T Nation

5/3/1 Assistance Setup


I’m going to start up with 531, but regarding assistance work I have some questions:
How do you plan assistance work with increase of weights and deload? for hypertrophy.
Can you run with a 4/5 week cycle, starting with low weight high rep and increase weight /decrease reps over the next weeks before a deload.
Then start over again with heavier than last "first week"
I was thinking about a Upper/lower splitt assistance work after 531, any thoughts about that?

I really think you should read the 531 book and the Beyond 531 book. They’re about $10 each on Amazon and well worth it.

Everything is set out simply and concisely in the first book, and Beyond adds more material and ideas. Personally I don’t see myself needing to go into Beyond for a while but it’s good to have.

I found : Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 and Periodization Bible Prep on google, which links to Assistance Work #4: Periodization Bible by Dave Tate from the 531 book.

It contains following for assistance work:
Week 1: 5 x 12 (60%)
Week 2: 5 x 12 (65%)
Week 3: 5 x 10 (70%)
Week 4: 5 x 10 (50%)

Then I can keep controll of weight improving and deload for assistance work.
This is for 2-3 assitance excercises after 531.
But after one cycle, do you calculate a new RM? or do I go for the next size in DB.
Ex; Arnold press week 1, cycle 1: 60% = 8kg.
For week 1 cycle 2, do I increase to 10kg? or do I run a new RM test?.

Read the book, you’ll be well served by getting depth of knowledge instead of skimming.

Exactly. It isn’t expensive and it explains everything.

There’s a 10 buck e book from the creator himself which is around 100 pages(if I remember right) yet there’s always someone asking about assistance work.Ffs people most of us spend more on coffee and burgers

FYI: “Assistance Work #4: Periodization Bible by Dave Tate” is from the book. (Which I got)
All exercises listed under, is marked with a 5x 10-20 rep range.
Basically what I’m asking for is a setup for 10-20 rep range, how to aproach/ setup those lifts with some form of progression/Deload.

Some options:

  • Just get the work done (ie. Pick a weight you can hit for the prescribed rep range and do it)
  • Look at Jim’s website for an article on programming assistance work.

Well, Google is full of shit then. Because that isn’t my program.

I think you are confusing supplemental work and assistance work. Supplemental work is done AFTER the main lift, but before the assistance. This includes FSL, BBB, BBS, Widowmakers, etc.

Assistance work is programmed via total reps done per the three categories: push, pull and single leg/core. There is a “base” assistance programming and this is modified based on what you do for your main lift and supplemental. For example, less total reps is done during BBB then when you are doing FSL.

It’s a very basic example of the “push and pull” of training. You push something in, you pull something out.

Read this forum and the many answers on it. I can assure you that it has much more information on the actual program and what works that a random Google search. Go to the source, not the pretenders. There is a reason why AC/DC sells out stadiums and cover bands play for beer money.