I did two rounds of the MadCow 5x5 program and ending a 13 month cycle of the 5/3/1 Jim Wendler program (month 12 starts next week) - I've gotten GREAT GAINS from both. I'm not looking to move on to another program OR restart the 5/3/1 with new max #'s. I've looked into the Cube method and would like to hear from people who did MadCow and/or 5/3/1 what they moved on to and what they would recommend (please only respond if you actually did either of these OR like programs). So - what program would you recommend and why. Current Max's

  • Squat - 315lbs
  • Bench - 250l bs
  • Dead Lift - 425lbs
  • Press - 165 lbs
  • Just curious, is there any reason you don't want to continue 5/3/1 or MadCow? Were they too hard or they lost their values? Mar 25, 2014 at 19:25
  • I'm actually back on 5/3/1 - cycle 4. I was looking for something 'new' and found 5/3/1 with a little customization was best for me - thanks Mar 25, 2014 at 22:08
  • Have you tried Strong Lifts? What do you think of it? Mar 25, 2014 at 22:24
  • I haven't tried strong lifts, but I did do MadCow and thought that was a great pure linear program - 2 cycles and then moved on to 5/3/1 Mar 26, 2014 at 9:38
  • Do you remember your lifting stats before you started any of these programs? Deadlifts, squats, overhead press, and chest? Mar 26, 2014 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


Since this question is a bit old, I'd be interested to hear where you went.

Answering the question for anyone else out there who sees this, I think the Texas method is my particular favorite to move onto. Bill Starr / Madcow / 5/3/1 tend to be very structured and by the numbers which is great because intermediate lifters need to ditch the idea of just showing up to the gym and doing whatever they feel like.

The Texas method I like because it's more of a framework than a fixed program. As it sits it's great on its own, but you can plug exercises in and out if you want to and even add a fourth day. That's not for folks who aren't experienced intermediate lifters, but if you know your body and watch your training like a hawk you can squeeze a little more results that way and target things better.

I've never been at the "advanced" or "elite" levels of lifting before, and probably never will, but I imagine Texas is a good gateway to that as well because it has you owning more complexity rather than just following an Excel spreadsheet for 12 weeks after you plug in four numbers.

Practical Programming has ~100 pages dedicated to the Texas method.

  • I'm actually back on 5/3/1 - I was sick for a bit and drop significantly, I used StrongLifts while recovering and back to 5/3/1 - maxs: squat 305, bench 265, dead 455, press 185. I'm 100% behind 5/3/1 Oct 26, 2014 at 23:08
  • You should really check out the Texas method, I bet you'd dig it. You have enough experience at this point that you could tweak it a bit to make it really hit your goals. Regardless, stoked you like 5/3/1.
    – Eric
    Oct 27, 2014 at 3:14

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