T Nation

Starting 5/3/1


So I'm starting Jim Wendlers' 5/3/1 program with my buddy.. Of course I have to get my max for squat, deadlift, bench and standing military press before I begin. Just wanted to post my stats and maxes on here before I actually start the program. Thoughts and observations are appreciated.

23 years old

Squat: 325

Deadlift: 275

Bench press: 245

Standing Miltary (strict): 145


Get after it!! My suggestion from experience and others…it is better to start off on this program a little light than too heavy. Easier to adjust heavier than lighter. IMO


Are you squatting to parallel? It’s rare that anyone but a novice would be squatting 50 pounds more than they deadlift…


ok ok you got me… soo i havent exactly maxed deadlift just yet. its the last one i have to do. i was so sore from maxing squat i was trying to recover fully before i went for it. That 275 is a guess at what i think I’m probably gonna do. There is a chance i could do more though. I just can’t wait to get started. as far as squats to parallel are concerned. Im not saying I’m perfect but I’ve always been pretty disciplined about form (i coach gymnastics). So I’m pretty sure that was a legit number


To ipliskin212, which 5/3/1 book do you have?

My suggestion is to pick a template, such as The Triumvirate, and do it EXACTLY as written for at least two 6-week cycles. Do it to the letter. To reap the benefits of 5/3/1, you have to understand the main idea behind it, as it is not really a “program”, more of a philosophy. As simple as the program is, you can still screw it up if you don’t understand the philosophy. The best way to ‘get it’, is to do exactly what Jim says. Then you can figure out which template may suit your needs better, when to push certain lifts harder than others, etc.

Good luck. Ask questions if you need to.


My friend gave me the manual as well as the spreadsheet
im not the sure of the different versions but, the one i have says: “5/3/1 The simplest and most effective training system to increase raw strength” on the title page


I think that is the first edition. I would do the Triumvirate version because it forces you to pick the absolute best movements for you personally. No fluff.

Remember these things (not necessarily an exhaustive list):

-Always try to perform the main lifts explosively but under control, even when the bar gets heavy and slows down
-Push your last set hard, but not to absolute failure
-Do your assistance work like a bodybuilder, meaning feel the muscles working, don’t try to just move the most weight
-If you feel like you are getting too many reps on the last set, don’t worry, the program and the weights will catch up to you

If you feel like you need some more work with the main movements, you can always go back to the first set weight and knock out a couple sets of 5 after your PR set. I would start small, say 2 sets of 5 if you choose to do this. When you see people on the forum refer to FSL (First Set Last), this is what they mean.

Above all else, make sure you put effort into recovery, don’t just expect it to happen because you didn’t train that day. Size and strength gains happen when you eat enough, sleep enough, and eliminate stress from your life.


so the final verdict for my deadlift is 295. i tried for 315 but i couldn’t hold on to the dam bar. I’m so pumped about starting this thing. My buddy and I are discussing the program tomorrow, as well as getting our percentages. Saturday we’re starting it


Couldn’t keep your grip? Uh oh, sounds like Kroc rows will now be one of your assistance exercises :slight_smile:


lol sounds good to me!