T Nation

5/3/1 for Hardgainers

I just submitted an article detailing the exact training that I do with “hardgainers” - it’s a combo template that has a different set/rep scheme for each lift. I’ve had a number of people here that would fall into that category and we had to experiment quite a bit.

Not sure when it will be up but it might be something you might be interested in.


Awesome looking forward to it. Hardgainer here.

Any chance of a 5/3/1 for hard drinkers, or 5/3/1 for hard drug users? :laughing:


Looking foward to this! I need a good solid no bullshit place to start. Tired of being stuck!

I’m still eagerly waiting

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And it is up on on T-Nation now…

substitute for prowler/sled ?

with the templates past,now hard gainer,is there reason for anything but 531

Here’s the article link - read up! This is good stuff.


one question is it okay to use safety squat bar on 20 reps, wasn’t mentioned so I take that as a no

Awesome stuff as always! Be kind of running this based off of another forum post I have seen on here. Just added power cleans on the squat day and power snatch on the deadlift day. Dropping some weight and getting stronger again. Have no clue why I ever stopped lifting like an athlete! Keep all the good stuff coming Jim!

Great article. I appreciate what you do for the site.

I love the different set/rep schemes for the different lifts.

Going for a PR set on Squats and Deadlifts is probably my favorite part of any of your templates. That’s where my recovery, nutrition, bar speed on the earlier sets and rest times really pay off when I come out of my last set stronger.

Pressing has always been the hardest lift for me because I seem to burn out fast if I’m going for reps over 5. The last set being capped at 5, and the FSL work being 10x5 will be better for training strength instead of the burn/fatigue I normally feel when I press. By capping all 15ish sets at 5, I can work on being explosive on the press.

You know how people work way too well. The heavy 5x5 sets of Bench with no FSL work allows all the chest people to get their extra DB work that you know they’re going to do. Really smart, just making that the program and not having to answer questions if people can swap DB pressing instead of BB benching.

For a beginner/hardgainer type this looks perfect to me. I’m taking the approach of keeping my assistance to only what can help me. I’ve been supersetting chins with all my warmups for my main lifts for months using the Malcolm X method for 25 reps. The rest of my assistance is kept to rows, dips, curls and some core work.

I know it’s subjective, but quick question:

  • Do you have a recommended set/rep scheme for DB benching and/or Rows? What % of weight would you call appropriate?

Thanks for this template, after moving through your beginner and full body templates, I was getting to the point where I thought maybe just the original 531 would work best for me. This template has the best of both worlds and I can’t wait to start it up.

We don’t use any % for the assistance work - just total reps. I don’t know how one would use % on DB work without in being a total pain in the ass. Remember not everything can be important. Don’t think about it too much - get the reps in and be done with it.

I cannot wait to start this after I do 6 weeks of the Yoke Program.

Jim was this program inspired somewhat by the Building the Monolith program?

Got it. I do that now with all my bodyweight work; total reps.

I’ll probably mix up high rep and low rep work on DB stuff. Example, one week 15+ rep rows and another week maybe sets of 5 increasing the weight set to set.

What a great article! Started today. I’m nowhere near as strong as a lot of people following 531 but I love it and really like the shift to more athletic programming. Thanks Jim. Very much appreciate your work.

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i found that on elite fts as a substite of prowler/sled but its seems weird to me

just normal hiit 15-20 min total is fine as a substitute ? what else can i do ?

starting next week thanks for the good job

Just do something that gets the lungs working. There’s nothing magical about a prowler (okay, maybe a little magical)

I’m asking here. Isn’t the prowler also used in this for leg muscle stimulation?

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