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View Full Version : jim wendlers 5-3-1 program ...whats your opinion ?



xolix
03-23-2009, 09:44 AM
is it a milestone for raw lifting ? there are very rare trainingdays with true 90 % or above of max for training the cns too ... know what i mean ? at the first sight it looks like a bodybuildingprogram for me . where is the cary over to competition strength ?

what are your experiences with this program ?

how should i set it up if i have some competitions in raw powerlifting in the near future ?

Tom Mutaffis
03-23-2009, 10:09 AM
The program is great for raw / natural lifters - it keeps you from overtraining and allows for consistent and sustainable progress.

It is not at all a bodybuilding program as the entire program is based around progressive and wave loading to reach optimal strength levels.

If you would like, you can use 5/3/1 as your primary lifting schedule and then change over to a pre-competition "peaking" routine for the last 4 weeks before each meet, or what ever you feel would be most beneficial.

Travis Bell
03-23-2009, 10:33 AM
http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121950

Keith
03-23-2009, 10:45 AM
^ Just beat me to it. It's a very informative, to-the-point, short read that's $20. There's plenty of journals on here that use the 5/3/1 method including mine. I just started, but check out others who've been doing it for quite some time.

Kong
03-23-2009, 10:54 AM
I'm planning to replace every other 4'th wave (deload) with a max attempt working up to 102.5% of my 1 rep max so maybe try that if your concerned.

Keith
03-23-2009, 11:34 AM
I'm planning to replace every other 4'th wave (deload) with a max attempt working up to 102.5% of my 1 rep max so maybe try that if your concerned.

I'm considering putting that set right after the 95%x1 on the 3rd wave...

jaminit
03-23-2009, 11:37 AM
Best program I've ever used. Stayed on it for 4 months straight. I pulled and squatted every week too. Did NOT overtrain.

I switched every 4 weeks from sumo and wide stance squats to conventional and close stance squats to make sure I was hitting everything.

Pulled an 11 pound PR at the end of the cycle. Not bad for 4 months

Jamey

M 54-60, 198

Kong
03-23-2009, 12:47 PM
I'm considering putting that set right after the 95%x1 on the 3rd wave...

Good idea

ehubbard
03-23-2009, 02:20 PM
Good idea

Why not do the program as it's laid out? By adding these extra sets you are really getting away from what makes the program work.

bald bull
03-23-2009, 10:03 PM
Wendler recommends taking 10% away from your max when calculating bar weight, but when do u bump up the %ages after 4 weeks?

ehubbard
03-24-2009, 07:22 AM
Wendler recommends taking 10% away from your max when calculating bar weight, but when do u bump up the %ages after 4 weeks?

You up the max weight by 5lbs on the bench and military, and 10lbs on the squat and deadlift and calculate the percentages based on the new max.

Keith
03-24-2009, 08:22 AM
You up the max weight by 5lbs on the bench and military, and 10lbs on the squat and military and calcutae the percentages based on the new max.

I'm sure he'd figure your typo out... but increase the squat and deadlift by 10 lbs.

BigBatz
03-24-2009, 08:28 AM
I like it because it's a get in get your work done get out program.

Brian C
03-24-2009, 09:58 AM
Had to buy it after reading all the hype. It looks like a great program. Im going to start next week and give it a go.

bald bull
03-24-2009, 11:58 AM
so after 4 weeks you up the bench and military by 5 and then squat and dead by 10lbs?

ehubbard
03-24-2009, 12:31 PM
so after 4 weeks you up the bench and military by 5 and then squat and dead by 10lbs?

Yes. For example, if you calculated your work sets based on a bench max of 300 for the fist four weeks, then for the second cycle you would recalucate all your work sets based on a bench max of 305. Do not add 5 lbs to your worksets, just add to your max and recalculate the percentages.

geoffsherman
03-24-2009, 06:37 PM
That is what Jim recommends, but you also have to see what works for you. For instance, I found that because I suck at squatting so much, I only adust that by 5 lbs each time through. Whatever works for you as long as you are making progress, that is all that matters.

