Get daily Madcow 5×5 tips in your inbox

Each day I send you tips to get maximum results with Madcow 5×5

In 2007 I started recommending Madcow 5×5 to Stronglifters who were no longer making progress on Stronglifts 5×5.

Since then I’ve received hundreds of questions about Madcow 5×5. I kept track of all my answers. Then I created the first and only newsletter that helps you get maximum results with Madcow 5×5.

Invalid email address

Why signup?

Madcow 5×5 is simple but the devil is in the details. Tiny mistakes can have a huge impact on your strength and muscle gains.

I’ve explained how to get maximum results with Madcow 5×5 on this website. But it’s a lot to take in in one reading. Some people skip parts that don’t seem important but are. Others will forget some parts and that can then cause them to plateau later.

The Madcow 5×5 newsletter breaks all that information down in small doses. You get one short lesson a day. You learn from my answers to questions people like you have asked. Many Stronglifters find that the daily tips motivate them to go to the gym and train hard.

The newsletter is 100% free. Try it for a few days. You can stop anytime by tapping the unsubscribe link at the bottom of my emails.

Many Stronglifters are surprised by how helpful the newsletter is. It’s unlike any newsletter they signed up for before. They say this is the only one they actually read and look forward to.

What do you get?

Here’s how the Madcow 5×5 newsletter works:

  1. One email a day. Every day you lift + rest days.
  2. 3-500 words per email – about 2-3min read time.
  3. One question about Madcow 5×5 with my answer.
  4. Plugs for the Stronglifts app and Pro purchase.
  5. Unsubscribe link at the bottom.

Newsletter sample

Question of Stronglifter with my answer below.


So I’ve inputted my maxes for Madcow 5×5 into the Stronglifts app.

Instead of following the sets of 5 then set of 3 can I just warm up with what I want then follow the set of 3? Or are these sets of 5 before the set of 3 necessary? 

For example, if the app is telling me to complete 5×60 5×70 5×80 3x90kg. Can I do my own warmup then just follow the set of 3 and 8 reps?


The ramp sets of five are necessary. You shouldn’t skip them. Compare:

  • Ramp: 5×50, 5×60, 5×70, 5×80, 3×90, 8×70 == 2130kg volume
  • Pyramid: 3×60, 1×80, 3×90, 8x70kg == 1090kg volume or 50% less

Lifting heavy is important for gaining strength. But if only that mattered, you’d just do one set of one rep and go home. Clearly, a little more than that is needed to get stronger. You need some volume.

With pyramid sets you do less reps per set as you add weight and get closer to your top set. The volume is lower. This creates less fatigue. The top set is easier to lift. You can go heavier. 

That’s why I use pyramid sets all the time when competing or trying to set a new one rep max PR. But you’re not competing. You’re not trying to show how strong you are. That’s for later. You’re training to get stronger.

Many people make the mistake of skipping ramp sets to make the top set easier. That can work in the short-term. But you’ll plateau quickly because you’re skipping half the volume.

That’s why you should start the program with easy weights. It’s a lot harder to Squat 5x300lb after four ramp sets of five than a pyramid warm up. You need to get used to this. Not switch to pyramids because it’s hard.

The good news is that when you later test your true five or three rep max, you’ll hit a higher weight than you did on Madcow 5×5. Because you’ll use a pyramid warm up for that that causes less fatigue.

Madcow is basically making you lift top sets under harder conditions – after pre-fatigue from several ramp sets.

If you’re not sure what to do, stick to the program. The ramp sets wouldn’t be there if they didn’t matter.

This is an example of a tiny detail that can make a huge difference in results. I’ve covered this on this website, but it can easily be overlooked during a quick and superficial read.

If you want to get maximum results with Madcow 5×5, then signing up to the Madcow 5×5 newsletter is essential.

Get daily Madcow 5×5 tips in your inbox

Each day I send you simple tips to gain maximum strength and muscle with the Madcow 5×5 workout.

Invalid email address