Jim Wendler’s workout plan for raw strength

Jim Wendler’s workout plan for raw strength – 5/3/1

Jim Wendler’s legendary powerlifting program.

  • Goal: building strength
  • Technical complexity: medium
  • 4-Day Split
  • Duration: 50 – 80 minutes
  • 4 times a week

5/3/1 workout plan is based on the basic knowledge of strength training. This workout includes traditional multi-joint exercises (squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press).
The training starts lightly so that there will be more room for slow but sure development.

Do the 5/3/1 workout 4 times a week. One training cycle lasts for 4 weeks. You should do at least 3 cycles in a row.
Every main exercise (squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press) has the following rep goals in a training cycle:

  • Week 1: 3 x 5
  • Week 2: 3 x 3
  • Week 3: 3 x 5, 3, 1
  • Week 4: reloading

Choose the starting weight for the main exercises as follows:

  1. Find out your 1 rep maximum for the exercise. (This is how you calculate your 1 rep max>>)
  2. Multiply the given result by 0.9.
  3. Use the given number when calculating the weight for your workout.

 

 

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Set 1
65% x 5
70% x 3
75% x 5
40% x 5
Set 2
75% x 5
80% x 3
85% x 3
50% x 5
Set 3
85% x 5+
90% x 3+
95% x 1+
60% x 5

5+, 3+ and 1+ mean that you will do as many reps as possible.

For example, if your bench press maximum is 100kg, your calculation is based on 90kg (100kg * 0.9 = 90 kg). Therefore, Set 1 for the first week is 0.65*90kg x 5, Set 2 for Week 2 is 0.70*90kg x 3, etc.

When the first 4 week cycle has been completed, add 2.5 kg / 5 lbs when doing bench press and shoulder press and 5 kg / 10 lbs when doing squat and deadlift. Do the same after the second 4 week cycle.
You will also need suplemental sets when training with 5/3/1. Wendler recommends pull ups, dips, lunges and back extensions.

Jim Wendler’s sample program: The Triumvirate

When training with “Triumvirate,” you do 3 different exercises which includes 1 main exercise and 2 supplemental exercises during each workout. Before the workout you should warm up (skipping rope, exercise bike, treadmill) and do short stretches.

Rest for 3 -5 mins in between the main exercises, and for 1 – 2 mins in between the supplemental exercises.

Remember that your workout weight is calculated by the weight that is 90 % of your one rep maximum.

Workout 1

Exercise
Sets
Reps
% of maximum
1)
Barbell Military Press
3
Week 1
5
65, 75, 85
Week 2
3
70, 80, 90
Week 3
5/3/1
75, 85, 95
Week 4
5
40, 50, 60
2)
Chest Dip
5
15
3)
Chin up
5
10

 

Workout 2

Exercise
Sets
Reps
% of maximum
1)
Deadlift
3
Week 1
5
65, 75, 85
Week 2
3
70, 80, 90
Week 3
5/3/1
75, 85, 95
Week 4
5
40, 50, 60
2)
Barbell Good Morning
5
12
3)
Hanging Leg Raise
5
15

 

Workout 3

Exercise
Sets
Reps
% of maximum
1)
Bench Press
3
Week 1
5
65, 75, 85
Week 2
3
70, 80, 90
Week 3
5/3/1
75, 85, 95
Week 4
5
40, 50, 60
2)
Dumbbell Bench Press
5
15
3)
Dumbbell Bent-over Row
5
10

 

Workout 4

Exercise
Sets
Reps
% of maximum
1)
Squat
3
Week 1
5
65, 75, 85
Week 2
3
70, 80, 90
Week 3
5/3/1
75, 85, 95
Week 4
5
40, 50, 60
2)
Leg Press
5
15
3)
Lever Leg Curl
5
10

 

Don’t forget that the supplemental sets are supplemental sets! Don’t use weights that are too heavy.

5/3/1 works if:

  1. You find out your real 1 rep maximum for each of the main exercise and calculate the weight according to that number.
  2. You complete the workout until the last rep of the last set. The last set is where the development happens.
  3. Do not train for more than 2 days in a row. Do the workout 4 times a week.
  4. Do not customize! Do the 5/3/1 training as said.
  5. Download a workout journal below to keep track on the weight used.

Jim Wendler’s workout plan for raw strength

Source: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/how_to_build_pure_strength

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