T Nation

5/3/1 for a Non-Competitive Powerlifter


Dear Mr Wendler:

Could the 5/3/1 for a Non Competitive Powerlifter be run on an A/B/A B/A/B type schedule 3 days a week?

Workout A:
Squat 3/5/1(deload)
Bench 3/5/1(deload)

Workout B:
Deadlifts 3/5/1(deload)
Press 3/5/1(deload)

I plan on following the guidelines outlined in the 5/3/1 for Powerlifting

Plus Agile 8 before lifts paired with some jump rope to get the blood flowing.

Some alactic conditioning paired with chins/dips/abs following each sessions.

My main goal is get better at the four lifts above.

Thank you in advance.


You can - we program things differently now for long term progress which takes into account many different things; It’s really easy because (as you know), you can do everything, every single day and expect good things to happen.

So as an example:

Leader (2 cycles) - two lifts BBB, two lifts 5x5 FSL - adjust assistance, conditioning, jumps
Anchor (1 cycle) - all lifts PR/3x5 FSL, adjust - adjust assistance, conditioning, jumps

What’s great about this is now you can twist the shit around to get stronger, faster and bigger every cycle and not shit the bed with Trends and Kid Programmers.


Thank you Mr Wendler for the program advise.

I read an earlier post with a similar leader/anchor program as you mentioned.

I was thinking:

Leader for 2 cycles
5 PRO’s FSL 5x5(maybe 3x5 because of some time restrictions)
assistance(mostly pulling), conditioning(paired with chins/dips/abs), jumps(paired with jump rope)

Anchor for one cycle
3/5/1 + Single™ + FSL 3x5
assistance(mostly pulling), conditioning(paired with chins/dips/abs), jumps(paired with jump rope)

again, using the a/b/a b/a/b schedule.

I hope I “got it” too…


You got it - always remember this too: when doing an A/B/A/B style programming, there is a lot of compromise. This can be in any area:

Main Lift

So for example, you can’t do the same amount of stuff on ONE day that many do in TWO. So keep that in mind. This gets amplified by either training age OR biological age.


Thanks! And I’ll keep track of the lift to watch for regression.