Massive Iron 28 Day Powerbuilding Cycle

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As many of you know 5x5 programs bore me. It’s not that I think they are ineffective; far from it. 5x5s are usually very derivative of one other, too minimalist, and they force every compound movement into an arbitrary 5x5 set and rep scheme.

With that said, I’ve made my share of 5x5 programs over the years. I’ve had my take and my say, but I remained unsatisfied. Each 5x5 I’ve constructed has left me wanting to do better; to make something more exciting.

Well, this is it.

I call this cycle “Ultimate” because I am damn happy with how it came out. I hope you enjoy it as well. It is a 28-day repeatable cycle that takes the bland and boring 5x5 program and smashes it into bits, leaving you with something a bit more engaging and enjoyable to work with.

Sure, it’s not really a pure 5x5 program. That’s the point, really. What good would come of me simply regurgitating another clone of Starting Strength, Stronglifts, or a Bill Starr 5x5? Quite honestly, if I see another program like this I might vomit. So here’s my entry - or competitor, if you will.



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  • If I do 3 workouts a week, for 7th optional exercise, can I do 2-3 sets of pull down on day 1 and leg curls on day 3 and do ab or calf on day 2? I feel vertical pull and hamstring need more volume. Thanks.

    That sounds reasonable.

  • Hi Steve, can this program be run multiple times or do you recommend moving to a different program after completion?

    Absolutely. You can run this as long as you'd like.

  • Hello Steve! How many days per week is this program? I am currently cutting down, but once I start gaining again, I really wanna build some strength and mass! My current 1RM's are approximately Deadlift: 170 kg Squat: 120 kg Bench: 100 kg Height: 180cm Current bw: 85 kg Would you recommend this program, and if not, then which one? I prefer to workout atleast 4-5 times per week. Thank you!

    There are 12 workouts over the course of 28 days or three per week.

    I would check out the AB split for 4 workouts a week. Thanks!

  • Hi Steve, in the program Rdl and powershrugs combo the reps and sets are not specified. What is recommended to do?

    Sorry, I made a change and will reupload a new, corrected version. It is 2x10 for RDLs.