Wendler 5-3-1 Program – Sun 11.06.16

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There is NO strength program that works absolutely.  They all work.  They all don’t work.  It really depends on the effort you put in and the consistency you keep.  And of course, changing up programs helps get you past plateus and builds areas you have neglected

I think Wendler’s 5-3-1 program is one of the best strength programs to supplement CrossFit.  The weight and volume is sufficiently scaled to not destroy you prior to your CrossFit workouts.  Meanwhile it still allows you to build hit lift heavy at a percantage of your maxes so you can constantly improve your form.

If you have time, take a moment to read the Wendler program (pretty long): 5/3/1: The Simplest and Most Effective Training System to Increase Raw Strength By Jim Wendler 

Here’s what you need to know:

– Start light, progress slowly, and leave out the ego in order to bust PRs.
– Choose 3-4 lifts to perfrom in a week. Center each workout around one lift.
– Use a specific percentage of your one-rep max to lift 5 reps, then 3 reps, then 1 rep. These percentages are based on 90% of your training 1RM.
– Complement 5/3/1 training with assistance work to build muscle, prevent injury, and create a balanced physique. Options include chin-ups, dips, lunges, and back extensions.  We call this the WOD!

Even within the program, there are many many ways to perform this program.  Let’s go through some examples.  Some people like to switch up the lifts after every cycle (4 weeks), some like to maintain the same lifts until its time to reset your weight.  It all depends

Let’s walk through the Week 1 workout for Back Squat. If your 1RM is 315, you calculate all your percentages from 90% of that max, or 285 pounds.  285 is your training max.

So you’re using 185 (65% of 285) x 5, 215 x 5, and 240 or 245 x 5 or more.

After you finish the first cycle, you add 5 pounds to your 1RM calculations for the two upper-body lifts and 10 pounds to your 1RM for the lower body movements.

The lift that we will be attacking are always going to be in cycles of 2 Lower Body and 2 Upper Body lifts per week starting with the following rotation.

First Cycle/Month
A-LBS1-Back Squat
C-UBS1-Bench Press
D-UBS2-Power Clean


We will readdress changes to the program after the first month, if any are needed.

The workout will be posted under the Strength/Skill and Conditioning section of the posted workout.  It will be listed as Optional Strength.  DO NOT do both the gym’s Strength and Optional Strength section.  Allow the program to work!

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