For awhile now, since we’ve been open actually, we’ve been following a very basic, pretty boring, linear strength program.
It served its purpose for awhile – all of you got stronger! But despite the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, I think we can do a lot better.
There were a few problems with our old system of 5×5 one week, 5×3 the next week, wash, rinse, repeat.
- Five sets with one or two warm up sets before, tends to take a pretty long time to get through. Especially when you’re working with a partner. And considering that we’ve only got an hour to get through a warm up, strength session, and a WOD, that eats up a lot of time.
- Some of you underestimate just how badass you are and consistently load the bar with a lot less than you’re capable of.
- Setting new PRs didn’t come as often as hoped, I believe, because of the limiting nature of the set/rep scheme. Do your last set of five and stop.(This was one of the biggest mistakes and one of the biggest changes with the new system.)
Well, no more. Say hello to Wendler 5-3-1.
For those of you that despise change, you’ll be happy to know that this isn’t too big of a jump from what we have been doing, and at first, you might actually, think that it’s easier. Muahahaha:)
The most notable changes are:
- All work sets are predetermined based off of a percentage of your 1 rep max. No more messing around trying to figure out what weight your next set should be. Just look at our new fancy percentage chart, (thanks Viki!) jot your numbers down, and get to work. This should add a lot more efficiency to your strength session and leave more time for workout preparation and technique instruction.
- PRs will come much more frequently. On your last set of every “strength day”, you’ll go as far as you can without failing. That means that if you’re squatting 3×5 – on your last set of five, if you can do more after you complete five, then you WILL do more. You should, however, never fail. That will only hinder your progress and we definitely don’t want that. You should continue until you think to yourself, “oh shit, I might die if I make another attempt.” That’s when you stop. S
- Strength cycles consist of four weeks. Week 1 – 3×5, Week 2 – 3×3, Week 3 – 3×5,3,1, Week 4 – Deloading. The next cycle, you’ll add 5kg to your working max and start all over.
Don’t worry if any of this seems too complicated. I’ll break it all down at the gym and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Then you’ll be on your way to setting more PRs!