5/3/1 Experience

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    5/3/1 Experience


    I've done a search for this and there isn't really a thread for 5/3/1.

    I figured seeing as it's mentioned more and more on this forum it would be worth having one (maybe a sticky) where questions and experiences on it could be noted and addressed?

    I'll start. How long into 5/3/1 did you start to stall, or find it extremely hard to progress? And what did you do to move past that point (be it recalculating your working max like wendler recommends or something else)?

    I'm into my 3rd mesocycle now (BBB) and everything is still flying up - maybe less so on the bench, but it's still moving.

    Anyway I think it's worth having a focal point here to discuss what is a very popular training ethos

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    I am on my first cycle of it right now. You know Wendler currently uses the program himself?
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    I just started the 5-3-1 program on Monday myself. Hitting back today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rckvl7 View Post
    I am on my first cycle of it right now. You know Wendler currently uses the program himself?
    yeah i did. good interview with wendler and tate;

    http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...te_and_wendler

    like they say, how many trainers actually use their own programs and keep breaking PR's? wendler does.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by b9cist View Post
    I just started the 5-3-1 program on Monday myself. Hitting back today.
    I assume by back you mean deadlift day?

    Quote Originally Posted by SemiBulimic View Post
    yeah i did. good interview with wendler and tate;

    http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...te_and_wendler

    like they say, how many trainers actually use their own programs and keep breaking PR's? wendler does.....
    Yeah, Wendler and Tate are among my favorite lifters even though they both are retired.
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    I think it would be useful to hear how people are doing their assistance lifts. Wendler gives pretty specific instructions towards the main lifts and stalling. He goes into pretty good detail on the assistance stuff too but it's the part of the program that can really be changed to each persons desire. I would also be interested to hear which of the two progressions anyone has followed and the results from it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rckvl7 View Post
    I think it would be useful to hear how people are doing their assistance lifts. Wendler gives pretty specific instructions towards the main lifts and stalling. He goes into pretty good detail on the assistance stuff too but it's the part of the program that can really be changed to each persons desire. I would also be interested to hear which of the two progressions anyone has followed and the results from it.
    I'm doing the BBB variation with a little bit of accessory lifts every now and again as i see fit. I think wendler said that the secret is not to over-complicate things and if you do change anything, do it one change at a time so you can gauge it's effect.

    As far as results go I took a 2 month break from lifting before this and about now i'd say i'm approaching 95% of my best ever 1RMs after just over 2 months of 5/3/1. I haven't maxed out on a 1RM yet to test it but i'm tempted to at the end of this mesocycle. So it's all good.

    One other thing with this is that i've staggered it so that i'm not at the same stage of the cycle with each lift if you get my drift, i.e. i started bench for 2 weeks before i did any other lifts in the program and added standing press last. This wasn't by choice initiially due to a back injury but it works well as it means I'm not doing the heaviest day of each lift in the mesocycle (i.e. the 95% day) in the same week (i actually work on an 8 day microcycle basis whereby if i can get all 4 lifting days fitted in in the space of 8 days i'm happy) and it helps give the CNS a break every now and again.
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    I like it for about 2 cycles...or 8 weeks, but then just completly stalled...not sure if it was the change in gym or what. I would come to weeks where I couldn't hit all 5 reps of my first set.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuebner View Post
    I like it for about 2 cycles...or 8 weeks, but then just completly stalled...not sure if it was the change in gym or what. I would come to weeks where I couldn't hit all 5 reps of my first set.
    You more than likely used too high of a training max, as you shouldn't have stalled that early. That or your recovery got real out of whack.
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    just completed my second cycle (8th week). my coach abandoned me, guess i asked too many questions so yeah a 5/3/1 thread would be great for any of us with questions.
    I'm logging here
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/suppl...ivate-log.html

    if any of you care to see what assistance lifts i'm doing.
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    I glanced at your log seems like you do quite a bit of assistance work. Everyone's different though, so if it is working for you keep it up. If you start having trouble though the first thing I would do is cut back on assistance.
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    ^^thanks. i admit i am dead after each session! i'm doing the "bodybuilder" variation so that's why i have so much volume.
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    i know ill get flammed but i think its over rated my deadlift didnt go up.. neither did bench. squat moved up... but overall coans routine is way better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownstown89 View Post
    i know ill get flammed but i think its over rated my deadlift didnt go up.. neither did bench. squat moved up... but overall coans routine is way better.
    From your 5/3/1 log:

    "My own adjustments- i use 95% of bench press max 100% for deadlift and push press. I dont use this routing for squats as i do a BB style leg workout cuz those things are TWIGS. i didnt purchase the book so i dont kno about accessory lifts i just do 10-12 sets of 10 reps..."

