5/3/1 Powerlifting Program

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Barbell Deadlift

Overview

  • 4 core lifts
    • Deadlift, Squat, Bench Press, Military Press
    • Plus minimal auxiliary lifts
  • 3-4 workouts per week
  • Loads based off of 90% 1RM
    • Equivalent loads based off of 1RM are also shown
  • Start light and progress slowly and gradually
  • Relatively low to medium volume
  • Cycles of 4 weeks
    • Deload on week 4
  • Increase weight to base 1 rep max each new cycle
    • +10lbs: Deadlifts & Squats
    • +5lbs: Bench Press & Military Press
    • Alternatively, +2.5% on all 4 exercise

Benefits

  • Simple
  • Effective
    • Steady strength gains
    • Inhibits strength plateaus
  • Easy to track progress

5/3/1 Program

Week Reps: 90% of 1RM(%) 1RM(%)
1 5/5/5+ 65/75/85 59/68/77
2 3/3/3+ 70/80/90 63/72/81
3 5/3/1+ 75/85/95 68/77/86
4 5/5/5* 40/50/60 36/45/54

+ indicates as many reps as possible considering minimal target reps
* Denotes deloading week (optional on 1st and 2nd cycles)

Instructions

  • Find 1RM for each core lift
    • Can estimate using 1RM Calculator and submax weight
    • Used as base weight throughout program
  • Choose to use either workload percentages based on '90% of 1RM' or '1RM'
    • Both percentages are equivalent
      • eg: 85% of 90%1RM = 77%1RM
    • 1RM Calculator can be used to calculate workload percentages in either case

Schedules with Auxiliary Lifts

Squat Day (Monday)
Leg Curl
Row
Biceps Curl
2-3 x 8-12
2-3 x 8-12
2-3 x 8-12
Bench Press (Tuesday)
Incline Bench Press
Neck Extension / Flexion
Incline Twisting Sit-up
2-3 x 8-12
2-3 x 8-12
2 x 15-25

Deadlift (Thursday)
Box Squats
Chin-up
Rows
2-3 x 8-12
2-3 x 8-12
2-3 x 8-12
Shoulder Press (Friday)
Upright Row
Chest Dips
Lying Triceps Extension
2-3 x 8-12
2-3 x 8-12
2-3 x 8-12


Squat | Deadlift | Bench Press | Military Press

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