Kray-z
03-25-2009, 06:44 AM
For someone like me, I like the program a lot. I want to be strong and continually get stronger, but I am not so sure I want to do something as non-traditional as some of the programs many others here are doing. It makes sense and contains a lot of good information on the basics. I found some of the form instructions for bench and deadlift interesting, kind of flys in the face of other things I've read, but if you aren't a competitive lifter trying to squeeze every pound out from form, I think it is fine. Overall it is a good simple program that allows for variation.

xolix
03-25-2009, 09:43 AM
yes i am a RAW competition powerlifter , and i am interrested how it works specially for meet-preparation . in the past i trained for raw meets with westside shedule with great results , but now i stuck on bench and wanna find new exercises for max effort or other cycling OR jims program .

rbtrout
03-25-2009, 10:02 AM
I've had good luck with the EFS basic pl training, but will probably switch over to this. I think I'll do better on it.

bald bull
03-25-2009, 11:48 AM
Thanks guys I appreciate it. This is a very good board>

xolix
03-25-2009, 04:00 PM
so after 4 weeks you up the bench and military by 5 and then squat and dead by 10lbs?

you are right ...

cranghel099
04-05-2010, 08:34 AM
That is what Jim recommends, but you also have to see what works for you. For instance, I found that because I suck at squatting so much, I only adust that by 5 lbs each time through. Whatever works for you as long as you are making progress, that is all that matters.

Another thing to consider is strength is relative to the individual, a 5pound jump is going to be easier for a stronger lifter compared to weaker lifter. I have been using 531 for over a year and I have found that adding 2.5 pounds to my trainging max for military and bench allows me to make small incremental gains that add up to big personal records

Another thing to try outis rotating week one and week two. I tend to hit my biggest prs when I come back from a deload

cranghel099
04-05-2010, 08:37 AM
Using fractional plates has also been really helpful with military and Bench progress

tnathletics2b
04-05-2010, 09:18 AM
I am on my second cycle and really like it. Gives me goals and a purpose each time I go in because I always want to beat my previous rep max...

ScottYard
04-05-2010, 09:54 AM
I have been using is sense december of 09 and I have put 50 plus pounds on my raw squat.

ehopkins932
04-05-2010, 01:16 PM
Put 65 lbs on mine in the same amount of time as scott, but he is a bit more advanced. :) Definitely a great program. He is coming out with a special addendum for powerlifting soon, which should be cool

robchris
04-05-2010, 08:17 PM
5-3-1 is an awesome program... I used it for a year and made excellent progress.(50+lb. on bench & DL)
RC

ironwill727
04-06-2010, 11:03 AM
Great program my bench, log press, and DL have all gone up nicely and I have broken many PRs. My squat has been the only problem some days it is good other it is not. I am on my 6th wave. It is the best thing I ever did for my Log and Bench.

nexus77241
04-07-2010, 03:09 PM
I've been doing the 5-3-1 program for awhile now. I love it. Its helped me out tremendously. I haven't dead lifted in a longtime (due to low back injury) but it definitely helped me.

Cmanuel
04-07-2010, 10:41 PM
I've used 5-3-1 for almost a year now and have had great success with it, especially in the sense that it helps get me strong while keeping my weight relatively constant.

Also know that 5-3-1 is programmed month to month, so progress may not be as fast as other routines (especially ones for intermediate lifters). But 5-3-1 gains are sustainable... I recently was out of lifting for >3 weeks due to an illness, after fully recovering and regaining my weight, I hit a couple of small PRs which I feel is a testament to how sustainable the gains are with this routine.

Suprman1020
04-20-2010, 10:39 PM
5/3/1 is a very good program. However, if you do it 3 x a week I feel that you HAVE to do conditioning. I wasn't making progress, until I threw in some conditioning. I really like the program. HOWEVER, my military went up alot but my bench actually went down a bit so I'm switching things up. This isn't the programs fault as it could be me (I prefer more triples and singles). I also feel that 5/3/1 doesn't switch up the exercises as much. just my two cents.

berfles
04-21-2010, 01:43 PM
My opinion is "meh". It may have helped my deadlift and bench a little, but everything else suffered. I'm back on my 5x5 again and feel better than I ever did with 5/3/1.

brihead301
04-21-2010, 02:08 PM
I love it....mainly because of that last set...the "all out reps set".

