Description: Just your average middle America male with a steady sedentary job and growing family. I played some sports in high school, lifted weights in some form four to five days a week for the past 16 years. Terrible diet (read oatmeal pies and oreos). I look ok, I feel fine, I want to be better.
Goals: To add strength, muscle size, and look good naked.
Before starting 5/3/1 I would do a bench press/ohp/lats/traps workout on days 1 & 3, with squat/deadlift/bis/tris on days 2 & 4, then play golf and shoot 3-Gun/USPSA/Precision Rifle competitions on days 5 & 6. It always made me look ok and my strength was ok. I had been stuck in strength and size gains since about age 29, doing the same program since I was 20 didn’t help.
I don’t know how serious I am because I haven’t bought any of Jim’s books, which I feel shitty even saying that since I am using something he created and spent his time and money putting out there for people. I read a few online articles of 5/3/1 and made my own excel spreadsheet for my training. I’ve been reading a whole bunch of Jim’s posts and replies on here and feel like I have an ok if not just a basic understanding of the 5/3/1.
I built an excel spreadsheet that spits out my training percentages as I plug in my 1RM.
I started 5/3/1 Cycle 1 on 5-13-2019 like this:
- Standing Overhead Press: 180lbs 1RM (162lbs 90%1RM)
- Deadlift: 275lbs 1RM (248lbs 90% 1RM)
- Bench Press: 295lbs 1RM (266lbs 90% 1RM)
- Squat: 275lbs 1RM (248lbs 90% 1RM)
From now on I am going to substitute “90% 1RM” for “TM” (Training Max).
All of these numbers were tested 1RM’s and I felt a little silly doing such light weight on week 1 (65%, 75%, 85% of TM), but on week 3 I realized it’s all for a reason, getting rep PR’s at 95% of TM is what I should really be focused on.
Summary of the 5/3/1 Cycle 1 so far:
Week 1: Great. Hit every lift and really focused on my form and explosiveness. I was a little surprised at how difficult getting some of the Assistance Lifts were for 75 reps, probably because too heavy weight. I would do 10 to 15 reps per set and just felt completely wiped by the end, duh that’s the point. I always do my big lifts first (after a warm up) because I want them to be my main focus, as they should be.
Week 2: Good. Felt strong through all lifts. I feel like progress is already being seen in my lifts. My rep PR’s on my final lifts are way more than I feel like they should have been. I know it’s calling for 3+, but I’m doing 6 to 10. Not that it’s a bad thing, I’m still sticking to the program.
Week 3: I am on week 3 day 3 right now, will be doing Bench Press today and I’m a little concerned I am going to fail on the final PR set. It’s calling for 95% of TM which for me would be 252lbs. I have no doubt I can get it once and probably twice, but I feel like I should at least be getting it for three if not six reps. My OHP 95% of TM rep PR was three reps and my Deadlift was six. Going into a lift with doubts is a sure way to fail. I need to suck it up and do it. So what if I only get 1 rep? There’s always next cycle or I will likely pull back my Training Max.
I will be updating this as I progress and hopefully my total TM will be well north of 1000lbs in six to eight months.