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The 5/3/1 Workout Program


Welcome to the 5/3/1 Workout Program! If you’re an experienced lifter looking to take your strength training to the next level, the 5/3/1 program is a proven and popular choice. Created by strength coach Jim Wendler, this program focuses on gradual progression and continuous improvement. Let’s delve into the details of the 5/3/1 program:

Understanding the 5/3/1 Program

The 5/3/1 program is based on a simple yet effective concept of weekly incremental progression. It revolves around four primary compound lifts:

  • Squat
  • Bench Press 
  • Deadlift 
  • Overhead Press

The program is structured into four-week cycles, with each week dedicated to specific sets and rep schemes.


The Four-Week Cycle

The 5/3/1 program follows this progressive four-week cycle:

  • Week 1:
  • 3 sets of 5 reps at 65% of your one-rep max (1RM) 3 sets of 5 reps at 75% of 1RM 3 sets of 5 or more reps at 85% of 1RM (AMRAP – As Many Reps As Possible)
  • Week 2:
  • 3 sets of 3 reps at 70% of 1RM 3 sets of 3 reps at 80% of 1RM 3 sets of 3 or more reps at 90% of 1RM (AMRAP)
  • Week 3:
  • 1 set of 5 reps at 75% of 1RM 1 set of 3 reps at 85% of 1RM 1 set of 1 or more reps at 95% of 1RM (AMRAP)
  • Week 4:
  • Deload week: Lower the intensity and volume to allow for recovery and preparation for the next cycle.

Assistance Exercises

In addition to the main lifts, the 5/3/1 program incorporates assistance exercises to target specific muscle groups and improve overall strength. Assistance work includes exercises such as lunges, dips, pull-ups, and core exercises. These can be tailored to individual preferences and weaknesses.


Progression in the 5/3/1 program is gradual and sustainable. After each four-week cycle, increase your training max (TM) for each lift. The TM is typically around 90% of your actual 1RM. By recalculating your training max, you ensure a steady increase in training intensity over time.

Rest and Recovery

Proper rest and recovery are vital for success in the 5/3/1 program. Make sure to get enough sleep and allow your muscles to recover between sessions. The deload week in the fourth week of each cycle is an essential part of the program, giving your body a chance to recharge.

Nutrition and Supplementation

To support your strength gains, focus on a balanced diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Consider supplementation, if needed, to fill in any nutrient gaps and support your recovery.

Customization and Variations

One of the great aspects of the 5/3/1 program is its flexibility. You can customize assistance exercises, set and rep schemes, and training frequency to suit your goals and schedule.

Remember, consistency and patience are key in the 5/3/1 program. Stay dedicated to the process, push yourself to improve each cycle, and celebrate your progress along the way.