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Strengthening Up: 5/3/1 Log

Hello dear T-Nationers,

I’ve been lurking on here (articles, forums, training logs, etc.) for a while now and finally decide to start a training log to keep tracks of my work and share with anyone who may be interested. Don’t be offended if there’s some mistakes here and there as english is not my first language (I’m from Quebec).

So let’s start with some stats:

Age: 23
Height: Around 5’9
Weight: 228 lbs (this morning)

Lifting background:

Olympic lifting: From age 13 to 16
On and off in the gym: Anywhere from 16-17 to 22 years old with the last 2 year period almost never entering in a gym. Bodyweight up to 255 pounds.

Now: It’s been 1 year now since I started training consistently without stopping but without any real precise goal.

In january 2013, i decided to aim my training primarily on strenght, stop thinking I know my shit, and follow a program that’s been proved to work and stick to it for a while.

5/3/1 by Jim Wendler following the Boring But Big assistance as written.

These were my starting weights for the first cycle:

Squat: 190kg (90% = 171)
Bench: 120kg (90% = 108)
Press: 90kg (90% = 81)
Deadlift: 200kg (90% = 180)

All these were tested and true 1 RM the week before starting my first cycle on February 04 2013.

I’d like to do a powerlifting meet by the end of the year maybe this fall. We’ll see where this leads!

I just began my third cycle today and will start to log it in here from there and try to put some videos from time to time.

Hope to get some feedbacks from you guys and continue to learn about strenght training!


Monday 08/04/2013 - Squat training

First day of 3rd cycle. Went like this:

Warm up:

Bar x lots
60 kg x 10 reps (sitting at the bottom to stretch those hips)
72,5 kg x 5 reps
90 kg x 5 reps
107,5 x 3 reps

Let’s get to work:

117,5 kg x 5 reps
135 kg x 5 reps
155 kg x 11 reps


Squat: 5 x 10 @ 90 kg
Lying leg curl: 5 x 10 @ 100 lbs

Was pretty happy with 11 reps on my all out set as I’ve made a improvement from last cycle where I manage to push 150 kg for 10 reps. Numbers are coming up! It was overall a good session and I’m already impatient to hit the bench tomorrow!

Tuesday 09/10/2013 - Bench Training

First benching day of 3rd cycle. Here it goes:

Warm up:

Bar x lots
45 kg x 5 reps
60 kg x 5 reps
67,5 kg x 5 reps

Let’s get to work:

72,5 kg x 5 reps
85 kg x 5 reps
95 kg x 15 reps


Bench: 5 x 10 @ 60 kg
Dumbbell row: 5 x 10 @ 32 kg

Training session went “good”. Beat my rep PR with 95 kg by 1 rep. I foud that my bench is not improving as fast as my squat and deadlift but it’s what seem to happen with almost everyone so I guess that’s ok. At least it’s improving! Tomorrow it’s off and I’ll be back on thursday to Overhead Press!

Thursday 11/04/2013 - Overhead Press training

Here it goes:


Bar x 15 reps
35 kg x 5 reps
42,5 kg x 5 reps
52,5 kg x 5 reps

Working sets:

55 kg x 5 reps
65 kg x 5 reps
72,5 kg x 11 reps (see video below)


Overhead Press 5 x 10 @ 42,5 kg
Hands Suppinated Lat Pulldown: 5 x 10 @ 150 lbs

Should have stopped after that 11th rep because I hate missing a rep but that is still pretty good to me as I beat my previous cycle equivalent training by +2,5 kg and +1 rep. Can’t wait to beat next week, but tomorrow is a big deadlift day I’ll rep it as hard as I can!

Fiday 12/04/2013 - Deadlift day

Last day of the 5’s week with the deadlift. Went like this:


60 kg x 10 reps
75 kg x 5 reps
95 kg x 5 reps
115 kg x 3 reps

Working sets

122,5 kg x 5 reps
142,5 kg x 5 reps
162,5 kg x 12 reps (video below)


Deadlift: 5 x 10 reps @ 95 kg
Decline sit-ups: 5 x 15 reps @ BW

The 12th rep felt pretty hard to me today but by looking at the vid, I find that it went up pretty fast and I surely could have pulled 1 maybe 2 more. But I’m also satisfied with that as my equivalent week last cycle I got 12 reps but with 157,5 kg.

Overall, this week was really good and the weekend is off, so I can rest and by back with the 3’s on squat monday!


Monday 15/04/2013 - Squat training

Cycle 3 - First day of 3’s week with the Squat. Went up like this:


Bar x 10 reps (sitting at the bottom)
60 kg x 5 reps (pausing 3-5 seconds)
72,5 kg x 5 reps
90 kg x 5 reps
107,5 kg x 3 reps

Working sets:

127,5 kg x 3 reps
145 kg x 3 reps
162,5 kg x 10 reps (video below, any advice on form would be appreciated)


Squat: 5 x 10 @ 90 kg
Lying leg curl: 5 x 10 @ 100 lbs

Damn that last reps feeled hard but I’m proud to have been able to push it through. I’s starting to see some pretty good gains from 5/3/1 in the higher rep range as I also beat my last cycle equivalent training where I achieved 157,5 kg x 9 reps. My legs are quite sore now and tomorrow will be a pain in the ass but that alright, 'cause tomorrow we bench!

Tuesday 16/04/2013 - Bench press training

Cycle 3 - Week of 3’s

Warmup sets:

Bar x 20
45 kg x 5 reps
60 kg x 5 reps
67,5 kg x 3 reps

Working sets

80 kg x 3 reps
90 kg x 3 reps
102,5 kg x 12 reps


Bench press: 5 x 10 @ 60 kg
Dumbbell row: 5 x 10 @ 34 kg

That was it for the day. Got 12 rep on my last set and pretty happy as my last week of 3’s I pushed 11 reps with 100 kg. Numbers are growing slowly, but I can’t wait to get to the heavier weights! Tomorrow is a rest day and I’ll be back on Thursday with the Overhead Press.