T Nation

2 Day Template for Strength Gain/Fat Loss: Joker Sets or Assistance Exercises?


#1

I am in “losing fat” mode right now. Focusing on eating less calories than my maintenance calories. I am done with my first cycle of 531. Next week I will start the second one. I am analyzing two options:
Day 1
Squat and Bench 531
Assistance:
Chin Ups 3 x 10 (Body Weight) or Incline Press 50%x10,60%x10,70%x10 (not sure yet)
Good Mornings 50%x10,60%x10,70%x10
Day 2
Deadlift and Press 531
Close Grip Bench Press 50%x10,60%x10,70%x10
Dumbell Rows

The other option is
Day 1
Squat and Bench 531
2 Joker Sets Squat
2 Joker Sets Bench
Assistance:
Chin Ups 3x10
(maybe 1 assitance exercise depending if I keep my training under 1 hour)
Good Mornings 50%x10,60%x10,70%x10

Day 2
Deadlift and Press 531
2 Joker Sets Deadlift
2 Joker Sets Press
Assitance
Dumbell Rows 3x10
(maybe 1 assitance exercise depending if I keep my training under 1 hour)
Close Grip Bench Press 50%x10,60%x10,70%x10

Your feedback is aprreciated!


#2

First a few questions:

  1. Are the percentages for Good Mornings, Incline Press, and Close Grip based on an established TM for those specific lifts, or on a TM for the most similar main lift? (ie. Incline and Close Grip are base on Bench Press TM, and Good Morning is based on Squat TM)

  2. Are you doing PR sets in both setups regardless of if you are doing Joker sets?

  3. Do you own Forever?


#3
  1. I have not calculated TM yet for GM, IP and CG. I was planning to just add 5 pounds to each exercise until I felt I reached my limit and the calculate TM per exercise.
  2. Yes. (I have not done Joker sets yet).
  3. Nope. I own 2nd edition and Beyong 531

#4

Ok, when it comes to the IP and CG I was gonna say you should establish a TM for them. I asked a question about TM for supplemental lifts a while back and Jim essentially said that they should have their own TM’s and to find one you could just work up to a rough 5RM before doing your supplemental work.

As for the good mornings, I recently read an article Jim wrote called something like “6 Mistakes I Made - So You Don’t Have To”. The first thing he goes over is good mornings and a good way to apply them to your training. I highly recommend reading it. He basically says to keep them light and the best bang for buck he got out of them was keeping the weight between 135 and 225 among other things. The article is a good one.

When it comes to Jokers its good to remember they are almost always optional. The most up to date version of 5/3/1 pertaining to Jokers doesn’t have you doing them and PR sets all the time even with only doing one main lift a day. In the end, you know what you can handle and what works for you, but I would recommend maybe switching over to 3/5/1 format and only doing the PR set and Jokers on 1st and third weeks. I don’t think its a huge deal either way since you’re only training twice a week, but doing main work, PR set, and 2 Jokers for two main lifts could get a bit time consuming. Also you might not have as much left in the tank for the second lift of the day.

Another option is doing Jokers for one main lift and a PR set for the other. I guess all I am saying is you don’t have to run full bore all the time.

When it comes to your assistance make sure you are doing AT LEAST as much pulling as you are pushing.

Sorry for the text wall but I like to be thorough.


#5

Thanks man!


#6

if your goal is fat loss, lower the volume of work you are doing. Stop writing down your assistance too and just pick the work for that day. Depending on how much conditioning you actually do as apposed to what you plan to do, adjust the volume of assistance work and stick with the basics.

For fat loss, I would grab a copy of 5/3/1 Forever and do either the Prep and Fat Loss program or do something like this:

3-5 days easy conditioning (airdyne, vest walks, etc…)

5’s pro and 5x5@fsl
0-50 push
0-50 pull
0-50 single leg/core

I would superset the assistance with the main and supplemental work. An example of the squat workout on 3’s week with a 300 pound TM would look something like this:

warm up/mobility
10-20 jumps/throws

Squat 120x5
ab wheel x10
Squat 150x5
ab wheel x10
Squat 180x10
ab wheel x10

Squat 210x5
dips x10
Squat 240x5
dips x10
Squat 270x5
dips x10

squat 210x5
chins x10
squat 210x5
chins x10
squat 210x5
chins x10
squat 210x5
chins x10
squat 210x5
chins x10

make sense?

EDIT:

and if doing a two-day template, cut out the supplemental and do something like 5/3/1 with PR sets for two lifts…

so it would look like this (and is very similar to the training I do now)

Squat x 6 total sets (warm up sets and work sets + PR set)
superset with ab wheel x 6 sets

Bench x 6 total sets (warm up sets and work sets + pr set)
superset with chins for 6 sets

finish off the workout with say 5 sets of dips superset with 5 sets of face pulls.

Keep in mind the assistance I chose here is just an example - I chose my assistance THAT DAY. So Chins might actually be DB squats, or dips might be rope pushdowns or push ups, and ab wheel might be hanging leg raises or situps or back extensions.


#7

I’m really liking the Spinal Tap, HS years template in forever. You lift twice a week. One day you super set squat and bench 5s pro spinal tap, the other day you do the same with deadlift and press.
Squat bench looks like this:
Squat:70%
Bench 70%
Squat 80%
Bench 80%
Squat 90%
Bench90%
Squat 75
Bench 75
Squat 85
Bench 85
Squat 95
Bench 95
Squat 65
Bench 65
Squat 75
Bench 75
Squat 85
Bench 85

You don’t add weight every workout like the old spinal tap tenplates. You keep the weight the same for the full cycle(so run each workout with the same weight three times) and then up the TM and repeat. I try to finish as quick as possible and have gotten the time down to under 45 minutes. You WILL be sucking wind, and you WILL get strong. You also do a minimum of two body weight and conditioning sessions a week


#8

You would have to load an unload every exercise? Doesnt seem practical unluess you have 2 bars and a lot of plates.


#9

Well, yeah… on squat/ bench day you need a squat rack and a bench. It’s kinda mandatory to have rwo bars. In less you have a home gym with only one bar this shouldn’t be a problem