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Thread: 5/3/1 for Powerlifters

  1. #1
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    5/3/1 for Powerlifters

    Hi all, does anyone have experience using the powerlifting variation that Wendler recommends? I've been doing 5/3/1, I enjoy the concept of reps but I want to train specifically for a powerlifting meet coming up and I feel I really need the heavy singles.

    In the book Wendler says the first and third weeks do the prescribed reps and then heavy singles. Should this just be done by working up to a 1 RM?
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  2. #2
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    No max.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member ironwill727's Avatar
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    The important thing is to get 2-3 singles in. I have seen some say 90% of true max on 3s and 95% on 1s week. I think that is a good rule of thumb so you get in heavy work and do not burn yourself out.

  4. #4
    Dr. Subtotal
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    In the ebook, he states to base the singles as a certain percentage of your proposed contest max, whereas your 5/3/1 sets are based on your training max. The key is to make sure that if you keep pushing up your training max, that you account for that realistically in proposed contest maxes.

    85% for example is a typical opener for a powerlifter, many people should be able to triple this on a bad day.
    That 85% may be different than the 85% number you use based on a training max.

    I auto regulate it. IMO, it's more important not to miss weights and to hit those singles to get that competition technique dialed in.
    Last edited by BloodandThunder; 07-26-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I would just do 2-3 singles using the same jumps as the main sets. For example, if you do:

    205x3
    225x3
    245x3

    I'd follow that with

    265x1
    285x1
    305x1

    Or something like that. The important thing is to work up and feel some heavy weight.

    When I used 5/3/1 I worked up to preset numbers I had in my head. I ended up hitting my opener about 3-4 weeks out, then just worked up to my last warm-up in the back room the next few weeks.

  6. #6
    You're Being Lied To JohnnyRingo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodandThunder View Post
    In the ebook, he states to base the singles as a certain percentage of your proposed contest max, whereas your 5/3/1 sets are based on your training max. The key is to make sure that if you keep pushing up your training max, that you account for that realistically in proposed contest maxes.

    85% for example is a typical opener for a powerlifter, many people should be able to triple this on a bad day.
    That 85% may be different than the 85% number you use based on a training max.

    I auto regulate it. IMO, it's more important not to miss weights and to hit those singles to get that competition technique dialed in.
    Weakest person on the forum, and my bench is higher than my squat.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontTakeEmOff31 View Post
    Hi all, does anyone have experience using the powerlifting variation that Wendler recommends? I've been doing 5/3/1, I enjoy the concept of reps but I want to train specifically for a powerlifting meet coming up and I feel I really need the heavy singles.

    In the book Wendler says the first and third weeks do the prescribed reps and then heavy singles. Should this just be done by working up to a 1 RM?
    When we used it we only added singles on the first week of each mini cycle. especially the last mini cycle heading into to the meet. But do it just as the book says and see what happens. then tweak from there if needed
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  8. #8
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Given me some good ideas on how to approach it. I agree about not missing these lifts at all.

    My biggest concern is working on and getting used to competition bench, im thinking of repeating whatever weight my last set was
    with a pause and then work up from there for 2-3 more, as in

    210x3
    240x3
    270x3
    270x1 pause
    290x1 pause
    300x1 pause
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  9. #9
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Take a look at my training log over the past 6 months or so on here. It may give you some ideas on how to structure things.


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