5X5 Workout Info & Madcow 5×5 Spreadsheet – Intermediate

Click here or Scroll down to watch the instruction videos and download the Madcow 5×5 workout spreadsheets
(Click Here for Madcow’s detailed Program Info)

When I found the Madcow 5×5 workout spreadsheet based on Bill Starr’s Intermediate 5×5 routine, I wasn’t even thinking about “strength gains”.  I just wanted to get bigger (because I’ve been around 175lbs forever and really wanted to hit 190 or 200). Now I look forward to out lifting guys that are a lot bigger than me.  Mwahahaha!

I’m truly glad I found it and it, and I credit this routine with setting the base for the first time I pulled 500lbs. (Next is 600lbs)!

The 5×5 workout is just that… 5 sets of 5 repetitions using compound movements almost exclusively. There is some assistance (isolation) work which is good to include, but one of the big goals I’ve found with the intermediate 5×5 is getting more time under the bar so when you move on to more advanced routines you don’t look like those tools in the gym that throw on a ton of weight in the squat rack and then do a 1/4 squat with knees buckling and a myriad of other form flaws.

The basic premise of the routine is squat/bench three times/week. (Deadlift is only once per week). Also, the original Bill Starr program used power cleans. (Madcow recommends using bent over barbell rows if you don’t know how to do power cleans. I’ve done both at different times but typically used bent over barbell rows).

Another thing about the 5×5 workout is that you increase your weight every week. It’s not always increased a lot, but usually around 5lbs for upper body and 10lbs for lower. There are percentage calculations you can use, and Madcow actually created a great spreadsheet (that I improved on with formatting, printing, etc), and that’s a great place to start for newbies.

It breaks down to this:

  • Monday: Squat/Bent over barbell rows/Bench
  • Wednesday: Light Squat/Incline Bench/Deadlift (I prefer doing incline dumbell bench)
  • Friday: Squat/Bent over barbell rows/Bench

Finally, PAY ATTENTION… I completely agree with the Madcow… DO NOT SCREW WITH THIS WORKOUT.  Just do EXACTLY what it says and you’ll see results. After you’ve been on it for a while you can start playing with it. In the beginning, stick with the template 5×5 workout.  You’ll thank yourself, I know from experience.

Recently I cleaned up the spreadsheets even more and moved them from DIY Strength Training to Violent Zen™. (Links are below). I don’t go into any detail on how to implement the 5×5 workout in these videos because Madcow’s info covers it very well and there is a ton of other info online too. (HOWEVER, in the future I may put a video together).

At a very minimum, you need to watch the portrait version of the 5×5 spreadsheet breakdown: “5X5 Workout Routine – Madcow 5×5 Spreadsheet – PORTRAIT – Intermediate”

NOTE:  The first two videos are from my other site DIY Strength Training, that I am no longer updating.

Also, be sure to sign up for updates! I have no idea how many thousands of people have downloaded previous versions of these spreadsheets, and now I have no way to notify them that there are new versions available.

Portrait Version Total Time: ~7min

Landscape Version Total Time: ~2min

Updated Version Total Time: ~3min

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Download Both Versions together (Zipped)