T Nation

Wormydog's 5/3/1 Training Log

Age: 32
Height: 5’9"
Weight: 164lbs
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.

Just got back from the gym on my lunch break.

5/3/1 Cycle 1, Week 3, Day 3

Bench Press: 266lbs TM (90% of 1RM)
135x10 (warmup)
200x5 (75% of TM)
225x3 (85% of TM)
255x1+ (95% of TM) (only 2 reps hit :frowning:

Accessory Lifts:
Flat Dumbbell Bench: 70lbs
Reps: 15, 15, 13, 12, 13 = 68 reps

Lat Pulldown: 165
Reps: 12, 12, 12, 12, 12 = 60 reps

I achieved all prescribed reps but only got 2 reps on the last PR set of Bench Press. I waited and did another 2 reps with the same heavy weight before moving on to Accessory Lifts and SuperSetting them without much rest in between SS.

Tomorrow is main lift Squat with Leg Press and Leg Curl accessory lifts.

After the week is through I will go into my Deload Week 4 and evaluate on adding weight for Cycle 2.

I know it’s recommended to add 5lbs to Bench and Standing Overhead Press, and 10lbs to Squat and Deadlift. I will definitely be adding 10lbs to Squat and Deadlift but I’m unsure if I should even add 5lbs to my bench since I only achieved 2 reps on my PR set. I’ll see how I feel at the end of next week before making a final decision.

Since my last visit I completed the Week 3 Cycle 1. I nailed the Day 4 which was squat. Here’s how it went:

Squat: 248lbs TM
135x10 (warmup)
185x5 (75% of TM)
210x3 (85% of TM)
235x1+ (95% of TM) (I got this for 6 reps)

Accessory Lifts:
Leg Press: 200lbs
Reps: 15x5 = 75 reps
Seated Leg Curl: 120lbs
Reps: 12x5 = 60 reps

I felt strong through all lifts, will definitely be adding 10lbs to the Squat next cycle.

I have completed Day 1 of Week 4 Cycle 1 (deload week).
I feel strong and ready to complete this week so I can start working back up again. I am focusing on form and explosiveness on this deload week and going hard on accessory lifts, just to where I can get all 50 to 75 reps. Eating enough has been my biggest failure. I eat a light breakfast and usually skip lunch while I workout and then eat a decent sized and decently healthy supper. Then I drink scotch and go to bed. I know I’m at a calorie deficit and it’s a struggle with my job and family responsibilities to make myself eat enough and healthy. Just part of it I guess.

I am still undecided on adding 5lbs to my OHP and Bench Press. I hit the maxes and didn’t miss any reps in the cycle but I would feel better if I was getting 6 reps on the TM PR day. I’ll decide by this weekend.

Also, shot a precision rifle match this past weekend that involved walking 2.5 miles hauling 40+lbs of rifle and gear at an elevation of 6600+ft, the density altitude was above 9000ft and temperature was in the low 80’s. It was a blast and I felt good the whole time. I shot decently, from 205y to 875y in shifty mountain winds.