5/3/1 Book for 3 Days Per Week?

Ages ago I purchased the original 5/3/1. I can’t locate it now and I am probably going to purchase another copy of one of the books.

I’m considering applying the principles to the lifts I can push these days without jacking my joints up (neutral grip bench, RDL, viking press, and a split squat variation) and am also leaning towards three days per week (two upper and one lower) since my legs get quite a bit of work from the cycling I do. My question is which of the books would be a good purchase for me given the way I’m hoping to set this up?

The amount of days you train have no meaning. All the books are great and you should read em all because Jim is a messy writer and is all over the place. Each time i get a book i havent read i feel like the more complete understanding has been evolved in my head.


Original 531 book has a setup for 3x per week, but there’s no mystery to it at all…

Week 1: A, B, C
Week 2: D, A, B
Week 3: C, D, A
Week 4: B, C, D

Would recommend 531 Forever if looking for best bang for your buck though.

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I thinking about doing something like this (leaving out assistance work):

Day 1: NG Bench
Day 2: RDL + Split squat of some kind
Day 3: Viking press

Along with this I’m going to aim for 2-3 days per week of cycling with 50-75 total miles per week.

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I’d honestly just go for


Use viking press and other main moves as you see fit. But I wouldn’t lump squats and deadlifts together.

I wouldn’t lump them together either if I was doing real squats and deadlifts. But since I’m doing RDLs and split squats, which are less taxing, I think I’ll be ok.

I’ve got all three books, bought them in order. I think I might have been overwhelmed if I had started with 531 Forever. But if you’re only going to own one …