T Nation

5/3/1 Bodyweight Progressions


Here are the movements and reps per set (5 sets)

15 - Single Leg Squat (back leg knee touching floor)
20 - Strict Floor Sit-up

3 - Strict Pull up
15 - Push-up

5 - GHR (Eccentric Only using Lat PD Seat, flat bench in front)
10 - Hanging Leg Raises (Vertical Back, Legs barely breaking horizontal at top)

3 - Strict Pull up
10 - Dips

I have been upping the reps based on this rule. 5th set is like a X+ set for the main lifts. Once I can get one extra rep, I up the 4th and 5th set next workout.

EX: Pull up, next cycle, if I hit that then Until, then try and hit 5rep on 5th set and repeat the pattern.

I also plan to increase difficulty on movements once I can hit 5reps of 15. Instead of increasing reps at the lower progression. Once I am hitting 15 of strict movement I'll increase reps per set. Sit-ups are the only one I have done that with so far.

Opinions on these ideas? On the low rep movements I am obviously going to failure. 60-90s rest between sets, and I am supersetting them.

I have also been toying with the idea of swapping chin-up on one of the PU days, but I figure I am cheating my back by getting bicep help.


You're overthinking this. Plan the main lifts, then work the muscle and add volume by doing bodyweight work - as much and as hard as you are able to on that particular day. Trying to run a kind of complicated linear progression model for it won't be very effective for very long.


Two things I remember from the book is Assistance Work shouldn't be taken to failure and body weight assistance routine should be 75 reps minimum per movement.

How would you suggest balancing those without creating a plan?


There's this new scientific method they call "going by feel", it works really well for any kind of assistance work if you listen to your body.


I think it looks pretty cool if you're wanting to focus on calisthenics for a stint. But remember, there should be constants and variables in training. When you push one thing you typically need to dial others back. You'd be hard pressed to blast out a new Squat PR then hit a new volume PR on single leg squat.


I dont care if you got 2K posts on tnation. You're a dbag. Be a prick iof you want. I'm coming on here looking for help and what I get is you. You m ust be one of these fat muscle heads I beat the crap out of when I was younger. All braun, no brains, no skill, no cardio,no heart.

You prob one of these fottball jocks who happens to be big natuarally and intimidate people who are smaller. Well I cna tell you I been beat down by guy bigger than you, and I beat down guys bigger than you.

You obvioulsy know the 'language' used in these forums and are trying to make me look like a tool for asking questions and seeking guidance.

Wendler seems cool, but you're a FukTard. Go back to your cave and keep doing CrossFit.


Wow. You certainly have some issues going on.

I really don't see what makes nighthawkz a "dbag"-here. He's trying to give you an advice, and when the advice does not please you, you start the infamous internet forum behaviour and start throwing shit everywhere. Why?

There is probably progression models for BW-movements, just google them. But I think what hawkz said is the best idea, I also think that Mr. Wendler would advice you to do exactly the same thing: it is only assistance. Just do so much you can in a workout. Spread the work between lifting (example: do set of chins between every pressing set) and you'll be fine.

I have never used any progression for BW-movements. Just marked the total reps and tried to increase in every session. In chins I struggled with 20 reps per workout couple years ago. Now I'm doing 40-50ish reps in a workout with easy. One strongman here (Th3pwnisher) did recently 300+ chins between benching sets.

So in short: if you can not do 75 reps/workout take some smaller number and aim for it. Once you can do it raise the number. If you can get 30 chins in a workout aim for 31 chins etc... It does NOT matter how you progress in these. Get stronger in main lifts and do the work, you'll get better.


Someone assuming I'm 'naturally big' is a first...

Ignoring the fact that you've become hostile to a point very few sober people reach, let me rephrase what I've said. After all, I do want you to understand my point.

