Aggregated data review of nSuns 531

Written by the Boostcamp staff
Sep 10,2022|6 min| 2139

Aggregated data review of nSuns 531

Every lifter wants to know the most optimal training program to run for maximal gainzzz. "What workout program is right for my level? How much will my 1RMs increase by? How much muscle can I gain?"

These are questions that we get a lot on Boostcamp, a new fitness app with popular free programs like nSuns, GZCLP, PHUL, Greg Nuckols Beginner Program, Reddit PPL, Bodyweightfitness RR/Primer, etc.

Traditionally, I’ve relied on online program reviews and anecdotal evidence from my own training. But I’ve always wondered about the effectiveness of these programs from a statistical perspective.

A few weeks ago, I posted a quick survey to anonymously gather data (1RMs changes, bodyweight changes, experience levels) on a few different subreddits. After gathering 50+ responses, I am writing my first data analysis on the most reviewed program - nSuns 5/3/1.

Without further ado, below are the initial data for nSuns based on 34 trainee responses. This is a decent starting sample size, which I will update as I collect more responses.

TLDR is on the bottom of the post.

PROGRAM

nSuns 5/3/1 4,5,6-day variations

Trainee Program Variation Breakdown:

TRAINEE DEMOGRAPHIC

Key Takeaways:

  • nSuns is a flexible program that fit a wide range of trainees, from young to old, beginners (<1 year of training), intermediates (1-2 years of training), even a few with 2+ years of consistent training

  • Definitely mostly dudes doing this program, with only 2 female reviewers

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

Key Takeaways:

  • Trainees run nSuns for a lot longer than standard 12-week programs. 2 reviewers did nSuns for 120 and 154 weeks with incredible gains. Median for nSuns was 13 weeks.

  • While the 5-day variation was most popular, 4 and 6-day variations were also in close contention.

STRENGTH (EST. 1 REP MAX)

Key Takeaways:

  • Not surprisingly, nSuns earned its reputation: 1RM strength gains are exceptional across the board.

  • I was particularly surprised by overhead press +40 lbs / 18 kg / +38%, which is typically one of the hardest lifts to increase. However, I would note that only the 5 and 6-day variations have 1+ sets to focus on ohp.

  • Note: 1RMs for pounds were rounded to nearest 5 and 0 for readability. % based on actuals.

PHYSIQUE CHANGE

Key Takeaways:

  • Most trainees gained noticeable muscle on nSuns and were on a bulk, which makes sense given the high volume demand of the program.

  • The 4 reviewers that did cut weight saw much lower strenght gains vs average (Squat +16% vs +29%, Bench +13% vs 23%, Deadlift +11% vs 30%, Ohp 17% vs 38%)

START VS END WEIGHT ANALYSIS

You can use the trend lines below to estimate your end 1RM weights based on your current 1RM if you were you to run nSuns.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY

  1. Created a Google survey to anonymously collect trainee reviews for nSuns, GZCLP, 531, etc.

  2. To make the data set more comprehensive, I searched r/weightroom for nSuns program reviews and manually added those as well.

  3. Cleaned up the data like converting any rep maxes to e1RM, metrics to imperial, and getting rid of any obvious mistake answers.

  4. Analyzed the data based on mean/median/min/max, program lengths, demographics to parse out the most interesting insights

  5. The spreadsheet without any user info is posted here for your interest.

Caveats:

  • Biases: as with any surveys or program reviews, people who respond are those who tend to have the best or worst experiences. Hopefully, by aggregating data we can get a more balanced view.

  • Sample size: This aggregated analysis is based on 34 reviews, which is a small sample size relative to the number of nSuns trainees. Please answer the programs survey and I will update the data!

CONCLUSION

nSuns is one of the most popular programs for a reason: it works! Beyond anecdotal evidence, an aggregated analysis of 34 trainee data show that nSun 531's high volume sets are incredibly effective for gaining 1RM strength and muscle.

The average nSuns trainee:

  • Mid-twenties male with 1-2 years of training experience

  • Ran nSuns for 6 months

  • Increased 1RM squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press by +230 lbs / +100kg

    • Squat +65 lbs/+30 kg

    • Bench +45 lbs/+18 kg

    • Deadlift +80 lbs/+35 kg

    • Overhead press +40 lbs/+18kg

  • Added +8 lbs / +4 kg of bodyweight, with noticeable muscle gainzzz

HOW CAN I START THE NSUNS PROGRAM?

nSuns is free on Boostcamp mobile app, along with many other programs. We partnered with Cody (u/nSuns) to digitize the 4,5,6-day variations with 1RM onboarding, automated progressions, progress tracking, and in-app chat.

You can download Boostcamp for free on iOS App Store and Google Play.