T Nation

My 5/3/1 Log


Hello T-Nation! I'm starting a log to track progress and keep myself accountable. I have not been to the gym in almost a year and made poor dietary choices along the way, leaving me weak and out of shape. The last time I trained properly for a prolonged period was about 3 years back when I did SL 5X5. I decided a week ago to get back into the iron game, read Wendler's 5/3/1 ebook and decided to go with this. My stats:

Height: 5'7
Weight: 82kg/180lb
Age: 24

I went down to the gym to get a gauge of my current capability and to establish what my actual/estimated 1 rep maxes are. On the Squat, Press and Bench press, I used Wendler's formula: weight x reps x 0.0333 + weight = estimated 1RM. They are:

Squat: 60kg x 5, estimated 1RM = 70kg (154lb)
Bench: 45kg x 7, estimated 1 RM = 55kg (121lb)
Deadlift: 100kg x 1 (220lb)
Press: 40kg x 2, estimated 1 RM = 43kg (95lb)

I'm intending to run the Boring but Big assistance template. Conditioning work will be the prescribed walking, hopefully with a weighted vest when I can afford it. My lifting goals are to squat 100kg and bench my bodyweight. I'm also hoping cleaning up my diet, along with conditioning work, will help me shed some fat.

Supplements: Fish oils with meals, multivitamin daily, chelated magnesium before bed and ON whey post-workout.


Cycle 1 Week 1 Day 1

Main lift: Squats (kg)
25 x 5
30 x 5
35 x 5
40 x 5
47.5 x 5
55 x 9

Assistance: Deadlifts
45 x 10
45 x 2

Tweaked my back on the second set of deadlifts. Had difficulty bending over after. There is this nagging ache generally that worsens if I bend over while standing up. It is not as bad when I bend over while sitting on a chair, in fact it’s feels more tight than pain when I do this. This has happened previously when I tried to do deadlifts for reps. Last week when I established my 1RM, I mainly did singles and did not get any back pain. It might be due to not tightening up as much compared to heavier lifts. I don’t know. Never had this problem in the past on SL 5x5.

Any suggestions or advice?


My back got better within a couple of days. Got it checked up but the doctor simply told me to stop squatting and deadlifting. Was told by the physio that I’ve got tight psoas which may cause lower back pain though he wasn’t sure what caused the pain when I deadlifted. Anyway…

Cycle 1 Week 1 Day 2

Main lift: Bench press
20 x 5
22.5 x 5
27.5 x 5
32.5 x 5
37.5 x 5
42.5 x 13

Assistance: Press (20kg) supersetted with Lat Pulldowns (55lb)
5 x 10
Feels like I could bump up the Lat pulldowns to 60lb or so. Right shoulder felt more fatigued than the left after the sets of Press.

Walked 2 miles.


This log died an early death but I’m back. Been off training after being advised by the therapist to focus on soft tissue work. Been given the go ahead to start again. Will be jumping back into the 5/3/1 beginner’s routine as laid out on Wendler’s website. I will also be doing circuits/complexes to develop my conditioning.

Day 1 starts on Monday.