Hey Jim. I just wanted to give your program a shout-out here, because it’s worked wonders for me. I’m 16, I’ve been training for a year and a half, and for the last year I’ve been sick with parasites (I lost 30 pounds, got super weak, lived in constant pain, and generally wished I was dead). Well, long story short: I did 5/3/1 for that year. I didn’t set many PRs, but I was able to hit at least the minimum number of reps on all my lifts, even on my worst days.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling somewhat better, and I’ve been able to push my training. I broke my old PRs that I had set when I was 30 pounds heavier. I went from 5’9”, 195 pounds to 5’9”, 165 pounds — and I’m not focusing on gaining weight so much as I am healing my gut.
So, it was a welcome surprise when I was able to break my old PRs. I can’t wait to see where I’ll go when I’m fully healed, but I just wanted to say thank you for creating this program. Also, if anyone reading this is on the fence about whether or not to begin 5/3/1, go for it. It’s easily the most sustainable, flexible, and strength-oriented weightlifting program I’ve ever done.
Old PRs (March 2018):
Squat: 260 x 10
Deadlift: 300 x 9
Press: 115 x 5
(No video of this, unfortunately)
New PRs (April 2019):
Squat: 255 x 15
Deadlift: 330 x 10 (more in the tank)
Press: 125 x 10
BW Exercise PRs (March 2018)
Pushups — 35 in one set, 115 in 10 minutes
Pull-ups — 5
BW Exercise PRs (April 2019)
Pushups: 80 in one set, 160 in 10 minutes
I didn’t think I was getting stronger while I was sick; but I obviously was. Figured I’d put this out there for a few hesitant lifters to consider. 5/3/1 works.