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5/3/1 for Hardgainers: Training Chest Every Workout?


I looking at the 5/3/1 for Hardgainers template as outlined by Jim here: https://www.t-nation.com/training/5-3-1-for-hardgainers

I am trying to understand the assistance exercises. Now Jim says every workout day to perform 50-100 of either dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one).

Doesn’t this mean that you’re training shoulders/chest every workout? Would this not lead to a burnout?

My understanding (from strength theory) is that once a particular muscle group has been trained, one should wait 1-2 days before training it again for supercompensation to occur.

How should I program my assistance (At least for pushing exercises) so that my next workout is not affected?

By following the program exactly as Jim wrote it. Why would he write a program that doesn’t work?


He also writes in the same article:

"Remember that the assistance work must NOT be trained with the same ferocity as the main lifts. You shouldn’t be doing curls and rows with the same effort as you would squat. This doesn’t mean they aren’t important, it means you have to divvy up your effort when you train as there’s a finite amount to go around.

If you feel you’re burning out due to the assistance work, this is your own fault. Warm-up, do some jumps, do the main lift hard and with extreme focus, then move on to the assistance work."

It is only assistance and wont burn you out when you get used to it. If you feel like burning out, do lighter exercises, of start with less reps or something. You don’t try to exhaust yourself with db benches.


I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t think you answered my question. Jim gives us a choice on which assistance exercises to choose. I’m just trying to understand which choice would be better, e.g. doing say 50-reps of bench on squat day right before 5/3/1 bench the next day wouldn’t be wise.

Jesus christ almighty what is it with this over thought ‘supercompensation’ bullshit?

Sorry OP but your thread topic is a tipping point for me…

Jim gives free content, free workouts and is kind enough to give advice via this forum

Can’t anyone pay him the same respect by getting their head down, working hard for a few cycles then giving their thoughts on how things actually fucking went?


To give you perspective, there are spec ops guys going through hell week doing push ups everyday while sleeping 3 hours in 4 days and rucking for dozens of miles off of an MRE. 50 push ups 3-4x a week won’t come CLOSE to burning you out. If it does, that’s even more a sign that you should do them.


What’s the script with this ‘critique my workout’ bullshit thats popping up everywhere nowadays?

It’s pathetic.

It makes me think about Jim writing out 531 BBB on a napkin in some diner.(Is this true btw?)

One of the most popular programs going, written out in a blink of an eye on a fucking NAPKIN

Or even Arnie…

Training with his mates in a fucking FOREST, drinking BEER and creating the foundations for the greatest physique the world ever seen…

Enjoying the process.

Yet some young guy is stressing his gains away, wondering if doing bench and push ups, 2 days in a row, is gonna burn his shit out.


If you dont like it just pick another template, they all work.

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What’s even more common than that is asking for approval on workout changes you think are better than the original program. This guy is at least just asking for clarification

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You could try the program as it was written for a cycle or do the 100 rep challenge or rest pause challenge to knock the pussy out of you. Or just do flyes , bi’s, and tri’s and listen to Wham- Make it big
Up to you "Strength theory ". What the fucks going on here?

If you observe how laborers work day to day, they perform the same movements at a medium intensity EVERY DAMN DAY. They adapt and get fucking strong as shit. So while you’re training chest/shoulder every workout the intensity is moderate.



Imagine Jim actually adding an element that is conducive to making hard gainers gain muscle.

Let your body adapt. Experiment with different combinations. It’s funny because so many beginners want to work chest every day and here’s one of the most successful trainers of all time giving you the ok to do it and you’re second guessing him.

Why the delete? That’s some shit all these “hardgainers” 'need to read lol

DIdnt realize the post was 1 year old, but I suppose it is. Born hardgainer here and used 5/3/1 to put on size years ago, so i guess I’ll leave it up haha