5/3/1 Week 3 Joker Sets

I would like to know on how do I go about doing joker sets for week 3 of 5 3 1? This is where i do 75% x 5, 85% x 3, 95% x 1+. For joker sets, do I keep doing singles? So keep increasing weight by 5-10% and keep doing singles up until i can no longer or feel i can no longer add weight ?? Or do I do 5 reps joker?? Confused!!

Week 3 jokers are singles. 5% adds.


Jokers are self regulated.

Unless you are deloading, it’s always the same. Doesn’t matter which week.

It’s part of the overall goal you are trying to achieve. Is it?

I dont think i quite understand your answer.
Anyway i think I got my answer from the first comment.

5-10% increases for 1-2 sets of 1-3 repetitions, no matter the week. Never miss or grind, thats not the purpose

That’s because he was wrong. Both of you should get the book.

“Joker sets are simple – after you push the last set (always push that last set for a
PR, no matter what), increase 5% or 10% from the last set and perform 5 reps, 3
reps or 1 rep (depending on the week). Keep increasing 5% or 10% until you
feel that you cannot make the requisite reps. Once you cannot get the reps, you are
free to keep adding 10% jumps for singles. This is up to you and how you feel on that day.”

As per Beyond.

As for the last part, ask yourself if you are doing it because it is part of your goal or because everyone is doing it. If it’s the latter, stop it and get clear on why you do what you do.

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I generally do 1-3 reps per joker set, going up in 5-10% increments, which is what is recommended in Forever, IIRC.
Remember, jokers are only to be used sparingly (no strict guideline, but I generally only use them once or twice each cycle), when you’re having a particularly awesome training session (and I only ever use them in anchors, never leaders). So basically, if you hit your PR set and feel fantastic, increase weight by 5-10% and do 1-3 reps. If you still feel fantastic, do the same again. I can’t remember if Jim ever recommends doing a third joker set, but I personally never do one.

Auto-regulation is the key phrase here. 1-3 reps. Use your best judgement for how to proceed with jokers on a given day, based on how you are feeling and how the bar is moving, THAT day. You probably shouldn’t ever miss a rep doing jokers. At least not singles.

Per the wording in Forever, you could certainly do 2-3 rep sets during the 531 week (not 5), however I wouldn’t do more than a 5% jump and for no more than 1-2 sets.

So that showed that first comment was right and was the answer im looking for.
I basically asked how many reps shall i do for joker sets on week 3… the answer i got is singles which make sense. Week 1 joker sets will be 5 reps (coz its a 5 rep week) week 2 joker sets will be 3… then week 3 will be singles.
Anyway thanks for the response.

Seems like you want to do Jokers every week. Not what Jim recommends but go ahead.


What assistance would you recommend that i can do every week then? By assistance i mean with same movement, so after doing my , lets say 5 3 1 bench press, shall i proceed to do first set last for 5 sets with 3-5 reps??

Jokers are not assistance.

FSL, as per the book, can be done a few ways. Depends on your goal, present state, what you are trying to accomplish and if you are at anchor or leader phase.

My main goal is to increase my lifts especially bench …my bench has been the same for a long time… so what kind/rep range and sets would you recommend I do for my FSL?

You don’t have the book, do you!

Sorry for that.

Thats why im asking here, hoping you could help me :slight_smile:

buy the original or second edition and beyond. They are cheap and well worth every buck.

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Im looking to buy one now from his wesbite…anyone know if he ships to Uk if so how long may it take?

Beyond, on this site is ebook

On his site he is selling the book hardcopy. I wna purchase it but i want to knw roughly how long it will take

Just my opinion but forget jokers, off all the people who have reported back great gains from 5/3/1 pretty much none have used them. Jim seems to have shied away from them lately also

If want to go heavy look up something like Beach body challenge or even go all-in and do a 12 week run of Westside

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