T Nation

5/3/1 for Beginners, Assistance Work?

When using this template, on the assistance jim says,"

The first thing I’ll be asked is, What do I do for assistance work? Because you’re doing a full body routine each day and using compound lifts, you need to keep the assistance work to a minimum. Chins, dips, back raises, neck work, and curls will serve you well. Stick with that."

My question is do you do a couple sets to failure for the bodyweight and start around 30%-40% of tm for curls and neck work ?

And when should I switch to bbb or some other template ?


Don’t use TM (or even try estimate your 1RM) for assistance. Just do the reps. Start with 30 reps per session and slowly increase from there.

Just get blood into the area and ensure the muscle is moving your joints properly.

Thank you for the response, did my first workout tonight . For assistance I did chins and curls , could only do 2 of 2 on the chins so filled the rest of the 30 reps with negatives. And just picked a weight I could do 30 curls with.

Great. You can do as many sets you’ll need to do to get the reps in. 8-20+ rep range is commonly used for assistance.

Good luck!

Into my third mesocycle ,just completed week 1 of it . Been doing the 5/3/1 for beginners. Doing negatives Chins and pull ups, can do about 3 chin ups now :grinning:. Still trying for 30 negatives each workout. Also switch between back extensions (40 reps) and Ez bar curls (35# x 30 reps) every other workout . Building a dip station out of pvc to start adding them in as well . Sometimes add in hanging leg raises or laying leg raises. Would someone please recommend some neck work . Tried doing shrugs but didn’t feel like I could do them right . Would barbell rows be considered neck work ? Thank you

Current real rep maxes

Press 1 reps × 105 pounds
Bench Press 1 reps × 175 pounds
Squat 1 reps × 200 pounds
Deadlift 1 reps × 320 pounds

Neck work = flexion and extension. All you need is weight plates for both.