5/3/1 and Women – Jim Wendler

5/3/1 and Women

Here are seven basic things we do when we train women or when my wife works with women. For the most part, since they are the same species as dudes, we use this odd, outdated training style that involves lifting weights, doing different conditioning work, mobility, various med ball throws/jumps (scaled for each person).  But here are a couple things I rarely see mentioned when training Those Sans Ween:
  1. Use same TM for many of the lifts for 3 or more cycles, using very small plates to add on (1/4, etc) that allows them to progress very slowly. This is especially important for the press which can be almost impossible to make progress on after even a few weeks.  Why this is so is EXACTLY why you need to have a long term training program, not a short term solution.  Principles work, people.
  2. Women: Have them do "girl" stuff after the main work (jumps/main lift/supplemental) to appease them. It's like giving an athlete time to do curls - it's called being a good coach.  I could care less what they do after they do what is necessary - it's not going to make/break anything in the program and if they want to thrust their hips/scent in the air, so be it.
  3. Teach them good basic eating habits that are steeped in trends, elimination diets or being rallied by the ignorant.  We aim for balance in diet and in training.  Habits are discipline.  Discipline is without emotion.  And people who over eat can't manage what?
  4. We have them strive to become better than they are today, not what they once were.  People who live in the past are weak people and have no place here.
  5. They are free to ask questions only after they do their research.  This allows them to learn and not be spoon fed.
  6. We expect them to perform.  The standard is not someone else's body.
  7. We change their bodies by changing their minds and what they can physically expect from themselves.
    I won't touch the myth of "new lifter" gains or why rushing to put weight on the bar is ignorant. If you believe it is imperative to take a young, untrained lifter, add weight as fast as you can to his squat - that is your take on lifting. We have a plan that involves strengthening the entire body in a systematic way. And it involves a lot more than a deadlift. I have discussed this many times and it's not magic but I can assure you, I have worked with too many young athletes/lifters to think "It's high time we load that spine as fast as possible, as heavy as possible. Seems like a fucking great idea." Use your head!