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5/3/1 Full Body Training (from 2nd Edition)


I ran 5/3/1 Triumvirate over the last 4 months of 2011 and found it to be the best training system I've ever used. Lack of fatigue, reduced training time, the "joy" of hill sprints; I simply can't rep it enough.

In 2012 my goal is to work on my pitiful back squat (I used to only front squat due to lack of a rack in the basement) and get it closer to my deadlift (currently 140kg plays 195kg) while also improving my deadlift of course.

Recently I purchased Wendler's 5/3/1 2nd Edition (it's badass btw) and of course the Full Body Training template jumped out as it has you squatting 3 times per week. I've decided to run this for the entirety of 2012 and see if I get good results.

Anyway I have a couple of questions for anyone who may be in the know. This is Phase 1 of 4 different Phases, but for my post's purposes they are the same:

Squat â?? 5/3/1 sets and reps
Dumbbell Bench Press â?? 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Dumbbell Rows â?? 3 sets of 10 reps

Squat â?? 40%x5-10, 50%x5-10, 60%x5-10
Bench Press â?? 5/3/1 sets and reps
Chins/Pull-ups â?? 3 sets of 10 reps

Squat â?? 40%x5-10, 50%x5-10, 60%x5-10
Press - 5/3/1 sets and reps
Deadlift - 5/3/1 sets and reps

-I've got a dodgy RC so I was thinking of moving 5/3/1 Bench to Monday and dumbbell bench to Wednesday. This would leave me not doing any 5/3/1 movement on Wednesday but would allow my shoulders to rest more. Is this likely to f*ck up something I am unaware of?

-Are the 5/3/1 movements mean to be JUST as written, or am I expected to include the "normal" accessories too? IE, Friday: Squat, Press 5/3/1 + dips/chins accessory, Deadlift 5/3/1 + GHR accessory.

-Ab work and extra accessories; do I need them; are they advised?

-2nd Edition also covers "programming your accessories"; should I apply this to the accessory lifts in Full Body Training, or simply rep out as written above, increasing weight when they get too easy?

-Conditioning; I'm intending to sprint hills 3x per week after my workouts. Not sure how this will go with the extra squatting; probably really fun.

...I realise some of this stuff may be common sense to others (I'm experiencing post-Christmas idiocy) but I prefer to run programs as written, and can't make up my mind on these points.

Any feedback would be great


One of my favorite quotes is "You dont get big and strong from lifting weights, you get big and strong from recovering from lifting weights"

I bought the original 531 and it didnt have near the volume that you are doing.

never add something like sprints for 3x a week if you werent previously doing them for 2x a week. sprints are one of the most taxing things you can do. Whenever you would like to add something just add a little bit with what you are already doing, then if that goes well you can add more in a month.

Hard work is key but you cant just up the volume by a huge amount instantly,
Work capacity and GPP (General physical preparedness) takes years to build.

With your positive outlook Im sure you will do fine, but eat a lot of quality food, get plenty of sleep, and anytime you want to add something to your program question yourself as to why you want to add it. Your training has to match your goals.

Good luck!


Cheers Dave.

The only real volume I am adding with the new 5/3/1 Full Body Training is in the squat; which is my weakest lift. While training the Triumvirate, I was doing the 4-day split with 2-3 accessory lifts every day and hill sprinting on Squat and Deadlift days.

I'm really just unsure if the program as laid out above is the ENTIRETY of the program, or if you are expected to add the "usual" 5/3/1 accessories to it.

Good advice there with making sure training methods match your goals! That's exactly why I am starting this template with the extra squatting.


There must be more than what you have there. Here are most of the things people are deficient on: Lats, Triceps, POSTERIOR CHAIN, and abs.

You have lats on the chinups and the rows. You are pressing 3x a week so triceps will be decent but it wouldnt be a bad idea to add some dips or tricep extensions(again dont overdo it).


Some of my favorite post chain: good mornings, reverse hyper, glute ham raise(and there are tons of variations of those)

And abs: hand walkout, leg raise, standing crunch, dumbell side raise, waiter walk, suitcase carry, ab wheel and again there are tons of variations of those.

I would suggest doing an ab workout at the end of every training session and a posterior chain accessory at least 2 days a week.

Again dont over do it.

But I dont know of a lifter who has ever had over developed abs or posterior chain. Those two will give you the most benefit of any accessory work in my opinion.


Awesome, finally someone else doing 5/3/1 full body. Here are my suggestions:

1-with the non 5/3/1 squat days, just keep the reps at 5 while you get used to it

2- fix that rotator cuff, if your worried about the extra pressing, just do some shoulder pre-hab stuff instead of your db presses. You should be fine though, unless youve got a real injury. I got a light band from elite and just do 20 pull aparts at random times throughout the day, takes no time and gives your rear delts and upper back a good bit of work

3- you will be fine with the sprints, just ease into it, dont kill yourself everytime. Run fast, but relaxed.

