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Old 05-15-2015, 06:16 AM   #1
Leezy321
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Six month review of Wendler's 5/3/1

The time has come to stop Wendler's 5/3/1 program. After 6 months my strength gains have finally slowed. But, it took 6 months!

There were two changes I did in this program from how 5/3/1 was originally written.
1) I only lifted 3 days/week. Wendler STRONGLY suggests 4 days/week. While being in the gym 4 days/week is probably ideal, I have no desire to strength train more than 3 days/week. Call me lazy..
2) De-load weeks. Again, Wendler STRONGLY suggests a de-load week every 4th week. I find this unnecessary. Everyone is different of course. I probably had 3 de-load weeks over the course of 6 months. Maybe even 2. I'd have to go back and look in my log book.

The results were about a 70lb increase on my squat/DL max. And a 45-50lb increase on my bench/oh press max. These are training maxes which is 90% of my actual max. So great results!

My body weight stayed about the same. Even with big strength gains. I did keep the program all about strength though. My accessory work was short. Maybe 1 or 2 exercises after my main lifts. My glutes and hamstrings got noticeably bigger (going by how my clothes fit), but everywhere else stayed about the same.

So all in all, I highly recommend the program. I will be going back on it after a few months. Wendler does have a method for recalculating your numbers when your strength gains stall to stay fresh. I chose not to go that route. 6 months doing the same thing had me a little bored.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:59 AM   #2
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thanks for this, I've always wanted to try the program and really believe in the methodology. Glad it worked so well for you
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:51 AM   #3
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thanks for this, I've always wanted to try the program and really believe in the methodology. Glad it worked so well for you

It's a great methodology that can really be fit into any program. There were several days where I didn't have much time. So I'd go in, warm up, do only my main lift, and leave. Yet still progressed!
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:08 AM   #4
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great program. Did very well on that after SS.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:33 PM   #5
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Progress is beautiful. Well done Leezizzle!
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:40 PM   #6
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Awesome stuff! I love Wendler's 5/3/1 and base a lot of my programming off the same principles. I used to dislike the deload weeks, but I quickly learned to love them. They allowed me to re-focus on form and dial in technique a bit better instead of focusing on just the amount of load I was moving. Even though most of the time I felt like I could have skipped the deload, I found myself incorporating them as planned and enjoying them more and more.
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:04 PM   #7
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Awesome stuff! I love Wendler's 5/3/1 and base a lot of my programming off the same principles. I used to dislike the deload weeks, but I quickly learned to love them. They allowed me to re-focus on form and dial in technique a bit better instead of focusing on just the amount of load I was moving. Even though most of the time I felt like I could have skipped the deload, I found myself incorporating them as planned and enjoying them more and more.

It's a great strength program for people with limited time. Sure enough, I read somewhere that's exactly why he came up with it because of his busy schedule.

Next time I go on 5/3/1 I'll most likely deload every 4th week like he suggests. That in itself could've been why my progress slowed. But either way, 6 months of sustained strength and lifting extremely heavy week in and week out I have no complaints.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:08 AM   #8
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It's a great strength program for people with limited time. Sure enough, I read somewhere that's exactly why he came up with it because of his busy schedule.

Next time I go on 5/3/1 I'll most likely deload every 4th week like he suggests. That in itself could've been why my progress slowed. But either way, 6 months of sustained strength and lifting extremely heavy week in and week out I have no complaints.

What does he suggest doing during deload weeks?
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Old 05-16-2015, 08:35 AM   #9
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What does he suggest doing during deload weeks?

3 sets of 5 on your main lifts @60%, 70%, 80%. No extra reps (+ set) on your last set. Accessory work stays the same.

So not much changes. Just lighter sets on your main lift for the day.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:29 PM   #10
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Starting back up on Monday. Going after a little more hypertrophy this time around, so after my main lift I'm going to do more accessory stuff than my first time around. Surprisingly, even after not doing this program for 5-6 months I haven't lost much strength at all.. I tested all my maxes last week. I'm also going to add throws, jumps, and sprints in before each session which I didn't do last time as well. My time is limited so a well thought out program is a must these days.

Deadlift 5/3/1 + accessory work

Bench/OH press 5/3/1 + accessory work

Squat 5/3/1 + accessory work

3 days a week. 3-4 accessory exercises each session.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:00 PM   #11
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interesting, need to look this up
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:42 PM   #12
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interesting, need to look this up
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:54 PM   #13
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Six month review of Wendler's 5/3/1

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Originally Posted by Act of God View Post
interesting, need to look this up

Great program! Try it out. I also love how short the workouts are. 15min warm up. Jumps, throws, sprints, and lifting takes about 40-45 min. So an hour or less..

Last edited by Leezy321; 11-05-2015 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:06 AM   #14
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I'm all about short workouts. Once I heal up from my current injury (moving sucks, especially moving two places into one). I'll hit up Solly and give it a go.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:20 PM   #15
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First month (4 week mesocycle) just about in the books. Up 3lbs in body weight without even trying. I think the volume and higher reps I've added for hypertrophy has made all the difference. I've basically been doing only heavy weight and low reps on everything for years...
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