    You can't say it doesn't work if you don't follow his directions for the program...
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    Quote Originally Posted by rckvl7 View Post
    From your 5/3/1 log:

    "My own adjustments- i use 95% of bench press max 100% for deadlift and push press. I dont use this routing for squats as i do a BB style leg workout cuz those things are TWIGS. i didnt purchase the book so i dont kno about accessory lifts i just do 10-12 sets of 10 reps..."

    You can't say it doesn't work if you don't follow his directions for the program...
    when i readjusted it later to the correct percentages, i was not able to move heavy weight when i went to max out.. my rep maxes i guess did go up, but ill stick with faster gains with coans routines...
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownstown89 View Post
    when i readjusted it later to the correct percentages, i was not able to move heavy weight when i went to max out.. my rep maxes i guess did go up, but ill stick with faster gains with coans routines...
    I looked over the first page of your log and even though it was hard to read it was pretty clear you didn't follow Wendler's instructions. You know there is no days to max out your weight? The closest thing to it is in the third week on the last set you can go for more than 1 rep at 95% of your training max. He never tells you to keep working up to a true 1RM.

    Though you have pretty decent numbers, there is no way you should have been stalling out on 5/3/1 at those numbers unless you weren't following his directions(which from everything I read in your log, you weren't).
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    I just started this routine and on friday Ill be 3 days in. I like the idea of go crazy on the last set. Im just sticking to the plain powerlifting version with his accessories Jim reccomends.

    seems simple enough to keep you from failing for a while, 90% of 1RM can easily be hit. Program makes sense and Ill have to report back after a cycle of two of it.
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    I've done 1 cycle of this routine and been on a diet as well, down 10lbs so far.

    A couple people have commented on how I look bigger, I think the surplus in volume with assistance/all out last set has put a little bit of size on me :]
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownstown89 View Post
    i know ill get flammed but i think its over rated my deadlift didnt go up.. neither did bench. squat moved up... but overall coans routine is way better.
    I didn't like it either. I respond better with higher volume training on the main lifts. I ran it for a while and my lifts went down or stayed the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I didn't like it either. I respond better with higher volume training on the main lifts. I ran it for a while and my lifts went down or stayed the same.
    yea i dont see how training so much below ur max can lead to gains on your max but appreantly some ppl get good results by it.
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    I'm in my second week of the program. I'm doing the BBB assistance work to keep things simple and get some volume in. It's too early to make any real conclusions yet, but based on the soreness I've had it should build some muscle. I started my training maxes at 85-88% of my actual maxes that I had at my powerlifting meet a few weeks ago. Hopeully this will keep me from stalling too early. I've also noticed I can't push the last set really hard on both BP and military press in the same week or my shoulders get beat up. Right now if I push my BP reps, I'll just do the prescribed reps on the military press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRS2000 View Post
    I'm in my second week of the program. I'm doing the BBB assistance work to keep things simple and get some volume in. It's too early to make any real conclusions yet, but based on the soreness I've had it should build some muscle. I started my training maxes at 85-88% of my actual maxes that I had at my powerlifting meet a few weeks ago. Hopeully this will keep me from stalling too early. I've also noticed I can't push the last set really hard on both BP and military press in the same week or my shoulders get beat up. Right now if I push my BP reps, I'll just do the prescribed reps on the military press.
    I kind of have the same problem you do.. Im doin the coan routine and for an assistance day i use 3 board close grip press with pause.. and i noticed it hits the shoulders pretty good, so its best if i take it out for a week as a deload. then get back too it... maybe every 4th week take out the BP or M.P. competely .
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownstown89 View Post
    yea i dont see how training so much below ur max can lead to gains on your max but appreantly some ppl get good results by it.
    The %s are good according to Prilepin's table. I just don't respond well to low volume that's all. I'd say the vast majority of lifters (exception of elite) would get stronger on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    The %s are good according to Prilepin's table. I just don't respond well to low volume that's all. I'd say the vast majority of lifters (exception of elite) would get stronger on it.
    I agree, just wasn't for me....i've been hitting 5x3s and 10x1 and progressed so much more...While my friend has hit huge PRs with 5/3/1.

    I respect Jim, just didn't dig his 5/3/1...entertaining read though
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    I have used the program several times. I learned, after my first cycle, that you really do need to use weights well below your max. For example, I use around 60 pounds less on deads. I set rep PRs almost on a weekly basis. I have been lifting for a long time so I understand gains are slow and steady. This program works well for that. People that expect to put 40 pounds on their bench using a 4 week program will be disappointed with this (unless you are really new to lifting). Also, I change the main lifts up a little every 2 cycles or so. For deads, I like regular pulls and snatch grip pulls. For squats, I rotate back and front squats. For bench, I usually do CG bench and regular flat bench. I have a spreadsheet that lowers your max to what you should use. I can email it if anyone is interested.
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    It definitely is a program for the more patient among us.

