T Nation

5/3/1 Log and Comments

Have just started 5/3/1 after getting it reccomended by some good friends, i bought the 2nd edition of the book and using a very handy online calculator have all my prescribed weights.

My 1rm’s were: Bench-115kg, squat-160kg, dead-180kg and OH-80kg. Not the biggest numbers on this site but i’m still young and hopefully this program will help me progress as it has for others.

I’m a semi professional rugby player (level 4 in England) so assistance exercises are being supplemented by dynamic and conditioning work (sleds, prowler, sprints, jumps, plyos and olympic movements) as well as specific rugby related training (currently 3-4 sessions a week).

I will update my progressions and any experiences, and advice from more experienced lifters would be greatly appreciated.

Sweet, another rugby player. I play in college (university) here in the states. I also use 5/3/1. Are you going to be logging here or in the training logs tab?

I also have a log here “college rugby training”

I was just going to log on here as another place for me to keep a track of my progress but ill have a look for the specific training logs.

I’ve been on all sorts of different programs from different clubs i’ve been a part of and at university and had varied results, i’m looking forward to seeing what 5/3/1 can produce.

What school are you at Chris?

Is that a strict overhead press or a push press? I’m curious cuz that weight is like a pretty high percentage of your bench. I really wish my OH press was that good relative to my bench press.

Its a push press, i haven’t been able to strict press much since a string of shoulder injuries. When i do the OH press workouts i strict press until i fail and then move onto a push press, hoping that after some time i wont have the need for the push press

[quote]benowen7 wrote:
I was just going to log on here as another place for me to keep a track of my progress but ill have a look for the specific training logs.

I’ve been on all sorts of different programs from different clubs i’ve been a part of and at university and had varied results, i’m looking forward to seeing what 5/3/1 can produce.

What school are you at Chris?[/quote]

The University of South Carolina

@Chris87 Whats collegiate rugby like in the states? my knowledge of rugby in the USA is pretty appalling tbh

[quote]benowen7 wrote:
@Chris87 Whats collegiate rugby like in the states? my knowledge of rugby in the USA is pretty appalling tbh [/quote]

It’s pretty well organized and popular. Just about any college with a significant enrollement has a team.

There’s 4 divisions:

1A- about 30 teams, this is a new division, only 2 or 3 years old. They took all the national powers and put them together to make a preimer dvision, as well as allowing the 1AA division to be more competitive, since these teams were generally winning all of their conferences. It is yet to be seen if this division will remain long term, because of the travel costs that these teams have. Most of them are the only team in the division in their state. One team (university of california) left the division this year, to go back to 1AA, so they could keep playing all their traditional rivals. (cal has won 22 national titles in 25 years, they are the flagship of college rugby, so their move may cause others to move out of the division as well)

1AA- 110 teams. All the major universities in the country. This is the division I play in. Most of the conferences have the same teams as the NCAA conferences. Teams started to do this on their own, since they play these teams in all other sports, have rivalries, teams are nearby, etc. USA rugby also encouraged this move, to give more visability to the sport.

Division 2 and 3- smaller colleges, a hundred teams or so each. These conferences are generally determined geographically, since these teams have less money for travel expenses. There are a lot of teams in these divisions that take the game very seriously though, especially because they usually have less stellar athletic programs (less focus on football, so they can get more athletes)

Every year there are national playoffs. Teams that win a conference with 7 or more teams get an automatic bid, and the rest are at large teams. 16 team brackets.

There are only a couple schools in the country that give out scholarships for rugby, and most of those are private scholarships, a couple thousand dollars for some of the players, or they offer in state tuition to out of state students who play on the rugby team. There’s only 1 or 2 teams that offer traditional athletic scholarships for rugby players. These teams arent usually very known schools who don’t have a football team, or very much money, since fielding a rugby team is much, much cheaper than fielding a football team.

There’s about 90,000 or so rugby players in the US, and about half of them are playing in college. A lot of people play, but they’re arent big crowds, except for the really good teams, like Cal. I think the problem is that many people don’t know of rugby, or all they know is “of that’s football without pads”. I think most of this problem is that rugby is not an NCAA sport (the governing body for college sports in the US). It is overseen by USA rugby, and I think this is holding schools back from financing the teams. This is unfortunate, because I think that if the schools financed the teams, they could draw big crowds. People will like the game, they just need to get out there and see it.

