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5/3/1 and Cutting


I was wondering if it were possible to maintain progress on 5/3/1 while eating maintenance, lifting 4x a week (carbs around workouts) and doing cardio 3x week in the morning. BF% got a bit out of hand, need to drop down. Thinking about doing Wendler's hill sprints, but I'm terrified of doing them after deadlifting and squatting on a deficit.

BW 205


Forgot to mention that I go for max reps on the big set of each week except during the deload week.


Maybe, maybe not. Depends on how new into the iron game you are, your stress levels, your genetics, the way you respond to the program, how fast you're dropping weight, and maybe even the phase of the moon.

Why not replace your cardio with hill sprints.


If you are eating maintenance, then by definition you aren't going to lose any weight or fat. In general it's very tough to build strength and lose fat at the same time unless you are a beginner. Pick a goal and focus on it while putting the other stuff on maintenance. For experience, I tried this and kept going for rep maxes on every exercise every week (except deloads) and I burnt out and ended up with nagging injuries because of it. I would recommend you not go for max reps every session and pick one upper body and one lower body exercise per week at most to do max reps.


Like the previous 2 said unless you just started working out the best you can hope for is to maintain strength while cutting. My advice is to start cutting slowly to monitor both weight and strength, too fast you will definitely lost weight faster but at the cost of unexpected strength loss. On 5/3/1 just keep repeating the previous cycle (can change assistance though) and just go for the same reps you had previously, take it 1 month at a time.


What is "a bit out of hand" when it comes to your BF%?


Speaking from experience, I can get stronger while cutting a pound/week but at a slower rate until I get to around 12% bf. After that, my squat starts to go down followed by my bench, then deadlift. I will assume you are a beginner so I think that you will be able to get stronger while you lean out if you're smart about it.

Replacing traditional 'cardio' like jogging or cycling with something like hill sprinting, complexes, or sled work will burn more fat and give you a kind of conditioning more specific to PL. Think about, who's more ripped? A sprinter, or a marathoner?


I appreciate the replies, guys, really.

Dumbbellhead, I dirty bulked from 193 to 206. BF% went from ~20 to ~22-4. I keep getting shit from my family. I don't mind to much myself, but they wont leave it be.

From what you guys have said, here is my plan so far.

I've made a spreadsheet of the cut that I am trying to put together. I used the BMR calculator outlined in this article:http://www.T-Nation.com/testosterone-magazine-640?s=prevTitle#15-cool-nutrition-tips . I will post up the diet on my next post

I will eat maintenance on all days, using training on M/T/Th/F and cardio on W/S/Su to create the caloric deficit. Most of the days carbs will be before/after the workouts.

Fletch, I understand what you're saying, but I've also heard that long interval steady state cardio is less catabolic to muscles than high intensity interval training. I'm fine with either form of cardio and I just want to be sure.

I've decided that I'll go for max reps on the deadlift and bench on week 3, max reps for the squat and OHP on week 2, and max reps for the deadlift and bench on week 1. I will invert the pattern every cycle. If I can't get over 8-10 reps on these max rep sets, then I do the cycle over again.

I would love criticism on my plan thus far.


This is my diet for workout days.

My next post will my diet for cardio days.


Cardio Days


I just realized that the "Total fat from supps" calories are off, but the grams are correct to my knowledge.


"I'm going to have to give you some Tough Lust here (no lube or spit). First, I need for you to re-read this article, especially this part:

"Where performance and kicking ass are more important than how you look. Where people eat to live, not live to eat. Where trucks are pushed and sleds are pulled. Where reps and weight are counted, calories are not. Where running isn't "cardio, it's part of training and if you're going to walk for your conditioning you best have something on your back or in your hands"

You admit that you are not strong enough (many of us feel this way but understand that it is an ongoing process and that THIS process is important). But please DO NOT be that guy who talks about where he holds his fat or how his legs or "obliques" are fattier than they should be. Where has our gender gone?

What I would prescribe for you is to get rid of all these silly, pathetic and disgusting notions of what you think a man should look like and start over. I'm going to give everyone a huge hint here: no one gives a shit what you look like. Now I'm not saying being a fat slob doesn't raise some eyebrows in disgust, but if you kick as much ass as possible int the weight room and conditioning field AND start OWNING the fuck out of your given "sport" (you better start competing and making your training count), you will not only LOOK better but you will feel better. People are not attracted to vanity - they are attracted to confidence and passion. No one owns a room by the way they look; it's how they carry themselves.

There is so much more to this, but PLEASE don't talk about your love handles. Talk about your passions in life, talk about how your moved boulders, talk about the books you've read, talk about the world's you've changed. You have the passion for training, start making this shit count.

I know this is probably way off topic then what you wanted but I'm trying hard to get rid of all this bullshit that is plaguing SO MANY men, young men and boys. So in conclusion, I recommend this:

  1. Stretch
  2. Lift
  3. Sprint

Do this all the time - no bulking, no cutting, no bullshit. Just training for being a motherfucker. Don't be that guy that takes shirtless photos of himself so other men can drool on them. That shit is a disgrace to every man that has done anything awesome in his life - while they were busy "doing" these shirtless 'tards were busy trying to look the part. Get off the bench and get on the field."
-Jim Wendler


Steady state cardio causes a rise in cortisol which leads to catabolism. Interval training also increases cortisol levels but in relation to the increase in test, gh, and epinephrine you are much better off. Also with EPOC lasting so long after high intensity work you double your results.

Might have been a little off subject but "amen" Malaka


Malaka, don't get me wrong, Wendler is THE greatest, but he wasn't very much into physiques.
I am doing 5/3/1 to get strong and translate those gains into bodybuilding, but this is just too much fat. I am very determined with my weight lifting and I am sure that I can apply the same discipline to sprints or whatever cardio I choose. It's not a matter of fat in my obliques or other minute stuff, I was never a skinny guy, but being an amateur Snorlax is not where I want to be either.


So you gained 13 pounds and your family gave you shit?


Hill Sprints it is! :slight_smile:


I lost alot of weight before but gained pretty much no muscle. Then put on weight because I had to let weightlifting go and focus on a team, but I ate like shit. I got back into training and began eating hard to get stronger and I put on even more weight. I figured losing 20-30lbs can't be too awful. I can afford to put my strength goals on hold for now.

You can't pick your family. I love 'em, but they will not stop bothering me about it.


I understand where your coming from, have you thought about going the two days 5/3/1 route with three conditioning day's. I did it about four months ago with success I don't measure my body fat% I just go by the mirror. But if you think Wendler doesn't care at all about physiques your wrong, it's part of what 5/3/1 is all about he was tired of woddling around like a fatass. And IMO most people would be envious of his physique (no homo).


I'm going to have to put my shirt on. Shit.


Good responses in here so far, but it seems like some people may be overlooking the big picture. Have you truly been following 5-3-1? I'm not asking if you are going to the gym and following a 531 template for lifting, because that answer is obviously yes (I hope). But are you doing hill sprints and other conditioning after your workouts? Are you doing it at all? Are you stretching? Are you putting all your efforts into being the biggest, baddest mother fucker you could possibly be?

If you can't confidently answer 'yes' to any of those questions, then you aren't doing 5-3-1. I suspect this is probably true.

Before you start making all these huge changes in your life, diet, etc., take a step back and just do the program correctly. You don't need to count calories down to the gram--just dont eat retardedly and do the program and you will be fine. You know what foods are good and which ones arent...make the right choices and be awesome...