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37 Reviews
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much more specific than the original
I read the original 5/3/1 (1st edition) a while back (about a year ago?), and I liked the program and have been loosely using it since. I finally found out that there was a new edition just for powerlifters, and I am glad I picked it up. Unlike the original, it contains information specific to geared lifters (but it is not entirely for geared lifters). It also had some...
Published on January 22, 2012 by Justin M. James

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good information, lousy book
I have seen people complain that Jim Wendler's books are too expensive for what they contain, but I have to disagree with this assessment. His programs are well-recognized, have thousands of success stories behind them, and are simple enough for any lifter to follow. Hell, there's even a free app to track 5/3/1 training. So the information in the books is generally...
Published on October 28, 2012 by Neophyle


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much more specific than the original, January 22, 2012
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This review is from: 5/3/1 for Powerlifting: Simple and Effective Training for Maximum Strength (Paperback)
I read the original 5/3/1 (1st edition) a while back (about a year ago?), and I liked the program and have been loosely using it since. I finally found out that there was a new edition just for powerlifters, and I am glad I picked it up. Unlike the original, it contains information specific to geared lifters (but it is not entirely for geared lifters). It also had some useful recommendations regarding how to modify the program to fit your needs and how far out from a meet you are. Where the original contained a lot of things that any powerlifter should already know (like how to perform basic lifts), this edition replaces it with information that is of special interest to a powerlifter. While this book makes references to the original, the references are explained enough that this one can stand on its own just fine. Like the original, it makes for easy, short reading. If your interest is the sport of powerlifting, you can skip the original and just buy this one. Personally, I got more value out of it then I did the original.

J.Ja
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read 5/3/1 first, December 28, 2011
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This review is from: 5/3/1 for Powerlifting: Simple and Effective Training for Maximum Strength (Paperback)
This book gives a great overview of the original 5/3/1 program and then shows ways to tailor it if you want to improve your powerlifting. The 5/3/1 program has been incredibly effective for me. I bought this book to get more ideas. It was worth the money. I will incorporate some of the ideas when I start my next 5/3/1 cycle.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great follow-up to the original 5/3/1 program!, December 17, 2011
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This review is from: 5/3/1 for Powerlifting: Simple and Effective Training for Maximum Strength (Paperback)
Jim did a great job on this follow-up to his immensely popular 5/3/1/ book! I highly recommend this book for both powerlifters and people just looking to use 5/3/1 to get strong. He spends a lot of time explaining key concepts and going into more detail about topics first introduced in the original 5/3/1 book. As has been mentioned elsewhere, 5/3/1 will keep you lifting and progressing for a lifetime, not just one or two cycles.

One of the best things about the program is its flexibility, not only to the daily ups and downs of life but also to different lifters needs. I am 32 years old and fly every week for work, yet I still manage to use the 5/3/1 program for my training (hint: the two days a week method works great).

As an aside, I will suggest a bundle package for anyone buying this book:

