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5/3/1 Beginner Assistance Setup?

I bought both of jim’s books and i really believe 531 might be the way to go for me… Anyway im a rookie, and this will be my first serious program after 1.5 years of just fooling 'round.

Now i found out that i will start the 5-3-1 for beginners as described on page 91 from the second edition book.

Monday squat and bench

wday dl and press

Friday bench and squat

There under is written assistance, i was thinking about something like this:

squat 5-3-1
bench x5
barbell row 5x10
incline barbell press 3x10
sit ups(weighted the way as described in the book i guess) 50 reps

day 2
DL 531
press 531
push ups 50 reps
face pulls 50 reps
front squat 30 reps

day 3
bench 531
squat x5
dips 5x10
fat gripz dumbell curls (25 per arm?)
Sit ups(50) or dumbell squat(1 or 2 dumbells?) 50 reps

Probably i misunderstand something. And i do not want to make any misstake with this program. Does anyone know if this setup the way as described is correctly and oke?? I just choosen 1 exercise from push,pull and legs/core category’s.

Thanx in advance for the one’s who do reply and/or read so!!!

Yeah I think you’re probably okay there.

It’s a single leg/core category so keep an eye on your recovery. Front squats hit the upper back pretty well so it could become a limiting factor before the legs reach your desired training effect - lunges/split squats can help with that.

You’l probably get a lot more out of a vertical pulling movement than the facepulls as well.


Hi man many thanx for ur reply! I really appriciate that! I use a harness for front squats. I can’t handle the bar with my wrist problems(carpal tunnel syndrome) :grin: So it would be better to change front squat on the middle day to lunges? They, and split squats are a bit dangerous for my body cause i had several injury’s. What about RDL? I see it stand somewhere for a substitution for sldl in the book to, but im not sure if it would not be simply ‘‘to much’’ I am not able to make proper SLDL to as i lack a bit flexibility to do so… So RDL with easy weight to do 10 reps 3 sets or so… Just to isolate my hammies and glutes? It is really shitty that i am not able to do anything anymore :frowning: Just because in the past my form was horrible… Still happy that i can do backsquats again :slight_smile: is and was Always my favorite exercise anyway…

Thank you m8!!!

The lunges/split squats should be less neurologically demanding and easier to recover from each session, but if injury is a concern by all means keep the front squats and make sure you’re recovering fine. RDL’s a fine lift, but like you said target hams/glutes. If they’re a weak point it’d make more sense than a quad dominant exercise and vise-versa.

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Thanx for this answer! Stoked to start this program! I will read the full books another few times so that i can asure myself to do NOTHING wrong. But it makes me feel comfortabel to know allready what to do now… It is pretty difficult to do a structured training routine. Just because im afraid to misinterpretate things. I think my girlfriend her coach also use kind of this program, but he takes tons of assistance works on the training, really an abnormal amount of… They are training there for maybe 3 hours at least… Thats quite to much for me;-)

Read the book again. There are specific assistance execrises already listed for that program. Also barbell exercises are not used as assistance with 5/3/1.

The beginner program looks brilliant, so enjoy it! But re-read it several times first.

Don’t worry about this. Stiff leg deadlifts are a horrible exercise. Talk to any chiropractor or orthopedic doctor and they will tell you that loaded flexion of the spine is a terrible thing to do. Romanian deadlifts, on the other hand, are great. Flat/Neutral spine throughout the movement, slight bend at the knee, and initiate the movement at the hip. It’s actually considered a hip hinge movement, meaning all of the movement should be at the hip–not the back or the knees. Start light and perfect the form. If it feels too easy then pause in the stretched position.

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How are they loaded flexion? I do all my SLDL from the floor and have never had a problem even with herniated/slipped discs. I’ve never heard of them being a problem and I see them being more effective and safer than an RDL. At least from a deadlift building standpoint.

Don’t tell Jim. The Krypteia program in the new book uses them liberally. (Albeit with dumb bells). I like SLDL’s myself better than RDL’s, but do SLDL’s much lighter and higher volume.

