6 Cycles of Full Body Training, tons of PR’s and a World Record
(From Jim: Here is an email I got from Ric Rabourn about his experience with 5/3/1 and the Full Body Training template. Congrats to Ric on his success and his willingness to push himself. He has made some amazing progress over the years and continues to push his own limitations. This is what training is all about. - Jim Wendler)
Here is the rundown on my 6 cycles of Full Body training.
I started in February 2012 and did cycles 1 and 2 twice and cycles 3 and 4 once. The results in my opinion have been remarkable. During that time I broke 30 of 40 of my rep PR’s (I track 1-10 rep PR’s for the four big lifts). I also competed in a meet at the end of March and hit PR’s on all three lifts including a 44 pound all-time squat PR that also ended up being an APA Masters World Record (45-49 275#).
The last competition I had done was in November of 2011 and I only hit my openers on my squat and bench but did manage a PR on my deadlift. I was really disappointed as I had hit all my meet goals a couple months earlier in the gym. I took all of December pretty much off and started back up in January. After a month doing 5/3/1 with random accessory work I decided to focus on a meet on March 31st.
I went back in my training log to see what exactly I had done when I had hit all my meet goals in September of last year. I was honestly surprised to see I had done a couple of cycles of the full body template during that time (this was the T-Nation version before the second edition came out). I laid out my plan to the meet using the Full Body Phase One template from the Second Edition.
I completed two cycles of Phase One prior to the meet. The only change I made was to use the “for Powerlifting” set up for the main lifts (3/5/1/deload). As mentioned above this worked out perfectly and I ended up going 9 for 9 in the meet with PR’s in all three lifts. Once the meet was over I continued on with Phase 2 for two cycles and then Phase 3 and 4 for one cycle each.
The most surprising thing to me with the Full Body training was how much all my lifts went up. I expected it to help my squat - which it did - but I also blew away almost all my rep PR’s on the three other reps including hitting 500 for 10 reps on Deadlift and 225 for two reps on overhead press - the 500x10 had been a goal for years as had 225x1 for the press (I have always sucked at the press).
I will say that doing 6 cycles in a row was all I could handle. After 24 weeks of squatting three times per week I was mentally and physically ready to move on to another template. In other words, I should have listened to what you have said 10,000 times about setting up blocks of training. One thing I have learned over the nearly 5 years I have been using 5/3/1 is that if I do EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAY the results are always amazing. With that thought in mind I am looking forward to finishing out the year using the Two Day Option B template from the Second Edition.
All the best,
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