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Trainer Never Heard of 5/3/1. How Should I Have Reacted?

Hi. I’m not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes. I was doing bench day for 5-3-1, and it was a “3+” day. As I am doing my warm up reps, another trainer guy comes up to me (for the record, he definitely lifts; I’ve seen him).

He says, “how may reps/sets are you doing, man?”. I told him it was 3+ day and I am doing 5-3-1. He looked puzzled. I thought he didn’t hear me because there was some techno beat music playing really loud that the other trainer guy (the one who ordered me to rack my squat) was playing. So I said, “I’m doing Wendler 5-3-1, it’s a method sort of like another method such as 5x5, Starting Strength, etc.”.

Trainer guy still looked puzzled and he responded, “yeah, there are a lot of different methods out there. I don’t know them all.”

Just curious what people’s reaction to this is. I realize there are a lot of methods, but if you’re a fitness professional, I think you should have at least heard of 5-3-1. I could see if I was telling my grandmother and she had no clue, but trainer guy should have at least heard about it.

That’s silly.


If they started teaching kids about 5/3/1 in elementary school you would have a lot more people who know about 5/3/1.

Are you sure he asked about reps and sets, like he wanted to know the specifics of your workout?

Maybe he was asking how many sets do you have left? Like he wanted to know when you would be off the bench and wasn’t expecting the answer about your programming.

In the past people asked to work in if you were on equipment they were after. Now a days the youth ask “how many sets you got left?” until they can take over.


Good question. His client was oly lifting on the platform next to me and he was definitely just curious about what I was doing (she never uses the rack). I was having a bad day on the bench and he was definitely asking from the point of view that I looked a little fatigued and not your typical Greenacre beast mode.

I hear powerlifters say they never heard of 5/3/1…GO FIGURE!

I mean, it’s not a powerlifting program, so it kinda makes sense.


The trainers at your gym do a lot more interrupting of training than I’d be comfortable with.


Bang his mom and fill his gas tank with sugar. I see no other course of action for you to take.


Simple. Educate him on it.

I have lived a pretty long time and I still come across things I never heard of.

I think the only appropriate response would be to spit in his face and give him a nipple twister, nobody would judge you for it


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