14 Mar

5/3/1 Cycle 15 Recap


So, uh, yeah. I know I said this at the beginning of my last 5/3/1 recap, but cycle of 5/3/1 was indeed UNREAL folks.

Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women

The last time that I had recapped with you at cycle 11 I took a step back in my training programme and repeated cycle 11 because I wasn’t quite prepared for the targets that I was supposed to reach.

Sometimes you have to cut back to make progress, and progress I did indeed make.

Not only did I break all of my Personal Records last week but I had this especially exciting news. . .

I bench pressed my body weight!

Finally! I’ve had this goal for 2 years now though have been making the most effort on it in the last 14 months or so.

165lbs wasn’t actually part of my calculated lifts for this cycle, but when I pressed up 160lbs for 3 reps (mostly on my own, but with a bit of the husband’s help on rep 3), Matt encouraged me to try 165lb, my body weight.

I was so ecstatic when I pressed the weight up all by myself.

Goal, achieved. Boys working out beside me, jealous. Even my dad was impressed (and he is, by nature, not an easy man to be genuinely impressed).

My bench press goal was so exciting it overshadowed all the other loads that I hit last week, and they were pretty impressive in themselves.

Main Lifts

Again, I can’t even believe these numbers are real.

Deadlift: 265lb for 1 reps

Push Press: 135lb for 1 rep – finally put up 45’s on the bar!

Squats: 250lb for 2 reps

Bench Press: 165lb for 1 rep – did I mention, that’s my body weight?

I haven’t calculated my loads for cycle 16 yet so I’m nervous about what I’ll see, but I’m also very excited too.


I mentioned last week that my friend, a holistic nutritionist in training, gave me a diet to follow to help me gain muscle. I had initially gained a pound right away but I lost it again so I’m back at where I started.

I’ve averaged 2500 cal per day with a 36% fat, 44% carb, 20% protein mix.

Aside from not having put on weight yet, I have been feeling much more stable (emotionally) and I my sugar cravings have been reduced which I attribute (I think) to having more fat in my diet. Or it could be more muscle too. Or it could be just eating more in general and not withholding food only to binge on sweets later. Not sure yet. I only know it’s working so I’ll keep it up.

I intend to keep tracking my macros and following her recommendations because 1) I’m her guinea pig and want to give her accurate results, and 2) I’m liking it so far.

Will check back in with progress as I squeeze in time. Things have been hectic lately 😛

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4 thoughts on “5/3/1 Cycle 15 Recap

  1. It’s awesome to find another woman doing this program! As you mentioned in one of your first posts about it, there aren’t many out there. Do you find 2 days of HIIT a week enough to maintain (or lose?) body fat content? You said you were looking to gain muscle but I was curious about how the frequency of conditioning work would apply to women. It seems much easier for men to lose body fat.

    • I think it varies greatly depending on what your current training schedule is like. Personally, my weight has been pretty consistent since I started 5/3/1 regardless of what I choose to do for cardio or accessory lifts. The only time I noticeably dropped in weight was when I took 3 weeks off for yoga teacher training. That said, I’m talking about ‘weight’ not body fat. I’m certain that I’ve lost body fat since I started 5/3/1 because my close fit better yet my weight is slightly lower.

      Try out 2 days a week and see how it feels. I’ll warn you that it can get pretty intense and exhausting to do two HIIT + four 5/3/1 sessions per week. I slept A LOT during the time I was doing that, which is partly why I’ve cut back on doing HIIT (the other part is because I prefer to do that stuff as ‘drills’ outdoors and this winter was brutal).

      • Thanks for the info! I’ve been waffling about what to do for the conditioning work. HIIT has been easier to do indoors in the winter (and yeah this one has been horrible!) and I will be doing more steady-state cardio once I can get outside to bike and run. I’ve been doing some circuits with the assistance work too (a la the crossfit option from the 5/3/1 book 2nd edition).

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