As far as playing it personally, it’s great. I love it. I’ve played high school football in the south. We weren’t even a good team, and we still drew 5-6 thousand people per game. But I enjoy rugby much more. In football, I would practice 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, only to get 10 mins of action in a game. In rugby, I get a full 80 mins of action, plus anyone can score, that’s awesome.

We have to pay dues to play, it’s about 300 bucks a year, and provide our own cleats, mouthpiece, etc. For games in state, we all carpool. For out of state games, the school gives us vans, the club pays for gas and hotels if need be. The school provides a (beautiful) pitch, but we have to share with other student activites (flag football, soccer, etc.)

I love the sport, I just hope in the future we are given the same respect that other student athletes are given. I see kids that run track or compete in swimming and diving that have indoor practice facilities, free team gear, high visibility, etc. And noone even knows about rugby, even though we finished the fall season ranked in the top ten nationally last year. All I can do is keep spreading the word and working hard to keep winning. When we win the national championship, it’ll be impossible to ignore us.

If you have any more questions, feel free.

[quote]benowen7 wrote:
@Chris87 Whats collegiate rugby like in the states? my knowledge of rugby in the USA is pretty appalling tbh [/quote]

I’d be interested in what the game is like over there as well

[quote]Chris87 wrote:

[quote]benowen7 wrote:
@Chris87 Whats collegiate rugby like in the states? my knowledge of rugby in the USA is pretty appalling tbh [/quote]

It’s pretty well organized and popular. Just about any college with a significant enrollement has a team.

There’s 4 divisions:

1A- about 30 teams, this is a new division, only 2 or 3 years old. They took all the national powers and put them together to make a preimer dvision, as well as allowing the 1AA division to be more competitive, since these teams were generally winning all of their conferences. It is yet to be seen if this division will remain long term, because of the travel costs that these teams have. Most of them are the only team in the division in their state. One team (university of california) left the division this year, to go back to 1AA, so they could keep playing all their traditional rivals. (cal has won 22 national titles in 25 years, they are the flagship of college rugby, so their move may cause others to move out of the division as well)

1AA- 110 teams. All the major universities in the country. This is the division I play in. Most of the conferences have the same teams as the NCAA conferences. Teams started to do this on their own, since they play these teams in all other sports, have rivalries, teams are nearby, etc. USA rugby also encouraged this move, to give more visability to the sport.

Division 2 and 3- smaller colleges, a hundred teams or so each. These conferences are generally determined geographically, since these teams have less money for travel expenses. There are a lot of teams in these divisions that take the game very seriously though, especially because they usually have less stellar athletic programs (less focus on football, so they can get more athletes)

Every year there are national playoffs. Teams that win a conference with 7 or more teams get an automatic bid, and the rest are at large teams. 16 team brackets.

There are only a couple schools in the country that give out scholarships for rugby, and most of those are private scholarships, a couple thousand dollars for some of the players, or they offer in state tuition to out of state students who play on the rugby team. There’s only 1 or 2 teams that offer traditional athletic scholarships for rugby players. These teams arent usually very known schools who don’t have a football team, or very much money, since fielding a rugby team is much, much cheaper than fielding a football team.

There’s about 90,000 or so rugby players in the US, and about half of them are playing in college. A lot of people play, but they’re arent big crowds, except for the really good teams, like Cal. I think the problem is that many people don’t know of rugby, or all they know is “of that’s football without pads”. I think most of this problem is that rugby is not an NCAA sport (the governing body for college sports in the US). It is overseen by USA rugby, and I think this is holding schools back from financing the teams. This is unfortunate, because I think that if the schools financed the teams, they could draw big crowds. People will like the game, they just need to get out there and see it.

As far as playing it personally, it’s great. I love it. I’ve played high school football in the south. We weren’t even a good team, and we still drew 5-6 thousand people per game. But I enjoy rugby much more. In football, I would practice 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, only to get 10 mins of action in a game. In rugby, I get a full 80 mins of action, plus anyone can score, that’s awesome.

We have to pay dues to play, it’s about 300 bucks a year, and provide our own cleats, mouthpiece, etc. For games in state, we all carpool. For out of state games, the school gives us vans, the club pays for gas and hotels if need be. The school provides a (beautiful) pitch, but we have to share with other student activites (flag football, soccer, etc.)

I love the sport, I just hope in the future we are given the same respect that other student athletes are given. I see kids that run track or compete in swimming and diving that have indoor practice facilities, free team gear, high visibility, etc. And noone even knows about rugby, even though we finished the fall season ranked in the top ten nationally last year. All I can do is keep spreading the word and working hard to keep winning. When we win the national championship, it’ll be impossible to ignore us.

