T Nation

The Reformation


As its been pointed out to me in a post being a member of the 5/3/1 cult is like being Catholic.
So my question is with the soon to be published powerlifting version of 5/3/1 ? What impact will this have? Isnt the new version simular to Martin Luther posting his message on the church and starting the Protestant Reformation ? Will this lead to the formation of two different factions ? What horrors will arise from the conflict to come ?


I think more like Old Testament vrs New Testament thinking...

Seriosly looks like a good addition for powerlifters <---- who compete like yourself Mr. Bulldog.

I am going to buy it .


Yeah ,I plan on buying it . Ive been waiting for its release for many moons. After which I ll weigh my options.


Bulldog's OP sounded a bit tounge-in-cheek, but he raises some points that I think merit discussion.

Is the new powerlifting option a heresy? Does the new powerlifting option disturb core 5-3-1 principles? What the fuck are 5-3-1's core principles?

I think 5-3-1 has the following core principles:

1) 5-3-1 is a wave-based periodization scheme for the core lifts that is not periodized based on a specific competition date like traditional eastern-block periodization, it is periodized based on auto-regulated performance triggers.

2) 5-3-1 works in cycles and waves. After each cycle, you add 10 lbs. to the training max. You complete a wave when you can no longer increase the weight you are using as your training max for the next cycle.

3) 5-3-1 is based on one set for each main lift--the money set--with a wide range of assistance options based on individual needs.

4) 5-3-1 tries to get you a high-rep money set, a medium rep money set, and a lower rep money set during each cycle.

5) The goal is to increase the weight on the high, medium, and lower set each new cycle but keep at least the same reps. This is how you get stronger.

6) The increasing weight will eventually outpace your strength increases, so you need to know when to reset.

7) Calling "5", "3", and "1" "target reps" is a bit of misnomer--they are really reset triggers. In other words, you don't want to get 5 on the 5's day, you want to get more. When you can't get more, its time to start a new wave. In other words, its time to reset your training max.

If you do the above, you are doing 5-3-1 and following its core principles, even if your assistance work doesn't look much like the work the guy next to you is doing. If you do the above, and after the money set finish with 5x10 at 50%, 3x5 at 80%, 3x3 at 85%, or toss on some more weight and pull a few singles, you are doing 5-3-1 and following its core principles. 5-3-1, at its core, isn't really anything more than an organized way to vary and increase the weight and reps of the money set on the main lifts. 5-3-1 has a wide range of assistance options to fit the needs of the individual lifter--but none of the options are "essential" or "core" to 5-3-1.

So, in my opinion, the new powerlifting scheme--at least as it was described in the article--does not look heretical or earth shaking. I know in the 5-3-1 thread on the main board, there are a lot of posts about "what is allowed" and "am I doing it wrong" on a lot of shit that doesn't matter, but I think that the above boils down what 5-3-1 really is, and everything else in Wendler's book is really nothing more than tips based on his experience to help a person find the right assistance work to fit their particular goals.

These are just some thoughts I wanted to throw out there for the sake of discussion.


Damn that is clear, accurate, and complete. Don't show this to people thinking of buying JW's books.


jebeebus, hasn't everyone realized 6-4-2 with a westside hi-bred approach, intermingled with BIGs reverse band squat approaches but modified for RAW lifting, but still staying true to the Tejas method, is the way to go? And if that isn't working you really need to up the levels of plyometric training you are doing, and commit to the pull? Plus if your atlantic freshwater salmon oil dosages aren't high enough you are NEVER going to realize your full potential....

I actually had some dude ask me about the correct way to do curls a little while back. And I don't have amazing 'guns' by any means. He asked me if lifting the pinky would accentuate the peak and make his biceps grow faster. I told him to do 10 reps with the 40s this week. Next weeks do more reps. Then add weight. He looked at me as though I was effen lying to him.

My rant for the night.

And Jack, you can really dissect any text, can't you? powerliftin' Derrida...


The funny thing is if you actually said that to some kid, he'd probably nod his head and say 'Now I get it' and actually try to do exactly what you just outlined. Actually, that would be a sight to see!!

Nothing surprises me in the gym anymore. Next time, just tell him to gain 10#.


Very nice post. You do understand that it will brand you as a sinner?


just remember... heretics will be burned at the stake!