I am going to take today’s post in a different direction and share with you all my progress after my first full month of following the 5/3/1 program.  I actually get asked quite often how often I train to stay so lean and jacked as shit.  It always comes as a shocker when I when say only 4 days a week for maybe 40 minutes of actual training.

I do however spend up to 15-20 minutes a day working on prehab stuff like soft tissue and mobility work.  Yes, this is important if you are fit as well.  I am under the strong assumption that injuries suck so I will do every thing in my power not to prove that theory.  I am lucky enough to not have sustained injury due to training. (knock on wood)

So you must do all sorts of crazy core exercises right?

Well, if you call squats and pullups crazy then I must be Charlie Sheen crazy.  WINNING!

I do incorporate core, but not as much as you might think since it gets worked hard enough during heavy squats, deadlifts and pullups.  I always make sure to include at least on day where I focus on rotational core since the big lifts are very linear.  This month I played around with the extreme core trainer which is always a party.  It’s crazy how that thing never gets easy.

Before I get excited like my dog when she spots a squirrel and go off on a tangent on the rotational core I am going to share (for better or worse) the program I followed this month.  It is my first time going through the 5/3/1 protocol so I am still fairly excited…again, like my dog when she spots a squirrel.

Here it is:

Warmup – I start with some FMS leg lowers and RNT work on my leg raise since it seems to have gone to shit in the past 6 months.  Hey, it happens to the best of us but doing something about it is key.  Then:

  • Hip Flexor Mobilization x 8/side
  • Squat to Stand with Reaches x 6
  • Seated Wall Slides x 10
  • Walking Spiderman w/ Hip Lift x 5/side

Nothing too fancy schmancy.


Hang Clean

  • week1- 105×5, 125×5, 140×7
  • week2- 115×3, 130×3, 150×4
  • week3- 125×5, 140×3, 155×1
  • week4- 65×5, 80×5, 100×5


  • week1- 200×5, 230×5, 265×7
  • week2- 215×3, 250×3, 280×4
  • week3- 230×5, 265×3, 295×3
  • week4- 125×5, 155×5, 185×5

A1) Barbell Rear Leg Elevated Split Squat 5×10 (final week I was up to 115 on the bar…my butt hurt)

A2) Reach, Roll, and Lift

B) Extreme Core Trainer 3×5/side

C) Sled Pushes 5×1


Bench Press

  • week1- 175×5, 200×5, 230×6
  • week2- 190×3, 215×3, 245×5
  • week3- 205×5, 230×3, 255×4
  • week4- 110×5, 135×5, 160×5

A1) Dumbbell Bench Press 5×10

A2) Chin-Ups 5×10

B1) Dips 5×10 (haven’t done dips in a looooong time, a welcome change)

B2) Reaching Planks 4×5/side



  • week1- 245×5, 285×5, 325×6
  • week2- 265×3, 305×3, 340×3
  • week3- 285×5, 325×3, 360×2
  • week4- 150×5, 190×5, 230×5

A1) Barbell Hip Thrust 5×8 (finished at 265×8…that was today.  My glutes will be on vacation for the next couple days)

A2) Horizontal Rows (w/TRX)  5×10

B) Kettlebell Swings [20 swings x 30s rest x 160 (I added 20 swings/wk)]


Overhead Press

  • week1- 90×5, 105×5, 120×5
  • week2- 100×3, 110×3, 125×3
  • week3- 105×5, 120×3, 135×2
  • week4- 55×5, 70×5, 85×5

A1) Handstand Pushups 5×10 (thought they would be fun…they were.  Sort of.)

A2) Weighted Pull-Ups 5×10

B1) Kettlebell Get-Up 3×2/side

B2) Yogaplex 3×4/side

C) Kettlebell Snatches 5×10/arm (I added one set/ week, nothing crazy)


That’s it.  Some days have 4 exercises and some days have 5.  I do my conditioning work with a kettlebell or a sled and I go the hell home.  Or back to work since I am already at work.  Usually back to work.

Following the 5/3/1 program next month I will increase my main upper body lifts (bench, overhead press) by 5lbs on each lift and my main lower body lifts (deadlift, squat) by 10lbs on each lift.  The only variety I get is messing around with my supplementary lifts (the rest).

This will be my life for the next 4+ months so I am hoping for some extraordinary results Mr. Wendler.

P.S. My butt is already sore from those hip thrusts.  Bye glutes, see yas next week.

Written by Steve