How to Log Madcow 5x5 with StrongLifts
Here's how you can log Madcow 5x5 with the StrongLifts app.
Creating Three Workouts A/B/C
- Madcow 5x5 consists of three workouts A/B/C with different sets/reps/weight and/or exercises in each workout.
- To create the three workouts, go to home - edit. By default workout A and B show here.
- Tap add workout to create an extra workout C (you need StrongLifts Pro for this).
- After this you'll have three workouts A/B/C
Adding Exercises to Each Workout
- Madcow has Squat/Bench/row in workout A, Squat/Overhead Press/Deadlift in workout B, and Squat/Bench/Row in Workout C
- To set this up, go to home - edit - tap workout A - swipe left to remove an exercise. Then tap "add exercise" to add the proper exercise back.
- Repeat this for each workout
Settings Sets and Reps, Ramped Sets and Light Squat Days
- Madcow uses differnet sets, reps and weights in each workout
- Squat workout A is 5 ramped sets - progressively heavier sets of 5 until a top set of 5.
- Squat workout B is 4 ramped sets - progressively heavier sets of 5 until two top sets of 5, with weights much lighter than workout A
- Squat workout C is 4 ramped sets with back off set - progressively heavier sets of 5, then a top set of 3 reps, then a lighter set of 8 reps
- You can set this up by going to home - edit - tap the exercise - disable "Straight Sets". You can then set different reps/weight for each set.
- StrongLifts will automatically increase the weight of each set next workout if you achieved all sets (according to your increment setitngs)
Remembering The Sets/Reps/Weights
- Currently it's not possible to set different sets/reps/weights for an exercise that shows in several workouts
- Meaning: if you set 5x5 Squat in workout A, and 4x5 Squat in workout B.. and then you log Squat workout b, the setsxreps will reset to 4x5 next workout A.
- For now, one easy workaround is to create three different Squat exercises, one for each workout, each with its own sets/reps/weight
- => Home - edit - workout A - swipe left on Squats to remove it - tap add exercise - create. Then make Squat A with 5x5 ramp sets.
- => Home - edit - workout b - swipe left on Squats to remove it - tap add exercise - create. Then make Squat B with 4x5 ramp sets light.
- => Home - edit - workout C - swipe left on Squats to remove it - tap add exercise - create. Then make Squat C with 5/5/5/3/8.
- => You'll need to do the same for Bench and Row (Bench A and Row A in workout A, Bench C and Row C in workout C)
- => After you do this, sets/reps/weights will remember fine, and the app will progress your workouts correctly
- We plan to improve this in a next version of the app, so you can set different set/rep/weight for the same exercise showing in several workouts
5 Work Sets Limitation
- Currently it's not possible to log more than 5 work sets. We're considering making that possible in a future version of the app.
- For now, this limitation does not prevent you to log Madcow 5x5 using StrongLifts.
- One misconception is that the workout C of Madcow 5x5 requires 6 work sets. It's actually 5 work sets.
- Consider: in the Madcow 5x5 spreadsheet, the Squat in workout C goes from 5x135lb to 5x275lb.
- If you do 275lb for 5 reps, then 135lb for 5 reps is less than 50% of your top set.
- This set is therefore not a workset but a warmup set. It doesn't need to show in your work sets.
In fact, the app will handle it that way:
- Enter the weights for week one Squat in workout C
- But skip the first set at 135lb. Make the first set 170lb, and then add the 4 next sets.
- Then go back to your workout and look at the warmup - the last warmup set is 135lb.
- => so StrongLifts already properly handles this like a warmup set already.
- => there is therefore no need to create 6 work sets. Make 5, and let the warmup take care of the first light set of 5 (which is a warmup anyway).
If you have any questions or issues setting up Madcow with StrongLifts, email us and we'll be happy to help!