    I tried it to stir things up about 3 months ago and there hasn't yet been a session where i haven't broke a PR. The BBB variation is a killer for those not used to reps over 5, especially squat day.

    I do like volume training and got good results but it just destroys my hips and shoulders.

    Each to their own.

    What assistance work does everyone do and if anyone has a question about it maybe they can post here rather than just saying it sucks big baby poo?.....
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    I've just finished my first 3 weeks. I tried to rep out the last set at almost every workout and it really caught up with by the third week, especially in the DL. Next wave I'm going to be more conservative about how often I go for max reps.
    I used the BBB for my assistance work, but I found it beat up my middle and lower back too much. For my next wave I'm going to try the following:
    DL
    SSB GM 5x10
    abs 5x10

    BP
    BP BBB
    rows

    SQ
    power SQ machine 5x10
    GHR
    abs

    OHP
    dips
    pull-ups or pulldowns
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    I am starting 5/3/1 tonight. I'm really looking forward to this training routine. It is simple and seems to be quite effective when followed as prescribed. I also frequently train by myself and do not have the luxury of having four or five guys handy to help me get into a squat suit and bench shirt. I'm actually kind of over the whole equipment fad, at least at the current level that it's at. I'd much rather train raw and BE strong than train in equipment and not be worth a crap without it. Just my personal preference. We'll see how this program works, since it is designed for raw training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhyde View Post
    I am starting 5/3/1 tonight. I'm really looking forward to this training routine. It is simple and seems to be quite effective when followed as prescribed. I also frequently train by myself and do not have the luxury of having four or five guys handy to help me get into a squat suit and bench shirt. I'm actually kind of over the whole equipment fad, at least at the current level that it's at. I'd much rather train raw and BE strong than train in equipment and not be worth a crap without it. Just my personal preference. We'll see how this program works, since it is designed for raw training.
    agree 100% the biggest thing i noticed with this program tho was my rep maxes went up and following wendlers log in elitefts seems like his did too...

    but when it comes to training raw defrancos WSSB 3 is amazing...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhyde View Post
    I am starting 5/3/1 tonight. I'm really looking forward to this training routine. It is simple and seems to be quite effective when followed as prescribed. I also frequently train by myself and do not have the luxury of having four or five guys handy to help me get into a squat suit and bench shirt. I'm actually kind of over the whole equipment fad, at least at the current level that it's at. I'd much rather train raw and BE strong than train in equipment and not be worth a crap without it. Just my personal preference. We'll see how this program works, since it is designed for raw training.
    I kind of reached the same point when I switched to raw training. I think the final straw was my raw bench being stronger than ever, but I couldn't do anything in the shirt.
    If you're already reasonably strong, be careful not to try and kill yourself right out of the gate. Wendler says that more advanced trainees have to "choose their battles" more carefully when it comes to going all out on the last set. I made this mistake in my first cycle and really beat up my low back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRS2000 View Post
    I kind of reached the same point when I switched to raw training. I think the final straw was my raw bench being stronger than ever, but I couldn't do anything in the shirt.
    If you're already reasonably strong, be careful not to try and kill yourself right out of the gate. Wendler says that more advanced trainees have to "choose their battles" more carefully when it comes to going all out on the last set. I made this mistake in my first cycle and really beat up my low back.
    I appreciate the advice. I am so long armed, shirted benching puts my biceps in such a bind when I tuck my elbows as much as I'm supposed to that after about two consecutive weeks in a shirt my bicep tendons feel like they are about to rip off the bone and they ache nonstop. Just not fun for me. My issue will definitely be my shoulders, and not over doing it. I think I will probably be best served to focus on my all-out sets on bench rather than SMP. It isn't a comfortable exercise for me to begin with and the full ROM aggravates my shoulders. I don't see much added benefit in going all out on them on the last set.

    Like I said, I'd rather train raw and when I find another meet to go to, just squat in briefs, which I can get used to again with little time, and use a single-ply shirt from someone like Ricky Crain that will give me just a little added support and that I can bench comfortably in on meet day. Not a bullet proof vest that requires two SHW's and a small army of midgets to get me in to. So, this training system being designed for raw training will hopefully keep my strength increasing and keep me competitve come meet time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhyde View Post
    I appreciate the advice. I am so long armed, shirted benching puts my biceps in such a bind when I tuck my elbows as much as I'm supposed to that after about two consecutive weeks in a shirt my bicep tendons feel like they are about to rip off the bone and they ache nonstop. Just not fun for me. My issue will definitely be my shoulders, and not over doing it. I think I will probably be best served to focus on my all-out sets on bench rather than SMP. It isn't a comfortable exercise for me to begin with and the full ROM aggravates my shoulders. I don't see much added benefit in going all out on them on the last set.

