5/3/1 and Speed Work

5/3/1 speed work

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5/3/1 is a powerlifting-strength hybrid designed by strength specialist Jim Wendler with the basic premise being that you’ll work really hard on the big three powerlifting exercises, the squat, bench press and deadlift. You’ll use a 5/3/1 rep tempo with your first all out set using five reps, your second three reps and your last a heavy maximal effort single.

Combined with some specific accessory work for each bodypart, you’ll increase your strength and get bigger. A lot of people online want to know how to add speed or dynamic work into the program. I don’t believe Jim ever intended 5/3/1 to be a dynamic program however. In powerlifting circles dynamic work is great but the majority of the main market that is going to purchase 5/3/1 just need to get stronger.

If I’m not mistaken I believe Jim advises people to add some medicine ball throws and jump training in as dynamic work.

What about speed bench and squats?

Again, the point of 5/3/1 is to not perform dynamic work. It’s to get as strong as possible using 5/3/1 and not worrying about how fast you move the weight at all.

If you really want to add speed work in then i suggest you use a traditional westside barbell training method template.

Two heavy days-one upper body and one lower body

Two dynamic days-one upper body and one lower body

Don’t get caught up in using the percentages of your lifts. If you really want to use 5/3/1 but still get dynamic work in you can also add a speed day. Generally speaking this would be a high intensity day filled with bench jumps, jump push ups and dynamic ball throws. Pay attention to your recovery though.

You can also add more warm up sets in and as the warm up weight gets progressively heavier, make sure your moving it as fast as you can. There’s no way that your body is going to recover from a max effort day three times per week and a dynamic day or two. Keep it simple.

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