5/3/1 Full Body Experiences?

Just looking for people who have done the 5/3/1 Full Body programs and wanted to get your opinions on what you liked or didn’t like about running it.

I don’t know if it was a full-body program in the original sense, but I loved 5/3/1 for hardgainers. You got to direct your focus on one main lift per day, but the assistance work filled with presses, pulls, core & carries was awesome & about as “full-body” as it gets. Probably my favorite program I’ve ever done. I did the routine 3 days/week rotating lifts since I was doing a lot of strongman stuff.

Shit, I think I want to run it again just talking about it… today!


I like doing one main lift, plus supplemental (5x5 FSL), and assistance lifts from each of the three categories. I guess that’s “Full Body”, or as close as I get.

I do not like doing more than one main lift during a single session. That just kills my momentum.


I’ve just finished the anchor cycle of one of the Squat, Push, Pull variations in Forever. Press, squat and deadlift 3x a week in the anchor, with PR sets on one day and lower intensity 5x5 FSL for the others.

It’s worked well, had fun doing overhead presses every workout and it’s easily improved the most for me. It was a change for me, after this I’m going back to one main lift per day, with a PR set + one FSL widowmaker. I prefer to focus on one movement and having a high rep count for the push/pull/core assistance.

Here’s the important thing to remember, that Jim mentions in the intro for the full body section: there’s nothing special or life changing about full body programs. Work smart and you will make great progress over months/years, whether you do 3 barbell lifts every workout or squat, press etc once every 9 days. The 5/3/1 principles are all the same and they’re what really makes he difference.

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Great results posted recently by this guy …

I personally really like ‘Beach Body Challenge’

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Agreed. The Beach Body Challenge is an excellent full body(plus) program Jim put together. It’s very unappreciated and often overlooked - but it is a legit full body PROGRAM. It’s also very well written and super easy to adhere to…

I have always wanted to try the Beach Body Challenge but my gym situation has never allowed it. Maybe in the not so distant future it will be a possibility.

Has anyone done “Volume and Strength” from 531 Forever? As someone who just did a couple powerlifting meets it kind of popped out at me as something that would be more PL focus but still be a part of the 531 system/philosophy. For anyone who isn’t familiar this is the basic run down:

Day 1: Squat, work up to TM for 3-5
Bench, work up to TM for 3-5
Rows, 100 total reps of DB or BB (I was thinking it would be cool to do a 5/3/1 style rep scheme with bent over rows from the floor here).

Day 2: Squat, SSL or FSL for 10x5
Bench, work up to TM for 3-5
Deadlift, work up to TM for 3-5

Day 3: Squat, work up to TM for 3-5
Bench, SSl or FSL for 10x5
Deadlift, SSl or FSL for 10X5

I don’t have my book on me right now so this could be wrong, but it gets the point across. I was also thinking it could be cool to establish a training max for a sumo deadlift and use those percentages for one of the deadlift workouts.

I would really like to try this one in the future if I can get my gym situation figured out in the near future.

Also this was just the leader, the anchor is different in a few ways I think, and I can’t currently remember it.

Anyone have experience running this? I imagine it takes a between 2-3 hours at least per workout.

I have been using a similar format to the beyond 531 articles (link below) for close to a year now:

I like it a lot. I’ve always preferred full body over split routines. Every two months I switch from higher rep 3x10 - 4x8 assistance work to 5x5 using the prilepin table percentages as a guide. I’ve been able to up my training max every month following this approach. I don’t ever schedule deloads as I am in grad school and working full time so every 4-6 weeks I have a week where finding time to lift is difficult and therefore is sort of built in for me.

I can’t really say there is anything about this approach that I don’t like

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Not an original template I reckon, but I did this during the summer:

531 work consisted of the OG PR sets and then 3-5 sets of 3-5 paused reps @ FSL. Might have done the SSL weight on bench because FSL on bench just felt too light compared to paused squats and deadlifts.


  • Squat 531
  • Bench 3-5x6-10
  • Horizontal Row


  • OHP 531
  • DL 531
  • Vertical Row


  • Bench 531
  • Squat 3-5x6-10
  • Horizontal Row

Assistance was pretty minimal. Some face pulls, bodyweight dips, curls, single leg RDL’s and core work here and there.

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Same here. I just finished Full Body 1000% Awesome. I loved the program and it’s great for strength and pushing conditioning, but I’m going back to a program where I do one main lift a day. I like that much better and I can give absolutely everything to that lift. I’m taking a little deload right now (5 days completely off) and starting Leviathan on Monday.

Beyond 1.1 to 1.4 were amazing and did more for my strength gain and techniques than anything before that. Excellent for intermediate to advanced imo


How did you find 1.3 and 1.4?
-I’ve done 1.1.&2 and think are excellent but hesistant about 3&4 with all those jokers and basically maxing out practically every workout

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The thing is, if your TM is in order, it’s not going to a be a true Max so I never found it to be an issue. I figured it’s what the first two phases set the foundation for, and it’s only three days a week so you just need to keep right on top of mobility and recovery.

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Ok great, will give them a try then!

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And if you don’t feel like it’s there on the day just leave it out tbh. Some days you’ll have it and others you won’t. But I found walking into the gym each day determined to lift something near a PR was really motivating

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Hey, do you know if it’s alright using FSL on Beyond 1.1 - 1.4 (only on the main lifts)?

It already has supplementary work in the program. Not sure why you want to add more?

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Do the program as written and do not change it. Jim’s done the thinking for you, you just move the weights.