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5/3/1 Question


I just finished 3rd week of first round of 5/3/1.

I used my true 1RM for bench(300) and deadlift(425) and
was a bit conservative on 1RM for squat(385) and multiplied
each by .90 to get 1RM used for program.

On week 3 where we are supposed to do 95%+1 I logged the following:

365 X 7 (with wraps)
255 x 6
330 x 9

Obviously my results were more like 1++++++++......

Should I go with the prescribed program and after deloading
add only 5 lbs to bench and 10 lbs to squats and deadlifts
or should I add more?

Open to advice/suggestions..........thanks


Go with the prescribed program and add only 5 to bench and oh press and 10 to squat and deadlift. I'd lose the wraps for dl.






I'm in my first cycle of 5/3/1 on week three as well and so far I repped 8 for bench and 9 for deadlift. I thought about the same thing but I'm still only going to increase 5 lbs for upper and 10 for lower. Breaking rep PR's feels good too.


If you had read the book you would not be asking this question.

Therefore my suggestion is that you spend $20 and a couple hours in order to save you time and see your weights going up.

Whatever you do please let us know what the results are in about 10 months




There's bound to be another 5/3/1 question next week. I'll bring the lulz.


For my first round my reps during my 1's week were:
OHP: 7
Squat: 9
Bench: 8
DL: 8

Sounds about right to me.


Keeping with the prescribed program seems to be the consensus so I will go along with that.

About losing the wraps, the gym I go to doesn't allow chalk so I purchased
liquid chalk which seems to be an adequate substitute.

On week 2 of 5/3/1 on max effort set I was able to pull 345 x 5 without the
wraps which is obviously less weight along with less reps than I did on week 3.

If my grip gives out before my legs/back do would I not be shortchanging myself on making
potential gains by not using wraps?

I've heard time and time again that it's more beneficial to not use wraps but I really don't understand the idea behind it I guess I would say.(unless you are training to compete where they don't allow you to use wraps) Without really understanding why my above statement in previous paragraph does not hold true(im not saying it is i know it's not but don't know why) it is hard for me to keep my ego in check in the weight room and pull less without the wraps. It is easy for me to do that for other exercises where the reasoning for not doing them in a certain way where you lift more but sacrifice safety/benefit etc.


I believe Jim said something along the lines of, "grip strength is important in lifting, hell its important in life" This is true, lose the straps. Your grip will get stronger, and if you want to speed that process along, try putting some kroc rows in your training (high rep dumbell rows, in the area of say 20-40 reps, do a couple warm up sets of 10 and then jump in)


also, like everyone else said, this is what is supposed to happen. Follow the program, it will reward you.


Coming from a guy who has horrible grip strength:

Ditch the straps. If not now, ween yourself off them in the next few months. One, you are in a powerlifting forum, and I don't believe any PL fed allows straps.

Two, why not train your grip strength while pulling? Put in the work needed to bring your grip up to par with your pull, you won't regret it. Plus, it's super easy, relatively. Forearms/fingers recover insanely fast compared to other muscle groups. And if it's a weakness, it typically shoud progress quickly.


1) When you tested your 1rm for deadlift, was it with the wraps? If so, it is almost certainly a higher number than without the wraps, so if you are doing 5/3/1 without wraps you should set the working weight off of your wrap-less 1rm. This is for the same reason that you would not do 5/3/1 with raw squats but based on your 1rm in a squat suit.

2) Regarding shortchanging yourself, the general consensus and Wendler's views seems to be that you are shortchanging yourself more with the wraps. Your back and legs will not atrophy just because you are going a bit lighter while your grip catches up, so I would ditch the extra supports.


Good point, if I decide to ditch the straps I will need to retest my raw 1RM DL;
the 425 was with wraps.(and a very loud groan)

I'm still not thoroughly convinced that I should though.

Based on what I understand of the provided information it's important for grip stength
to use in competition and I won't even think about competing at least not for another couple
years of solid training.

The way I am doing it now is that I am using double overhand on my warm up sets;
once i get over 275 I use inverted grip. I don't use wraps until the max
effort set.

Some changes I will make from now on are no more wraps on dumbbell shrugs or
one-arm dumbbell dead stops during assistance work. That should help my hands get used
to holding onto some weight without the extra support.

In summary, I cannot bring myself not to pull out the straps on the last set of pulling
but due to grip stength being on my conscious now I will make adjustments regarding
strap use throughout assistance training.


I don't think there's anything wrong with that last idea. I'd say avoid using straps in all assistance lifts and only use the straps on your final set of DLs. Pair that with grip training and you should be good to go.


I will also switch hit when playing 5 on 1 to take care of any imbalances.


I might as well just tack my question on here.. I am a novice to lifting and just started 5/3/1 this week..

I didn't test my 1RM b/c I wanted a smooth transition from the bodybuilding I was running up until last week and it was sort of a last minute decision due to a need for a change of pace..

I based my bench off the closest thing I had (6RM slight decline bench), military press off pre-exhausted BTN press (5RM), squat off pre-exhausted squat (6RM) and I figured extrapolating on all these I should be roughly in the neighborhood (esp. with the 10% deduction)..

My first day flat benching in about a half a year I think, I got 10 reps (so +5), but Wednesday I set my deadlift to 250 (most I've ever lifted off floor b/c I only deadlifted for about a month when I started about a year ago and quickly removed them when I realized how easily I progressed on them under the logic that I should just focus on squat and my DL would go up - my squat was a lot worse off - granted I could lift 250lbs fairly easily, but I didn't want to guesstimate seeing as how that much that is stressed against) and ended up with 190 on my topmost working set (which was 24 reps, or +19, and at that point I just stopped b/c it seemed pointless to keep grinding out more)..

Should I reset this, did I fuckup, will this fix in time?

I don't mind being patient seeing as Wendler seems to advocate even starting lighter or using smaller weight jumps to plateau less.. but I feel like my other two work sets (which aren't taken to failure) are going to be so far off that they aren't really worksets..

At any rate, some good advice would be appreciated.. thanks

Edit: I know this is sorta along lines of original post.. it's just that I feel like my DL will shoot up now that I am doing them, when I get my technique down, and that 24rep top set was nowhere near close to failure - seems off compared to other peoples first week..

OP's question was 5 extra reps on his third week, so I don't know though.. maybe over thinking this


Wait, you used wraps for the deadlift, but not your squat?



He means straps.