5/3/1 + Crossfit?!?

I know this is a touchy subject. I have a plan I and want to get get some feedback. At my new box, most of the lifts are single arm/leg (lunges/Bulgarian split squats/single arm KB snatches/etc). I like it, but don’t think it will help me get stronger.

Soooo. I got the idea to begin my own 5/3/1 program and treat the crossfit classes like accessory work. The primary focus is to get stronger in order to get better at crossfit. For instance, pushing my 5RM deadlift up to make 225 @ 21 reps much easier.

Here is my rough plan. Let me know if you see any red flags.

Monday - Crossfit + 5/3/1 Squat
Tuesday - Crossfit + oly lift
Wednesday - Crossfit + 5/3/1 strict press

Friday - 5/3/1 deadlift + 5/3/1 bench + oly lift.
Saturday - Tempo run/swim. Or I could use this day to catch up on lifts I missed during the week.

I would adjust the crossfit classes on the fly, skipping work that conflicts with the strength program. I would most likely finish the day with some GOAT (skill) work like pistols, handstands and muscle ups.

Please let me know your thoughts. How would you make this plan work? I’ve tried doing my own programming instead of the group classes, but I keep getting drawn back in. It’s my interest and that is where my friends are.

I’m 43, 5’10” & 170lb. Nutrition will be RP gain template. Want to gain 5-10lbs.

Just seems like crossfit and 5/3/1 are at opposite ends of the weightlifting spectrum, so I don’t know how good your results would be. You may be better off focusing on strength for a few months, while continuing to do conditioning, and then transfer back into crossfit with your new strength.

It sounds like you should drop the classes for a while. If you’re going to mix 5/3/1 and crossfit, it’d be better to program your own crossfit work that won’t interfere with your 5/3/1 strength goals. Just my opinions, I’m interested to hear what Jim has to say and how this all works out for you, good luck man

There’s a 5/3/1 for Crossfit template in one of Jim’s books


Periodize. WODs and all that shit is random, so it can, and will, have negative effect on your strength.

On “off season”. Do more work in the gym. Push more PR sets and do less WODs. Keep your conditioning up though.

When doing more wods, use 5s PRO + 3-5 FSL for power lifts and focus improving the CF stuff.

Similar periodizing is similar to what serious/competitive Crossfitters seem to be doing.

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What this guy said

do a search on “rutherford black box” or “rutherford MEBB”

you look like you want to do too much work, you will kill yourself and kill your gainz

That’s what I am afraid of. I tend to add stuff and never take away. Which is why I’m seeking advice in a non crossfit forum. Otherwise, all I hear is “go for it!”

What would you trim back?

One if my main motivators is working out with my friends. Following a solo program never works well for me. Which is why I want to at least do part of the class when I can.

discussed here recently…

It’s in 5/3/1 2nd edition, if I’m not mistaken.

I have no idea what Crossfit is anymore - apparently it is whatever you want it to be judging by the 100’s of responses I’ve gotten by worker-outers.

Your strength program cannot exist independently from your conditioning (and so forth and so forth). They are all tied together; this is as basic of training knowledge as you can get. Trying to tie together two (or more) independent programs is not smart. My advice is to plan things out, be more efficient and look to athletes’ programs for how to do this. If you have a true desire to push the limits of your body, this is how it is done.


I am a bit late to reply on this, but I will give you an idea of my opinions and experiences relating to this.

Just a bit of background on me so you can get an idea of how relatable my experience is to yours: I am a 27 y/o dude with no serious athletic background. Played high school sports. Been lifting for 12 years, the last 8 or so with 5/3/1 almost exclusively. I have used it to combine martial arts and lifting, and I recently used it to train for powerlifting meets.

I have tried to combine 5/3/1 and Crossift, on and off over a 2 year period but as you can imagine this task can be awfully difficult to accomplish effectively. The random nature of Crossfit “programming” makes it very difficult to push strength hard. This is because you never really know what movements your going to be doing until the day of the WOD. Also the sheer volume of Crossfit programming can make recovery an issue when combining a strength program with it, let alone doing the strength work on the same day. Coaches will say scaling is the answer, but you have to be sure your aren’t scaling back your WOD so much it makes it pointless to do it.

In my opinion Crossfit doesn’t “fit” into other things. It is its own methodology. Case in point, I have done WOD’s that have caused me to not even hit min. reps on my 5/3/1 work the next day. You can’t get stronger if your always running yourself into the ground.

Personally I think you have way to much going on here. If it were me I would drastically cut back in the strength work to focus more on the Olympic lifts and their variations to get the most bang for your buck. I would say look up Jered Moon and OMOB. He created a program geared towards working in dedicated strength work to Crossfit that I think you might like.

This doesn’t surprise me. The vast majority of Crossfitters never have even thought to write their own programs since they just do whatever is slapped up on the board no questions asked. I feel like they would be scared to say anything else.

If crossfit is your sport, as in what you are training for, you could utilize the 531 in-season template.

Day 1:
Squat - 5/3/1
Bench -5/3/1

Day 2:
Crossfit/ oly

Day 3:

Day 4:
Deadlift -5/3/1
Press - 5/3/1


Day 6

Day 7

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Thanks for all the feedback. Over a few months, I have found a routine. I just split the week. Crossfit M-W. 5/3/1 Fri (deadlift and bench) & Sun (back squat). I skipped press because I get enough pushing doing crossfit (thrusters, jerks, etc).

Seems to be working. Just did a testing week. Backsquat, press and deadlift about 5-10lb off PR. Bench 5lb over. Considering I just did 6 months exclusively oly lifting, I was happy to see the numbers held up.

Having said that, The weight is starting to get really heavy. So something else might need to go.

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I blend them. My box follows a regular programming cadence where squats are always on Monday, Chest Tuesday, DL Thursday and OH Work fridays. Other days are skill / cardio oriented. It’s made it easy to sub in 5/3/1 programming to replace the pre-wod strength work, and then treat the WOD as HIIT. Best of all I get the support and energy from the sessions that drew me to xfit in the first place

Does your box do any Oly strength work before? It surprises me that they program in a dedicated strength portion for chest work each week. Your box must be a rarity.

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