2 Times a Week - I Am Confused

Dear Jim, dear members of this forum!

I started to read in this forum some weeks ago and I love it! I bought both books (second edition and beyond) and now I wanted to start planning my program.
I do 2 times martial arts every week and I have time for 2 training-sessions in the gym, while I try to go for some sprints/jogging once a week.

Now I read your article on T-Nation about ‘Effective Training for Business’. And then I read this Thread: 5/3/1 Two Days a Week with Option 2?

Now I am confused about my plan: In the Article on T-Nation you suggest to do 2 main lifts in Training A and 2 man lifts in Training B. So, every week, all the main lifts are done.

Your answer to the question in the Thread is a training program with 2 main lifts per week. So, you squat and deadlift every 2 weeks. Now I ask myself, how to proceed! Is it enough to squat once every 2 weeks? I understand, you squat every week with the assistance work, but not with big weights.

Thank you very much :slight_smile:

There are numerous two day/week programs (not templates). Simply choose the one you want to do. Despite the rantings from the peanut gallery, it doesn’t matter what program you choose from 5/3/1 as ALL ARE BASED ON THE SAME PRINCIPLES. The ONLY thing that matters is that you choose the program you WANT to do, the one you BELIEVE in and the one that fits your current life.

And yes, one can get stronger squatting once every two weeks because many people have done it. Anyone that says differently is weak minded and doesn’t know how to train effectively. If that is how you must train, make it work. This was addressed in the Beyond book.

So choose what you will - with consistent effort and belief, you will succeed.

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Thanks Jim for this very fast answer! Looking forward to your new book!!

With all the information I found, I tried to create a program for me:

Leader (1 Cycle)

Squat 5/3/1 + deload
Bench 5/3/1 + deload
+ Squat 5x10
+ Rows 5x 10-25reps
Chins/Dips/Abs 50-100

Deadlift 5/3/1 + deload
Press 5/3/1 + deload
+ Deadlift 5x10
+ Dips (weighted) 5x 10-25 reps
Pushups/Abs 50-100

Anchor (1 Cycle)
Squat 5/3/1 + deload
Bench 5/3/1 + deload
+ Squat 5x5 FSL
+ Bench 5x5 FSL
Chins/Dips/Abs 50-100

Deadlift 5/3/1 + deload
Press 5/3/1 + deload
+ Press 5x5 FSL
+ Deadlift 5x10
+ Rows 5x 10-25
Pushups/Abs 50-100

Is it okey? Do I miss something? Is it too much?
This should be for 2 trainings a week, all main lifts touched!


I don’t think you need to deload with the two day a week programming, but I could be wrong.

If this is your first time with 531 I honestly wouldn’t worry about differentiating between leader and anchor. In general I wouldn’t worry about this at all yet as these are new ideas that have only been properly discussed in Jim’s private forum. So until the new book comes out you are just on the outside looking in and don’t have all the details.

My suggestion to you is to go even more basic to start with as you haven’t done it before. Don’t overprogram and try and create the perfect template until you have the hang of it. Run the 6 week cycle as describe in the beyond book and do something like this:

Squat 5/3/1, FSL 3-5x5-8
Bench 5/3/1, FSL 3-5x5-8
Rows 5x10
Other Assistance 50-100

Deadlift 5/3/1, FSL 3-5x5-8
Press 5/3/1, FSL 3-5x5-8
Chins 5x10
Other Assistance 50-100

Keep it simple. Work hard. Always good to have three main movement, with back movements on both days to set your posture and base. Do a few cycles. Make some progress, understand the program and how it works. Then worry about getting more specific

Thank you diege!

I think u are right, I maybe wanted too much for a ‘5/3/1 beginner template’ - although I am not a weight lifting beginner, I haven’t tried the 5/3/1 so far.

I will do the program as you wrote it down. For the 50-100 assistance moves, I go for some body weight movements (dips, chins & pushups, + abs) and I hope I got it now! I will go for 2 cycles straight (6 weeks) and then reassess if I am doing great or not!

Thank you

Would you recommend 5s PRO with this setup?

Definitely would my man.

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So you would go for 5 pro instead of 5/3/1 with PRs?? For all main lifts?

I’m curious as well. 5’s pro might help with muscle too as the the good eats seasons are upon us.

Found this:

Then this:

So maybe we can put all together. We can do the program, as diege wrote it down.
THEN: use the suggestion of Jim about one week BBB and one week 5x5 FSL.
AND we do 3 cycles 5pro’s and 2 cycles 351 with PRs.

Sounds like a very good plan to me!!

What do you think guys?

Don’t worry I have a tendency to overprogram myself, 531 can be exciting with all the options.

Remember proper progression with the assistance. I use a genral rule of using the same weight for the same rep scheme 2 weeks in a row before I progress. For example if i’m doing 5x10 DB Rows, if I start with 60, I do that weeks 1 & 2, then say 65 weeks 2 & 3 and 70 weeks 4 & 6. It’s only 3 jumps and they are small but it keeps the form good, helps build muscle better and reinforce posture. Remember assistance is just to support you for the main movements.

That’s leader/anchor again and again overcomplicating before you’ve started. If you think yoo much about it and have different schedules week to week when you’ve never done 1 full cycle you will never finish it, you’ll be thinking about adjustments and go nowhere.

You’re creating the problem for yourself where you are trying to create the PERFECT cycle that will do everything for you and cover all bases, it doesn’t exist and you haven’t even felt the base program out. Cycles will change as your goals and progress change. Jim talks about this alot there is no one program that is the answer. Remember Jim, me and and many others did basic programming for YEARS. The original 5311 had no back off sets or main set variations and was a 4 week cycle. And people made serious progress on that alone. This new stuff built upon those principles but that is the core and you don’t understand the core, like you said you haven’t read the books, you won’t go anywhere. Stop obsessing, think straight and put in the work. As easy as that

Either way is fine. But in either case run it with FSL. 5’s PRO aswell.

Diege I think you analyzed it pretty well. I always try to overplan my training, always did so far (training for 15 years now)! I will go for 5’s pro and FSL for some cycles and will then change it up. Just that simple.

Thank you for the time you took.

PS: I read the books… several times so far.

are you doing both mainlifts and then both FSL sets? oder mainlift 1 / fsl 1, then mainlift 2 / fsl 2?

Interesting question… I think I will do the mainlifts first, and then go back and do the FSL sets. So I can focus completely on my mainlift-sets.