T Nation

5/3/1 After a Layoff, Treat as Beginner?

So, about 4 months ago, I took an unexpected trip down some stairs and fucked my knee up a little. Prior to that, I had been doing 5/3/1 for a few cycles. Between unable to do any lower body work at first, and being in a stressful semester, I just didn’t train. Finally started back at the gym today to test a few one-rep maxes.

I actually felt really great, and while I lost some strength, I wasn’t as weak as I had expected myself to be. I had originally planned to do a couple months of Starting Strength and treat myself as a beginner because of the layoff (and I was no hulk or anything before) so I’m considering jumping right back into 5/3/1. What do you think?

Also, I remember seeing on here that some people were doing their benching assistance work on their overhead pressing days and vice versa to try to make up for lack of benching. Has anybody found if it made a difference or not? Anyone with any experience with that?

I say just jump right in to 5/3/1. It’s a better program than starting strength, you’ll be able to ride the progression for longer. And, if you are making gains really fast, just do a shitload of reps on the rep-out. It will help keep you healthy, give you time to work out little kinks in your form that might have come from time off, and doing higher rep stuff for the first few months will help you put on some muscle that will pay off later down the line. So my advice: do 5/3/1, really take advantage of the rep outs, and east a lot so you get huge.

Also, I played around with swapping benching/op stuff. I suck at benching, so I can’t say it necessarily helped me, but 1) I never went back to benching just once a week, so that says something, and 2) I definitely had more fun lifting when one day wasn’t ALL bench or all strict press work. So take that for whatever it’s worth

Do. Or do not do.

Either works.

I have definitely benefited from multiple bench sessions a week. Just need to get the loading right.