- File Size: 2927 KB
- Print Length: 131 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1592407330
- Publisher: Jim Wendler LLC; 2nd Edition edition (December 5, 2012)
- Publication Date: December 5, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00AJ8CIQM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,104 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
5/3/1: The Simplest and Most Effective Training System for Raw Strength Kindle Edition
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Rippetoe's Starting Strength:
- Great for novice/intermediate lifters
- Uses large compound lifts (Squat/Deadlift/Bench Press/Military Press)
- Intense focus on learning the big lifts with safe forms to avoid injury
- Great early gains (mostly due to developing correct form and the beginner's lower initial weights and untapped potential) but easier to stall if you don't follow the program (ie, add a bunch of extra crap to it or allow for proper recovery)
- Builds a great foundation of strength
- Requires a bulking diet (3000+ calories/day and lots of protein (GOMAD?)) to do the program correctly and add pounds. Very little diet details, you'll need other sources for this.
- No conditioning, just strength training
- Little flexibility in programming (3 big lifts, 3 days a week), few accessory lifts recommended to modify program
- Great for novice/intermediate/advanced lifters
- Uses large compound lifts (Squat/Deadlift/Bench Press/Military Press) for core programming
- Provides bullet point tips for big lifts (Wendler praises Rippetoe's SS book for learning the lifts)
- Slower gains (linear progression through 4 week cycles) but structured in a way that allows progression to continue for years
- Builds a great foundation of strength but also allows for more accessory work flexibility to tailor the program to your goals
- Addresses diet from several angles (fast bulking, slow gains, losing fat, eating right, book recommendations)
- Very flexible programming (many templates anywhere from 2 days/week to 4 days/week, longer cycles, periodization, DoggCrapp, North of Vag, etc)
I haven't been lifting for long (less than a year) so take all this with a grain of salt. I try to do my research on these programs but I'm still learning. I did Starting Strength for 5 months and am starting 5/3/1 now (1st cycle, rest week). I'll update this if I find anything I've written is incorrect or misleading. Feel free to criticize/comment.
The book seems to have been written as a stream of consciousness email to a friend. There are no chapters and the information appears as the author thinks of it. The lack of organization makes information hard to find. Instead of grouping related information together (a chapter) and making it easy to find what you're looking for, you have to tag six different pages throughout the book that should have been together. In addition, the editing is on par with a social media post. The book was self-published & self-edited, and it shows. Not to be a stickler, but extra words in sentences are not acceptable, especially when those words can change the meaning of the sentence (and/but). An editor would have made the meaning more clear, the information more organized and easy to find, and made the book more concise.
Plenty of space is dedicated frivolous opinions. Worse, they are opinions that weaken his overall message, which is that this IS a good program. 5/3/1 is the program, but NOV is his personal philosophy. They work together but are in fact different things. If he would have named this personal dogma almost anything other that NOV, his ideas would be more well regarded. Then again, I'm sure he'd say he doesn't give a ____. But he should. Women could benefit from 5/3/1 just as much as men, yet NOV would offend most women and I'm sure plenty of men. He has every right to name his philosophy whatever he wants, but it's just not smart to so overtly offend half of his potential audience.
The author also says he doesn't give a ____ about "science" and "studies." This is off-putting to anyone with an education. I agree with his overall meaning--that we're so caught up in analyzing everything that we have stopped actually DOING much, and most of what we do is based on the latest fad, which is based on the latest fitness "science" news story, all of which is leaving us weaker and less healthy. What he preaches is tried and true, and if he'd actually pay attention to science instead of dismissing it outright, he'd see that "fitness" is coming back around his way. Perhaps if the author did a little research, he'd be able to support his theories and make science his friend. The book would be complete without his opinions, and actually much better if he articulated them in an eloquent way.
Beyond poor communication lies a solid program. As the author admits, there is nothing new here; it's just what works and what has worked for a long time. It's not about developing puffy muscles. It's not about extreme endurance. It's about getting strong & being balanced. As critical as I am about the book, I am equally positive about the program. If you actually follow these principles and this program, there is no doubt you will improve. I'm doing SL5x5 right now, but when I hit my limits there I will definitely switch to 531. I have a feeling you could alternate between these two programs for life and continue getting stronger or maintaining strength as you age. Better yet, you can get/stay strong without spending hours in the gym on all sorts of goofy equipment. (Indeed, fitness science is beginning to show that endless hours of exercise is counterproductive. Shorter, more purposeful training sessions of lifting heavy things & occasional sprinting reaps more rewards than chronic cardio & hours of lifting.) 531 is cheap, easy, and effective. So just do it.
I think many people will have trouble starting as light as he suggests, but the reasoning is sound. If you can stomach starting light and following his suggestions, you can't go wrong with this program.
Overall, I recommend the program and, in order to get all of the info, I also recommend the book.
Jim's writing style is also enjoyable. He doesn't mince words, and this book is packed with useful knowledge. If you are questioning buying this and trying the program, stop dilly-dallying around and just do it.
My one rep max stats @170 lbs bodyweight before for Squat/Deadlift/OHP/Bench were 235/350/120/235
My one rep max stats @175 lbs bodyweight after 5 complete cycles: 290/385/145/250
(My gains were interrupted by a jetski accident that caused some serious damage to my legs. I wasn't able to lift anything for about a month, but I came back and picked up where I left off.)