If you have any more questions, feel free.[/quote]

Props for being a D1 athlete, all the time and sacrifices needed to be successful is something very few people can/could do

The contrast between the 2 countries is amazing chris. i’ve just finished my 3 years as an undergraduate at swansea university. university rugby in the UK is governed by BUCS (british univeristy and college sport) and they run divisions all the way down. University sport in this country is nothing like the USA. Swansea is one of the top universities in the country playing in the southern premiership, we had to provide everything apart from the playing shirts, but we did get transport but the longest bus journey was 4 hours.

However the bread and butter of my rugby comes from playing for a non university side, we play in the 4th tier of english rugby (premiership, championship, national 1, national 2north and national 2south), the rugby out of university is far more competitive and the side i play for is fully semi professional and a lot of players have aspirations to climb the ladder and get to the higher leagues.

Its easy to understand why you love the game so much, i think everyone that plays all over the world shares the same feelings for the game, I’m welsh as well so it’s kind of in my blood. I really hope rugby gathers the level of interest it deserves in the states

[quote]benowen7 wrote:
The contrast between the 2 countries is amazing chris. i’ve just finished my 3 years as an undergraduate at swansea university. university rugby in the UK is governed by BUCS (british univeristy and college sport) and they run divisions all the way down. University sport in this country is nothing like the USA. Swansea is one of the top universities in the country playing in the southern premiership, we had to provide everything apart from the playing shirts, but we did get transport but the longest bus journey was 4 hours.

However the bread and butter of my rugby comes from playing for a non university side, we play in the 4th tier of english rugby (premiership, championship, national 1, national 2north and national 2south), the rugby out of university is far more competitive and the side i play for is fully semi professional and a lot of players have aspirations to climb the ladder and get to the higher leagues.

Its easy to understand why you love the game so much, i think everyone that plays all over the world shares the same feelings for the game, I’m welsh as well so it’s kind of in my blood. I really hope rugby gathers the level of interest it deserves in the states [/quote]

Wow that is quite different. We have club teams here too, and every city with a decent population has a team. There’s 3 divisions and a lot of teams, but it’s not as popular as the college game. We do have “super league” which is 12 club teams from all across the country. They are called semi pro but I don’t believe they are paid (IDK what makes them semi pro if they get no money). All the teams are from big cities (new york, boston, san fransisco, chicago, etc) and they are big time. For example, one of the teams from new york has 4 players on the national team and like 5 or 6 players that play professionally overseas.

[quote]chobbs wrote:

[quote]Chris87 wrote:

[quote]benowen7 wrote:
@Chris87 Whats collegiate rugby like in the states? my knowledge of rugby in the USA is pretty appalling tbh [/quote]

It’s pretty well organized and popular. Just about any college with a significant enrollement has a team.

There’s 4 divisions:

1A- about 30 teams, this is a new division, only 2 or 3 years old. They took all the national powers and put them together to make a preimer dvision, as well as allowing the 1AA division to be more competitive, since these teams were generally winning all of their conferences. It is yet to be seen if this division will remain long term, because of the travel costs that these teams have. Most of them are the only team in the division in their state. One team (university of california) left the division this year, to go back to 1AA, so they could keep playing all their traditional rivals. (cal has won 22 national titles in 25 years, they are the flagship of college rugby, so their move may cause others to move out of the division as well)

1AA- 110 teams. All the major universities in the country. This is the division I play in. Most of the conferences have the same teams as the NCAA conferences. Teams started to do this on their own, since they play these teams in all other sports, have rivalries, teams are nearby, etc. USA rugby also encouraged this move, to give more visability to the sport.

Division 2 and 3- smaller colleges, a hundred teams or so each. These conferences are generally determined geographically, since these teams have less money for travel expenses. There are a lot of teams in these divisions that take the game very seriously though, especially because they usually have less stellar athletic programs (less focus on football, so they can get more athletes)

Every year there are national playoffs. Teams that win a conference with 7 or more teams get an automatic bid, and the rest are at large teams. 16 team brackets.

There are only a couple schools in the country that give out scholarships for rugby, and most of those are private scholarships, a couple thousand dollars for some of the players, or they offer in state tuition to out of state students who play on the rugby team. There’s only 1 or 2 teams that offer traditional athletic scholarships for rugby players. These teams arent usually very known schools who don’t have a football team, or very much money, since fielding a rugby team is much, much cheaper than fielding a football team.

