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Rev.Chad's 5/3/1 Log

Hello to anyone that may be interested. I am finishing my third week of my second cycle of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program and figure I should start logging it.

To provide some background on myself: I am 25, 6’ tall, weigh 190 lbs (on Nov. 2, 2009), and have longer limbs and a shorter torso than many people my height. This last fact probably plays a role in explaining why my deadlift is much better than my squat.

Regarding past training, I haven’t been lifting too seriously for very long, but went through Starting Strength for a few months starting with the bar on all of the lifts to focus a lot on form. In the past, particularly in high school when I last was very serious about lifting, I used mostly machines with a body building program. In the past year or so I also dropped about 40 lbs, and had been focusing on keeping it off. This probably led to my progress stopping long before necessary with Starting Strength, but I am now eating more in line with a clean bulking plan. Over the past 7 weeks, I have put on about 3 lbs, but it was mostly early on, my waist measures about the same and I’ve had an increase in other measures – along with some people commenting that I look like I leaned out a bit.

For cycle two of this program, I repeated the squat weight from cycle one and am adjusting to wide stance low bar squatting. I am finding that I prefer this style, but was used to narrow stance with high bar.

Regarding the program, I did not test my 1RM but calculated it from my sets on Starting Strength. Using 90%, I got starting working maxes of
Press 117
Deadlift 270
Bench Press 180
Squat 170

Cycle Two I added 5 lbs to Press and Bench, 10 lbs to deadlift, and kept Squat the same.

Press 5/3/1
Press 5x10 / Chinups (60 in as many sets as necessary)

Cleans 5/3/1 (not repping out, just using my Press weight)
Deadlift 5/3/1
Deadlift 5x10

Bench 5/3/1
Bench 5x10 / Chinups (just a few sets)
DB Rows: 4x10-15 and one heavy set 20-30 reps

Squat 5/3/1
Squat 5x10
Leg Curl 5x10

For conditioning, I keep my rests on assistance to about 60 sec., and do a mix of sprints and high incline treadmill walking, as well as a 3-4 mile jog on the weekend. Oh, and I foam roll (which has definitely helped my IT band).

End of Cycle 2:

Foam roll IT band
Press 5/3/1: 5 x 95 lbs, 3 x 105 lbs; 5 x 120 lbs
Press BBB: 5 sets, 10 reps, 70 lbs
Chinups: 6,5,5,5,5,4,5,4,2 – elbow pain from a twist or something over the weekend interfering, had to stop short.
Conditioning: 6 sprints and some walking/jogging

Foam rolling IT band and quads
Power Cleans: 5x 95; 3x 105; 1x 120
Deadlift 5/3/1: 5x 205; 10x239 [mistake]; 7x260 [PR: increase from 6x 255]
Deadlift: 10x 165; 10x 135 – exhausted from the extra repping out and short on time
Notes: right shoulder ache

Joe Defranco’s Agile 8 and Upper Body Mobility drills
Bench 5/3/1: 5x 140; 3x 160; 5x 180 – probably had a few more in tank, but getting used to the different bench press form (e.g. more arch, bar to lower on torso)
Bench BBB: 5 sets 10x 120
DB Row: 4 sets 10x 50 lbs; 27x 65 lbs (right) and 24x 65 lbs (left)
Conditioning: 6 sprints
Notes: * dropping the higher reps to up the weight, as Matt Kroc advocates doing 15 reps with the heaviest DB one is able until one is using the heaviest DB in the gym, then go higher reps with that * going to repeat the 5/3/1 weight for bench next cycle to get more reps with this bench form

Agile 8
Squat 5/3/1: 5x 135; 3x 155; 10x 175 – had a few in the tank, but adjusting to wide stance low bar form and focusing on perfecting form over repping out
Squat BBB: 5 sets 10x 105 lbs
Seated leg curl: 5 sets of 10 with 140-180 lbs
Conditioning: 3 sprints
Notes: change leg curls to straight sets at 160

Overall notes: going to use the deload week to test out some other accessory work and change to Triumvirate for at least a cycle.


Press 5/3/1: 5x75; 5x80; 5x90
Dips: 3,2,3 – right shoulder ache
Chins: 6, 5, 5, 4
Notes: General lack of energy, no pre-workout drink, aches

Power Cleans: 5x75, 5x80, 5x90
Deadlift: 5x165, 5x180, 5x190
Goodmorning: 12x45; 12x65; 12x85; 12x105 – focusing on form
Situp on decline bench: 20xBW, 10x25, 15x25 – holding plate vertical on upper chest
Conditioning: 10 min jog and incline walking
Notes: left knee stiff

Overall notes: considering using mostly (but not exclusively) bodyweight assistance work for a cycle: lots of lunges, chins, pushups, chins.

