T Nation

12 Week Meet Prep

Just want to post my upcoming meet cycle using 5/3/1 on here to discuss and get some feedback. I actually have a meet in a week and a half that I’m all set and ready for, but I like to plan ahead so I wrote out my next cycle as well. I’d have 13 weeks between meets so that gives me a full week off before I jump in here. It’s 12 weeks, broken into 3 5/3/1 blocks. 5/3/1 sets will follow 3/5/1 ordering as in 5/3/1 for Powerlifting.

Block I
Press - 5/3/1 Sets
Neutral Grip DB Bench 5 x 10
Lat Pulldowns 5 x 10
Cable Rows 3 x 15
Rear Laterals 3 x 25
Conditioning : 20 min walk

Deadlift - 5/3/1 Sets
SSB Squat 5 x 10
Pull Throughs 4 x 20
Leg Curls 4 x 20
Abs (rotation of various movements)
Conditioning: Box Jumps

Bench - 5/3/1 Sets
CG Bench 5 x 10
Chest - Supported Rows 5 x 10
Skull Crushers 4 x 12
Face Pulls 3 x 20
Conditioning : 20 min walk

Squat - 5/3/1 Sets
Stiff-leg deadlifts 5 x 10
Leg Press 3 x 15
Back Raise 3 x 12
Conditioning: Box Jumps

All 5/3/1 sets during phase I are to be done with traditional AMRAP protocol on last set. Box jumps are used for dynamic work. Various ab exercises will be rotated. Week 4 is a normal deload.

Phase II
Press - 5/3/1 sets (prescribed reps ONLY)
Illegal Wides 3 x 10
Pullups 3 x 10
DB Rows 3 x 12
Rear Laterals 3 x 25

Deadlift - 5/3/1 sets
GHR 3 x 10
DB Stiff leg deads 3 x 15
Leg Curls 3 x 20

Bench - 5/3/1 sets
Incline DB Press 3 x 10
Face Pulls 3 x 20
DB Rollbacks 3 x 12
Band Pressdown 3 x 25

Squat - 5/3/1 sets
Good Morning 3 x 10
Step Ups 3 x 10 each leg
Leg Extensions 3 x 15

During week 1 of this phase (8 weeks out) I work up to an opener and projected 2nd attempt after 5/3/1 sets. These are 85% and 92.5% of meet goal. Week 2 is for the top set of 5 ONLY. Week 3 I hit an opener again then a PR attempt at ~95%. This would be 6 weeks out and give me a final assessment for where I am at and attempt selection. Conditioning is pulled during this phase and assistance work volume is cut down. Week 4 is a normal deload.

Phase III
Press - 5/3/1 sets - prescribed reps only
Push Ups 3 x max reps
Band Pull Aparts 3 x 30
Hammer curls 3 x 10

Deadlift - 5/3/1 sets
Band Good Mornings 3 x 25
Leg curls 3 x 15

Bench - 5/3/1 sets
Tate Press 3 x 15
Band pressdowns 3 x 25
Band face pulls 3 x 25

Squat - 5/3/1 sets
Walking lunges 3 x 10 per leg
Band Hip Abduction 3 x 30

Week 1- 4 weeks out - top set of 5/3/1 is AMRAP
Week 2 - top set of 5 reps ONLY
Week 3- Prescribed 5/3/1 reps ONLY then hit opener
Week 4 is a complete deload as the last week before the meet. Most of my assistance here is band work for blood flow. I’m not totally sold on how I taper the assistance work in this phase so feedback welcome. Feedback is welcome in general from Jim and anyone. Thanks for reading!

I only do chins/rows - some core.

I’m a little iffy to pull off the assistance work so dramatically since I usually push it right up to 2 weeks out. I think it’ll do good to keep me fresh though especially if my elbows/shoulders are feeling beat up.

Looking this over again I’m afraid it might be a little light on tricep work. Thoughts anyone?

I don’t really like this. There’s a lot going on, but not a ton of work devoted to the actual lifts.

