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5/3/1 Beginner: Is it ABA BAB?

I don’t know how much clearer than this it can get?

Squat – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ First Set Last ( or FSL)
Bench – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
Assistance work

Deadlift – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
Press – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
Assistance work

Bench – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
Squat – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
Assistance work

But just incase,:

  • the stuff under Monday is done on Monday.
  • the stuff under Wednesday is done on Wednesday; and
  • the stuff under Friday is done on Friday

A member on the forum was looking at my training logs and thought it might be ABA BAB, so I just wanted to double check. Thanks for clarifying though.

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Is it okay to experiment with ABA BAB for this program? I’m assuming the response will be to follow the f*****g program the way it’s written, but felt the need to ask anyway.

Yes, you can do that. You might consider doing it as written before changing things up though?

Here are my training logs and why someone suggested doing ABA BAB…it’s near the end. I’m in Cycle 2 - Week 2 and have been doing it as written.

With a little patience in using the search function, Wendler himself already answered this before in his forums at this very site. It doesn’t matter. Do whichever you want, as long as you stick to the principles.

Have you finished reading the book?

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I don’t think it matters (like Wendler said). The online article says A/B/A, A/B/A, but 5/3/1 Forever says A/B/A, B/A/B. So even he does it both ways.


Sorry, I should have searched. My bad. No, I haven’t finished the book. I’m 68% done according to Kindle. I should finish it this week.

All good. Yeah, finish the book, and hang around his forums a bit. Lots of good info. Youtube also has lots of stuff from him, specially EliteFTS. You’ll learn a lot with regards to training

Just finished the book. I like 5/3/1 approach over all. The cycles/progression make it fun since each week is different. I think I understand more how programming works and why some of the older programs I didn’t weren’t very good.

I’m following different diet advice though than in the book. Not sure if that’s good or not.

Your prerogative, but just don’t be surprised if you get slightly different or slower results.

…he wondered, rhetorically.

The diet I’m following is from youtubers like Greg Doucette, Remington James and Will Tennyson. All bodybuilders, but they have good recipes, I think. I know this is a lifestyle so I’m trying to find recipes, etc. that I’ll be doing for life. But it’s all high protein, etc, etc.

What did you eat today and yesterday?

The thing is my lifts are just too light at the moment to justify eating as much. I mean I’m front squatting at most 95 lbs this cycle. That’s pretty light, but I’m trying to progress steadily. I’ll be more willing to eat as prescribed once my lifts get heavy enough. Right now weight/effort of my lifts is just too low to justify that amount of food.

My calories/protein for past two days were 2608 calories/160 g and 2588 calories/167 g. I started the program at 135 lbs and now I’m 136 a month in. So, I’m gaining weight at this current rate. Sorry, didn’t include all I ate.

I could be wrong, but looking back on your log I think you’re doing the template slightly wrong btw -I would imagine you move forward in rep scheme every time you hit that movement, not each week: so if you do "3"s for squats on monday you do “1s” when next do squats on friday.
So bench and squats go up much more aggressively like with Starting Strength

Either way should prob move on soon to a more conventional template

I see what you’re saying. I’m doing it based an online spreadsheet, which is keeping it the same each week. I think you’re right though. Not sure if I should change it or not…

What you’re saying makes sense, but I do wonder if that was the original intent. I’ve thought of 5/3/1 as being philosophically different than a program like Starting Strength, which is aggressive in its progress vs 5/3/1 which is intentionally slower. Unless beginners are the exception to that rule, but I figure the 5/3/1 principle of slow progress would apply across the board.

A pound in a month when weight fluctuates up to 5 lbs in a day is, quite literally, nothing. The funny part is you have this whole thing completely ass backwards: guys lifting lots of weight don’t need to worry as much about their eating habits, and skinny guys not lifting lots of weight need to learn to eat like champions. Do what you want, but worrying about eating too much when you weigh 136 lbs is ridiculous.

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Well, I’ve done the eat whatever and lift thing and I just got really fat and it was discouraging.

Do you agree with this article?

Also, I weigh myself everyday first thing in the morning after going to the washroom and my weight does not fluctuate 5 lbs. The fluctuation is small, because I track everything I eat. So I’m eating pretty consistent calories wise every day. I figure such large fluctuations apply to people who aren’t tracking and their food intake is highly variable.