Glad to see your posting your 5/3/1 log, I always like looking at how people respond to the program.

Stay strong.

BlackLabel: Thanks.

Foam Roll IT and Quads
Bench deload: 5x115, 5x125, 5x130
Superset 10 pushups and 5 chins for 5 sets
Assisted dips: 20x100, 15x75, 3 sets 10x60
Tri-Extension: 15x36, 15x36, 20x24
Conditioning: 20 min jogging and incline walking
some mobility

Squat deload day:
Squats: 3x5x135 – had an experienced powerlifting friend check my lowbar wide squat form
Squats: 3x10x105 – reduced volume of BBB
Deadlift: 3x10x165 – some more BBB type work
Straight legged Deadlift: 3x10x165 – good stretch of the hams, caused some DOMS next day
Good mornings: 20x45, 12x95, 3x12x115 – nothing too heavy, form broke down at the end from general fatigue

Cycle 3, Wave 1, Day 1
Press: 5x85, 5x90, 6x110 – short of PR
Assisted Dips, forward lean chest emphasis: 10x100, 4x12x60 moderate tempo, 20x60 fast tempo – worked the muscle, definite pump
Chinups super-set after every set of press and dips: 5 rep, for 60 total.
Tri ext.: 3x12x38.5, 12x36, 13x36 – moderate tempo
Conditioning, Cosgrove Complex with empty bar – not exhausting, but a nice finish to the workout.

Cycle 3, Wave 1, Day 2
Power Clean: 5x85, 5x90, 5x110
Deadlift: 5x185, 5x210, 12x240 – PR and increase in 1RM*
Seated Leg Curls: 5x12x150 – moderate lowering, explosive up
Lunges: 15xBW, 4 sets of 10 with 15 lbs DBs
Farmer’s Walks: 6 sets of 30 sec walk 30 sec rest

Notes: left knee sore outside of leg below the knee cap (the lower insertion point of the IT band perhaps)

Cycle 3, Wave 1, Day 3
Agile Eight
Bench: 5x125; 5x140; 11x160 – merely matched old pr, but form improved
Pushups: 3 sets of 12, 2 sets of 10
Chinups superset w/ working sets of Bench and pushups: 40 total
Tri push down: 3x15x36, 2x12x36

Cycle 3, Wave 1, Day 4
Foam Roll Quads, IT band, Hip Adductors
Some mobility work for squats
Squat: 5x120, 5x135, 15x155 – a big PR
Good mornings: 5x12x115 – some light work
Alternating Barbell Lunges: 10 bodyweight, 10x45, 3x10x65 – light and slow, working on form
Hanging Knee Raises: 10
Plank: 2 sets of 60sec
Situps: 2 sets of 30
Notes: working out with my friend Mark, overall a good PR and then took the assistance easy.

Morning: jog and power walk, 38 min, 585 cal

Cycle 3, Wave 2, Day 1
Foam Roll Quads, IT
Press: 3x90, 3x100, 6x115 – PR adding 5 lbs to heaviest lift for 6
Assisted Dips: 12x60, 4x15x60
Chins superset with press and dips: 12 sets of 5 (60 total)
Tri press down: 4x15x36, 12x36

Cycle 3, Wave 2, Days 2-4

Agile 8
Power Clean: 3x90, 3x100, 3x115
Deadlift: 3x200, 3x225, 9x255(PR) – actually got 11, but the last two had bad form so I am not counting them
Leg curls: 5x15x150
Alternating Barbell Lunges: 10xBW, 10x45, 3x10x65 – slow eccentric, fast but not explosive concentric

Foam Roll IT and quad
Bench: 3x130, 3x150, 11x165(PR) – this was a big PR now that I have the proper form down, it took a while to adjust from a pec emphasizing form to a good powerlifting form.
Pushups: 5 sets of 12
Chinups: 8 sets of 5 (40 total) supersetted with work sets of bench and pushups
Conditioning: Incline treadmill, 30 min, low speed, 425 cal

Squats: 3x130, 3x145, 14x165(PR)
BBB Squats: 5x10x115
Goodmorning: 12x115
Bench, worked up to 5x135
45 degree back raise: 10x45, 3x20xBW
Notes: I am taking a lot of the advice of Dave Tate. First, I was working out with my friend Mark, and he is way stronger than me. Second, I did some light bench so Mark could check my form, and apparently I have a very high arch (thanks to following Tate’s instructions on setting up for benching).

