T Nation

Favorite Wendler Quotes


I like to read some of Jim’s “Wendlerisms” before training since they’re usually hilarious takes on what many people including myself need to hear from time to time. Some of my favorite recent quotes are:

Post your favorite quotes:

Also, like everyone else I’m looking forward to the new book.


This is just one I’ll remember and found quickly:

“Take charge of your brain and body – exercise and read/learn/educate. There is nothing more dangerous that a healthy, well-educated man/woman that can critically think.”

But it sums up a lot. Became better version of yourself. And remember, you’re never “ready” as a human being, not even close.


Not exactly a quote, but the story of Dave Tate, all sad for a week, because he had a smaller yoke makes me laugh.


Hahah! Never heard that.


5/3/1 Principles:

“Fuck You, Pay Me”


Some training advice:

“Those that start with high volume training are fucking idiots. I would rather molest a wolverine than listen to them.”


I keep a running Word document for quotes I find from various coaches. Call it a job requirement/perk. Not surprisingly, Wendler (and Rip) show up many times. Some top Wendlerisms:

“Training is a taco.”

"Just train and then take the vacation. When you get back, start training again.


If one trains hard in the weight room, uses AirDyne every day, jumps 3-4 days/week, runs hills/Prowler 3 days week - these “life” vacations are deloads that won’t matter. You come back home and you can immediately jump back on the horse.

The problem is that people rarely take advantage of the time they have at home. Anything less than 100% compliance with ATTENDANCE and EFFORT is not conducive to reaching your goals.

It takes NO TALENT and your GENETICS don’t matter in regard to attendance and effort. Just like it takes NO TALENT/GENETICS to be in-shape and to make yourself stronger than you were before.

So the problem is never about the deload or the vacation.

When I’m on vacation, I’M ON VACATION.

I’ve made the ‘gotta find a place to train’ mistake way to many times." - Wendler, discussing the “importance” of training on vacation.

“A training day is only one part of a training decade, so just chip away.”

"My wife trains pretty hard, so here are the things she does, that are totally unique to those with labia:

Squats hard.
Deadlifts for PR’s.
Presses a lot.
Bench Presses.

She also does a lot of Prowler work, chins, push-ups, ab work, reverse hyperextensions and glute bridges. … In other words, we do the same stuff with her as we do with people who are Con Meat."

“Best strength book in the world; training log. Teach you more about training than ANY book.”

"5/3/1 is not a program based on building “back” or “arms” - we are building much more. And 100% of the time, when you train for something bigger and better than “pipes”, you end up getting pretty big muscles too. And if you really internalize what the program is about then you CAN become a stronger person. And this CAN make you a better person.

So while there is nothing wrong with wanting big “wings” or whatever, you are shortchanging yourself, as a person and a lifter."


“Building a Bigger Yoke” and “Beach Body Challenge” are like Danzig I and Danzig II: Lucifuge

“Building the Yoke” is like the Misfits.


All great quotes. Keep em coming!


Fun topic. I keep a Word document of quotes as well. A couple recent quotes that haven’t been listed yet:

The first two sections of https://www.t-nation.com/training/5-3-1-for-hardgainers is something I’ve been reading everyday since it was posted. The culmination is great:

“The good news is that you can become much bigger and stronger than you are today. Luckily, what we’re missing genetically can (somewhat) be made up with mental strength. It takes no talent to give effort and be disciplined. It takes no talent to be consistent. It takes no talent to be better today than you were yesterday.”

From this forum:

"I’ll give you the best piece of advice I can - stay off the internet. Yes, I realize the irony here but I think you asked a similar question on the 5/3/1 Fans of Wendler page. Most of those answers belonged in the shitter.

Get a stack of good books, turn off your TV, turn off your phone: learn/train, write, paint, learn an instrument."

And one from his great private forum (I don’t think this is giving anything away that he wouldn’t say here, but I’ll remove this one if it might cause an issue):

“The biggest problems that people have: equate doing 5 billion sets with ‘progress’, not having the patience to run a year of slow, steady work and either playing the ‘beginner card’ or ‘advanced card’ too much or too soon (respectively). If you aren’t a competitive PL, don’t worry about your 1RM, it means nothing. What does matter (if your goal is to get stronger) is to make progress. A pound here, a pound there - that shit adds up. So don’t worry about Jokers AT ALL. Just get the PR set in, cap it at 10 and do FSL.”


“I can’t stop thinking about the pile of coke.”



Although I don’t train 5-3-1 I come to this site for the wisdom and no bullshit approach to training. Great quotes.


Basically all of Wendler Vision on elitefts archives. Particularly Jim’s warm up.


My personal favourite.

“There are two drawbacks of being someone with some kind of status in
this industry. First is the dozens of gay dudes who send you pics of
themselves, asking to cuddle and screw. Second is when guys meet you and
they take off their shirt and turn around and bark, “You KNOW this back
has seen some heavy rows!” Yep. That happened. Keep your shirts on men. No one of worth gives a fuck”