That, IMO, is what sets the 5/3/1 apart from other typical strength programs. Just doing sets of 5's gets boring. The 5/3/1 has a "goal" that you have to hit for each of the 3 working sets, but for the last of the 3 working sets you get to do as many reps as you can. Not only are you attempting to smash weight PR's, but you also get to smash rep PR's....and all this is done in a logical, progressive way as well!

Also, I like the fact that the progression is slower then some of those other intermediate programs out there. I probably could make progress faster (weekly or bi-weekly)....but I would also stall faster. That's not to mention the fact that I'd also be increasing my chances of injury. The montly progression is perfect speed IMO to make weight increases. With the "wave loading" style, I don't even realize that I'm making these increases either....It's the same every cycle - Wave 1 is hard, Wave 2 is harder, and Wave 3 is balls-out hard as hell!!! I know as long as I'm hitting AT LEAST the target reps for the 5/3/1 lift, then I'm moving forward!!!

Then you have the fun part - the assistance programming. I'm kind of a bodybuilder at heart, even though strength is the main goal. I use the assistance lifts for bodybuilding purposes - high rep, short rest times, supersets, isolation work, etc....All that stuff satisfies the itch for the bodybuilding, muscle pumping, lactic acid-producing work that I like to do.

I'm on my 8th cycle now, and assuming each cycle lasts roughly 4.5 weeks (including my half-a**ed deloads), I've been on the program for roughly 31 weeks now....I still haven't came close to stalling in any of my lifts yet. I expect my first stall to occur in the OH press, but I can always either reset or use microloading once I run into that problem.

31 weeks of steady progress is the longest-running progress I have ever made with any program before.....and that's counting my 5 years of solid, progressive-style training. That's not to mention the fact that I train MMA and Jiu-jitsu as well, which definately has an effect on my recovery. So with all the 'bodybuilding work' and all the cardio that I do, I've still managed to make solid progress for 31 weeks straight so far. I'd imagine that if I were to focus solely on bulking, getting stronger and eliminate all the martial arts training that I'd be making steady progress for several years!

I love this program.

K.Huget
04-21-2010, 08:22 PM
I agree with Brihead. The failure set alone makes this routine worth it. It gets me excited and motivated to hit weights and reps I might not normally even try.

SMK41
04-22-2010, 12:00 PM
I finally decided to cough up the money to buy the 531 e-book last week. I love the layout and concept of the program. I spent the last few days finalizing the accessory exercises I'm going to use and figuring out my starting maxes. I'm going to start the program on Sunday using the 3x a week option. I may switch to the 4x a week at somepoint, but I feel like the 3x a week will be easier for me to ensure I get in all my workouts every week through the next few months since I have a few trips coming up that will impact my lifting schedule a little.

I'm very excited about the program and can't wait to get started! I thought some people who are using the program might be interested in using the spreadsheet I set up for myself to calculate my weight for each cycle.

(Right click and Save)
http://www.smkrause.com/shared/531_Workout.xls

- The sheet does a lot of automatic calculations so you should only type in the green cells.

- The first tab on the sheet will let you enter any weight/reps and give you an estimated 1RM and a 90% of estimated 1RM value. It also has an area to enter two different weight/reps values to compare which is a better lift by looking at their estimated 1RMs. And it has an XRM calculator where you can enter a weight/reps value and it calculates the estimated weight you should be able to do for 1RM, 2RM, 3RM, ..., 20RM.

- Then I set up enough tabs to cover 12 cycles. You just enter your the 90% max value on cycle 1 and all 12 sheets auto populate. From cycle 2 on you can change the increase for the cycle (right now its set to 5lbs for bench and ohp, 10lbs for squat and DL). Also the cycle sheets let you select the number of days per week to train (2, 3, or 4) so you can easily see what workouts you'll do on what days.

