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Jim Wendler 5/3/1 Bodyweight Accessory work [Free Download]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Aug 23, 2015 8:31:00 AM

Jim Wendler Body weight Accessory work

This is the explanation for a body weight template I came up with to accompany the Jim Wendler 5/3/1 program. As I personal do run marathons the boring but big accessory work does not really appeal to me, because every kilo / pound that I put on, I have to carry around for 42km. That does not necessarily help my time. So here is the attempt at squaring the circcle for increased strength at minimum increase of body weight. Always consult a doctor before doing exercises.

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The cycle 

This is to be done after you have completed all your work on the barbell for the given day. You will do 4x cycles with 90 seconds rest between the cycles. One cycle is from Chin ups to the Ring dips with no rest.


You start to aim for 

10 Chin ups
10 Push ups
10 Leg raises
30 Squats
30 seconds Chin up hold
10 Ring Dips
If you have problems completing these either work up until you can the requested amount of repetitions or scale down by using bands, doing Box push ups instead of regular push ups and doing leg raises flat on the ground rather than hanging from the pull up bar. 
Once you complete all repetition on all sets with good form you add +5 on all the exercises for your next workout and keep stacking them up. If your workout becomes too long as you are hitting 50+ repetitions on each exercise (which I believe will take a long time) try to incorporate additional weight using a dip belt or a weighted vest. Kipping pull ups are not meant to be part of this program as they have less strength benefits than regular pull ups. 

Chin ups

Take a wider than shoulder double overhand grip on the bar and bring your arms to full extension so that you reach the lowest point. Pull yourself in one even motion up to to the bar, so that your chin touches the bar, Lower yourself in a controlled manner at the same speed you went up. This completes one repetition.

I highly recommend grip variations on different sets to attack your muscles from all various angles. If you are not able to perform a full pull up yet, start from a box or do negatives. Doing negatives means that you will jump from a box in to the highest position of the chin up and than lower yourself slowly back to the box, which completes one repetition.

Push ups

Do regular push ups and emphasize proper form during the whole movement. Bring your arms to full lock out and keep your core tight. If look like a seal trying to get on land, you are properly not paying enough attention to form.

If you are not able to push ups ith proper form substitute for box push ups, where the knees stay on the ground.

Leg raises

Hang from the pull up bar and bring your feet to full extension pointing to the ground. Bring your feet up until they are parallel to the ground while still hanging from the pull up bar and move slowly back to full extension. This completes one repetition.


Perform a regular air squat. Bring your feet roughly shoulder with apart and keep your back straight. Than lower yourself to the lowest possible point which is comfortable. Ideally you bring your bottom as close to the ground as possible. If you have flexibility issues, stretch accordingly. 

If you can not do this exercise, I probably think you should not do 5/3/1 at all.

Ring Dips

You can also do bar dips or bench dips instead. I found ring dips to be the most challenging and rewarding version of dips. Use a dip bar or a bench and put your arms on top of it. Than lower yourself to the lowest point possible in a control manner and come up again. This completes one repetition.

Chin up Hold

Get to the highest position of the chin up and hold for 30 seconds than lower yourself slowly.

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Topics: Jim Wendler 5/3/1