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Oakdale, CA 95361
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Making 5-3-1 work for you

July 23, 2017

For the past 6 weeks, we have been using the familiar rep scheme of a set of 5, 2 heavy sets of 3, and 5 heavy singles to develop strength.  I have been cycling snatches, clean, squatting and accessory lifts into this scheme.  We do the lifts 3 days a week, and there are basically 5 lifts that I am cycling in: Cleans and/or Jerks, Snatch, Deadlift, Front/Back Squat.  So, the lifts will rotate in and out each week.

If you were to just come in, do the warm up and start lifting, you should get 8 heavy working sets in.  In most cases, this will be just fine.

As you become more familiar with these sessions and your ability, I would suggest you track your numbers.  For example, if you Back Squat 225 for 5, then 245 for 3, I would recommend the next session you use 245 for your set of 5.

Basically, you should go into each session with a plan.  If you are having a “high gravity day” don’t stress – do the best you can.  If you are feeling great, stick to your planned lifts.  If you feel amazing in your fourth or fifth single and want to go for a PR, go for it.  If you miss, go back and make a lift or just call it a day.  Save those big attempts for your late attempts though – you should not be missing on your first rep of your set of 3, or even on your second or third of your heavy singles.  If you are missing lifts this early, you may be making jumps that are too big.

This ‘sort of’ cycle will carry us through August.

We will do heavy Power Cleans on Tuesday, Push Press on Wednesday and Front Squat on Friday.

Workout of the Day


Snatch (Any style)



2 Alternating DB Snatch 50/35

1 Burpee

4 Alternating DB Snatch

2 Burpee

6 Alternating DB Snatch

3 Burpee

8 Alternating DB Snatch

4 Burpee

10 Alternating DB Snatch

5 Burpee

After the first round, rest 2 minutes.  Repeat this sequence for a total of 3 rounds of work, resting 2 minutes between efforts.  Your intensity should be somewhere between trying to swim away from Dunkirk as the Nazi’s chase you (see this movie!) or trying to fight off the Vulture as he tries to steal the Avengers weapons (also, pretty freaking good movie).

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