    Like I said, I'd rather train raw and when I find another meet to go to, just squat in briefs, which I can get used to again with little time, and use a single-ply shirt from someone like Ricky Crain that will give me just a little added support and that I can bench comfortably in on meet day. Not a bullet proof vest that requires two SHW's and a small army of midgets to get me in to. So, this training system being designed for raw training will hopefully keep my strength increasing and keep me competitve come meet time.
    Sounds reasonable to me. I've found so far I've done OK with the bench if I do max reps on the BP, but just do the prescribed reps on the military press. If you have shoulder issues, I would start very conservative on the military press training max you work off of (even less than 90% of actual max). Pulling max reps on the DL every week beat up my lower back, so that's just something to pay attention to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRS2000 View Post
    Sounds reasonable to me. I've found so far I've done OK with the bench if I do max reps on the BP, but just do the prescribed reps on the military press. If you have shoulder issues, I would start very conservative on the military press training max you work off of (even less than 90% of actual max). Pulling max reps on the DL every week beat up my lower back, so that's just something to pay attention to.
    That's what I was actually thinking about doing on SMP, so I think starting with even 80% would be good. You think that's too low, or would that be okay?

    This is really a very different training program than I'm used to. I usually deadlift every other week. This has always worked the best for me and given me good strength gains. I will be sure not to over do it on SMP and deadlift for sure.
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    I think 80% would be fine to start with for the military press. It's always easier to adjust things up if it's too easy than to try and recover from overdoing it.
    I have an idea for my DL training for my next cycle that's still based on the %'s, but should be a little easier on the back. I don't want to suggest it to anyone else without trying it first myself. My advice would be to simply be very conscious of your DL form and if it breaks down at all, stop the set, even if you could grind out more reps. If you're not used to doing DL for reps, I would just do the prescribed reps for my first cycle. If I had it to do over again, this is what I would do. If you tolerate the first cycle well, you can start pushing the reps a little on the second cycle.
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    Im starting this on monday actually just finished his book. ill be following Assistance Work #1: Boring But Big, where u follow up ur main work he prescribes then use 5x10 for the same movement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EctoMeso View Post
    Im starting this on monday actually just finished his book. ill be following Assistance Work #1: Boring But Big, where u follow up ur main work he prescribes then use 5x10 for the same movement.
    Just ease into it and pick a weight for the 5x10 that is very light. You will likely be very sore, so don't try to go too heavy the first week. If you find after a week or two you can increase the weight a little, you can, but it's tougher to recover if you run yourself into the ground the first week or two.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRS2000 View Post
    Just ease into it and pick a weight for the 5x10 that is very light. You will likely be very sore, so don't try to go too heavy the first week. If you find after a week or two you can increase the weight a little, you can, but it's tougher to recover if you run yourself into the ground the first week or two.
    I can attest to this personally. I just completed my first week and I had to back down my assistance work considerably from what I had intended on during the week of 3 x 5. SRS you were correct, sir. I can tell how easily my shoulders would get beat up if restraint is not used in the assistance exercises, especially not being used to doing two such shoulder intensive movements in the same week between benching and SMP.
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    Going into my 2nd "wave" or w/e its called. made 1 critique on 5/3/1

    for deload Im doing 5 sets of 5 for the main lift at 50-60% of my 1RM using priplens (sp) table focusing on speed and explosivness. Im using the deload week to make more progress on the assistance works, yes I know its assistance but Im not even strained.

    Ive been checking out some other people's suggestions of this and a common one that seems to work well is the 5/3/1 "max" day, instead of doing 1rep+ @ 90-95%, some people are doing 1 rep 90-95%, 1 rep 102.5%, and one last additional rep of 90-95% again. Food for thought Im sticking to Wendler's original gameplan tho.
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    Has anyone made good progress in weights while on a cutting diet? I've just started reading up on this and am getting ready to start trimming down. Typically strength goes down on restricted calories so I wonder if this will help counteract that.
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    You can make some progress while cutting, but it depends on alot of factors. If you are dropping very slowly, you can make some slow steady progress over time. If you are already an experienced lifter, your goal will likely just be to maintain strength while you lose weight. From experience, I would also caution you to not go all-out on the last set every workout while cutting. Your recovery simply isn't as great in a calorie deficit. Also set your training maxes very conservatively if you plan on cutting. Maybe even in the 85-90% range of your true max instead of the 90% Wendler typically recommends.
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