T Nation

5/3/1 5 or More Days per Week


Ok, so I know I'll get flamed for this, but here goes...

I have been doing 531 for 18 months, mostly BBB as written. More recently I have added a bit of variety to assistance work, but still basically 5-6 sets of 10 of a compound movement relevant to the day, some pull ups and 3 sets of curls on upper body days, with short (<10 mins) conditioning with no weight- e.g. tabata Burpees, some KB swings etc a few times a week depending how I feel. I have a bit more time in my life now and a gym in my garage, so I would really like to train 5 days a week, maybe more...

Anyone got a plan for this- same volume split over more days? Add a power clean/heavy conditioning day? I was thinking about adding a neck/traps day and/or a neck/traps/core day, but will Jim hunt me down for being a tool?

I know the "dont mess with the program..." response, but I am just an old guy trying to get a bit strong and look better naked. Training has to be fun. At the moment for me fun includes getting in the garage 5 or 6 days a week, so I want it to happen and 531 has done me a lot of good, so I will never abandon the principles.


Here is what I see based on your comment. If you think you can do 5/3/1 5 or more days a week, you may not be hitting the main sets hard enough. I cannot imagine anyone being able to do this program more than 4 days a week with the kind of intensity that Jim intended.

Do this:

-4-day template, one lift per day
-Push the last set HARD
-Do the triumvirate version
-Weight vest walking on all off days

That would be extremely well-balanced and plenty of work if you do it right. You could even end your squat or deadlift day with heavy prowler/sled work if you wanted.


In Beyond 5/3/1 Jim has a Template called Frequency Project and Frequency Project 2.0 that should suit your needs perfect. Also if you are hitting your 5/3/1 lifts hard 4 days with throws and jumps, hitting quality conditioning on off days and mobility work then there is 6-7 days a week of workouts. A quote from Jim himself in his Frequency Project Template…

“I’d rather have quality training sessions than quantity training sessions. It’s no secret that the younger and weaker you are, the more you can train. It is easy to bench or squat 225 every day. The problem is this: too much time lifting, not enough time running, jumping and throwing. There is more to training than just lifting weights. If you want to be fast, strong and explosive it wouldn’t kill you to actually train like an athlete. An athlete sprints, jumps and throws.”

I’ve personally never tried the template but it seems if you are doing the things he recommends and you are making progress, Frequency is not your answer. As he has said many times, try it for 3-6 weeks and re-evaluate if needed.


The two above answered perfectly. The new trend is to throw as much shit against the wall and hope something sticks. Don’t be that guy. Also, here are some other things that suck:

No balance.
Horrible “random” programming that is being passed off as “hardcore” or “NAVY SEALS!!!”

Try the frequency project if you want to do more lifting. The problem is that I have a hard time believing you would stick to the program.