T Nation

Hybrid Powerbuilding 5-3-1-7 Optimization Program


It's been 3 years since I've been a competitive college athlete (lacrosse), and lifted heavy. After life getting in the way of my training, becoming burnt out from way-too-high-volume-for-a-natural, and following shitty Muscle and Fitness programs, I've decided to create a new program implementing aspects of Wendler's 5-3-1 program.

I want to get my strength back to where it was, and I miss smashing heavy iron. Most of all, I want training to be fun again. A little asterisk, that I know all the trolls are ready to bash me on, is the lack of inclusion of squatting in my program. I tore my ACL 2 years ago and haven't been able to squat heavy, so for now I have to make due without any movements placing direct stress to the ligament (deads are fine).

Without further ado:

5-3-1-7 Power building split:
(Use Wendler 5-3-1 percentages)
Good contractions on assistance work. Use 95% of 1rm as basis for
starting point.

Standing OH press: 5-3-1-7
Machine press: 3x10
Seated lateral raise: 50 total reps with 20
Rear delt machine fly: 3x10

Deadlift: 5-3-1-7
Pull-up: 50 total reps
Seated row: 3x10
Dumbbell pullover: 3x10
Plank: 1 x max

Bench: 5-3-1-7
Dumbbell floor press: 3x10
Incline dumbbell fly: 3x10
Dips: 50 total reps

Thursday: explosive/dynamic day with rest-pause sets (go, rest 25 sec, go). Emphasize good contractions and explosive reps. Everything to failure.

Pull-up: 3 rest pause sets
Machine press: 3 rest pause sets with 2 plates
Barbell curl: 3 rest pause with 95
Standing lateral raise: 3 rest pause with 20
Calf machine: 3 rest pause with 200
Cable hammer curl: 3 rest pause with 125


Just to give some more background of my former physical prowess, 3 years ago my stats were as follows:

Height: 6’0
Weight: 212
40 yard sprint: 4.7
1 Mile: 6:04
Bench: 305
Dead: 455
Squat: 405 for a triple (bad knees didn’t allow for 1RM’s)
OH Press: 200
BF%: ~15

Currently I am 190 at about 10% so I’ve lost some muscle after my injury but also some fat from optimizing my diet.

I’ve been doing 115 pound DB incline press for 6-8 reps, 100 pound DB OH press as of recent, just to give y’all an idea.

Excited to get back to barbell work :wink:


Starting point given my current 1RM’s: 275 bench, 415 dead, 185 OH press

75% x 5 210 bench, 315 dead, 140 OH
85% x 3 230 bench, 350 dead, 155 OH
95% x 1 255 bench, 375 dead, 165 OH
65% x 7 180 bench, 270 dead, 120 OH


First day of the new program. I was super eager to get to the gym and get going. Today was Standing press day.

Standing OH Press: warmup with 45x10 135x3 (explosive)
5 with 145, 3 with 155, 1 with 165, 7 with 135. shoulders felt great here, gonna up my poundage by 10 per set next week.

Hammer strength OH press: changed this to 4X10 instead of 3X10 to add a little more volume (hey, I’m 21 years old after all…)
4X10 with 2 plates per side

Seated laterals for a total of 50 reps with 25 pound dumbbells
First set got 16 reps with strict form, then 14 reps, then 12 reps, then 8 for 50 reps within about a 3 minute span.

Machine rear delt fly (because of rotator cuff impingement history started real light)
3X10 with 90

All in all a great workout lasting 40 minutes including 10 minute warmup and cool down respectively.
Diet is in check, all is good so far.

Looking forward to my deadlift day tomorrow. Any advice or motivation is certainly encouraged and appreciated.


Deadlift day went swimmingly. I hit all my lifts based on the recommended 5-3-1 percentages. Body felt great.

Deadlift: warmup 135, 225, 275
5 with 315, 3 with 350, 1 with 375, 7 with 275

Wide grip pullups: 50 total reps
Took about 6 sets with very little rest. Love the rest pause type assistance work.

Seated row: 3X10

DB pullovers: 3X10

Plank: 1 for as long as possible. Went for about 2 minutes which is pretty solid considering my entire posterior chain was hit with some heavy weight and volume.

Looking forward to bench day tomorrow.

Happy almost hump day


[quote]mattyg24 wrote:
gonna up my poundage by 10 per set next week.



thanks for posting those. I’ve read them before. this program is not exactly wendler’s 5-3-1 and i disclaimed that in the beginning. it’s a hybrid program i wrote up and figured to give it a shot. if my strength and lbm gains are going up on this program then i’m not going to nitpick the differences between this and the conventional 5-3-1.

Today was bench day. Shoulders still pretty sore from Monday but I hit all my lifts with ease.

Bench: 5-3-1-7
225 for 5 245 for 3 255 for 1 and 205 for 7

DB Floor press: 3X10
These felt great, real good focus on the top half on the bench movement and really gave my chest the desired pump. Elbows and shoulders were a little sore on bench, but felt great on floor press.

Incline Fly: 3X10
55’s. Great peak contraction. My pecs were toast.

Dips: 50 reps
Did this rest pause set in probably 5 sets because I rested maybe 10-15 seconds between sets. Got 15 for the first 2 and then I tried really limiting my rest and got 8-10 for the next 3-4.

Weighed 192 today.


Sorry brotha, good work on the floor press I get a great pump from those also


Feeling pretty sore today, but I still hit my last workout of the week with gusto. Today was an assistance day where everything was done in a rest pause fashion. I would do a set, rest for 25 seconds and go again for 3 reps per exercise.

Pull-up: 3 rest pause sets
got about 10 on average wide grip

Machine press: 3 rest pause sets with 2 plates
these gave me a great pump considering my shoulders were fatigued from bench day yesterday.

Barbell curl: 3 rest pause with 80
focused on the squeeze and peak contraction here. gains in upper back strength helped me get more reps than I thought here.

Standing lateral raise: 3 rest pause with 20
these felt great but brutal. like Arnold used to say, the pump feels like coming. these laterals were painful but orgasmic. got around 60 reps total.

Calf machine: 3 rest pause with 200
focused on good stretch of the calves here. great pump.

Cable hammer curl: 3 rest pause with 125
my arms were dead by this point in the workout and week. overall great workout though

weighed 191.5 this morning. been dropping weight


Cheat day was yesterday. Glycogen stores were full and my shoulders felt great today.

Standing OH press:
155 for 5, 165 for 3, 175 for 1, 145 for 7.

Hammer Strength OH press: 4X10
2 plates plus 10 per side

Seated laterals with 25’s for 50 total reps. took 4 sets.

Rear delt machine: 95 for 3X10

making all kinds of gains


Great pull workout today. Back felt good but my shoulders were a little sore.

325-365-385-315 on Deadlift 5-3-1-7

assistance work is the same as last week.

Improved by 10 pounds in the 5-3-1 rep schemes from last week and improved by 40 pounds in the 7 rep set


Partially tore a ligament that connects the pectoral muscles to the humerus during benching.

Well, there goes that. Gonna be outta commission for a while.

RIP :frowning: