Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 strength training program is extremely popular for two good reasons: it’s simple and it works. 5/3/1 for Beginners. Original article by Jim Wendler here. This page is intended to serve as a companion to this article, not a complete. In today’s program review, we’re going to be tackling Jim Wendler’s iconic 5/3/1 system. Now, before I begin, it is extremely important to note that 5/3/1 is not a.

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Rule Summary click for details: General Posting Guidelines click for more info: This page is intended to serve as a companion to this article, not a complete replacement for it, so please make sure to read the original in full as well as this page.

A spreadsheet for this program can be found here. If you are not used to a program that is based on percentages or that is not relatively static, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed at first. But once you familiarize yourself with it and make use of the spreadsheet, you will find that it is not as complicated as it appears at first blush.

You can also look at this extensive discussion thread about the program to help you understand it better. Don’t fall into the newbie trap of letting your Training Max or training weights be the be all end all of how you gauge strength or progress. Your Training Max is not a measure of your progress or your strength – Its only purpose is to inform the weights you use in training. Read related notes about progression here.

This section outlines the sets and reps used for the main lifts in the program. Sets, reps, and percentages in this program change each week on a repeating three week cycle. All notation listed wsndler Sets x Reps. All percentages listed are a percentage of your Training Max. Wendller that this is should not be to true muscular failureand you should leave reps “in the tank” on these sets. A good way to gauge this is that when the bar speed slows significantly compared to your previous reps, that should be your last rep.

This is used as short-hand to indicate that you use the same percentage as you used in your first set for that day. Each day, choose one exercise from each of the three categories below, and do 50 – wdndler of it. The number of sets you use to accomplish this is not important. You can do all of your reps for each category one at a time, or to finish your workout faster, you can cycle through a set from each wenlder in a circuit.


If you chose a bodyweight exercise and cannot complete at least 50 reps, you can choose a second exercise to finish the total out. If you chose a weighted exercise and cannot complete at least 50 reps, you chose a weight that was too high. Jim Wendler does not provide any jkm for rest between sets, so you can tailor this to your recovery and scheduling needs. Most commonly, rest times are kept between 1.

You should get in some form of light cardio or conditioning on at least one of the days you are not lifting. As Jim Wendler says jum the article, though, don’t run yourself into the ground. If you find yourself struggling with energy, recovery, or your lifting, dial down the intensity of the work you’re doing on your off days.

It is also fine to spend a few weeks ramping up and add days over time. This comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the distinction between training and testingand sometimes a focus on single days of training instead of the long term. It can be easy to wsndler training and testing for being the same thing, but they are not. The purpose of training is to be a stimulus that drives adaptation.

The purpose of testing is to measure or display the results of adaptation after a period of training. Jim Wendler’s training philosophy is that you should not do both at the same time, and that most of your work in the weight room should be training, not testing. When you are slamming forward on the accelerator with bar poundage and constantly exploring your limits, this is not training – it is testing.

Wendled it initially feels like you are making faster progress, in reality it is only a matter of time before it puts you beyond your recovery capacity.

Program Comparison: Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Vs. StrongLifts 5 x 5 Vs. Starting Strength

This will lead to – missing reps, slower reps, lower quality reps, increased injury potential, burnout, overreaching, and even overtraining. In his training methodology, Jim Wendler puts a very high value wendelr staying far away from those results, and a very low value on feeding the ego’s desire to be constantly evaluating progress.


Adapted from this original comment. The protocol for this would be:. At some point as you’re running this program, you may reach a point where you are unable to complete the sets and reps jm your main lifts, either at all or with clean, fast reps.

When this happens, it is important to remember:. If you find that you are consistently not hitting the sets and reps for a lift over a period wemdler at least one full three week cycle, it is time to lower your Training Max for that lift. If you find yourself feeling discouraged by this, again, remember – Your Training Max is not a measure of your progress or your strength. If you find your workouts running longer than you’d like, besides manipulating rest times, here are some other strategies you can use to complete the workout faster:.

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5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength | T Nation

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