A few weeks ago, I did a Q/A on Instagram. Keep in mind that I asked that the questions be short/answers short - like most people I find typing on a phone ridiculous and impossible to write 16 week training cycles. So I tried to be as precise with my answers as possible while not being so damn boring. - Jim Wendler
If someone could only do 1 lift for the rest of their life what should it be?
Squat. It takes ZERO balls to deadlift. Take out 800lbs on the squat and you'll find out who you are. Squats build balls. There is no comparison. None.
Five days out of the week I only get three hours sleep per night. Food, recovery, and mobility are on point. Best advice considering weight training 5/3/1 Template; bare minimum?
Yep and that amount of sleep deprivation will kill you! Literally.
How would you incorporate 531 with Olympic Weightlifting for somebody wanting to build a SuperTotal?
Just do Olympic lifts before the power lifts. It'd be easy as fuck to do. Football players have been doing it for decades.
What's your input on someone looking to lose weight starting weight training? What is a good starting point: high reps or lower strength reps?
Get strong! Use diet to cut fat. Lose it SLOWLY! Build habits - don't diet.
Heard you recommend yoga videos for mobility. Have you ever done an at home yoga video? If so, which one?
Yes, have no idea what it was called - some skinny dude with a pony tail. I still prefer my own mobility as it's less time consuming but depending on the phase someone is in, people can benefit from the brainless follow-along. Whatever gets the job done.
Any tips for making a physical job and powerlifting work? I'm at a lumber mill 8-4 and train at 6 usually feel pretty rundown by the time I get to train.
Set minimums EACH day and week. Always hit them. No excuses.
No questions, just wanted to say you're a legend and your work has helped me and my friends get stronger!
My bench has plateaued...what kind of band tension should I use on my second and third week? Also, podcast with Matt Vincent was awesome.
Use Yoko Ono - the master of band tension.
Non Training - You still playing music?
Every single day!
Once one's competitive powerlifting days are behind them, how can they continue to set and hit goals and find purpose in the gym outside of just "staying in shape"?
Make Mt Everest goals. Why do people climb Mt Everest? BECAUSE IT IS THERE!
Maybe? So much other shit has cropped it's head.
Not training related but could be if it's on in background while I throw weights- I need some new metal recommendations.
Portal, Dragged Into Sunlight, Celtic Frost.
Is your latest book coming to the Kindle Store? I want to buy it but I don't want to ship it overseas.
No Kindle in the near future. Sorry.
Everything worth asking has been asked; Thank you, from Kansas. Wish I lived close enough to train with Phil Stevens!
He's a good man!
Is there a correlation to Prilepin's Principles and 5/3/1?
The greatest correlation is between strength and effort.
Where can I buy the 5/3/1 books in the UK? Ordering them here seems impossible.
Just order from our store or Amazon. We ship to the UK daily.
Quick and simple advice on putting force into the bar on the squat? Thanks for doing this.
Be insanely aggressive and hate everything.
Only compete in my garage but my numbers have pretty much stayed the same the past few years. I've changed stances on squat and deadlift and width of grip on the bench. I ran 5/3/1 years ago and loved the simplicity. Reps went up but 1 rep did not. What can I do to increase my 1 rep max on the core lifts?
Lower your training maxes and get a bigger base. Best way to bench 500 is to bench 495x10.
I'm trying out your Beach Body Challenge. Have you had anybody make gains with it? Just curious. I'm going to post my results.
Yep. Lots of people.
Best value add piece of equipment for a garage gym after a rack, bench and bar? Prowler?
Depends on what you want to do. Prowler is awesome but only if you use it!
On a scale of 1 to 10 how metal is Jason Pegg?
Afternoon Coach! Was wondering what advise you have for wanting to get strong as hell but needing to maintain a weight limit/ body fat percentage?
Not sure. I believe a man should not limit himself - ever. Totally serious.
What's your favorite beer? Favorite chew? Favorite soda? Thank you!
Don't drink beer often. Quit chewing after 30 years. I drink way too much soda but don't care. My wife still sleeps with me despite not being shredded. Attitude is everything.
Simple rehab exercise for medium pain tennis elbow?
Out of my pay grade.
Hey Jim. 50 year-old lifter. Trying to bring my bench from a grinding 300 to a solid 300. Any recommendations?
Strong shoulders, arms and upper back. Like stupid strong. Also, leg drive.
When you have your players do high rep dumbbell squats, do you have them do a certain number of sets and reps broken up throughout the workout, or one massive set as a finisher?
It's part of Krypteia workout so all DB squats are super set with bench.
Hey Jim...55 and have a 2 year old. Your books and videos and blogs and knowledge over the years has kept me in the game! Thanks!
Fuck yes! You are an inspiration. Thank you.
Big Jim you rock. I just put my High School linemen on your on-season workout plan from A Letter To My Younger Self. It helped tremendously. We were Division 3 state runner ups.
You are doing great work. Keep coaching and mentoring!
Any book recommendations?
All books by James Ellroy
I've been doing 5/3/1 5's Pro with full body 4 day split. I continued on from classic 5/3/1 with FSL...should I reset my training maxes or just keep it going until I stall? Only lift I've felt getting real hard is squat but I hit my 5 reps with my 1's weight this week so still good. And what would you recommend after this cycle?
If you can do 5 strong reps, all is good. However we use much lower training maxes for our kids. This builds strength better in the long term.
Hey Jim, train early in the morning or evening after work? Thanks for all you do!
Whatever is best/easiest for you. Just be consistent.
Advice on not being a bitch when squats get heavy?
Constantly challenge yourself. Callous the mind.
I'm really having trouble with my squat. I've been on a plateau for close to 7 months now and can't seem to break the barrier. Any suggestions?
Strengthen mid-section and be a total savage on each rep. Choose greatness.
Hi brother. Doing 5/3/1 Boring But Big, am I able to compete at the highest levels of powerlifting?
To get to the top; genetics, consistency, programming and doing what is necessary. Nutrition is important - but the mental game is most important.
Do you approve of the use of elbow sleeves during training?
Train with whatever you need/want.
I was just diagnosed with a hernia and need surgery, it's not bad but I can't lift over 10lbs for 6-8 weeks. What can I do to keep muscle loss and fat gain to a minimum?
Steak and keep test levels high. Use the time to make your mind savage.
If I also train BJJ 3 times a week, is it okay to take out the conditioning from my 5/3/1?
Consult your coach: he should know how to periodize your training. If not, he's horrible.
Will one's total be better if they grow a big beard? What if they're half Asian and can't grow much past a goatee without looking like a patchy homeless person; would a fake beard on meet day help? (asking for a friend)
Take 1 gram of test and 50mgs of any oral. Repeat. Forever.
What are the best ways to strengthen the glutes and hams if your not able to do a glute ham raise yet?
Squats and deadlifts.
That's not every single question - for more questions/answers or to see my rarely occasional Instagram posts, visit my Instagram page. My "handle" is JimWendler. In case you don't feel like that was worth your time or you didn't learn anything, I will leave this great quote by one of the greatest men to walk this earth, Jack Burton. Perhaps some of you know his good friend, R.J. MacReady...
"When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."