T Nation

Power Cleans and 5x5/3/1


I’ve been curious about ways to program the Power Clean of late. This post on the subject caught my attention: The Post.

For my main lifts (squat, press, power clean, bench, deadlift) I currently use the guidance for the non-competitive powerlifter as listed in 5/3/1 for Powerlifting. I push for PR sets on my 3x3 and 5/3/1 weeks and if I get 8 reps or more on the 3x3 and 5 on the 5/3/1 week for the PR sets I do 2-5 heavy singles.

It’s working well for my strength, having pulled a 202.5 lbs power clean back in December among other things but a smart lifter is always open to information.

The part of the post that caught my attention was this:

Clean - 5x3 @ 5x5/3/1

Does this mean, for instance, do the 3x3 week like so:

  • 70%x3
  • 80%x3
  • 90%x3x3

Thanks for any input.


It means to do 5x3 @ your top set of the day. You have to use the right training max though to do 5x531. If your TM is too high doing this will bury you.


Thanks @kbama, I appreciate it. From my understanding it’s an 80% TM, correct?


I’m also curious what Jim meant by that. Does he mean to do the regular 5/3/1 reps followed by 5x3 with your heaviest set or only 5x3 at 85% week 1, 90% week 2, and 95% week 3?


3x5/3/1 is 3-5 sets of 3 reps @ the top%.
5x5/3/1 is 5 sets of 5 reps @ the top %.

Obviously the TM has to be lowered, as I’ve indicated many times, to NO MORE than 80%.


Thanks, @Jim_Wendler, I appreciate it.

Now are PR sets advisable still for 3x5/3/1 and 5x5/3/1?


No - no PR sets.


@Jim_Wendler, thanks for clarifying.