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5/3/1 Calculator

Created by Mariamy Chrdileli
Reviewed by Anna Szczepanek, PhD and Steven Wooding
Last updated: Jan 18, 2024


Welcome to the Omni 5/3/1 calculator, a simple and convenient tool to determine your powerlifting program according to Jim Wendler's approach.

An efficient powerlifting program design is essential for fostering consistent progress in strength, hypertrophy, and muscular endurance. If you've been exploring different powerlifting routines, you're at the right place. Come along and get answers to some of the critical questions related to the 5/3/1 program, such as:

  • What is 5/3/1 lifting program?
  • What are the benefits of the 5/3/1 routine?
  • Is the 5/3/1 lifting method right for you? And more!

While you're here, you can also check our other lifting-related tools, such as calories burned weight lifting calculator and bench press calculator. 💪

What is 5/3/1 lifting program?

Let's start from the beginning — what is a periodized (PER) training program? The periodized training program is a routine that promotes long-term performance improvements by adding variation to workouts, whether it is a manipulation of load, sets, and repetitions. One such PER training program is the 5/3/1 lifting method, created by the powerlifter Jim Wendler. You may be wondering, what are the benefits of the PER training in general?

  • Firstly, health psychologists suggest personalized goal setting can increase motivation and keep you engaged in the pursuit of your aim.

  • On the other hand, multiple studies demonstrate that PER training is more effective in terms of increasing strength and power than non-PER training in numerous population groups, both in men and women.

  • Studies also reveal that PER training programs, in general, can help prevent workout plateau (a hindrance to the progress toward the fitness goal) and improve strength.

If you choose to follow the 5/3/1 workout program, here are some of the tips from Jim Wendler himself:

  • Do not customize the 5/3/1 program by combining the method with other lifting routines;
  • Don't fixate on assistance exercises too much;
  • Make sure to start with the right weights while ensuring good form; and
  • Don't be impatient and progress slowly.

How to calculate 5/3/1 workout program

To calculate the 5/3/1 Wendler lifting program, first, you need to determine your one-repetition maximum (1RM) using the following formula below:

1RM=weight×(1+repetitions30)\footnotesize \text{1RM} = \text{weight} \times \left(1 + \frac {\text{repetitions}}{30}\right)

where:

  • 1RM\rm\small 1RM — One-repetition maximum;
  • repetitions\rm\small repetitions — The number of repetitions you can lift the weight;
  • weight\rm\small weight — The weight you can lift for indicated repetitions.

After calculating your 1RM, compute the percentage of your value for each set using the table below.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Set 1

65% of 1RM 5 reps

70% of 1RM 3 reps

75% of 1RM 5 reps

40% of 1RM 5 reps

Set 2

75% of 1RM 5 reps

80% of 1RM 3 reps

85% of 1RM 3 reps

50% of 1RM 5 reps

Set 3

85% of 1RM 5+ reps

90% of 1RM 3 reps

95% of 1RM 1+ reps

60% of 1RM 5 reps

For instance, to calculate the weight for the first set of the first week, you would use the following formula: 1RM × 0.65. The table also displays the number of repetitions you should aim for. Hence, you would have to lift the computed weight for five repetitions for this set.

🙋 You may notice some repetitions in the table have the sign + at the end. In that case, Wendler recommends performing the maximum repetitions you can manage with that weight while aiming to set a repetition record in each workout.

Not clear enough? Let's discuss an example. Let's say your bench press 1RM is 220 lb or 100 kg. To calculate the weight you should lift for Week 2, Set 1, multiply 220 by the coefficient of 0.7, which equals 154 lb (≈70 kg). As the table displays, you should lift the mentioned weight for three repetitions for this set.

💡 One of the crucial components of improving your overall fitness is nutrition. Hence, use the Omni macro calculator to explore a detailed, week-by-week diet plan based on your macros intake.

How does 5/3/1 calculator work?

Using the 5/3/1 calculator is relatively straightforward:

  • If you already know your one-repetition maximum, you can enter it in the field, and the calculator will give you the program!
  • If you're unaware of your one-repetition maximum or need to double-check, determine the number of repetitions you can perform with a certain weight, enter the values, and the tool will determine your 1RM and your 5/3/1 workout program.

Remember that when determining your 1RM, entering repetitions of less than 10 provides more accurate results.

FAQ

What is my 1RM if I lift 50 lb for three repetitions?

If you can lift 50 lb for two repetitions, your one-repetition maximum (1RM) is around 55 lb. To calculate your 1RM:

  1. Determine the number of repetitions you can perform with a certain weight.
  2. Divide the number of repetitions by 30, and add 1.
  3. Multiply the weight noted in Step 1 by the number computed in Step 2.

How do I determine 1st week of 5/3/1 lifting program?

To determine 1st week of 5/3/1 lifting program:

  1. Determine your one-repetition maximum (1RM).
  2. Multiply the 1RM value by 0.65 for the first set, 0.75 for the second set, and 0.85 for the third set to calculate the weights you will lift.

Note that the first and second set involves five repetitions, and the third step involves at least five repetitions, with an attempt to set a repetition record.

What are the benefits of 5/3/1 routine?

The 5/3/1 routine is an easy-to-follow strength training program that ensures gradual progression of performance and prevents workout plateau — a hindrance to the progress toward the fitness goal, regardless of consistent efforts.

Is 5/3/1 workout program for beginners?

The 5/3/1 Wendler lifting method is mainly utilized by intermediate or advanced lifters. The program encompasses heavy lifting and progressive overload, which may pose a risk of injury for a beginner lifter. Additionally, the program does not produce immediate results but rather has benefits in the long term, which could be discouraging for beginner lifters.

Mariamy Chrdileli
One-repetition maximum
lb
If you are unsure of your one-repetition maximum, provide the information below, and the tool will compute it for you.
Weight
lb
Repetitions
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