5/3/1 Vs. Juggernaut Method

5/3/1 Vs. Juggernaut Method

Hey Joe,

First of all I’d like to say what a fantastic website and articles you put up, they’ve really stepped up my lifting to a new level. I watched your interview with Chad Wesley Smith (great interview btw) and I learnt so much, in the interview you said that you yourself did juggernaut, and I’m wondering what kinda results you got and stuff and just your general experience with it, because I’m looking into doing it myself. However, I read the comments of the interview, and in it you said you mostly do 5/3/1 with your athletes, is there a reason you do this instead of juggernaut?

Some background about me, im 18 years old, I do muay thai and jiu jitsu 4x a week and I lift 3x, I weigh 165lbs and I squat 290lbs, I deadlift 320lbs and bench 225 lbs, so i’m pretty darn weak still. I can handle the 3 day split, but I’m wondering if you’d recommend juggernaut or 5/3/1, and why? Thanks so much, really appreciate this. -Z

Hey bro, thanks for checking out my website and thank you sir for your compliments about the interview I did with Chad. I followed the Juggernaut method for 12 weeks to prepare for my baseball season. It really intrigued me because I never used a periodization model like that before and was curious how my body would react to it. The program kicked ass and was one of the most challenging programs I followed. Unlike most of my training programs, the first few weeks of the Juggernaut  Method was extremely high volume which not only challenged me physically but mentally as well. I actually had to cut the a few of the workouts of the first week short because my legs were going to explode after 3 X 10 of squats ha ha.

After the 12 weeks, I did not test my 1-3RM on the bench, squat, deadlift and pull-ups because of the baseball season. I did setnew 5-8 rep maxes in these lifts. While a 5-8 RM may not be a true measure of absolute strength, this rep range is a good way to measure overall strength. Due to the increased volume, I saw major improvements in my strength endurance. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to finish the last 4 weeks of the program which would have really tapped into my absolute strength. Overall, I thought the program was great. If you are looking for a well periodized program that will challenge you both mentally and physically I would definitely recommend it.

There are a fews reasons why I like 5/3/1 for my athletes. First off, it is super easy to follow and implement and I am a huge fan of simplicity (simple doesn’t mean easy). I also have used 5/3/1 in the past over Juggernaut because most athletes I work with won’t be able to handle the volume in the Juggernaut method. Because of the competitive season, I have a short window to work with athletes and in order to develop maximal strength, I have found 5/3/1 to be king. In fact, I like it so much I have applied it to the 5/3/1 method to the Real Deal Baseball Training System.

Both programs are extremely effective and I have nothing but great things to say about both programs. Jim Wendler and Chad Wesley Smith are both real smart dudes and have set up an easy system to implement. If I were you I would pick up  The Juggernaut Jiu-Jitsu Physical Preperatin Manual by Chad Smith. I rarely recommend something that I have not checked out myself but anything Chad puts out will be high quality and this manual will probably be your best bet. Hopefully this answers your question. Good luck with your training and let me know what you decide to do and how it works out for you!



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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  • stephen

    I tried the first two weeks of juggernaut and was weaker the second week. 5 3 1 is perfect as the soreness is minimal plus you get very strong. Five sets of 10 for an athlete is way to hard.

  • Dude, the first 2 weeks are no joke. If your going follow the program, you have to give it more than 2 weeks. Agreed 5 X 10 is tough for an athlete, especially if they don’t have the work capacity