Beyond 5/3/1: Simple Training for Extraordinary Results

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Beyond 5/3/1: Simple Training for Extraordinary Results

Beyond 5/3/1: Simple Training for Extraordinary Results

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I just finished running Tactical Barbell's Base Building Block while using the 75/85 template from this book and I'm very pleased with my strength and conditioning improvements. And anything that allows me to train harder and reach my goals quicker is worth its weight in gold to me. Often, those who become depressed and discouraged after a bad workout are beginners and young lifters who don’t yet realize that greatness doesn’t always show up.

Beyond that oversight, the Joker sets do at least allow for you to get some work done in that 85%+ range. And even though 5/3/1 allows for rep maxes, it is much harder to add one rep per week than it is to add ~2-5lbs/1-2kg per week.

It’s also worth noting that there’s the original 5/3/1 programme as described by Jim Wendler, as well as the updated version described in the book Beyond 5/3/1, and some of the newest variations described in the book Forever 5/3/1. Compared to the other programs we’ve looked at thus far, Wendler is extremely progressive in his use of autoregulation. With that said, if you are going to run 5/3/1 in a cutting/diet phase, then make sure to reduce your total training volume, as recovery will be harder. After the first three weeks, add 5 pounds to your upper body lifts and 10 pounds to your lower body lifts.

Each exercise gets just two low-intensity, mid-speed, low-volume sets per week, plus a single mid-intensity max volume set. It also means you truly master the loads: you don’t just heft a weight once then never consider it again– you work up to and around your various maxes, and revisit them to set new records. By using 85-­­90% of your weight room max, you allow for a window that still keeps you accountable for your training while allowing some room for the inevitable bad day. I realize now that a large part of that deadend was a lack of good form and the inability to create and maintain a neutral spine throughout my lifts.And as we’ve already established that the original 5/3/1 program is light on volume if anything, the deloads are even more wasteful. If you have been doing the 5/3/1 program for any amount of time, you should know that pushing the last set for a new PR, is the money set. Now, the original 5/3/1 program doesn’t autoregulate volume beyond the AMRAP set, which is a major fault considering that it is an advanced intermediate program. You'll understand how your body works with assistance lifts after a good run of either of those assistance templates.

A common thread running through the dizzying array of workout programs Wendler’s book presents, is that they are all aimed toward getting the people using these programs to grow big and get strong. Its amazing to me that people bitch about this book not having what Wendler has already provided elsewhere, but that's people. When I first wrote the original program in 2008, I had no idea that I’d be able to expand the program into what it is today. Plenty of training programs achieve success without setting a PR, but personally, I love going into the weight room with a goal to shoot for.A generous donation supported the addition of a bodybuilding template from T-Nation Blood and Chalk 8 and Wendler’s Blog. You bought an ebook that has what seems like 1000 different assistance options and you can't pick one and stick with as written? After 25+ years of training and writing programs, I still have that youthful desire to create something new, unique and amazing. Generally speaking, more work performed at heavier weights equals better results, so long as you can recover. It’s straight forward and it guarantees small increments of safe progress over long periods of time.

In other words, for the vast majority of months that you spend doing 5/3/1, you spend exactly one week above 85% of your true max. First I thought I would slowly adapt to it but yesterday was the 3rd time this was programmed and it left me just as sore again today.The only issue is that there are soooo many templates and variations that the entire thing is somewhat of a jumbled mess that you’re going to have to sort out for yourself. Like everything else, its no magic formula, you have to put in the hard work and discipline for it to work for you! I love the core principle behind 531: a week of lifting around your five rep max, a week lifting around your three rep max, and a week of building up to your max. All the above variations can be mixed and matched in 5/3/1 cycles with different variations for different lifts creating massive template flexibility. I also like the idea of the training max, as after a while progression just isn't linear - some days you feel amazing, others you feel like crap.

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