T Nation

Incredible 5/3/1 Gains


Hey everyone, just wanted to tell you guys about the amazing results I am getting using Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 program. I started this program about a month ago with a max squat of 385. After the first month I had raised my max up to 415. Today I started my new cycle, and my squat went from 415 to 460, which is just absolutely ridiculous and I don't understand how it is possible to have such big gains so fast. I also added 15lbs to my deadlift and 15lbs to my OH press after my first month. I'm looking forward to see what kind of gains I will make in the rest of this cycle. Can someone please explain to me how this is possible, has anybody else been seeing big gains like I have?
Thanks, Dan.


Awesome to here man. Keep it up.


Wow, you made those kind of gains in two cycles? Congrats dude. Seriously awesome progress. I'm seeing similar results but not as crazy as that. Are you still only raising the training max by 5 or 10? Are those just your calculated 1RM's?


I raised my bench by 5lbs but for the other 3 lifts I just used 90% of my new max. And yes they are only calculated 1rm's.


Sound's ridiculous I got my Book on the way for Christmas


That's awesome bro. My bench went from 160 to 205 in 2 cycles. It's a great program. My deadlift always went up about 15 lbs per cycle. Keep up the great work.


Also, are you all doing reps or singles, as described in a powerlifting version, at the end of whatever your doing that week?


That doesn't mean its your true max


Agreed. When you actually lift that amount weight you can say it is your max.


Glad to hear abour the great progress. Did you also increase bodyweight? Keep it going man! :slight_smile:


That doesn't mean its your true max[/quote]

Yea I realized that but I'm just using it as a comparison. I was planning on testing my real 1rm after about 2 or 3 more cycle's.


Yea I realized that but I'm just using it as a comparison. I was planning on testing my real 1rm after about 2 or 3 more cycle's.[/quote]

Report back then -- calculated maxes are quite different than true maxes for some folks, myself included.


Bigmeech, I can rep you on the awesomeness of this workout. I was looking at my gains, and I've finally started lifting my original max for my last set the past week.

I got it for 5 reps on Bench, 6 on Shoulder press, 3 on squats, and 6 on deadlift. Basically, I can rep at least 3 times whatever I've been maxing just 5 months ago.


Hey guys, off topic question, but I don't want to start a new thread for one stupid question. I know that a lot of people work 5-3-1 in either a 3 days a week or 4 days a week cycle, but you never see people doing one day on and one day off. Why is that?


Yea I realized that but I'm just using it as a comparison. I was planning on testing my real 1rm after about 2 or 3 more cycle's.[/quote]

Good idea. One way to extrapolate a max from a rep scheme is to keep good records. Say you do 300 x 5 in the deadlift and you can max at 350. When you reach 320 x 5, odds are you're doing right around 370, give or take. When you keep good records, it's easier to guess.

Any max rep calculator is a guess, but it's not as good as your guess from your own data.


Because it doesn't sync up well with a 7 day week. It's easier to plan to go to the gym every M/Tu/Th/F or whatever than try to figure out when your squat day is 3 weeks from now and schedule your life around the changing days per week.


the 5/3/1 is great for off season PL and strongman foundation building, it isnt meant as a powerlifting program to peak for a contest.


I havent been too familiar with 5/3/1 program so I decided to buy the book and it made me come up with a probably stupid question. How are some of yall making such awesome advancements in your lifts in one to 2 cycles when it shows to only make 5 to 10lb increments?


Because they are counting calculated maxes. If you're switching from a low-rep program to 5/3/1, you may suck at reps for the first cycle. The rep maxes will then underestimate your true one-rep max. As you start to get better at reps, your calculated max will go up and may get closer to your true max and/or overestimate it. You didn't really get that much stronger, you just got better at reps.


Ahh makes sense. Thanks