PDA

View Full Version : Wendler's 5 3 1



shutUpAndSquat
11-10-2009, 07:09 AM
reading wbb forums i discovered the wendler's method. :ninja:
It looks like a lot of people at different levels is getting good results from it.
The method is quite straightforward, what i don't understand is if this is actually an advanced template.

I think 5 3 1 is definitely for an advanced athlete (or early-advanced) since:
- you train every 10 days
- you play with percentuals
- you are not supposed to add weight week by week (like an intermediate), instead you plan your training for a longer period of time (4 weeks, like an advanced)

My confusion derives from the fact, that i read comments (here and on other forums) by people of different levels (even below intermediate level), and they all seem to benefit so much from this method.

I don't have the book, probably i'll buy it soon, the question i'm trying to aswer is: when are you supposed to try such a method? I consider myself an intermediate and i think i currently can benefit more from programs like the texas method or bill starr. But again, i see many people at my level claiming 5 3 1 is working great.

I'm planning to try 5 3 1 as soon as i can't progress with the texas method, but i wouldn't like to follow an advanced program if i still can train like an intermediate.

getting there
11-10-2009, 07:27 AM
I am not sure if it is an advanced method per se, I just think it is another way to train. The basic premise of his program is that you are striving to set rep PR's in the 4 main lifts, i.e. bench, squat, dead, and OH press each week. It is more for the unequiped lifter but I believe others have modified it to fit into training with gear.

I suggest buying the book. It has an excellent Q&A section that can answer almost any question you have regarding 5/3/1 and if that does not help you can always ask Jim yourself on the elite website.

WillKuenzel
11-10-2009, 08:07 AM
Buy the book. It's worth the read. I've seen people from beginner to advanced see results with it. Give it at least 6 months. We ran it for 8 months and I saw all my raw lifts go up.

shutUpAndSquat
11-10-2009, 09:11 AM
do you think i should buy "training three days a week" or the monography (http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&pid=2976)?

ScottYard
11-10-2009, 09:36 AM
In training 99% of the time simplicity is the best route. Something doesnt have to advanced for it to work. If that was the case My simple ass wouldnt be able to get out of bed by myself lol.

Give it a shot.

thewicked
11-10-2009, 09:44 AM
love 531 no matter what your level of experience is....


once you learn how to properly perform each base exercise or fix any muscular development problems that prevent you from doing so are cured....you're golden.

It's Simple, it's solid, and it's DAMN effective!!! Just make educated choices on the accessory movements and go from there! Too many people do too much work. To get started, I'd just do the main lifts until you've built a solid base and go from there. i did this on my bench and have since gained 50lbs or more on it pending a retest along with hitting all-time PR's constantly! Definately worht the purchase!

shutUpAndSquat
11-10-2009, 10:00 AM
love 531 no matter what your level of experience is....


once you learn how to properly perform each base exercise or fix any muscular development problems that prevent you from doing so are cured....you're golden.

It's Simple, it's solid, and it's DAMN effective!!! Just make educated choices on the accessory movements and go from there! Too many people do too much work. To get started, I'd just do the main lifts until you've built a solid base and go from there. i did this on my bench and have since gained 50lbs or more on it pending a retest along with hitting all-time PR's constantly! Definately worht the purchase!

ok! i'll try it as soon as i stop having progress with the texas method!
My only concern was to avoid doing something too advanced.

vdizenzo
11-10-2009, 10:04 AM
Most people who don't buy the book do it wrong. A lot of people who buy it do it wrong also.

thewicked
11-10-2009, 11:01 AM
Most people who don't buy the book do it wrong. A lot of people who buy it do it wrong also.


heard that..

i mean how many years did it take you to master the bench press for example? Alot of trial and error. Learning is a series of mistakes. Maximizing one's potential takes a lifetime of patience and tenacity.

and plenty of results! :D

What's right and wrong is per individual basis adn what was right last month(s) ago isn't necessarily right at the moment. The body is just as dynamic in its change as the workouts.

531 can constantly be adapted to force a change and get solid results...

Don't need the book but if you're looking for more info and wendler's thoughts, etc. it's worth the purchase if only to get the ideas and views of one of the greats.

huskybear
11-10-2009, 11:23 AM
Don't need the book but if you're looking for more info and wendler's thoughts, etc. it's worth the purchase if only to get the ideas and views of one of the greats.


Most people who don't buy the book do it wrong. A lot of people who buy it do it wrong also.

2 great points here...


I think the book was by far the best investment for me... I read all I could about the 5/3/1, started a program and was doing well - to a point, but then the wheels came off - since I got the book and read it a couple of times, my program has come together and I feel better about my training... and progress seems to be coming back again... I figured out what I was doing wrong and was able to fix it based on the book and some more intelligent question here...

I think I'm an intermediate lifter, and I think what makes the program work for advanced lifters is they have a better understanding of their training and know what accessories to employ and how... while still have a great plan in place with the mandatory deload for the main lifts

If I'm not mistaken, Wendler used this program with a beginner maybe intermediate lifter with great results, and if you look at a lot of logs here - I'm thinking Vin's log - you'll see how an advanced lifter incorporated it with success also.

My 0.02... no refunds :evillaugh:

douglasoh5
11-10-2009, 11:41 AM
the program work..end of story for anyone...i do it and im a geared lifter...I dont do the deadlift because my deadlift keeps going up just doing overload exercises and i do high boards instead of ohp...I use the same percentages on them...and for squats Iv got it to where i do 2x2 on most sets....Jim set it up this way for me and everything is going up and fast....I train with the asssshole and he helped me make the changes because i dont like reps on squat and hate ohp....if anyone wants i can help them with the geared 531 thing...really easy

shutUpAndSquat
11-10-2009, 12:02 PM
i think i'll support powerlifting and buy the book

brihead301
11-10-2009, 12:18 PM
I'm an intermediate too going by the standards of:

novice: can progress every workout
intermediate: can progress weekly
advanced: can progress monthly at best

But I don't like progressing weekly. It's too agressive for me. I find that when I progress slower, I injure myself less. 5/3/1 moves at a perfect speed for me.

Aside from that, I look at it like a "powerbuilding" program. The main lifts, which the percentages are based off, go up each month. You increase your 5, 3, and 1 RM for each lift, and therefore get stronger in the lower rep ranges. Aside from that, you have the "all out rep max set" as the last set of the main lift for the day.....Then you have your assistance lifts, which are typically done in the "hypertrophy range" and with higher volumes (aka bodybuilding).

The program builds strength (but not too agressively so that you get injured), promotes hypertrophy from doing higher reps/volume, and the way I do things it even helps with my conditioning because I keep rest times short and I superset everything for my assistance work.

joelhall
11-10-2009, 12:31 PM
ive heard great things about this too. i lift raw - or at least attempt to - and ive tried this for deads (only for three months) and it worked very well (and i did put 30lbs on my dl doing it). going to start it properly in january once were settled in the new house, and ive got my bench technique down again (seriously i hate bench :(). im going to buy the e-book however, because, despite many write ups all over the net, a lot of them are conflicting with the %s used, and id rather get it done properly for bench (lets face facts, my bench is *****) and read wendlers thoughts on training. only thing ive ever read from jim is an interview but he seems to spout some good stuff.

definitely helped on the deads though, cant wait to get going on it 'full-time'.

p.s. shutupandsquat - dont really think it matters which book you buy as its pretty simple to understand, even from some of the write ups out on the net.

LuNa
11-10-2009, 02:44 PM
Jim Wendler himself states in the book that he has seen great results with beginners and more advanced athletes. I like the program for the same reasons as Brihead.

Maybe it would be interesting, seeing many of us are doing 5/3/1, to have a topic with experiences and the mistakes people made. Im still on my first cycle, but it would be nice to hear some experiences to maybe optimize my own training.

shutUpAndSquat
11-10-2009, 02:53 PM
But I don't like progressing weekly. It's too agressive for me. I find that when I progress slower, I injure myself less. 5/3/1 moves at a perfect speed for me.


This is very interesting. I didn't consider this aspect. Every time i read this forum i learn something new!! :)

byronsru24
11-10-2009, 03:02 PM
I'm finishing up my 7th wave of the 5-3-1, and trust me...it works. Like Baggins and others have said you need to tweak it to suit your needs, but it keeps things simple, and its pretty hard to screw up. Slow and steady progress, which in the long term leads to big gains.

Off Road
11-10-2009, 03:05 PM
I'll probably get flamed hard for this, but I'm wearing my flame proof underwear, so fire away...

I do the 5/3/1 a little differently. Here's how I set up the weeks:

5's week= I only do the required reps and stay far away from failure. I hit one accessory lift very hard.

3's week= I do the required reps and a few extras, but still a couple of reps short of failure. Accessory lifts are kept at a medium intensity.

1's week= I do as many reps as I can until failure. Accessory lifts are kept fairly easy.

Deload week= Reduced intensity on the main lifts and reduced volume on the accessory lifts.

shutUpAndSquat
11-10-2009, 03:16 PM
I'll probably get flamed hard for this, but I'm wearing my flame proof underwear, so fire away...

I do the 5/3/1 a little differently. Here's how I set up the weeks:

5's week= I only do the required reps and stay far away from failure. I hit one accessory lift very hard.

3's week= I do the required reps and a few extras, but still a couple of reps short of failure. Accessory lifts are kept at a medium intensity.

1's week= I do as many reps as I can until failure. Accessory lifts are kept fairly easy.

Deload week= Reduced intensity on the main lifts and reduced volume on the accessory lifts.

As far as my understanding of the method goes your approach seems reasonable. (if i wrote this sentence with no mistakes please clap me). Did you find that doing more reps than prescribed every week (wendler says hitting more reps should be one of the goals) won't work for you? I'm curious to know more about your decision.

tomv
11-10-2009, 04:02 PM
As far as my understanding of the method goes your approach seems reasonable. (if i wrote this sentence with no mistakes please clap me). Did you find that doing more reps than prescribed every week (wendler says hitting more reps should be one of the goals) won't work for you? I'm curious to know more about your decision.