@oldbeancam, When I think of stiff leg deads I see the old school form of locking your knees and rounding your back as you touch the floor with the plates or touch your feet with the bar (if you’re standing on a box to increase range of motion). Rounded back=spinal flexion. It’s one of those exercises that’s not guaranteed to hurt you but has a high risk. In my opinion, there are much better choices if you’re wanting to hit your posterior chain. There’s a reason neutral spine is preached as a priority in pretty much all other lifts such as squats, deadlifts, romanian deadlifts, etc.

@antiquity, There are quite a few things that Jim does and advocates that I disagree with. But as with most things in life, I enjoy the good things from him and ignore the rest. He’s clearly and accomplished guy and his methods work for him. But he also still thinks a clean is picking up the bar from the floor and raising it to shoulder height without allowing it to touch your body. That may have been the case at one point in time but the new/current technique is clearly used for a reason. It’s more efficient and probably safer. I guess one could argue that he’s not wrong; he’s just refusing to adopt/acknowledge some of the changes (same goes for still using SLDL).

I also don’t care much for his mentality that you’re not strong unless you deadlift 700 lbs and you can get strong if you’re just willing to work hard enough. This includes: training multiple times per day, doing multiple mobility/recovery sessions per day, ignoring your wife and the outside world, and eating double your body weight in protein.

At least he acknowledges that that approach may not be ideal for everyone. I don’t see the point in telling your clients/customers that stuff because they’re unrealistic for most of us who buy his stuff.

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Hi man!! Yes i try to find it… But i can’t find. Can you tell me which page? Would B awesome!

To me they are:P but i hve plenty mobility problems. I try to work on 'em though but… it is really difficult to get it all allright.

Well this is incorrect, and many exercises are dangerous when done improperly.
Google how to do stiff leg deadlifts and you’ll see a ton of examples of how to do them with a neutral spine. If you don’t have the flexibility to keep your legs completely straight as you lower the bar to the ground without rounding your back then you can bend slightly at the knee, as I do.

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The ones you are thinking of are specifically a weighted stretching exercise. Not for building strength. A lot of older lifters swore by stiff legs for the weighted stretch and for strength when done correctly. Look at Brooks Kubiks writing and he talks about the effectiveness of SLDL. You just haven’t seen proper form on them before.

How is this different from a romanian deadlift?

I found this guy’s explanation and it appears the only difference is the path of the bar. He says his legs are stiff but there’s still a slight bend in them when he demonstrates. He gets to the point around the 1:35 mark.

I also found that a lot of the stiff leg deadlift videos are demonstrating a romanian deadlift. Perhaps we’re doing the same or very similar exercise and calling it two different things.

I think the difference is mainly on sldl the you reset the weight on the floor between each set, you don’t on rdl. Also if you have the flexibility your legs will be significantly straighter during sldl. But yeah they are very similar exercises.

From everything I have ever learned about them, that is the main difference. You are to keep your legs rigid, but not too rigid as to cause lower back rounding. And if you do an RDL to the floor it is essentially just a conventional deadlift. You go to around mi shin level and bring it back up either to lockout or just above the knees depending on preference similar to a dimel deadlift, but not the same. The old time stiff legs are completely different, however, and are not meant to be a strength builder at all.

The path of the bar and the rigidity in your knees is the main difference as well as resetting each rep. The RDL is meant to be kept close with an exaggerated stretch around the shin level, while a SLDL is kept away from the body, around toe level, and all pressure is on the hips, glutes, and hamstrings. Both are great exercises and use similar muscles, they just attack different weaknesses in a deadlift. SLDL would help you off the floor while an RDL would help right around the knee.

I get it. The only exposure I ever had to SLDL was in high school and it was horrible. I’ve seen it done a few times in the commercial gyms around here and it’s still horrible. Very few people do RDL’s. I’ve been doing RDL’s for a decade but never thought of it as a deadlift assistance movement. I do it to train my hamstrings eccentrically because that’s how they work in real life. Most pulled hamstrings injuries occur while sprinting and it’s when the foot strikes the ground and the hamstrings are being elongated slightly before contracting and extending the hip.

Here’s Martin Rooney and his back looks the way I envision SLDL’s… it’s not ideal in my opinion.