T Nation

5/3/1: Thank You, Jim Wendler


I've been lifting casually on and off for about 7 years now, mostly focused on bench press like any other idiot. This last year, I've decided I want to compete in full powerlifting tournaments instead of just bench press tournaments. I'd never really squatted consistently, and have never done any deadlift, until I decided to give the 5/3/1 a shot.

I took a few weeks working on getting good form and locating my 1RM for squat and dead. The 1RM's I started with 2 months ago were as follows:

Bench: 325
Squat: 315 (yes, my bench was heavier than my squat)
Dead: 365
Total: 1005

Now, I should note also, I follow the 5/3/1 routine, but I only get into the gym 2-3 times a week, so its not as compacted as it should be. Also as I've never deadlifted before, and haven't squatted seriously, I was hesitant to approach my max, and have only completed a couple cycles of each, strictly speaking. And, I dont think my bench went up quite as much as advertised, but more of a mental effect of lifting relatively heavier weights, rather than doing the same boring routine every week. Doesn't matter though, the results are the same. Speaking of results, my current 1RM's I am working off of:

Bench: 370
Squat: 455
Dead: 475
Total: 1300

I should also mention, my BW dropped from 240 to 230 in the same time frame. I plan on competing at 198.

At this point, I think it is safe to say, this program just plain works, anyone thinking of doing it, with any powerlifting goals, should not hesitate.


Nice work, did you do the regular 5/3/1 or the 5/3/1 for powerlifting?


For powerlifting, for now my only goals are to push/pull more weight. I may look at something more pertinent to MMA/Football later on.


What's the difference between 5/3/1 and 5/3/1 for powerlifting?


As far as I know, 5/3/1 is just that with max reps on the last set. 5/3/1 for powerlifting is 3/5/1 plus some singles at 90%. For a definite answer you are going to have to wait for the book, unless Jim wants to chime in.


You are very welcome - congratulations on the success. I'm happy for you!