Haha yeah mate, that sentence makes perfect sense. Good work :clap:

joelhall
11-10-2009, 04:12 PM
Deload week= Reduced intensity on the main lifts and reduced volume on the accessory lifts.

out of curiosity, on deload week what percentage do you use on the main lifts and do you stick to 3x5 or vary reps?

MPB
11-10-2009, 04:14 PM
I'm seeing pretty good results for Military Press and Squat. I've injured my back about 8 months ago and I'm using 5/3/1 for DL to work myself up very slowly. I still haven't pulled anywhere near my max so I really can't comment on it.

My bench however has gone down somewhat. I even took 80~85% of my 1RM for all of my lifts to make sure I make slow and steady progress. I followed 100%, everything Wendler said but I just don't think 5/3/1 is the right program for my bench.

Off Road
11-10-2009, 04:14 PM
As far as my understanding of the method goes your approach seems reasonable. (if i wrote this sentence with no mistakes please clap me). Did you find that doing more reps than prescribed every week (wendler says hitting more reps should be one of the goals) won't work for you? I'm curious to know more about your decision.

:clap:Good sentence.

I was stalling too quickly (3rd cycle) and some of my lifts were getting weaker. I knew I started well within myself, so lowering the weights was not an option. I know that I don't handle a lot of intensity very well, so I searched the internet for a solution. A guy that goes by the name of Sandblaster on Iron Addict's website suggested this format. So far it has worked very well and all my lifts started progressing again without having to lower the weight.

Off Road
11-10-2009, 04:20 PM
out of curiosity, on deload week what percentage do you use on the main lifts and do you stick to 3x5 or vary reps?

I use the perscribed percentages from the book...40%, 50%, 60% and 3x5.

byronsru24
11-10-2009, 04:31 PM
I'll probably get flamed hard for this, but I'm wearing my flame proof underwear, so fire away...

I do the 5/3/1 a little differently. Here's how I set up the weeks:

5's week= I only do the required reps and stay far away from failure. I hit one accessory lift very hard.

3's week= I do the required reps and a few extras, but still a couple of reps short of failure. Accessory lifts are kept at a medium intensity.

1's week= I do as many reps as I can until failure. Accessory lifts are kept fairly easy.

Deload week= Reduced intensity on the main lifts and reduced volume on the accessory lifts.

I do almost the exact same thing, only I never go to failure on the 1's week. Doing just the prescribed reps on the 5's week is nice, because I still get my work in, but its not a workout that I need to get mentally fired up to finish.

As far as accessory work, thats based on how I feel. Yesterday I was pushed for time and hit a nice squat PR, so I just ended the workout on a good note.

joelhall
11-10-2009, 06:24 PM
I use the perscribed percentages from the book...40%, 50%, 60% and 3x5.

cheers just wondered. heard a few people who change things round on the 4th week using starting at 60% for their deload sets. guessing they just cant get past that pride feeling and try to push it.

Cmanuel
11-10-2009, 06:33 PM
BUY THE BOOK!!!

I did the 5-3-1 for 3 waves (12 weeks before testing maxes)
Deadlift went from a hard 515 to a relatively easy 535 and almost got 550
Squat is at a solid 405 vs. a struggle with 385 (probably higher than 405 now)
Havent tested bench.


What i like about it:
1. Its simple
2. Its easy to set up.
3. Its easy to keep motivated with rep PRs

jbrin0tk
11-10-2009, 06:39 PM
I did the program for ~6 months and I loved it. It worked really well for me in terms of my bench and deadlift, and as was stated before, the rep PR's kept things interesting. I went from a 475lbs. deadlift to 530lbs. I went from a 315lbs. bench to 340, all lifts raw. I moved weights for reps that I never dreamed possible at that point in time. My squat didn't do so well. I don't really know why, but I have some ideas and have been working on some things. Definitely buy the book. It's not that expensive.

MPB
11-11-2009, 12:08 AM
cheers just wondered. heard a few people who change things round on the 4th week using starting at 60% for their deload sets. guessing they just cant get past that pride feeling and try to push it.

"Training Three Days a Week" is the book where I believe 5/3/1 is first mentioned. If you read it, Wendler says to use 60% 65% and 70% for 5 reps on deloading days. 5/3/1 manual is written a little differently, so people who use 60~70 percentages are probably following 5/3/1 based on "Traning Three Days a Week". I don't think it has to do with personal ego, it's just they haven't read the second book.

joelhall
11-11-2009, 05:24 AM
"Training Three Days a Week" is the book where I believe 5/3/1 is first mentioned. If you read it, Wendler says to use 60% 65% and 70% for 5 reps on deloading days. 5/3/1 manual is written a little differently, so people who use 60~70 percentages are probably following 5/3/1 based on "Traning Three Days a Week". I don't think it has to do with personal ego, it's just they haven't read the second book.

ah i see. ive not read either so didnt realise it was written differently. is there much difference shown in the results using either does anyone know?

Off Road
11-11-2009, 07:43 AM
ah i see. ive not read either so didnt realise it was written differently. is there much difference shown in the results using either does anyone know?
It's a deload, so I don't think it matters that much as long as you are decreasing intensity, volume, or both.