For instance, do you really need to do stifflegs, pull-throughs and back raises in the same week? There’s a lot of other junk volume in there too. Are the leg extensions, leg curls and db stiff legs really a better training investment than a couple extra sets of squats or pulls with FSL?

I just don’t see the logic of what you’ve got here. But you’re lifting weights, you’re doing the powerlifts, and the loads get heavier over the course of the cycle, so it should work to some degree I guess.

The competition lifts are all trained with the 5/3/1 sets plus heavy singles starting 8 weeks out. I used a ton of hamstring volume leading up to my current meet with good results so far

Have you got jims pl book he explains in great detail how to set up for a meet though i dont know how he would do things now maybe he could chime in? Personally i think you should cut back on alot of assistance and just do chins/rows/ghr/core and thats it, jumps/throws before each main lift, hit the main lifts hard with 5 pro/pr set/fsl work and condition easy 20-30 min of airdyne or walking.

Yes I’ve read “for Powerlifting” thats where I’ve gotten the protocol for when to take heavy singles … The structure of the assistance work is taken from the Strength Challenge in Beyond 5/3/1 : a push and a pull on upper days plus some added work for tri’s and upper back; a multi-joint movement on lower days plus something for hams or quads and ab work. Conditioning is purposefully light as 1) strength is the goal and 2) at a shade under 250 i’ve gotta be wary of really pounding the pavement

Boss, you’ve defended your program from a few different angles of criticism, which means

  1. you believe in it, which is good, and
  2. you weren’t really looking for advice, but for validation, not as good

Run with what you’ve got, it’s not the most ludicrous program I’ve ever seen. Keep records and adjust your next meet cycle based on what you learn.

I think you’ve done a really solid job. I can “see” your plan perfectly.

I really like the use of SST early. Build your strength and muscles with PR sets, non-contest lifts, and “tough” assistance moves.

Then, as you move forward, you get more focus towards a PL meet. Awesome.

I like how the tricep moves go from skull crushers, which are notorious for stressing/killing your elbows, to rolling tris, which take some stress off, to band pushdowns, which are “safe.”

During Phase II, you could use the 5’s Progression, which caps all sets at 5, and then First Set Last, to get in a little extra practice and work with the competition lifts. I see that you are still using non-competition lifts (illegal wides/good mornings) for instead. You know better than me what works for you. I like a little variety, and honestly, great lifters have done it your way too.

Either way, I like how you added a couple planned, not crazy singles during this stage. Good practice. Maybe that explains why you are still doing the non-comp lifts.

Personally, I do jumps during the “warm up” part of each workout, and walk my dogs or do other stuff outside of the gym for “conditioning” but that is a no big deal. I really like most of what you have planned.

How are you feeling going in to this coming meet?

Was your prep for this meet like what you have outlined above?

@Ramo you partially got me there, of course I’m going to justify what I’ve put together but yes I am looking for criticism as well. I appreciate you answering so excuse me for being skeptical of anyone on this forum who isn’t Jim! No offense :slight_smile:

@FlatsFarmer i actually worked with an online coach to prep for my current meet. He had me run a conjugate style program and I feel great. The only reason I’m not using him again is the financial commitment. With his conjugate programming I was rotating various assistant lifts in and out week to week so i had much more variety. I would definitely use that style again I was just more comfortable using 5/3/1, which I find a bit simpler, when writing my own program.

2 cycles - do the supplemental work that best drives each lift. Main lift is usually done for 5’s PRO or work up to TM x 3-5 reps. Assistance is usually around 25-50 total reps per category. Supplemental work can also be done with different lifts.

1-2 cycles - supplemental work is limited, main lifts are pushed and assistance is raised slightly and often different movements.

Easy conditioning throughout.

Thanks for the response @Jim_Wendler. Just to follow up: my first two blocks above would use 5’s progression for my main lifts and I will trim down all accessory movements that exceed 50 total reps. When you say different supplemental lifts can be used do you mean week-to-week they can change? IE stiff-leg deads one week and deficit deads the next? Also, are you suggesting I not hit openers / test maxes until my third block (2-4 weeks out?) Just wanted to clarify.