Strength Training: 5/3/1/ for Jiu-Jitsu

Starting in 2018, I’m going to leverage the 5/3/1 protocol from Jim Wendler for my strength training. As I’m nearing “advanced beginner/intermediate” level strength thanks to StrongLifts, I want to dial back the volume a bit. At the same time, since I’ll still only do resistance training twice a week, I won’t have to spend a week deloading. So rather than a daily progression with StrongLifts or a 4-week/monthly progression with regular 5/3/1 4x/week training, I’ll have a three-week cycle before bumping up the weight.

I’ll still follow the Duck Season/Rabbit Season template: OHP and deadlift on Monday, squat and bench on Wednesday, with Friday reserved as a makeup day. Not going to miss the bent over rows one bit.

I’m doing the FSL 5×10 for the first half of the assistance work – something I really like about 5/3/1. For the second half, I’m doing a metabolic finisher of four 500m row sprints on the ergometer, trying to average less than 2:15 min per sprint (1:1 work/rest ratio). In addition to giving me a little extra conditioning work, it will also help increase the amount of horizontal pulling I do relative to vertical pulling.

My goal is to make 5/3/1 my regular year-around program for strength training. I think it strikes a good balance between training modalities – focus on a minimal possible number of movements, a heavy weight/max rep element, and a high-rep muscle endurance component – that I believe will serve me well as someone whose primary interest in being stronger is to support athletic output. It also seems to fold in well with my jiu-jitsu schedule when modified as a 2x/week instead of a 4x/week program.

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