T Nation

5/3/1 For Strongman


#1

Jim, I am new to strongman and I am looking for templates that might suit my schedule. I came across your post here: http://www.jimwendler.com/2011/09/strongman-training-and-531/

However in your fist sentence you stated
"Provided that youâ??re not a strongman in training (i.e. you arenâ??t training for a contest), this is easy to do."

Which is not my case. This would be my first contest in any weightlifting sport and I am paranoid about doing poorly and failing (Ill probably calm down once I get into a routine).

Google shows an alternative template (wont list the website since it is from a competitor to T-Nation) that follows the 5/3/1 protocol 3 days a week emphasizing OH press, Deadlifting, and events. Now, taking a look at the events day I know that will kick my ass and lead to an injury or burnout. One day of Log+Yoke+Farmers+Stones+Sled per week seems too intense for long term progress.

My research indicates that there is no one proven method to train for strongman. I am looking for your input on the topic in the context of your program, thank you for your help in advance.


#2

I have been asked this many times - I just don’t have the experience competing in Strongman to even offer a healthy guess. Training the events is very stressful and all of that has to be accounted for in your lifting. However, I think every strongman has a good base of “just getting cock strong” in the weight room and that alone, at least for a beginner, will carry over to the events very well. That isn’t to say that you should ignore the events - just one has priority in the beginning.

Having said that, I also think it would be smart to perioidize your training. For example, during the off-season you would lift 3 times/week and do events once. As you prepare for a contest, you would lift 2 times/week and do the events twice. Now this isn’t set in stone but the IDEA seems smart to me. Again, I have ZERO experience with strongman training.

Remember that you can look at any strongman’s training and easily fit the 5/3/1 program as long as you are looking at their “big picture” and not examining the minutia.


#3

Thanks Jim

Ive been doing a lot of reading in the past week and I drew up a program this afternoon. I posted it in the strongman forum. I decided that a 14 day split (lifting 3 days/week, rotating lifts each week) would allow sufficient time for recovery while hitting all the necessary lifts. I liked the 5/3/1 progression when I ran it this winter (before I decided to compete) but don’t know if it could be adapted to suit a 14 day plan. Something like:

Exercises For Week A 5/5/5+
Exercises For Week B 3/3/3+
Exercises For Week A 5/3/1+
Deload
Exercises For Week B 5/5/5+
Exercises For Week A 3/3/3+
Exercises For Week B 5/3/1+

This seems like it would defeat the purpose of 5/3/1 though.

Thanks for your help.


#4

hey saw this post and i remembered reading these articles in the past on strongman and 5/3/1. Ive always been intrested in doing strongman stuff as well but for now will just keep building a base, here you go hope they help, who knows maybe youve already read them !?
elitefts.com/education/training/bodybuilding/kentucky-strong-531-for-strongman/


#5

This is from Andy Deck (lightweight pro strongman). He posted it in the Q & A at elitefts. I ran it for a year when training for strongman and loved it:

I have used 5/3/1 very successfully for strongman and one of my focuses when setting it up was OHP. Without explaining all the trial and error I went through, here was the final version that did the trick.

Week 1
Mon â?? Press Assistance 1
Reverse Band Log Jerks
Super Set: Vertical Pulling Exercise/Strict Press Variation
Super Set: Compound Tricep Exercise/Rear Delt or Rotator Cuff Exercise

Tues â?? Squat
5/3/1 Squat
Compound Leg Exercise
Super Set: Calf Exercise/Knee Prehab
Heavy Ab/Oblique Exercise

Wed â?? Off

Thurs â?? Overhead Press
3/2/1 Log
Super Set: Compound Horizontal Pulling Exercise/Compound Triceps Exercise
Super Set: Bicep Exercise/Elbow Prehab

Fri â?? Off

Saturday â?? Events

Sunday â?? Off

Week 2
Mon â?? Press Assistance 2
Banded Log Jerks
Super Set: Vertical Pulling Exercise/Strict Press Variation
Super Set: Compound Tricep Exercise/Rear Delt or Rotator Cuff Exercise

Tues â?? Deadlift
5/3/1 Axle Deadlift
Heavy Unilateral Leg Exercise
Super Set: Calf Exercise/Knee Prehab
Heavy Ab/Oblique Exercise

Wed â?? Off

Thurs â?? Bench
5/3/1 Axle Bench
Super Set: Compound Horizontal Pulling Exercise/Compound Triceps Exercise
Super Set: Bicep Exercise/Elbow Prehab

Fri â?? Off

Saturday â?? Events

Sunday â?? Off

With it setup this way, it takes 6 weeks to go through one cycle and I usually deloaded on the 7th week. I changed the numbers on overhead press day for log from 5/3/1 to 3/2/1 because I used a split jerk technique rather than a strict press and I would clean the log from the floor on the first rep rather than press out of the rack. The percentages stayed the same though. I found that for me, the adding of leg drive and the clean caused my 5 rep days to absolutely wreck me and the decreased volume compensated for this. Using this template, my log clean and press went from 1x280 to 1x320 and 5x305 with one clean.