Thursday, July 30, 2009

5/3/1 Update

The last 4 weeks have been spent testing Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 protocol. I’ve followed it to the “t” thus far.

The program sets up a set-and-rep scheme that you follow for 4 weeks at a time. You then readjust the poundages and go for another 4.

The 4th week is a de-load week, so I’ve been going light all week. Still practicing my lifts, but way light.

*Wendler’s program doesn’t call for testing actual 1-Rep Maxes, so he uses a rep-max calculation to figure out if you’re making progress. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but I plan on testing it next week with a mini-mock powerlifting meet with myself.

All my reps were based off of my competition lifts from my last powerlifting meet. I only tested my overhead press at the beginning with a barbell and then used a pair of kettlebells closest to the poundage needed for the sets.

Here’s the recap of the 3 weeks leading up to now.

Week 1 (Last set of the day is a max with 5 or more reps at the prescribed weight)
OH Press – 2-32kg – 10 reps – Predicted 1-Rep Max – 190
Dead Lift – 425 – 11 reps – P1RM – 585
Bench – 230 – 11 reps – P1RM – 315
Squat – 345 – 14 reps – P1RM – 510

Week 2 (3 or more)
OH Press – 2-36kg – 5 reps – P1RM – 190
Dead Lift – 450 – 10 reps – P1RM – 600
Bench – 245 – 10 reps – P1RM – 330
Squat – 365 – 13 reps – P1RM – 525

Week 3 (1 or more)
OH Press – 2-40kg – 3 reps – P1RM – 195
Dead Lift – 475 – 9 reps – P1RM – 620
Bench – 260 – 9 reps – P1RM – 330
Squat – 385 – 11 reps – P1RM – 530

My body weight stayed very consistent around 185 during the entire cycle. I’m real interested to see how this transfers to an actual 1RM, so it’s put-up-or-shut-up time next week.

I used primarily all KB exercises for my accessory work. Some days I didn’t do any accessory work and worked on corrective drills after my work sets. I really just played it by ear.

I threw other KB stuff on my off days with my classes for GPP and joint-mobility.


On another note, my Southern RKC Brother, Dustin Rippetoe, RKC II and CK-FMS, from Guthrie, OK is putting on a really amazing workshop in October. I’m planning on attending Day 2 as I have a meet scheduled in OK City the first day. He’ll have 2 of the TOP Kettlebell Instructors in the WORLD in one place, Jeff O'Connor, SrRKC and David Whitley, SrRKC.

He’s offering a killer deal right now as well. If you sign up and get 2 other people to sign up, your registration is FREE! That means you get to spend 2 days with 2 Senior Instructors plus a bunch of other talented people for NADA! Or, you can get your 2 referrals together and split the 2 registration fees between the 3 of you. Pretty nice discount if you ask me!

Check out the details here: and get on the horn with 2 of your friends to get in on this deal!


Anonymous said...

would you mind sharing how you trained kettlebells during 5/3/1? Were you just using them as assistance (ie clean and press for the press day and swings for deadlift day), or did you use kettlebells separately for conditioning?

I am using 5/3/1 right now, I usually use one or two assistance movements after the main lift using barbell or bodyweight, and then i set up a mini-metcon with kettlebells and an ab move at the end of the workout.

Jason Marshall said...

Sorry for the late reply, braden! I didn't notice I had a comment on this post.

I used a double KB clean and press in place of the barbell clean and press. I tested my barbell max before I started 5/3/1 and I used a pair of bells closest to the prescribed weight.

I used barbell lifts on the other 3.

I primarily used KB drills for my accessories, warmups and conditioning work. They include heavy double KB front squats, swings, bottoms up press, Suitcase rows and floor press. Many days I don't get to accessories, but if I do, it's one or two moves. I try to get the most bang for my buck, so I go heavy and hard with whatever I choose.

The entire program and how I've adjusted for me and my goals has worked really well. The current cycle I'm on has seen crazy improvement on all 4 lifts.