50 5 3 1 Program Calculator

5/3/1 and Loading Intensities Melbourne Personal Trainers
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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the 5 3 1 program calculator. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced lifter, this program is designed to help you build strength and increase your overall fitness levels. In this article, we will explore the basics of the 5 3 1 program, how to use a calculator to track your progress, and provide helpful tips to maximize your results. Let's dive in!

What is the 5 3 1 Program?

The 5 3 1 program is a strength training regimen developed by Jim Wendler, a former powerlifter and strength coach. It is based on the principles of progressive overload, focusing on the four main compound lifts: squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press. The program is designed to be simple yet effective, allowing lifters to make consistent progress over time.

The 4 Main Lifts

Before we delve into the specifics of the 5 3 1 program calculator, let's briefly discuss the four main lifts it revolves around:

  • Squat: A compound exercise that targets the lower body, primarily the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
  • Bench Press: A compound exercise that primarily targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Deadlift: A compound exercise that targets the posterior chain, including the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and traps.
  • Overhead Press: A compound exercise that primarily targets the shoulders, triceps, and upper back.

How Does the 5 3 1 Program Work?

The 5 3 1 program follows a simple and structured approach to strength training. It consists of four main training cycles, each lasting for three weeks:

1. Week 1: Warm-Up Sets and 65%, 75%, 85% Working Sets

The first week of each cycle focuses on lighter weights to ease you into the program. You will perform warm-up sets leading up to your working sets, which are set at 65%, 75%, and 85% of your one-rep max (1RM).

2. Week 2: Warm-Up Sets and 70%, 80%, 90% Working Sets

In the second week, the weights increase to 70%, 80%, and 90% of your 1RM. You will still perform warm-up sets before each working set to prepare your body for the heavier loads.

3. Week 3: Warm-Up Sets and 75%, 85%, 95% Working Sets

Week three is where you push your limits. You'll perform warm-up sets and then work with 75%, 85%, and 95% of your 1RM. This week is often referred to as the "PR set" or "rep out" set, where you aim to perform as many reps as possible on the last set.

4. Deload Week: Lighter Loads

The fourth week is a deload week, allowing your body to recover and adapt to the previous three weeks of training. You'll work with lighter loads to give your joints and muscles a break before starting the next cycle.

Using a 5 3 1 Program Calculator

To effectively track and plan your 5 3 1 workouts, it can be beneficial to use a 5 3 1 program calculator. This tool allows you to input your current 1RM for each lift and generates the working weights for each training cycle. Here's how to use it:

1. Input Your 1RM

Begin by entering your one-rep max for each of the four main lifts into the calculator. This is the maximum weight you can lift for a single repetition with proper form. If you're unsure of your 1RM, you can estimate it based on your recent training history.

2. Select the Training Cycle

Once you've entered your 1RM, choose the training cycle you're currently on. The calculator will generate the working weights for each week of the cycle based on the percentages prescribed by the program.

3. Track Your Progress

As you complete each workout, record your sets, reps, and weights used. This will help you track your progress over time and make adjustments as needed. Many 5 3 1 program calculators also allow you to log your workouts and provide visual representations of your progress.

Tips for Maximizing Your Results

While using a 5 3 1 program calculator is a great tool, there are additional tips you can implement to maximize your results:

1. Focus on Proper Form

Ensure that you're using proper form and technique for each lift. This will not only reduce the risk of injury but also help you target the intended muscles more effectively.

2. Prioritize Recovery

Rest and recovery are crucial for progress. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, fueling your body with nutritious food, and incorporating rest days into your training schedule.

3. Gradually Increase the Intensity

The 5 3 1 program is designed for long-term progress. Avoid the temptation to go too heavy too soon. Gradually increase the intensity over time to ensure consistent and sustainable gains.

4. Incorporate Assistance Exercises

While the 5 3 1 program primarily focuses on the main lifts, you can incorporate assistance exercises to target specific muscle groups or address weaknesses. This can help improve overall strength and prevent imbalances.

5. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how your body feels during and after each workout. If something doesn't feel right or you're experiencing pain, it's important to listen to your body and make adjustments as necessary. Don't push through unnecessary discomfort.


The 5 3 1 program calculator is a valuable tool for anyone following the 5 3 1 program. It helps you track your progress, plan your workouts, and make adjustments based on your individual goals and capabilities. Remember to prioritize proper form, recovery, and gradual progression to make the most out of this effective strength training program. Happy lifting!