After yesterday’s post on Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 system, I though about how I would probably incorporate into my training. I had a couple of ideas – more of them in another post maybe – but the most important is that I’d probably do 5-3-2
The reason for that is that I am really not into singles. I am not planning to compete in powerlifting, and I am doing this for health reasons. IMHO singles are just not a risk worth taking. I’d say by the way that Jim doesn’t really do singles: if you believe his formula – the one that says that for every 3 reps you lose 10% on your PR – and if you have been honest then you’ll be doing at least two reps at 95% of your 1RM.
I also like to think about the program in “waves”, each which a certain target, and rather than calling the weight in week 3 / set 3 “95%” I prefer calling it “100%” and think about it as something like my 2RM.
With this the protocol becomes
the alternate protocol becomes
and the rep-scheme becomes
with set 3 again being AMRAP.
I also note that this protocol seems rather “recoverable”, especially when done at a level far away from one’s genetic max (arguable one could do 5×5 or 3×5 there as well, but 5-3-2 seems more gentle). One could hence probably schedule the periods closer than weekly – at the limit (and especially when not doing all four exercises) one could probably do something like
- Period 1 on Monday
- Period 2 on Wednesday
- Period 3 (“PR”) on Friday
- Period 4 (“Deload”) on Sunday
Then rinse and repeat, increasing with something like 5% or 5kg, whatever is smaller. And put in a full deload / rest week after 3-4 full cycles or so.