T Nation

Routines and Steroids


Hey everyone, I have a bit of a serious question to ask. This is in no way trying to troll or be annoying or bothersome in any way possible. Today, I was showing a close friend of mine who is a competitive powerlifter (620 deadlift, 575 squat, 405 bench, weighs 205.4) the 5/3/1 routine. He thinks this routine isn't very good and it is meant for someone who takes steroids. He says you need more volume. He also said this about the Mad Cow routine. He was also saying that Jim Wendler most likely took steroids because of how much weight he lifts, and it is a little abnormal and difficult to lift as much weight as he did without PED's.

1.) Is what he is saying true?

2.) Did Jim Wendler take any sort of performance enhancer?


Troll, GTFOH!!!!!


i'm not trolling at all! i just want to know. i know its a bit of a touchy subject but i just want some closure on the subject.


There isn't enough volume? Are you sure that he wasn't assuming that no assistance work was being done?


no he looked at it and basically said its a program mean for someone who roids up, and he also said just about every program online is like that. i personally think hes wrong, i just want to get everyone else's opinion


What program does your friend follow? Those are pretty good #s you list for him.


there are thousands of people who use this program without using steroids and have tremendous success.


Your friend doesn't sound like the intelligent type.


he is currently doing the 3x3 routine with 2 extra days of assistance work. not sure exactly how the 3x3 routine looks, but his week is structured like this:

monday- bench, squat, deadlift, incline bench
tuesday (shoulder/triceps) behind the neck presses 5x5 SS w/ db lat raises, regular presses 5x5 SS w/ db front raises, db rear delt raises 5x8, cg bench 5x3, dips 5 sets, tri extensions 4x10
wednesday- bench, squat, deadlift
thursday- 5x10 wide grip pullups, 5x10 close grip, 5 sets of barbell rows, 15,10,8,6,4 for barbell curls, 5 sets of isolated curls, preacher or concentration curls for a few sets
friday- bench, squat, deadlift

as you can see, he does ALOT of volume, and dont ask me how he does it. he's been doing a ton of volume ever since he was 14 or 15 back in high school. for some reason, this works for him, and he even admits he overtrains, but he thinks he needs to.

he just competed in the world competition today in Idaho. He was the best lifter and won the junior AWPC World championship. Here were his lifts at a body weight of 205.4:

Squat- 573 lbs.
Bench- 363 lbs.
Deadlift- 640 lbs.



I've done Madcow for the past 5 months and it's given me 70 pounds on my squat,35 on my bench and 85 on my deadlift so far. And guess what? I didn't use steroids. Sounds like your friend has a gross misunderstanding of how training works.


I've heard it all. 5 3 1 is for steroids. You need steroids if you do westside . Or this one or that one. Steroids help but they're not the end all.


YOur friend is a real dumbass...might wanna stop hanging out with him before you become one too...


Dammit, someone should have told me I needed steroids to do high volume...

Or that I need steroids to squat...

Guess I better tell my 100% raw lifting partner who has slipped 2 discs that he better quit now since he doesnt use...


And regarding questions 1 and 2...

1 - no

2 - who gives a flying fuck?


bench, squat, and deadlift on the same day twice a week? Your friend must need steroids to recover daily from that insanity!

Edit: 3x per week!


Hey Dixie, I was thinking about adding in deficit pulls. Your thoughts on them?


P.S. - Yeah, that's right, I hijacked the thread.


I'll just leave this here...


I love em. Great for grip, great for power off of the floor, and great for lockout.


What you have to understand is that even though someone is strong(er) than most, they can still be a total fucking dumbass. Your friend falls into this catergory. If you stopped talking to him, your total would go up 200lbs instantly.

x2 on the who gives a flying fuck about the steroids. Jim competed in meets that didn't drug test so the choice was his and it wasn't "cheating" or "wrong" either way he chose to go. Also something to keep in mind, Jim was not doing 5/3/1 when he competed.


I have been doing 5/3/1 since Jan. 2010 and had very good results without any chemical help. I would say in my expirence that it is a better suited program for the lifter who is natural. Are those numbers your friend lifted raw or equiped? If he followed that routine and posted those numbers raw he needs to hook up with a good coach. As for Mr. Wendler using steroids, isn't my business or yours.