[quote]revchad wrote:
Foam Roll IT and quad
Bench: 3x130, 3x150, 11x165(PR) – this was a big PR now that I have the proper form down, it took a while to adjust from a pec emphasizing form to a good powerlifting form.
Pushups: 5 sets of 12
Chinups: 8 sets of 5 (40 total) supersetted with work sets of bench and pushups
Conditioning: Incline treadmill, 30 min, low speed, 425 cal

Also on 20091123, Tri Pushdowns, 5x15x36

Cycle 3, Wave 3, Days 1-3

Mobility work for 10 min
Press: 5x95; 3x110; 4x120
Assisted dips: 5 sets of 15x60
Chinups: 60 total (in 11 sets of 5-6) superset w/ Press and Dips
Tri Pushdown: 5x15x36
Conditioning: Elliptical machine, 30 min, 446 cal

Mountain climbers and foam rolling
Power Cleans: 5x95, 3x110, 1x120
Deadlift: 5x210, 3x240, 7x270 (PR) – some back rounding, will focus on more low-back assistance
Laying Leg Curl: 8x150, 4x15x100
Alternating Lunges: 10xBW, 2x12xBW
Decline situps: 15, 30
Notes: fatigued after deadlifting

Bench: 5x140, 3x160, 7x180 – missed lockout on 8th rep
Pushups: 4 sets of 12 and 1 of 13
Chinups: 52 total (6x6, 5, 4, 3, 4) superset w/ Bench and Pushups
Tri pushdown: 5x15x36

I mildly tweaked my back yesterday when locking it hard on my last rep on Bench, and could feel it a bit today.

Squats: 5x135, 3x155, 12x175
BBB Squats: 5x10x125
Good Mornings: narrow stance w/ bar to parallel for 15, 20, 20, 20, 25
Decline situps w/ wgt behind head: 15x10, 6x25, 5x25, 5x25, 15x10

Then there was too much time without working out.

Press: 5x85, 5x95, 8x105, 5x115 – misloaded the third set
Pushups: 15, 15, 12, 12, 15
Chinups: 54 total with sets of 3-5 between other sets
Tri pushdowns: 5 sets of 20 with 2 plates
Conditioning: Cosgrove’s evil 8 with the bar

8 min warmup/mobility
Power Clean: 5x85, 5x95, 5x115
Deadlift: 5x190, 5x220, 11x250
Squats: 30x115
Abs: 5 sets of something
Conditioning: Cosgrove Evil 8 w 65 lbs

5 min stretching and warmup
Bench: 5x125, 5x145, 4x165 – missed a rep, using a different bench that is harder to set up on and will need to use a spotter in the future.
Pushups: 4 sets of 15, 1 set of 16
Chinups: 63 in sets of 3-6 between sets
Tri pushdowns: 20x 3 plates, 10x plates, 17 x 3, 15 x 3, 15 x 3
Conditioning: 1 set of 6 reps of a 95 lbs complex of Deadlift, RDL, Row, Clean, Front Squat.

warmup and mobility
Squats: 5x125, 5x145, 15x165
Squats: 20x135
Abs: 5 sets of stuff
Conditioning: Cosgrove’s Evil 8 with 75

20091223 – on very little sleep
Press: 3x95, 3x105, 3x120
Pushups: 4x15, 1x18
Chinups: 60 with (12) sets of 4-6 between sets
Tri pushdowns: 20x 2 plates, 15x 3, 5x 4, 12x 3, 20x 2
Conditioning: Cosgrove’s Evil 8 with 75

General notes: In CA going to a nice gym, but the benches are worse are having a serious negative affect on my bench. Also, stalling on the Press but dragging today from lack of sleep. Squats, deads, chinups and pushups are all coming up nicely, and the pushup/chinup combo creates a great pump, and the complexes are exhausting.

Power Cleans: 3x95, 3x105, 3x120
Deadlift: 3x205, 3x235, 9x265 – PR adding a rep
Squats: 3x25x115
Roman chair situps: 3x15x15(med ball behind head), 12x15, 50xBW
Complex: Clean, Press, Back Squat, Front Squat, Deadlift – 3x8x45

Notes: kept good form on the deadlift. Had fairly long rest periods throughout, and should probably reduce them on assistance work in coming workouts.

