New Workout Program: Wendler’s 5/3/1

01 Jan

New Year and I will be starting a new training program to build strength and improve myself.
I completed 12 weeks of Mad Cow Intermediate and probably would do well with another cycle or two of it but I really wanted to try 5/3/1 by Jim Wendler. Also hoping that with this new program I will spend less time at the gym and more with my family.

5/3/1 is a program developed by Jim Wendler and you can buy his book via his website here:
You can get a general idea of how 5/3/1 works by a couple of write ups found online. Here are 2 good ones that can help:

I HIGHLY suggest supporting the author and get the book yourself if interested in doing this program.

I plan to do 5/3/1 using the Training 3 days per week template. The program is very flexible that you can train 2x/week, 3x/week or 4x/week but decided 3x/week is best for my schedule.

Also plan to include Power Cleans into it as I really like them and would like to improve in that lift as well. I will be doing them before deadlifts during the 5/3/1 week and before squats on the deload week.

I have made an excel spreadsheet to easily view my training schedule and what I need to do each training day for each training cycle. It can be downloaded on the link below if interested:

With the program I have to find my estimated 1RM.
I hurt my left hip and lower back a couple of weeks ago trying to set PRs so ended up needing to do a 2 week layoff for recovery.

Below are the what I have attempted to find my estimated 1RM:

  • Overhead Press: 110 lbs x 8
  • Power Clean: 100 lbs x 10
  • Deadlift: 295 lbs x 7
  • Bench Press: 185 lbs x 8
  • Squat: 255 lbs x 6

Below are what I will be using as my starting Training Max:

  • Overhead Press: 130 lbs
  • Power Clean: 120 lbs
  • Deadlift: 330 lbs
  • Bench Press: 215 lbs
  • Squat: 280 lbs
For assistance exercises I am thinking about doing the “Boring But Big” exercises. Of course it can change depending on my mood, time and needs.

Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Program


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3 responses to “New Workout Program: Wendler’s 5/3/1

  1. Denise

    January 1, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I was wondering what I should do when I am done with Madcow. This post is very comprehensive and will give me some time to plan and look at the program. I didn’t update my blog (yet) since I made it to week 6 Madcow and then I felt like a deload was in order( had some muscle spasm and eye strain and holiday craziness), so this past week I deloaded and I feel recovered now. I am in no rush, so I will probably deload 2 or 3 times on Madcow. I am thinking that will bring me to the end of March or April which will be a year of SL/MC. I like working out this time of year as I don’t have so many holidays and demands on me.

    • Mannix Castro

      January 1, 2012 at 11:35 am

      I should have done a deload on Mad Cow around week 11.
      Not doing so actually was a bad call as I hurt my lower back and left hip attempting a Squat PR.

      For me, IF I had more time in my schedule, I would probably do another cycle or 2 of Mad Cow Intermediate after a full deload on all the lifts. This would have allowed me to milk the program even more, which I think would have been most advantageous for me.

      I am now planning to start Wendler’s 5/3/1 and many find it a good transition after Mad Cow Intermediate.

      I have milked Stronglifts 5×5 for it’s daily progress and I did 12 weeks of Mad Cow for it’s weekly progress.
      Now 5/3/1 will be a monthly progress that I will see how long I can milk it as well.

      If you have not done so, suggest check out . It’s a great community that I have recently joined since the Stronglifts website became a PAID ONLY site.
      Many helpful community there that can help you out as well 😀

  2. Mannix Castro

    February 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Here is another template doing the Boring But Big Assistance work:


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