- I used the option 1 for the percentages since it was less aggressive and i think the beauty of this program is slow sustainable gains. I also included the recommended warmup sets denoted by a W after the number of reps.

tnathletics2b
04-22-2010, 12:13 PM
Nice spreadsheet! And I liked how you used CEILING to round up! Way to be a real man haha :hello:

SMK41
04-22-2010, 01:08 PM
Nice spreadsheet! And I liked how you used CEILING to round up! Way to be a real man haha :hello:

lol well Jim recommends using ceiling in the book. I figure since you are only using 90% of your max and since i'm using the less aggressive option for the cycle percentages it doesnt hurt to round up all the time.

brihead301
04-22-2010, 01:30 PM
Haha, I didn't know about CEILING and FLOOR functions when I made my 5/3/1 spreadsheet. I used ROUND instead.....I'm a huge vagina, I know.

ELmx479
04-22-2010, 03:24 PM
I agree with Bri, I like to train like a body builder and yet still get stronger using all the compound lifts. I am just about to complete cycle 7 on the program and plan to run it for at least a year. It works great for my squat (my first week I got 180x8, just this week I got 240x7) However, This program takes plenty of patience compared to others.

brihead301
04-22-2010, 05:16 PM
I agree with Bri, I like to train like a body builder and yet still get stronger using all the compound lifts. I am just about to complete cycle 7 on the program and plan to run it for at least a year. It works great for my squat (my first week I got 180x8, just this week I got 240x7) However, This program takes plenty of patience compared to others.

And that's what I think is the key to it's successfulness...as we've all heard many times before, strength is a marathon, not a sprint.

robchris
04-22-2010, 06:05 PM
Westside Rules!!!!!

Seriously, did 5-3-1 for a year before switching to WSB and it is a great progressive rountine... Provides a very good strength foundation!

joey54
04-22-2010, 06:06 PM
Keeps things simple. Remember guys, the last set doesn't have to be to "failure". Leave a rep or two in the tank.

mchicia1
04-23-2010, 02:35 PM
My progress on military press, deadlift, and squat is absolutely INSANE on this program compared to any other program I have done. I have tried texas method, madcow 5x5, starting strengh, and 30 lbs in 30 days for bench....This is hands down the best program I have done. The only thing that is not going up is my bench..I am one that needs to bench twice a week to see gains, so I am going to adjust the program to support that.

mchicia1
04-23-2010, 02:36 PM
Haha, I didn't know about CEILING and FLOOR functions when I made my 5/3/1 spreadsheet. I used ROUND instead.....I'm a huge vagina, I know.

Hahaha I round down as well.

Tim K
04-23-2010, 07:44 PM
I've been following the program for a little over a year. My gains have been sustainable and I've made decent progress. I've added 40 lbs to my deadlifts, 50 to my squats, and 30 to my bench and military press. During that time frame I lost time due to two separate injuries - bruises and a strained bicep tendon getting bucked off a horse and cracked ribs from doing something equally stupid. Farm life is dangerous! :D

It is a well thought out program that provides sustainable gains for the long haul. I'm a 43-year old amateur lifter looking to gain as much strength as possible to fight the aging process. For me, this program fits.

sayagain
04-23-2010, 09:26 PM
My progress on military press, deadlift, and squat is absolutely INSANE on this program compared to any other program I have done. I have tried texas method, madcow 5x5, starting strengh, and 30 lbs in 30 days for bench....This is hands down the best program I have done. The only thing that is not going up is my bench..I am one that needs to bench twice a week to see gains, so I am going to adjust the program to support that.

I had the same issue with my bench. Squat and deadlift are still making progress after 9 waves, but I had to switch my bench routine. What I do is use the 5/3/1 for squat and deadlift, but use Westside for my bench, which seems to work much better for me. I squat on Monday, ME bench on Wednesday, deadlift Friday, and DE bench on Sunday. This worked well for me for my last meet cycle and I plan to continue it for the foreseeable future.