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5/3/1 Beginners Progression, 5 Pounds Upper/10 Pounds Lower?


@antiquity good point


Good work.


I’m just completing a Wendler program called Coffinworm which has you using the same muscles two days in a row, twice per week, in a periodised fashion, at different intensities, and with proper recovery factored in. I have made significant strength gains on this program.

It’s not really once you get down to it, it’s all quite simple but with an abundance of options and terms to learn. His books are specifically about programming, so it’s inevitable that they will include templates and numbers. They are certainly not an instruction manual on how to perform the exercises.

Proper form is factored in though. Jim constantly places importance on proper technique and bar speed, ‘quality over quantity’. This is fundamental to his programs. He describes who each one is suitable for i.e. some are not suitable for beginners who are still asking for form checks etc. The 5/3/1 PR sets can be about improving bar speed, technique, and hitting a rep goal without sacrificing form - usually leaving a rep or two in the tank.

I would argue that ‘pushing yourself to failure’ is not more important than the numbers and contradicts a focus on good form and technique. For example, I certainly wouldn’t want to focus on pushing my Deadlifts to failure.

Jim’s a world-class Powerlifter who has successfully coached hundreds of people at various levels and ages so I’m not sure what you meant by this.

I would agree that many do this. Getting advice from the more experienced is great but 5/3/1 is quite clear in taking personal ownership of your decisions and repeatedly advises you to use your own experience, judgement, and common sense, when thinking through what to do.

Hope that makes sense. Peace.


@antiquity im also thinking of stopping working out entirely until i recover. i have no motivation or drive to go to the gym. even 3 days a week i also put a lot of stress in my body contantly thinking i need extra food to recover or i need extra sleep etc. im at a point were im just bleh and eat whatever my body wants and sleep whatever since ive been putting too much pressure on me. + full body stresses my body + extra stress from life


Try a different template? There’s plenty to be ran.

Are you recovering from something medical or just feel over trained? I’ve been in and out of the gym for 10 yrs. Be careful taking a bunch of time off when you’re not motivated. I have stopped training many times bc of that scenario. The longer you stay out of the gym, the easier it is to justify not going and just quitting eventually.

On the note above, if you’re not enjoying training, find out what motivates you. For example, I tried various things from home body weight training to dumbbells and machines at planet fitness. The only thing that I look forward to is heavy barbell training. So that’s what I do.

Staying in a routine helps me too. Getting up at a certain time, go to train at a certain time, eat at certain times, etc. For me it’s less stress having these things planned out. As far as diet Ive been trying to switch it up this week. Been adding peppers to my eggs, eating beef cuts I don’t eat etc. Have to keep it enjoyable and interesting.



thanks! as for now i enjoh 5/3/1 beginners im just not motivated :confused:


Jim Wendler says that discipline is way more useful than motivation. Motivation will only get you so far. Discipline is what gets you in the gym to train week after week, especially when you don’t want to.


So true.


question about 5/3/1 beginners and workouts. so this week i will only be able to go to the gym two days. now the program calls for 3 days. i tried thinking on how to solve this but i dont get it. if i cant make it to the third workout what am i suppost to do? should i not workout this week or do another program since i can only do two workouts this week?


Just go the 2 days and pick up where you left off next week


It’s one week. It doesn’t matter.


Do a different program.


Just commit and do it. My personal biggest weakness is when I start to lose my grip on organization, I start to say “fuck it” to everything. I’ve grown a lot to help reverse it, but I can tell you if I would have just committed to 90% of the things I said I was going to do in the past I’d be a lot stronger and have a lot more money.

Yes. Lift the damn weights those two days, and carry on the next week as scheduled.




@Riaero as someone who has been in your shoes multiplied by 100…I can safely say that if you want to train, you will train. If you don’t want to, you won’t. It’s your choice. Good luck.


This is exactly the time you need to start learning how to get your ass to the gym. Your life doesn’t one day magically become stress free and everything becomes perfect for your training hobby You also don’t wake up one day and suddenly you are able to deal with stress and issues outside of the gym. You need to practice this shit and make it start happening.

Get your ass in there, do the work. It will help with the shit outside the gym.


2019: The Year 5/3/1 Gets Labeled as Overcomplicated

For the kids, we only go up 5lbs on each lift/cycle; squat/bench/deadlift. We reset when the bar speed isn’t good. Of course, everyone is going to be a bit different in regards to bar speed but this is where you learn, make mistakes and then push forward. Since the first book, I have tried to drive home the principles of the program and hope people understand these and use them to help guide them.


I’ve heard it progresses too slowly as well. Just what I’ve read on forums, mind. God forbid I actually read the books.



hey jim! so if i missed the third workout of this week, should i do the third one next week or just continue with a new week (new cycle)? like the above post said


Don’t miss workouts; just make it up by training two days in a row.