T Nation

Wendler's 5/3/1 Program - Part 4


Previous thread:


Let the fun continue ...

Increasing 1rm with 5/3/1

My question from the locked thread:

I'm back to doing 5/3/1 from a fat loss stretch. Has anyone checked out this slight variation?


I plan on doing this for all lifts, not just bench press.


Part 1:
Part 2:


This is something I've been curious about as well.

I'm not training for a meet or anytype of competition, just to get a lot stronger and be in pretty good shape so I don't have to be rushed to hospital with a heart attack after a game of football with my friends.
I'm assuming for me and people in a similar training style, that some good starting advice would be to simply listen to your body. If you feel able for them during your deload weeks, then fair enough. If you don't feel able and feel drained or tired(hell, even if you just don't feel like extra conditioning that day) then simply don't do it.
If you feel able for conditioning on your deload weeks but start to stall or even regress on your main lifts, back off on the extra work on the de-load week.

Am I hot or cold...?


What are your guys opinions about balancing horizontal pushing and pulling and vertical pushing and pulling? Do you think its enough to simply do the same amount of pulling with pushing (despite plane of movement) or do you think that every horizontal press should be equaled out with a horizontal pull. Same goes for the vertical plane.

Did that even make any sense? :stuck_out_tongue:


For every push - do 2 reps of pulling. This includes all warm-ups. Do rows and chins.


So for example, between every set of bench press, do a set of pullups?


Kind of...for every rep you do of pushing, do two of pulling. 2:1 ratio.


I do this on all four lifts, but with smaller jumps between sets (75-80-85% in week 1, 80-85-90% in week 2), don't go for rep maxes and don't do any other 'direct' assistance (so no lunges on squat day, DB presses on bench day and so on). This my in-season template.

Note: I use bigger jumps between my sets on Presses. Since my Press max is pretty low (~135lbs), doing the above would more or less be 5 sets at the same weight for week 1 and 2.

I used to think that the "If you can stomach a protein-shake after your workout, you're not training hard enough" was bullshit. That is until today, where I ran hill sprints after hitting the gym. This was my first 'true' North of Vag day. And to make it even better I had nachos for dinner.


they have nachos in Denmark?

maybe i'll visit after all...


^^ Your avatar rocks! Dethklok FTW!


I see you don't go for rep maxes, but that's exactly what big Jim suggested - rep out the top set as normal, then rep out the last/bottom set. So you're doing the pyramid but just getting the goal reps, yes?


Hey Jim,
What do you do for a meal postworkout wise (whole food, shake, etc) and how long after a workout do you eat or drink it? What did you do when you were dropping weight and what do you do now?

My goal right now is to lean out a bit and then start putting on the muscle....


Question about where to put power cleans in the program:
I know Mr Wendler says to put the Clean before squat but this makes me unbelievably tired and my front squat suffers [I don't do back squats at the moment]. As I see it I have two options:

  1. PREFERRED: Do my cleans before I military press (military press day is 48 hrs after deadlifting and 48 hrs before front squatting)

  2. Add in a fifth weights day where I just go to the gym and do the power cleans.

3.Drop the volume of cleans. Currently I warm up with 20kg,30,40,50,60*3 then do 70kg 3*3 work sets (Currently this is quite a light weight for me - I'm adding 2.5kg a week). This is pretty low volume as is - maybe i could just do singles on the warm ups?

Which of these options would work????


I just eat normal - I can't really eat right after a workout because I usually end with Prowler or hill work. I usually have to wait at least 90 minutes, if not more. I'm not sure how people who actually workout can take a post-workout drink.


I consume 3 workout drinks - before and during is fine but the after is quite a mental effort to drink. --- I don't throw up but it definitely makes the post workout tiredness and sickness worse ---- I figure I've got to do it though.


This should be on a t-shirt or something, or just known as a "Wendler-ism"


I have been adopting a more volume-based approach recently for my current cycle. (next week is the 3rd week)

Week 1- cap at 5 reps, followed by 4 x 5 with the same weight (so total volume: 5x5 with the weight for the top set)

Week 2- cap at 5 reps, followed by 3 x 5

Week 3- max reps, followed by 5 x 3 with the weight for top set.

So far so good.


So you do conditioning work after your weight workout?

How long do your workouts last?


ok, so Jim, what youre saying is...just kidding.