5/3/1 Strength Gains – Revisited

This post is a follow up to my original 5/3/1 post.  While the original detailed my personal progress with the program, today I’m going to highlight the progress of a group at CrossFit 626 utilizing Wendler’s approach to strength gains.  Building on my personal experience (stupid mistakes) and refining the supplemental movements performed to support each of the main lifts has yielded some fantastic results.  Prior to starting the program all participating members tested their one rep max in each of the four lifts to establish a baseline.  These numbers are provided below.

 Bench PressBack SquatShoulder PressDeadlift
Damian245295155385
Virginia8512060155
Rod225205135245
Noodles245295135365
Razi165305115355
Jeanine8012060115

After completion of the three week 5/3/1 sequence and an additional week for de-loading, the group retested.  The results of which are given below.

 Bench PressBack SquatShoulder PressDeadlift
Damian255315170405
Virginia9013565200
Rod245250150275
Noodles250305135390
Razi195315125355
Jeanine9014570145

To highlight relative gains, the percentage increase for each lift is provided in this final table.

 Bench PressBack SquatShoulder PressDeadlift
Damian47105
Virginia613829
Rod9221112
Noodles2307
Razi18390
Jeanine13211726

As a whole, the group increased their lifts by 410 lbs.  This yields an average increase across people and lifts of 8.8%.  You’ll also notice there are a few ridiculous jumps, like the 29% increase in deadlift.  This occurred over a period of only 1 month!  One important note here is that while the group has been participating in CrossFit for a period ranging from a little over a few months to over a year, most have never participated in a dedicated strength program.  I think some of the gains can be attributed to the program and some just to people becoming more comfortable with the movements.

Moving forward I hope to document the continued success of this ongoing strength program at 626 and discern how effective 5/3/1 is as a long-term program.  Stay tuned.

Leave A Response