The original 5/3/1 released in 2009 was a straightforward system designed by Jim Wendler for himself for selfish reasons the 5/3/1 concept was something along the lines of doing the big lifts and push the prowler.
5/3/1 has grown to be one of the most used strength routines across the planet because it’s simple and it works.
Beyond 5/3/1 is an evolution of the original 5/3/1 Beyond 5/3/1 introduces many different variations and programs of 5/3/1 staying true to the 5/3/1 core principles, use the big compound movements, start light, set PR’s and progress.
Jim starts the book by going over the 5/3/1 principles and the importance of the training max found in the original 5/3/1 book.
Next up is the introduction of 6-week training cycles original 5/3/1 has a 3-week cycle of training with a 1 week deload the 6-week cycle involves 2 cycles back to back, and then the deload Jim explains clearly the how and why of the six-week cycle.
A new 5/3/1 warm-up method is included that ensures your body is ready for a heavy 5/3/1 workout this warm-up is optional and is just a different warm-up from the original.
Detailed descriptions of 5/3/1 variations are provided which can be incorporated in the many programs that are included in beyond 5/3/1 the variations are
A standard 5/3/1 but you work back down after the top set
First Set Last
After the top set go back down to the first set and do as many reps as possible the first set last has been a staple in my own 5/3/1 training in the past couple of years
First Set last Multiple Sets
As above but with multiple sets
First Set Last Rest-Pause
First set last is rest paused DC style
First Set Last Pause Squats & Benches
First set last works great with paused squats and benches I have personally used this method too.
All the above variations can be mixed and matched in 5/3/1 cycles with different variations for different lifts creating massive template flexibility.
Next are many 5/3/1 programs, percentages and reps I will give a very brief overview of each program the book will clearly describe the lifts, sets, reps and percentages of each program.
5/3/1 Strength Phase
A variation of 5/3/1 for Powerlifting
5/3/1 with dynamic work
5/3/1 with dynamic work such as speed squats, bench presses and deadlifts.
10 Boring But Big Programs
- Variation 1
- Variation 2
- 6 Week Challenge
- 13 Week Challenge
- 2 Days A Week
- Rule Of 50
5/3/1 And The Fatherland
5/3/1 and German Volume Training
5/3/1 with higher volume, singles and PR’s
The Rule Of 10
10 total reps for the last set every week
Working up with heavier weights after the main set with 5’s 3’s or singles
Joker sets supersetted
I believe in the Joker Sets and the First Set Last so much that I believe it should be a standard part of the 5/3/1 program
Beyond 5/3/1 Training Maximally
A totally new program with new sets, reps and percentages
Full Body Training
5/3/1 Full body
Full Body Power Clean
A full body 5/31 programme with power cleans included.
Full Body Power Clean 2
Another 5/3/1 Power clean variation.
Full Body Full Boring
Squat, Press, Deadlift every workout.
Spinal Tap Training
Very similar to original 5/3/1 except the final set is not done all out, and Joker sets are used.
Spinal Tap Training 2
Another variation of the above
5/3/1 with 5’s for every set.
More On The Deload
5 different deload options.
Full Body Deload
Take the stress off the body but stress the muscles.
Download with heavier weights and lower volume.
28 Weeks Of Training
A sample 28 week program that uses the above 5/3/1 variations.
5/3/1 for the advanced trainee’s who are strong as hell.
2 Day / Week Training
6 days a week with 2 x heavy 2 x mobility 2 x conditioning
for 2 Day / Week Training
For 2 Day / Week Training
For 2 Day / Week Training
2 Day / Week Training New Template
A new template for 2 Day / Week Training
SSS Singles, Speed, Size
A strength, size, and speed 5/3/1 template
12 Week SSS Program
A 12-week program of the above
Volume Work 75/85
Volume work with the big lifts
5/3/1 Challenges that will challenge you to complete these and you are a real man.
- Boring But Big Challenge
- Strength Challenge
- Prowler Challenge
- Rest Challenge
- 100 Rep Challenge
- 5/3/1 Rest-Pause Challenge
5/3/1 Frequency Project
The Frequency Project was originally a free download from Jim’s website. It became prevalent, so Jim has included it in Beyond 5/3/1 the program includes two 5/3/1 training cycles various tweaks in the sets, reps and percentages for various lifts and 24 workouts per month, Hence the Frequency project.
Frequency Project 2.0
Another variation of the above.
The Big Question
Jim answers the big question
There are lots of useful pointers and motivational pieces from Jim through the book. It will take a lifter years to exhaust every possibility presented in Beyond 5/3/1 if you cant get bigger and stronger over time with the programmes and methods in this book then you’re beyond help.
I used the first set last method with 5/3/1 for several months on a 4 day a week squat/benchpress/deadlift/incline press set up. It worked very well, allowing me to hit rep PR’s in the 3 big lifts for reps of 6’s, 8’s and 10’s.
While 5/3/1 allows consistent strength gains it also acts as an ‘over warm-up’ for the first set last, a back offset to failure this set up worked really well for me, and it’s definitely something I would consider using again in the future.