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5 3 1 conditioning, help appreciated


hey guys i am doing 5 3 1 for powerlifting... I have been lazy and cut the conditioning part of the program so far because a fear of losing strength / getting small but its time to do things right and get strong AND in shape. I dont have a prowler, or a good hill to sprint, ( nothing here only jagged cliffs ).

So my question is " my conditioning will be mostly plain old jogging, how long should i try to jog for? How much is to much and how much is not enough, my goal is not to lose weight, just to get in shape and be as strong as possible. Thanks


Why don't you just do regular sprints? Just because it's not on a hill doesn't mean it's no good


My interpretation of 531's conditioning emphasizes intensity and I don't know if jogging will cut it. Sprinting would be more in keeping with programming efficiency. Get in and get out.
Granted if your conditioning is as bad as mine, what some would consider a jog may put me under for good.

But your conditioning does not have to be running/leg oriented. It could also be sledgehammer work. I don't have a big tire to bash, but I bolted three tires from a Honda Civic to a piece of plywood so that A) the height was good for me, and B) I could stand on the platform to stabilize everything and not have to reset the tire stack every time I took a whack.


There is an article on the T Nation home page about complexes. I use them with 531 as my conditioner. Also bring a jump rope to the gym and use it between your assistance sets. 3x8 and 5x5 complexes with four to six movements will get you conditioned and keep you strong. The jump rope is a miracle tool. Gotta do it though. Conditioning takes mental toughness.




I walk with a wheelbarrow with weights in it. It got me in shape faster than anything I did before. I typically go 8-12 trips of 60 yards (30-turn around-30 back) and try to get them in in under 10 minutes, and with around 200-300 pounds in the wheelbarrow. Sometimes I'll just start at around 240 and add 20-30 pounds per trip for 4-6 trips. I think I got up to 375 so far.

Also will sometimes walk 30 forward and 30 backward. Backward wheelbarrow is great for the upper back.

I also got a plastic storage container and put a 2 x 4 wood liner inside, attached a rope, and put plates in that and dragged it on grass.


thanks for all the awesome reply's !! love the wheel barrel idea that's right up my alley !


play a sport. It's a whole lot more fun then just boring conditioning and it shows you how your program translates to athletics. Personally I do this 5/3/1 three mornings a week and play basketball the other three days. Working out is so much better when you actually enjoy what you are doing and look forward to it.


The sledgehammer and heavy carrying ideas sound good. Another option would be sprints, as mentioned, but I would keep these short (less than 60m) as longer sprints are very stressful and can cause terrible DOMS. Start off by running these at a "cruising" type pace, about 90%, and warm up with mobility drills. I like 3 sets of 5 x 40 metres, with walk back recovery between reps and 3min. between sets. If you run these flat out they are very intense.
Note that many older/heavier lifters find running to be too risky for joints etc., so if you find this to be the case then stick with other forms of conditioning.


Just wanted to throw out Bulgarian bags as an upper body conditioner if your legs are shot.


If your gym has a rower these are great...

If not...



If "jogging" is Canadian for Sprints up a moderately steep hill then go for it. Intervals man. Vastly superior to steady state cardio. Wendler has extensively written on this as have others.
Start off with a few sprints, ie 4-8. If this doesn't mess up your strength plans continue or add a sprint or two. Find the balance that makes you more awesome. I have found that running hills and even mountain biking the day after squats and deads helps me recover faster and improves m general training plan. Plus I am in better shape. Don't be a lethargic slob with a "fear" of losing 10# on your squat. It just doesn't make sense.