There’s about 90,000 or so rugby players in the US, and about half of them are playing in college. A lot of people play, but they’re arent big crowds, except for the really good teams, like Cal. I think the problem is that many people don’t know of rugby, or all they know is “of that’s football without pads”. I think most of this problem is that rugby is not an NCAA sport (the governing body for college sports in the US). It is overseen by USA rugby, and I think this is holding schools back from financing the teams. This is unfortunate, because I think that if the schools financed the teams, they could draw big crowds. People will like the game, they just need to get out there and see it.

As far as playing it personally, it’s great. I love it. I’ve played high school football in the south. We weren’t even a good team, and we still drew 5-6 thousand people per game. But I enjoy rugby much more. In football, I would practice 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, only to get 10 mins of action in a game. In rugby, I get a full 80 mins of action, plus anyone can score, that’s awesome.

We have to pay dues to play, it’s about 300 bucks a year, and provide our own cleats, mouthpiece, etc. For games in state, we all carpool. For out of state games, the school gives us vans, the club pays for gas and hotels if need be. The school provides a (beautiful) pitch, but we have to share with other student activites (flag football, soccer, etc.)

I love the sport, I just hope in the future we are given the same respect that other student athletes are given. I see kids that run track or compete in swimming and diving that have indoor practice facilities, free team gear, high visibility, etc. And noone even knows about rugby, even though we finished the fall season ranked in the top ten nationally last year. All I can do is keep spreading the word and working hard to keep winning. When we win the national championship, it’ll be impossible to ignore us.

If you have any more questions, feel free.[/quote]

Props for being a D1 athlete, all the time and sacrifices needed to be successful is something very few people can/could do[/quote]

Thank you, I appreciate it.

It’s quite hilarious to read the contrast to the situation here in NZ, where pretty much every sport complains about rugby union being given 100% priority at the expense of all other sports. The media saturation is actually insane - to be an All Black is pretty much royalty status in this country, and the gossip magazines follow players as though they are Hollywood celebrities.

The other rugby code, rugby league, is the sport I follow. It’s far more violent and entertaining from a spectator point of view, far more physically demanding from a participant point of view. While they evolved from the same game, they are very different beasts with rugby league doing away with rucks and mauls and lineouts, but encouraging more of a running game with minimal tactical kicking, and allowing the use of “shoulder charge” tackles - which account for much of the violence haha. It’s treated as very much the underdog sport here in NZ, but is experiencing rapid growth in recent years, which is very exciting for fanatics like myself =P.

Having said all that, it’s great to read about any form of rugby on a mainly American weight lifting website!

Interestingly, my favourite rookie rugby league player (a 20 year old Tongan named Konrad Hurrell) is also a national weight lifting champion - and you can see the ridiculous explosive power and leg drive carry over into his game… not to mention his tanklike build of course.

I’ve always been envious of you kiwi’s, a few of my friends have been lucky enough to spend some time there playing and have all loved it.

Back to the lifting, having just finished the “work” portion of the first cycle i thought i would log how well its gone, personally i have really enjoyed the structure 5/3/1 has brought to my lifting, knowing what i’m lifting in a given session has helped things like mental preparation a great deal. Starting this program at the sam time as the start of preseason training may have been an error but who doesn’t love a challenge. at the moment its been 3 sessions a week of 45 mins of intense aerobic fitness and 45 mins of fitness skills (how well you can perform the basic movements on a rugby pitch when blowing out your ass), the coaches even decided to throw in some full contact situations which wasn’t fun!

I have been getting to the gym 3 times a week, so as in the book i’ve performed 2 of the core lifts in the same session, although i have only been able to fit 2 sessions in the last week as im away for my graduation so its been 2 lifts each session

So here are the lifts, the weights i did the last set with and my reps

Squat
W1= 122.5kg x 7
W2=130 x 6
W3=137.5 x 6 (belt)

MP
W1=62.5kg x 7
W2=65 x 5
W3=70 x 3

Dead
W1=140kg x 7
W2= 147.5 x 6
W3= 155 x 2 (belt, something wasn’t quite right here, all of my deads didn’t feel great, took 15 mins to myself before continuing with the bench part of the workout)

Bench
W1=85kg x 9 (no spotter)
W2=90 x 10
W3=95x 10

would be interested to see what more experienced lifters make of these numbers, look forward to hammering some weaknesses come deload week and getting my teeth into another cycle