T Nation

5/3/1 3 Month Challenge Nutrition Advice


#1

getting ready to kick of the 5/3/1 3 month challenge wondering if anyone can give me some advice on a nutrition plan to get the best results out of if
currently 73kg/ 160lbs 13%bf

Common sense says Jims sample meal plan is way to excessive to suit me, yes i would gain size but pretty sure it would be mainly fat. If anyone could help me out with a more appropriate meal plan it would be greatly appreciated

5/3/1 beyond 3 month challenge sample meals plan
BREAKFAST
6 whole eggs (scrambled with cheese or hard boiled)
1-2 cups oatmeal
1 apple

LUNCH
10 oz. steak
6-8 red potatoes
Bag of steamed vegetables

LUNCH 2
2 chicken breasts
2 cups Spanish rice
Bag of steamed vegetables

DINNER
2 chicken breasts (or 10 oz. steak)
Large bowl of pasta and marinara sauce
Bag of steamed vegetables


#2

I don’t see how his meal plan is excessive. I added everything into my fitnesspal and its roughly 3800-ish calories. For the record, I’m roughly the same weight as you.


#3

I’m normally around 2500 cal


#4

It’s called the big but boring challenge. That’s why there’s food. What are your current lifts and what are you planning on using for your training max?


#5

Got really sick and dropped over 20lbs in weight and lost a lot of strength still recovering so trying to slowly rebuild

Current lifts
Dead 308lbs
Bench 220lbs
Squat 220lbs
OHP 154lbs


#6

Just dial the same foods back a bit to meet your goals if you think it will be too much. I would personally try to force feed myself this food for at least one month to see how your body responds. You are going to be asking a lot more from your body in the gym than you’re used to, you will be hungry.

That being said, dialing back the quantities to something like this, wouldn’t be the worst. Just make sure you are in a calorie surplus if you’re doing this program. Good luck!

BREAKFAST
4 whole eggs (scrambled with cheese or hard boiled)
1 cup oatmeal
1 apple

LUNCH
8 oz. steak
4 red potatoes
1/2 Bag of steamed vegetables

LUNCH 2
1 chicken breasts
1 cups Spanish rice
1/2 Bag of steamed vegetables

DINNER
2 chicken breasts (or 10 oz. steak)
Large bowl of pasta and marinara sauce
1/2 Bag of steamed vegetables


#7

cheers for the advice hopefully i can gain some quality mass and rebuild my strength levels


#8

Pretty much everything @littlesleeper said.

That being said, I’ll say from personal experience that you probably don’t need to be eating that much(yet) since you ain’t lifting heavy weight to necessitate the huge amount of surplus. A 500-700 calorie surplus will do. Do remember that the point of the 3 month challenge is to get big(ger).

I ran the 3 months challenge a year or so back whilst being…

bodyweight of 150-ish lbs
squat 330lbs
bench 180lbs
deadlift 350lbs
press 120lbs

(can’t really recall the exact numbers so plus minus 10lbs probs)

and I ate roughly 3.3k(at the start) - 4k(by the end) calories

I ended up at a bodyweight of 165lbs with what I would consider a reasonable amount of fat gain(not too much) and increased lifts all about


#9

were you eating a dialed back version of the diet plan or your own layout


#10

I did not follow the diet plan at all and I don’t think it’s a must. It’s a guideline for people who have absolutely no clue how to eat. I just ate whatever I wanted with the bulk of my calories coming from milk and made sure I hit my protein intake of 1.25g/lbs of bodyweight. There are people and research who’ll say that 1.25g/lbs is excessive but it worked for me so I ain’t complaining.


#11

did you find the first month a challenge at all, 5x10 @ 50% of TM for BBB lifts seems a bit light on


#12

First week or so seemed kinda light so I figured I might be doing something wrong… I simply shortened the rest periods and added in more inbetween sets (pull ups/band pullaparts/etc between each set). They got hard real soon. Also, it doesn’t hurt to do the 5x10 sets a bit more controlled. Control the tempo of your bench/etc.


#13

Prob stick around 2500 cal for first month and slowly increase over following two cycles
Conditioning will mainly be cardio with a weight vest


#14

Just eat less - 1/2 the portions. It’s very, very easy to do.

When it says “6 eggs” - just choose to eat 2-3 eggs and 1/2 to 3/4 cup oatmeal.


#15

Do Hardgainer template with that diet -better for strength as well as mass.
In fact with that much volume, as long as eating clean food you will struggle to add fat even if deliberately tried.
The challenge is a bit miserable and was written over 5 years ago now, Jim has updated his templates quite a bit since


#16

Where can I find the hardgaianers template


#17

search articles in T Nation part of the website


#18

cheers I have a look into that template


#19

Any advice on running the hardgaianers template

MONDAY

Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps

Main Lift: Squat

Warm-up
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5+ (PR set)
65% x 20 reps (widowmaker set)
Assistance:

Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
Any abdominal, low back, single-leg movement, kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
TUESDAY

Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps

Main Lift: Bench Press

Warm-up
65% x 5
75% x 5
5 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
Assistance:

Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
Prowler or Sled – 20-30 minutes
THURSDAY

Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps

Main Lift: Deadlift

Warm-up
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5+ (PR set)
5 sets of 5 reps @ 65%
Assistance:

Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
Any abdominal, low back, single-leg movement, kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
FRIDAY

Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps

Main Lift: Press

65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5 (no extra reps)
10 sets of 5 reps @ 65%
Assistance:

Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) – 50-100 total reps
Prowler or Sled – 20-30 minutes


#20

Not really. Eat, sleep, push the main lifts and don’t kill yourself with the assistance. You can start with lower total reps in assistance and build there as you get used to it.