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Fitness/Health, Kettlebell

Beginning Bill Starr’s Madcow (Bastardized) Program

What an amazingly awesome weekend in the Mile High, our strength club got out for a hike at Mt Falcon (Castle Trail).  The 7.6 mile trip was ambitious for our first time out but everyone rocked it!  By chance we saw one of my sponsored ultrarunners out for a ‘light jaunt’ of 4 laps on Castle (28 miles with 8,000 feet of elevation gain), Patrick Stewart my friend you are an animal!  A few of us did a light workout on top of 21/15/9 step ups and decline push ups, fun day.

This afternoon marks the first day of Keri and I start of the Madcow Program developed by Bill Starr.  This linear progression program is a CLASSIC in weight training for improving strength, it is also about as simple as it gets.


Take time to read through the program and avoid alot of the crap things you see in fitness magazines, this program focuses on FULL BODY COMPOUND movements with a barbell.  It is fun, challenging, and works so check it out.

We tested on Friday, and I wasnt surprised by my results, only way to go is up(note: I should have started with heavier weight on some lifts to improve accuracy);

  • High Bar Back Squat 185lbs x 12
  • OH Press 155lbs x 6
  • Power Clean 185lbs x 7
  • Deadlift 275lbs x 10
  • Jerk 185lbs x 5

After plugging in the numbers to the Excel template (see link), I have my approximate weights to be used for the next 9 weeks.  I know Bill Starr is adamant about NOT changing the lifts but with my previous injuries and current goals I am confident at the replacements I have chosen (full body metabolic lifts).  I also changed the assistance  work as well, okay okay so this is a fairly bastardized version of Madcow but lets give it a go!

The program is MWF, I am still doing the Mile High Strength Club on T and TH with an emphasis on metabolic conditioning.  I will also be incorporating cycling and walking into my week, as long as I do not experience any overtraining S/S.

So with that here is todays lifts;

  • High bar back squat 5 x 5 
  • OH Press 5 x 5
  • Power Clean 5 x 5

Accessory work

  • Plank Series (front,Rt, Lt) 3 x 30 sec each
  • KB TGU 3 x 2/arm

About Dr. Jeff Stripling

Hey everyone, I am a Rolla, Missouri-based Active Release Technique (ART) chiropractor who specialises in musculoskeletal injuries, sports injuries, and active physical rehabilitation. Some things that are near and dear to my life are family and friends, my relationship with God, cycling, kettlebells, hiking/climbing, and QUALITY food and drink.


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