Wendler's 5/3/1 Core Components
4 to 5+ Week Mesocycle. A mesocycle of Wendler's 5/3/1 lasts 4 weeks if you train 4 days per week, and 5+ weeks if you train 3 days per week. If you workout three times per week (Monday-Wednesday-Friday), you will rotate between 4 core workouts. If you workout 4 days per week, you will hit each workout once a week on the same training day.
4 Core Workouts. Wendler's 5/3/1 consists of 4 core workouts:
Workout A. Squat and assistance work.
Workout B. Bench Press and assistance work.
Workout C. Deadlift and assistance work.
Workout D. Overhead Press and assistance work.
3 Days Per Week. As stated, if you use Wendler's 5/3/1 and workout 3 days per week, you will rotate between the 4 workouts. Over the course of a mesocycle, you will perform each of the 4 workouts four times, for a total of 16 workouts. A week week mesocycle looks like this:
Week 1. ABC (Monday - Workout A, Wednesday - Workout B, Friday - Workout C)
Week 2. DAB
Week 3. CDA
Week 4. BCD
Week 5. ABC
Week 6. D
4 Days Per Week. If you use Wendler's 5/3/1 and train 4 days per week, your mesocycle will last only 4 weeks. Your workout schedule should look something life this:
Monday. Squat Day
Wednesday. Bench Press Day
Friday. Deadlift Day
Saturday. Overhead Press Day
Workout Waves. Each workout is performed 4 times during the course of a Wendler's 5/3/1 mesocycle. Simply stated, you will have 4 bench press workouts, 4 squat workouts, 4 deadlift workouts, and 4 overhead press workouts. Each specific workout (A-B-C-D) is comprised of 4 waves, or 4 different workouts. These waves are:
Wave A. Warmup, 75% x 5, 80% x 5, 85% x 5
Wave B. Warmup, 80% x 3, 85% x 3, 90% x 3
Wave C. Warmup, 75% x 5, 85% x 3, 95% x 1
Wave D. Deload wave – 60% x 5, 65% x 5, 70% x 5
Wendler's 5/3/1 Complete Mesocycle Breakdown
Now that we've looked at the nuts and bolts of the Wendler's 5/3/1 powerlifting system, let's put them together into...