1) 5/3/1 - The original
2) 5/3/1 For Powerlifting
3) Starting Strength - Basic Barbell Training by Rippetoe
4) A prowler
5) A spittoon (you'll know why after pushing the prowler and running the big mother hill)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No fluff., December 13, 2011
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This review is from: 5/3/1 for Powerlifting: Simple and Effective Training for Maximum Strength (Paperback)
I enjoy Wendler's simple style. The best systems, of just about anything, have a basic structure, but allow for flexibility within that structure. There is nothing magical or mysterious about 531. Far too many of us get caught up in assistance exercises, gimmicks and techniques too advanced or implemented wrong and never progress in our primary lifts. By providing a basic structure that stresses the Deadlift, Squat, Bench Press and Overhead Press and a simple progression scheme that a majority of trainees are lacking coupled with multiple ways to individualize or add variety, Wendler offers a system that is pure gold. He reviews the basic system and then tweeks things a bit to gear it to powerlifting, and offers meet prep framework. That said, this is not a "get strong overnight" or fad program. It is for the long haul, so if you want to get off your hampster wheel, stop the "insanity", prep for a meet, or just structure your training and actually make some progress...do it! Just for the record, women are not immune to the benefits of 531!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good information, lousy book, October 28, 2012
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This review is from: 5/3/1 for Powerlifting: Simple and Effective Training for Maximum Strength (Paperback)
I have seen people complain that Jim Wendler's books are too expensive for what they contain, but I have to disagree with this assessment. His programs are well-recognized, have thousands of success stories behind them, and are simple enough for any lifter to follow. Hell, there's even a free app to track 5/3/1 training. So the information in the books is generally well worth the price. This book is no exception. He spends very little time outlining the basics of the program, instead focusing on the modifications and specific concerns of the powerlifter versus people training for any other reason. Gear concerns, tapering a program for meet preparation, and other concerns specific to the powerlifter's goals are the focus of this book.
Now, for the negative. I am pretty sure that no one edited this book at all. There are not only basic misspellings rampant throughout the book, but there are also numerous places where random symbols are inserted in the middle of a line. It looks as though it was composed in one format, then copy/pasted into a document in another format, and some kind of translation incompatibility replaced a lot of punctuation with other inappropriate symbols. At times, it actually makes comprehension of a sentence pretty difficult, but generally speaking, it is little more than an annoyance. How much of an annoyance is up to you entirely, but to me it reeks of amateurism.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best program for pure strength, January 13, 2013
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I have played contact sports and been in law enforcement most of my life. After college football I got into law enforcement for 15 years. 5/3/1 is the best program I have used to gain size and strength. Jim Wendler has made getting strong easy to understand. I only wish I would have had this information years ago. If you can commit to the 5/3/1 plan it will work. I have had great success with it over the last year and half . I got a fellow Swat team member on 5/3/1 he and my younger brother are off to setting personal records. To make the gains you have to be honest and find your real mazes. Remember it makes getting strong easy to understand, not easy. If your not gonna squat or dead lift like most don't bother, get p90x and be a little bitch the rest of your life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second-best in class..., January 23, 2013
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I really think that Coach Shepard's "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" is an all-around stronger product--however, this book makes an excellent "graduate level" course after you have a strong beginning in that material. Especially, it provides good programs for incorporating other kinds of conditioning into your regular workout, which a appreciate--powerlifting is supplemental training for me, not my main activity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jim Wendler is a god, April 24, 2013
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There's nothing that compares to what JW writes. Easy to understand, well thought out and easily one of the best authors on this subject matter-EVER. I am a huge beleiver in whatever the guy writes, and using this methodology, every one of my clients has seen results that even astounded them. I cant wait until his next book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, March 18, 2013
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This review is from: 5/3/1 for Powerlifting: Simple and Effective Training for Maximum Strength (Paperback)
Purchased this book as well as Jim Wendler's other book. Been following his advice for several months and have seen some nice gains. Slow steady progress coupled with conditioning work will get you results. Nothing fancy, just hard work and no BS. Especially liked the section on Mr. Grey Pubes. At 49 I’ve been killing myself for the better part of a year with no results trying to get back in shape. It took Jim’s poignant writing ability to make me realize I would get better results with less. I am after all an old man, but have taken enough out of this book to train hard, get conditioned, recover and repeat.

I have been following the conditioning program, program (powerlifitng for lazy fat bodies) with excellent success. The book is filled with excellent programs and even better advice. I would recommend this book for anybody serious about training. I have purchased several books on lifting and have given away all but Jim Wendler’s two and Starting Strength.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Great Strength Information From Jim Wendler, January 8, 2013
By 
John K. Newland "JohnOnSales" (Salt Lake City, UT United States) - See all my reviews
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I have been a big fan of Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 for years. For the powerlifting version, Jim has added programming for heavy singles, and for some specific accessory lifts used primarily by geared lifters, like board presses and chains.

He has also added more detail on peaking and meet preparation.

If you are interested in the sport of powerlifting, get this book.
If you just want to get stronger, get this book.
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5/3/1 for Powerlifting: Simple and Effective Training for Maximum Strength
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