T Nation

5/3/1 2 Days a Week


Been lifting for over a year and thinking about running 5/3/1, 2 days a week would suit me due to other commitments. What are people’s opinions on this set up.

Workout A

Squat (5/3/1)
Squat (3x10)
Bench (5/3/1)
Bench (3x10)
Chin Ups (30 reps)
Curls (3x10)

Workout B

Deadlift (5/3/1)
SL Deadlift (3x10)
OHP (5/3/1)
OHP (3x10)
Row (3x10)
Hanging Leg Raise (30 reps)

Similar to BBB. I have ran a Hepburn program previously and liked the simplicity of using the main lifts for higher rep sets.


Aren’t there like a dozen two day a week programs endorsed by the man himself? Why feel the need to create your own?


I’m not creating my own. It is the 2 day a week program. He says do the 2 5/3/1 sets and then 2 assistance exercises (3x10) for each 5/3/1.

I was just asking if it is ok to use the same 5/3/1 exercise for 1 assistance. There is then 1 extra assistance exercise as he states.

I don’t see how this is creating my own programme as he leaves a lot of choice for assistance up to the trainee. :thinking:


You are just confusing his definition of assistance.


Yeah the big barbell lifts are supplemental, not assistance. Assistance is stuff like dips, rows, back extensions, sit ups, etc.


We tend to get caught up in semantics a lot on here… It looks like you’re running a BBB assistance program (which is exactly what Jim calls it in the book–assistance). I suggest swapping your 2nd lift for each movement.

Squat 5/3/1
SL Deadlift

Bench 5/3/1

Deadlift 5/3/1
OHP 5/3/1

That’s a personal preference. I don’t like waiting a week before training a movement/muscle again. Unless you’re on pharmaceutical help it’s better to hit a muscle more frequently with less volume.

if you prefer it the way you wrote it then that’s fine too. You’ll still be getting the same amount of work in each week. If you enjoy your setup then you’re more likely to do it and stick to the program and that’s more important that anything.

Why aren’t you just doing BBB officially with the 5x10 instead of 3x10?


If you are only lifting 2 days a week then you can push things a bit different than if you were lifting 3-4 days a week. With that said, there are certainly better options in the books than what you have listed. I don’t see how you will be able to perform well on your upper body lifts after you have performed a pretty high volume of Squats and Deadlifts at the start of your workout. I am currently running a 2 day a week setup but I’ve changed things around to address weaknesses for me. If you want high volume and full body, this is pretty much how I would set things up…

Week 1
Day 1
Squat: 5/3/1
Bench Press: FSL (25-50 total reps)
Assistance (50-100 total reps)

Day 2
Deadlift: 5/3/1
Press: FSL (25-50 total reps)
Assistance (50-100 total reps)

Week 2
Day 1
Bench Press: 5/3/1
Squat: FSL (25-50 total reps)
Assistance (50-100 total reps)

Day 2:
Press: 5/3/1
Deadlift: FSL (25-50 total reps)
Assistance (50-100 total reps)

Assistance are the typical chins, rows, curls, core, single leg stuff and you should be able to push those since you will have plenty of recovery time between sessions. You can push the conditioning pretty hard twice a week as well and make sure to keep with your mobility work. If this doesn’t work for you, then go with what you have and see what you come up with. Wendler has put so much stuff out there for all of us and has given great guidance to all of us for free on this very forum, but at some point we need to take responsibility for our own training.


Read this. Similar that what you want to accomplish. I did something similar once and loved it.

I just find what you wrote a lot of volume.

And @JMaier31, calling supplemental, assistance is not semantics.


I was thinking 3x10 for BBB sets as this is how many sets and reps Wendler stated for assistance work on the 2 day template. I guessed it was so you didn’t overdo it on volume.


Yeah that is what I am looking for, so I would do FSL for the BBB sets right? Should I do any assistance work after these sets or do some Chins/Leg Raises etc from home when I can. I was worried there may be too much volume in what I wrote.


Just do as he wrote and go from there.


How often do you add weight on this? Wendler says no deload is needed, so do you add weight every 3 weeks?


5/3/1 has not changed.


After my kid was born, I was short on training time so I did the R/P challenge. My recovery was not where it should have been to take this on, but I wanted to do it anyway so I did, and that approach worked well for me. Further, I was in and out of the gym in not much more than an hour, two days per week. So I recommend you do that.


Hi, last 5 months i´ve been doing 2 day templs:
Day 1
A) Front Squat 5/3/1
B) BP 5/3/1
c)Row machine - 5x5
d)Dips 3 x 10-12
e)Pull up - 3 x 10

Day 2
A) DL 5/3/1
B) MP 5/3/1
C) Chin - up - 5x5
d) Push up - 3 x10
e) Krokowski rows - 3 x 12

Now I´d want to add some modidication. I think something like BBB:

Day 1
A) Front Squat 5/3/1;
B) BP 5/3/1
c) BBB - one leg straight DL 5 x 10 (30%,40%,60% each cycle increase %)
d) BBB - D - Pres 5 x 10 (30%,40%,60% each cycle increase %)
f)Dips 3 x 10-12
g)Pull up - 3 x 10
Back raises + calves

Day 2
A) DL 5/3/1
B) MP 5/3/1
C) front/goblet squat 5 x 10 (30%,40%,60% each cycle)
d) D -BP 5 x 10 (30%,40%,60% each cycle)
e) Chin up - 5x5
f) Push up - 3 x10
g) Krokowski rows - 3 x 12
some curls and triceps extension.

Can it works? My goal is build size with 2 weight training day. And espicially I want long term routine.

On the 3rd day i do bodyweight/ bands full body trainig.

Thanks for your advices.