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    Has anybody tried 5/3/1, it seems to be very popular, any thoughts of the program?


    I use the 5/3/1 every 3 weeks and find it great for improving explosive power and upping my lifts. Make sure you are lifting between 95-100% of your 1RM to ensure max gains. Also when doing this I aslo superset each exercise with a contrast plyo set ie. Squats ss CMJ’s, Bench Press ss Powerbag Throws etc.
    Remember to ensure you get the correct rest between sets to insure you’re able to give max effort so you are recruiting your fast twitch fibres.


    are you talking about Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program from elitefts.com or something different?


    @bris83 1768 wrote:

    are you talking about Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program from elitefts.com or something different?

    Yeah, sorry should have made that clear.

    My only thought was that the high reps for squats and deadlifts could leave you with heavy legs for running work


    Hey prop,

    Yeah I have used Wendler’s 5/3/1 method with a few of my clients for most of this year, but not following wendler’s program to a tee. Is it the high reps on his assistance work that you are worried about or on the main lifts?

    I’ve mainly used his percentages and incorporated them into a westside style program on their max effort days and they have all been getting really great strength gains. He states that for the first couple of months, starting them off 10% lighter than what his 1RM formula cacluates and always rounding down all the weights instead of up (when using his percentages) is best, and this has so far worked really well.

    I find it a little easier with the less experienced guys as most of their lifting is done without my supervision and getting them to learn the techniques of all the various max effort lifts associated with the westside method can be a little slow.

    So far I have only used it with back squat standing press and flat bench press but I am planning on rotating the exercises each month and using the 5/3/1 percentages, ie. month 1 – Good morning varitaion/close grip incline bench, month 2 – Deadlift variation/floor press, month 3- squat variation/press variation – so they can perfect their techniques on the various max effort lifts with the eventual aim of rotating their lifts every 1-3 weeks as per the westside method.

    I haven’t had a chance to implement his full program yet but I would be interested to know how it goes. The volume on his assistance exercises seems to be very high to me but I guess it depends on what you’re traning for.

    Tom have you read his book? What are your thoughts on it?




    the 5/3/1 programme itself is a ‘strength’ programme and not a mix of all methods, aka westside style. if you are doing something different then it is not the 5/3/1 programme.

    The programme itself requires you to use 90% of a 1RM as the training weight to be used in the programme.

    I have read the book and use it’s methods with about 8 of my players at the moment, i usually follow it for 2/3 cycles then we shift the aims to something different. This also depends on weekly in-season demands, such as how many times we can lift that week etc.

    I highly recommend that you purchase the ebook from elite, its not that expensive and it answers many of the questions most people are asking about it.


    Just thought I’d throw my 2 cents in.

    Within about 10 weeks ago I started a 6 week cycle of 5/3/1.

    It looked like this.

    Monday- Lower Body- Squats 5/3/1 (maybe accessory work depending on how fried lower back was)

    Thursday- Upper Body- Bench 5/3/1, rows delts upperback etc

    I did it for 6 weeks, 5/3/1 then added 5kg to each of the working weights 5/3/1. (no deload week as per book being in gym only 2x per week)

    Before I started my ALL TIME best squat was 210kg, but my max at the time was probably closer to 200kg. Therefore all working sets were based on 180kg.

    After 6 weeks I hit my 1 rep on squat, then went on to work up to a max. I hit an easy 227.5kg (500lbs). So the book well worth the $25.

    The only con. I was wearing a lever belt and it was a bit tight. When you get 10 reps with a weight you should be hitting 1-3 times and are wearing a tight belt, it is very uncomfortable. The next time I run 5/3/1, no belt.

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