Following the 5/3/1 for Powerlifter's Version

Hi Jim!

I’ve been following 5/3/1 for about a year and a half now. I am planning to compete in my very first meet this April 11th, which puts me a day shy of 16 weeks out.

I picked up 5/3/1 for Powerlifters about 2-3 cycles ago, and have been doing the “Off-Season” phase since my meet was still so far out. As it gets closer, I was curious to know when to start training within the “Pre-Meet” phase. Within the book itself it says to do “Off-Season” work when one either does not have a meet picked out, or are more than eight weeks out (pg 19), while in the overview of the “Pre-Meet” phase it states when one has a meet picked out (pg 20).

Basically, my question is how many cycles of the Pre-Meet phase should I do? Only one cycle eight weeks out from the comp, then the Meet Prep phase, or two - three cycles of Pre-Meet?

Thank you!

(also, for any questions regarding my training/diet, I have a log at

seems like if he says to do “off season” if more than 8 weeks out, then you should do the pre-meet AT 8 weeks out. so do “off season” or whichever template you’d like, until 8 weeks out then switch to pre-meet.

I’d suggest checking out the Strength Challenge in Beyond for an improved “peak”.