CFN Summer Wendler 5-3-1 Program


The next cycle in our yearly training calendar  is the Wendler Program. This cycle will run 13 weeks from 6/5/17 to 9/2/16, with the last week being reserved for a 1 rep max testing week. The focus will be on developing strength in the basic barbell lifts, putting on some muscle for the guys, and toning up for the ladies. This cycle will also include  optional accessory work to compliment the main lifts, along with an optional 12 week sprint plan. We will also be keeping 2 days per week with the more HitFittish Days (accessory based conditioning) due to the popularity….and because it works.  If you are ready for a body comp metamorphosis…this is the cycle for you! There will be a lift prior to a WOD 4-5 days per week, followed by our metabolic conditioning. The classic CrossFit Girl Wods will also be tested during this phase…yes…we will do Fran.Lastly, all the gear is fair game for Wendler.

Side note: The 9:30 am class on Tuesday and Thursday WILL BE a Crossfit Class for the summer with scaled options available. 


Wendler is a well known strength template, but for some can be very confusing. Here is a detailed description of the strength program:


The lifts involved during this cycle will be Back Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, and Shoulder Press. We will also include one day per week of a clean or snatch complex, but the main lifts will use the Wendler percentages. For the entire program, everyone will use a “Training Max.” A training max is 90% of your absolute max. For example, if an athlete has a deadlift  1 rep max of 375, they will take 90% of this number (337lbs) and use this number when figuring out percentages for the program. Athletes will do this for each 1 rep max they have. We use a training max because it’s a “cleaner max.” Absolute 1 rep maxes are usually performed with a little slop in technique, so using a training max takes the slop out of it. By no means should an athlete ever use an absolute max for Wendler. However, it is ok to use a max lower than a training max.  During this cycle an athlete will perform the specified reps for the percentage, with the last set being a plus (+) set. This will be noted as 5+, 3+ or 1+ , and means to perform as many reps as possible with that weight during the last set for the movement. During this set fatigue will set in and technique will start to suffer. We are encouraging all to perform as many reps with technical proficiency. This means stop before it gets ugly. If you find this difficult, please lower your training max. This will ensure you are getting the full effects of the program and staying as safe as possible.  Here is an outline of the percentages used for the program.


Week 1


Main lift

35×5 45×5 55×5 65×5 75×5 85×5+ (as many as possible)


Week 2


Main lift

40×3 50×3 60×3 70×3 80×3 90×3+ (as many as possible)


Week 3


Main lift

45×5 55×5 65×5 75×5 85×3 95×1+ (as many as possible)

Week 4 -Deload Week (light weights)


Main lift

30x5x2  40x5x2 50×5 60×5 (do not do as many as possible)

*perform 2 sets of the 30% weight and 40% weight.


After each cycle, athletes will earn the ability to add weight onto their training max for the next cycle. I strongly encourage everyone to “Earn” the weight increase. Athletes earn the increases by attaining the following rep goals on the last set of the movement. Here is what we are suggesting will earn a weight increase:


5+ set – Athlete hits 9 or more reps with good technique.

3+ set – Athlete hits 7 or more reps with good technique.

1+ set – Athlete hits 5 or more reps with good technique.


If an athlete attains the above rep goals they have earned an increase. This athlete will be allowed to add 10 lbs to their training max for the Squat and Deadlift, and 5 lbs onto their training max for the Shoulder Press and Bench. This is all we are suggesting adding each cycle if you earn the increase, however, there are some cases that would call for adding more weight to the training maxes. This scenario occurs mostly in new folks and will be handled by the coaches on a case to case basis. So what happens if you don’t hit the above reps? Easy. Don’t increase your training max for the next cycle. Use the same training max and work to achieve the specified rep ranges…trust me…you’ll get it eventually.


We hope everyone is as excited as the coaches to begin this next phase of training. If you have any questions regarding this program, please do not hesitate to ask a coach.

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