced some serious gains for her. When I read it, I liked it. At that time, I was 16 weeks out from show. I needed to finish up the week I was on and plan things out before I started it. I decided to do it for a couple of weeks to see if I liked it, and if I did, go with it for a month to see what happens. I don’t need two weeks. ONE workout and I was hooked.
So last week was my first week on Bill Starr’s Madcow 5 x 5. (This is for an intermediate lifter – not good for a novice.)
Madcow 5 x 5 = 5 sets, 5 reps
|Sunday||Squats, bench, barbell rows|
|Monday||Core, calves, cardio|
|Tuesday||Squats, military presses, deadlifts, pullups|
|Wednesday||Core, calves, cardio|
|Thursday||Squats, bench, barbell row|
|Friday||Delts, arms (On the plan, but not supposed to be on this day.)|
This program is a lot more intricate than it seems. There is a ton of background information, lots of guidelines, and a spreadsheet to download with the weight progressions calculated from 1RM (The max weight a person can lift for 1 rep).