One of the things about Madcow is the old "squat everyday" thing. I think that's fine for a while, but wow, it would get old. I love to squat, but I think that would make me hate it. Also, you have a bench or bench variation every day.
What lift do you love?
What lift do you want most to improve?.
I actually love to squat. The catch is pushing past sticking points; due to the amount of weight, I get a bit nervous, almost fearful. The last attempt, which has been some time, I was extremely nervous until someone offered to spot me - the right way. Once I had a spotter, I had a little more confidence or security, and I attempted the lift. I made one, struggled a little. I went for two, and he assisted when I hit the sticking point on the way up. I repeated and was done. - Because I'm not a professional lifter, I don't always follow the no touch or it doesn't count rule. There's not always someone available for spotting.
Also, I see the old issue of lots of pushing and not much pulling. I don't think (maybe I'm wrong here, 'cause I don't clean or snatch much) the Oly lifts are pulls in the same sense that chinups or rows are.
I feel as though my pulls were on the light side. I just wasn't sure if DL's and cleans counted as pulls and didn't want to over do it.
I've gone back and forth on the issue of published programs. I started out pretty much picking exercises randomly, or according to the wall chart that came with our weight machine. Then I became a great fan of published programs, and would often ask relatively inexperienced lifters why they thought they needed to reinvent the wheel, or how they thought that they could design better programs that famous, experienced lifters. Now I'm to the point of saying, "Think it through, and work out your own program. You know yourself and your needs better than anyone. Learn a lot, try a lot, be willing to adjust." And be willing to think on your feet. Your routine can change at a moment's notice.
I think that's the way to avoid the "same-old, same-old" feeling.
At the beginning, I was looking for the "best" program to make gains and achieve my goals the fastest. As I have read, learned and progressed, my thinking has changed. Now, I'm focused on doing the work outs knowing the gains will come. I started with the begginer, moved onto the Madcow intermediate and since I've started walking at least 3 times a week, I do look forward to my walks. I will always like lifting weights, and I've been going strong for 8 months and looking to keep the motivation up.
Since I've made gains, my goals might be subconsciencely shifting to weight loss rather than just gaining strength. Thanks for the thoughts to consider. I could use additional opinions on assistance exercises and variations that can be applied. What are some ways to identify weak points? My bench press and overhead press are a little on the weak side; other than that, I feel balanced and not particularly weak in any one area.
Do you have suggestions on how to better balance the push/pull inbalance you see?
I'm looking at 531. By separating main lifts to separate days adding accessory lifts, I may be able to break the monotony. Thoughts on accessories I should look at; I know there's a lot to choose from.