T Nation

5/3/1 and Convict Conditioning?


One of the templates for assistance with 5/3/1 is a bodyweight template, would it be a good idea to use the convict conditioning progressions alongside the 5/3/1 main lifts to build strength or stick to the 75 reps of each bodyweight movement as I don't have great endurance; I can do a one handed pushup, but I can't do 75 pushups, and I definitely can't get anywhere near that with pull-ups no matter how many sets! I'd like to include bodyweight work and bring my strength up with it, but I also love 5/3/1 so I'd use convict conditioning as assistance? Does that sound stupid?


I had to look up convict conditionimg to see what it was. Is there a particular reason you want to be proficient in bodyweight movements?


My goals are all strength based, but to me that includes relative strength, i wouldn’t like to be able to bench stupidly high numbers but not be able to do a pull-up? I think all aspects of strength are important and convict conditioning is about building strength in bodyweight movements, while 5/3/1 builds strength in barbell movements, I didn’t know if it would be okay to run both at the same time or cycle them or what? Thanks for the reply


I would do one program or the other. Combining programs is rarely a good thing, Jim has said this countless times. As far as bodyweight proficiency, just get brutally strong and don’t get fat in the process. You won’t find a strong guy in good shape that can’t bang out pull-ups.


thanks for the advice


I don’t think your idea is a bad one.

531 is highly modifiable, so why not give it a go for a few months and see how you go?



When Jim writes a template that has something like,

Chins - 75 reps
Dips - 75 reps

I do as many as I can over the course of 5 sets, then I call it a day and go home. Rinse, wash, repeat until I can hit all 75 within 5 sets or less.


Use 5/3/1 for the main barbell lifts and then use high frequency for the bodyweight movements. I can’t comment on Convict because I don’t know the program, but frequency is king when it comes to improving bodyweight movements. You would also need to make sure you’re staying well away from failure.