5/3/1 and Younger Athletes – Jim Wendler

5/3/1 and Younger Athletes

I received two messages recently about coaches using 5/3/1 and it's principles for younger athletes.  I have said this many times but I have a soft spot for younger athletes and training. This was the most pivotal point in my life and I hope that somehow, someway I can help a few kids out.  The first message was from Norm Roberto, all the way from Australia. (Side note, when I worked for EFS we sold more complete gym set ups to Australia than anyone other than the United States.  Even with the shipping charges, Australia loved building gyms.)  Here is what Norm had to say: "Hi from Australia, Jim. I just want to say thanks for sharing your knowledge. I use your programs as a staple part of training my youth athletes. I was blown away by how strong my rowing athletes got in just 6 weeks. These numbers don't seem to impressive until you know that I only get spend 45min with these guys twice a week and every second session is after a 1/2 hour of cardio (where I would use a 85%TM). Further these kids age from 15 to 17 years and train 7 cardio based sessions a week. So here it goes:
  • Female athletes (DL): 1RM of 75 to 3 @ 75 1RM of 70 to 5 @ 70
  • Female athletes (squat): 1RM of 55 to 3 @ 57.5 1RM of 60 to 5 @ 60
  • Male athlete (DL): 1RM of 140 to 4 @ 140 1RM of 101 to 5 @ 115 1RM of 152.5 to 3 @ 155
  • Male athlete (squat): 1RM of 90 to 5 @ 90 1RM of 77.5 to 5 @ 82.5
Due to time constraints and the nature of rowing I only used the DL and squat with upper strength performed using fat man chins, push ups, dips and chins. I'm vary happy man. Thanks again." Norm showing that strength training for sport is GPP and there is no sport specific training: get stronger in some of the basic movements, be efficient and reap the benefits. Also, Norm does a great job of tailoring the training for the demands of the practices. The second message was from a friend of mine from MacArthur Junior High School, Eric Pitts. Sadly, Eric went to Hersey High School but he and NOV-creator Jim Messer trained together and still keep in touch.  Eric was a phenomenal wrestler and worked like a mad man to become better. He now coaches wrestling and had this to say: "Thanks again for being a part of our pre-season phase at Vista High School wrestling. Your program has been a staple in our training for years now and our guys continue to get strong.  The ones who leave after four years have a great strength base for life. We have been doing a bunch of CORE (5/3/1) and tons of Functional Training (called Wrestling). Can't neglect the core and the functional." The coolest thing about this email is it is from Eric. I grew up with Eric. And there is a phenomenon that says, "No one can be expert that lives within 100 miles of me."  You see it all the time here in London and in Columbus.  So thank you Eric for trusting me. I appreciate it.  Here's a picture of one of Eric's athletes pulling a deadlift. 12191945_10206853392067247_8415774744088172949_n