Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program has become incredibly popular because it’s simple and it works for a lot of people. If you’re a patient intermediate lifter or a smart advanced lifter and you want to get stronger by making deliberate and steady progress each month then follow this program. (If you are new to powerlifting-style workouts, check out Starting Strength. You’ll progress faster and end up back here soon enough ready to get the most out of 5/3/1.)


April 9, 2017

Jim Wendler has a new book on the way: 5/3/1 Forever.

April 9, 2017

The site now is now served securely with https using Let’s Encrypt.

October 13, 2015

Added the Building the Monolith template.

March 22, 2015

Added a 0.75 pound/kilogram plate input.

January 16, 2015

A generous donation supported the addition of the Full Body, Full Boring template from Wendler’s book Beyond 5/3/1: Simple Training for Extraordinary Results.

December 23, 2014

I've moved the Assistance Template selection to the top of the form and renamed it just Template because with Wendler’s newer templates even which main lifts are used is controlled by your template choice. For example, the Beach Body Challenge has hang cleans but no other template does. It isn't a world of just press, dead, bench, squat anymore.

December 22, 2014

A generous donation supported the addition of a bodybuilding template from T-Nation Blood and Chalk 8 and Wendler’s Blog.

December 21, 2014

It’s the shortest day of the year. Time to start thinking about your beach body! I’ve added the Beach Body Challenge template. This template is not really 5/3/1 at all but it’s from Wendler and definitely reflects his way of thinking.

December 18, 2014

Fixed the Simplest Strength template. Now you can enter your maxes for the big assistance exercises: incline press, close-grip bench press, front squat, and stiff-leg deadlift. Simplest Strength is a great template that Wendler has promoted heavily. I hope these changes to the calculator encourage more people to try it for a few cycles.

December 17, 2014

Thanks to Rippetoe’s lectures, we’ve all grown up and know that “Press” means “Standing Overhead Barbell Press” or “Military Press”. Even Wendler calls it just “Press” these days. Now this calculator does too.

November 23, 2014

Added Boring But Big deload options from the Beyond 5/3/1 book.

November 22, 2014

Added Boring But Big 5 × 5, 5 × 3, and 5 × 1 variations from the Beyond 5/3/1 book.

November 20, 2014

Added four more deload week options from the Beyond 5/3/1 book.

November 19, 2014

Added two warm-up options: DeFranco Agile 8 and None.

November 7, 2014

Added the “Young Jim Wendler” routine from Wendler’s T Nation article thanks to a user request. Solid advice for young American football players.

This also means I can add other templates with power cleans. Let me know which templates you want to see here.

November 6, 2014

Boring But Big sets across 65%, 70%, 75%, and 80% now available thanks to a user request. I didn’t know some of you are such extreme masochists. Be careful you don’t over do it.

July 2, 2014

The bar weight input in the form now allows you to enter any weight. Honest folks using 20 kg bars can enter 44 lbs. Others at freaky gyms can enter 18.7 or whatever.

February 23, 2014

Check out the new Cube calculator for Brandon Lilly’s program.

November 23, 2013

Two great new features that make using the calculator easier than ever...

First, the form now remembers all your data from the last time you clicked the “Calculate Program” button. A big time saver for you so that you don’t have to reenter all your maxes, plates, etc each time you use the calculator.

Second, a special feature for coaches and training buddies: After clicking the “Calculate Program” you will now see a link directly to the program. You can copy this link (just right click and copy link) and send it to a client or friend. When they follow that link, they will immediately see the program you have sent them. You can even save the link as a favorite or bookmark for yourself.

Both of these new features were made possible by a donation.

November 2, 2013

Added Brad Kaczmarski’s new main lift programming option 8/6/3 for Size and Strength. Made possible by a donation.

July 14, 2013

Option to switch from 5/3/1 to 3/5/1 week ordering. Also, Boring But Big option to pair Squat work sets with BBB deadlift sets, etc. Less boring.

July 12, 2013

Folks are excited about the Beyond 5/3/1 program. It isn’t really 5/3/1 at all so doesn’t fit into this calculator...See the new Beyond 5/3/1 Calculator!

July 12, 2013

First Set Last: Multiple Sets options from Wendler’s new book Beyond 5/3/1: Simple Training for Extraordinary Results are now available in the calculator. What do want to see added to the Black Iron Beast calculator? Let me know. petermichaux@hotmail.com

July 11, 2013

Pyramid and First Set Last options from Wendler’s new book Beyond 5/3/1: Simple Training for Extraordinary Results are now available in the calculator.

July 10, 2013

Joker sets have been the hottest request from Wendler’s new book Beyond 5/3/1: Simple Training for Extraordinary Results are now available in the calculator.

June 25, 2013

Get Wendler’s new book Beyond 5/3/1: Simple Training for Extraordinary Results Which templates do you want added to the Black Iron Beast calculator? Let me know. petermichaux@hotmail.com

April 17, 2013

Added the Bastard option to do the work sets in reverse from Wendler’s recent blog post.

Added a non-Wendler 5/3/1 template called “Karl’s Method” from the Starting Strength forum. This is a two week template that skips the 3’s week and the deload week. Possibly good for someone in the early intermediate stage.

April 2, 2013

A feature requested by several users. You can now calculate your next cycle based on:

  • Your Real Rep Max
  • Your Wendler Training “Max”
  • Your Desired 1+ Set Weight

March 18, 2013

On top of creating the new look of the site, I just spent a bunch of time and energy adding more templates:

  • Boring But Big 3 days/week
  • Tirumvirate 3 days/week
  • Jack Shit 3 days/week
  • Periodization Bible 3 days/week
  • Bodyweight 3 days/week
  • Boring But Big 3 Month Challenge
  • Simplest Strength
  • Full Body Phase 1
  • Full Body Phase 2
  • Full Body Phase 3
  • 2 days/week Option 1
  • 2 days/week Option 2
  • More Squatting
  • For Beginners

If you encounter any problems, please let me know (petermichaux@hotmail.com) and I’ll fix them as quickly as I can.

Show your appreciation. Support ongoing Web server expenses and continued improvements to this calculator.

I appreciate your support!


  1. Get the book. This calculator does not explain the program or why you might make certain choices. The book explains how to do the exercises properly, how to choose your assistance work, how to progress each month, and what to do if your progress stalls … and Wendler needs your cash for another tattoo.
  2. Enter your current maximum lift numbers in the form below.
  3. Click the “Calculate Program” button.
  4. Print this page.
  5. Crank some Black Sabbath. Do not underestimate the importance of this step.
  6. Lift weights.
  7. Get stronger.