The first and most important part of 531 are the four main lifts. Those are the ones to really push, program and measure. Everything else you do is supplemental. Now, what happens if you have a bad day, but decide to go in and push the last set hard? Your meticulously thought out progression for bodyweight assistance work falls apart and you'll be on here asking for advice how to deal with it. On the other hand, what happens if you have a great day and plenty of energy? Why not use that to do 200 chins?
the take home message is that assistance work should be kept flexible and I don't see you doing that at all. What I see is someone about to major in the minors; it's not a dick waving contest (as you seem to presume), it's me telling you something I wish I'd known earlier.


The way I do it is I just have a goal total number for the day and keep a total tally as I go through my workout. If I am having a great day, I get all the reps in fewer sets and with less rest. If I am having a bad day I end up doing a bunch of smaller sets. So, really I just make sure I get in all the reps however I felt like doing them that day.


I think what everyone said it's pretty spot on. But there is one thing that needs to be considered, and that is majors are an individual thing.

If someone has a military PT test coming up and their push up numbers aren't where they need to be, focusing on bench press at the expense of pushups is in fact majoring in the minors.

One of the reasons 531 is so popular is because it's applicable for so many goals. one of the principles of setting PR's, but really a PR can mean a lot of things depending on what sport you're training for


I like the way you have it set up. It's similar to the Westside GPP extra workouts Dave Tate used to write about. You'll likely hit a sticking point with your progression where you'll either need to stick it out or reduce the reps and work back up. I've found the one difficulty with body weight movements, especially chins, is the temptation to do partial reps, so you'll have to make a choice whether to do a few partials or terminate the set once you can't go full range.

Body weight movements are unique in that you can do a lot of volume and it won't have a big effect on your main lifts, but they can sure make you sore and get you jacked. Your progression looks fine, you may also want to check out Ethan Reeve's density training. He is a strength coach at Wake Forest who devised a way to increase the volume of body weight movements while reducing the total time of the workout.

One other thing. I wouldn't limit everything to 15 reps. You may want to go higher or lower on certain movements. Good luck. Body weight movements are incredible and it's great to see you incorporating them into your routine.


And people wonder why my wife and i are moving to 100 acres and homeschooling...


I don't.


Bad night for me I guess. You just came across douchey. I get tired of douchey. Obvioulsy I read the comment wrong about the 'new scientific method of listening to your body'. I read it like you were talking to me like I was a 7 year old who was an idiot because I didn;t know what you did. Things that are simple to you might be complex to me (even if it's my own head getting in the way). Even if my questions seemed silly/studid/naive or over thought....to me they are relevant otherwise I wouldn't ask them.

Anyway, whether I was or wasn't over thinking seems irrelevant. I was just looking for advice about balancing 75reps minimum and hitting a wall. I listen to my body and stop when my form fails. At the same time if I don't have a rep scheme 'guideline' I know I won't do as much work as I probably could. For me I need a goal (a practical one). That is what I was trying to determine. I was looking for advice about how to handle that.

Anyway, I'll take it that I was way off. My bad. No hard feelings. I've just had to punch people who 'condescend'. And I grew up on the streets, so yeah I got baggage.


@jssgbsn. Hi. I need a goal too. And I've lost a big among of time searching in designing a goal in the gym. With 531 I've founf an easy one: progress on the 4 lifts. And the rest, de supplement, the assistance, the bodyweight, is just something I do without too much thinking about it.

It's probably human to need to be certain about every parameter and it is a thing I have to fight against regularly. That's my weakest point probably.
But with this programm, I've found a big help.
Monday, I did push up and fat man row between set of squats and bench, without counting them. And I finished supersettint dips and pull up. Easy. Do what you can the day it is and have a nice workout.


I've written a pretty extensive article about this very thing - and it is a huge part of the program, at least for me and everyone I work with personally. So it would probably be in your best interest to read it and use it.


Tried searching the article section. Is their a tag name for me to start my search? I don't mind reading all the articles eventually, but would like to read that article first. Maybe I wasn't using the search feature correctly. If you remember the name of the article let me know. If not no worries. I'll just start scanning all of them.


And if the biggest take away is don't trip out on assistance. I'll work on that too.