Bench: 3x135; 3x155; 6x175 – went up easy
Pushups: 4x15; 1x19 – total=79
Chinups: 60 in 12 sets supersetted w/ bench and pushups
Tri Pressdown: 3 plates for 15 and 4 sets of 10
Complex: Clean/Press/Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift: 3 sets of 8

Squats: 3x135; 3x155; 14x175 – PR
Squats: 5x10x135
Seated Leg Curl: 20x105; 20x120; 3x20x135

Press: 5x100; 3x115; 2x125
Pushups: 20, 15, 15, 15, 17 – Total=82
Chinups: 60 in 10 sets
Tri Pushdowns: 3x12x 3 plates

Current training plan: I will continue to do pushups and chinups on both my Press and Bench days until I reach 100 in a day. After which I will switch them out for something on one of the days. Will probably start working on Dips, Pullups, Heavy Rows, and maybe BBB sets.

I have also gone out hiking on a few different days, burning 1000 cal in 90 min one day and 1600 in 140min another, and two 25 min walks.

Power Clean: 5x110, 3x115, 1x125
Deadlift: 5x220, 3x250, 6x280 – PR, though calculates to the same-ish 1RM
Deadlift: 5x10x175
DB Lunges: 10xBW, 10 w/ 20’s, 3 sets of 5 w/ 30’s
Roman Chair Situps w/ 15lbs Med Ball behind head: 4 sets of 15, 1 set of 10

Later in the day 90 min of Bikram Yoga (i.e. yoga in a sauna).

Did more yoga on some other days.

Bench: 5x145, 3x165, 7x185 – PR and increase of calculated 1RM
Pushps: 20, 4 sets of 15: Total = 80
Chinups: 60 in 10 sets between sets of Bench and pushups
Tri Pressdowns: 4 sets of 12 w/ 3 plates (30 lbs?) and a set of 22 with 2 plates (20 lbs?)

Going to do 90 min of Bikram Yoga

After travelling, a few months finishing an MA, more travelling and moving to Tucson, AZ, I have decided to start keeping up on logging my workouts here again. Over the past 6 months I have made a lot of progress on the 5/3/1 programs using mostly the Boring But Big (BBB) template. My body weight is up to about 205 lbs and all of my lifts have progressed at least some, though overhead press has not progressed all that much at all. I am just following the 5/3/1 program in a pretty straight forward way, progressing the weights as Jim Wendler has suggested. With the BBB exercises I have just gone sorta light and work with the weight until it feels too light, then I will increase it the next week. If I am struggling to complete the 5 sets of 10 for any reason, such as my form breaking down a bit on bench or my grip giving out on deadlifts, then I keep the weight the same the next week. Here is my current routine, generally 4 days/week, but it varies:

Press Day:
5/3/1 Press
BBB Press
Pullups after every set of Presses (11 sets total) – currently working on sets of 6 but the last sets fall short.
Superset (5 sets) triceps cable pushdowns and dumbbell curls – mostly light, high rep for a good pump
Afterburn Intervals

Deadlift Day:
5/3/1 Power Cleans-- prescribed reps only
5/3/1 Deadlift
BBB Deadlift
Something for abs and/or grip and/or traps.
Afterburn Intervals

Bench Day:
5/3/1 Bench
BBB Bench
DB Rows after each set of Bench – currently work up to a heavy set then do BBB style 5x10
Superset tris and bis as per Press day
Afterburn intervals

Squat day:
5/3/1 Power Cleans-- prescribed reps only
5/3/1 Squat
BBB Squat-- sometimes narrow/high-bar
Abs or something
Afterburn Intervals

With power cleans I just do the prescribed reps, increasing the weight 5 lbs each cycle. Currently the weights are a few shy of maxing, and definitely are a good workout.

For abs I generally do a decline situp variation or plank holds. Often I do a drop set on the decline situps repping out with a 45-plate on my forehead, immediately rep out with the plate on my chest, drop it to the floor and rep out unweighted.

On the intervals, I do 5 minutes warm up, then rounds of 1 minute going very hard (generally getting my HR close to or over 180) then 2 minutes going easier. 6 rounds.

Here are some recent main lifts:
2010-07-09 Press: 6x120
2010-07-11 Deads: 1x141
2010-07-12 Bench: 6x200
2010-07-14 Squat: 1x245
2010-07-17 Press: 10x115
2010-07-17 Deads: 5x316

For nutrition and supplements: mostly I just eat a considerable amount, but the the sort that a hard gainer would on a bulking diet. Generally includes at least a pound of chicken thighs and/or steak, a few glasses of milk, some cottage cheese, lettuce, some oatmeal and peanut butter and a good amount of junk calories. I plan to clean up my diet when the term begins and I will have less time to devote to working out, but currently this is working for me well enough to feel great, keep my energy up, recover from the workouts and gain weight without getting too fat.

I use 3 scoops of Surge Recovery peri-workout with Biotest creatine, generic caffeine (200mg) and ephedrine (10mg). Other times of day I take glucosamine/condroitin/vit-d, and at night Biotest ZMA.