4- dont program your assistance work, this is for good mornings and things of that nature, just do it like normal

5- I put in 3 sets of ab/lower back after the 3 lifts. On monday, it's 3 sets of abs, wednesday is obliques, and friday is lower back. Dont kill yourself, but get some work in.

6- dont add anything else, squatting 3 times a week, deadlifting, and running sprints will be plenty


Are you running the full body template too - if so, do you have a workout log?

I've just finished the first week of it and did a few sets of hanging leg raises and ab wheel roll outs after my other lifts. As you and Dave suggest I will go with the abdominal and lower back work. I'm a huge fan of good mornings so there's an excuse to include them.

I'm planning to run each template for 3 cycles; in theory I can fit 13 cycles into 2012 so that should work out well.

I just broke my "heavy" exercise bands doing external rotations so I'll invest in a decent mini band for the pullaparts. Luckily the RC isn't currently that bad; just something I have to watch and pay close attention to my elbow positioning.

On point "4" are you suggesting to program the Good Mornings as per the 2nd edition, but do all the other accessories as per the basic 3 sets of 10-15 reps scheme? Makes sense I guess.

I'm not OVERLY concerned about the extra pressing - moreso having 5/3/1 benching and 5/3/1 overhead press within 48 hours of each other. To me it seems more logical to do the benching on Monday; in theory the 5/3/1 squat shouldn't affect the bench too much.

Looking forward to getting stuck into it anyway! I may post a log to keep myself honest.


you might appreciate this Wendler live spill here : http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1316

its about the full body template.

The point of the full body template, in my opinion, its to really smash those main 3 lifts, the other lifts are in there only to be the minimum accessory work.

As Wendler says in the spill, "I don't compromise on my training or on my workouts - if you want to change something, do so and see if it works. I can't endorse anything I don't do personally." He also answers some questions in the spill that are similar to yours.

Personally I think your moving bench press to Monday would work fine, but i think adding a ton of accessory work kind of defeats the purpose of the full body program. Choose a focus and stick with it, don't try to fix everything all at once.

here is a 5/3/1 program with tons of accessory work in it: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/blood_and_chalk_jim_wendler_talks_big_weights_volume_eight&cr=

hope i've been helpfull.


I am, but im running the one he laid out in the spill on here. My rugby season is about to start in a month or so, so it would be a bad idea to try to get my squats up to heavy 3 times a week, like it has in the book. I had a log on here a while back, but it got annoying logging on to type it out, so now I just write it in a notebook.

That seems like a good plan, running each phase for 3 cycles.

Get a light band, I wasn't sure if I should get a light or mini band, but the light band is perfect, I think a mini band wouldnt be enough resistance.

I wouldn't do good mornings at all, I think it's too big of an exercise to be throwing in on top of everything. For lower back, I do back raises.

Switching the bench and dumbbell bench should work just fine.


just switch to BoringButBig or Periodization Bible template


Why? all these templetes work.


Thanks heaps for the live spill link - that answered my question about chins between pushing sets.
Oh I have no interest in adding loads of accessories - was just confused as to whether the workout posted in Second Edition was complete or assuming we'd do extra accessory work. Turns out the Full Body Training is indeed complete as posted, apart from a bit of ab work, which it's fine to add according to Wendler in the live feed.


I did a few cycles of Triumvirate and really dug it - want to focus on my weak back squat this year.
The other appeal of FBT template is I don't know many people who have run it - so I'd like to run it for a full 12 months so I can provide information on how effective it is.


I had a read of the spill FBT template; looks pretty similar except in the Second Edition one you increase the percentages and lower the squat repetitions with each of the first 3 Phases, and the 4th Phase includes power cleans and plyometrics.

In my first week (starting week 2 tonight) I struggled with 5/3/1 Deadlift after medium weight squatting and 5/3/1 Overhead Press, but I will put this down to lower back fatigue from extra squatting and post-christmas weakness. I'm sure after a few weeks I will adapt to the new routine just fine.

The light bands you suggest are the 50-120lb I assume?



Yea thats to be expected, but you should be fine after a little bit, you'll get used to it.

Yea, theyre orange if that helps.


Dave G - the squats dont go over 60%, thats nothing


Well in Phase one yeah. It's really just a preparation phase.

Phase two Wednesday/Friday:
65%x3, 75%x3, 85%x3

Phase three Wednesday/Friday:
75%x3, 85%x3, 95%x1

...greatly reduced volume obviously, but far more intensity. And you still do the normal 5/3/1 squat on Mondays.


if you start a training log i'd like to see it!

I did a squat everyday thing during the summer, after reading this article http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/max_out_on_squats_every_day

and it brought my squat up from about 230 to 315 in about six weeks (although i had done a previous best of 275 years before, so it was some muscle memory), and more importantly it made me really comfortable doing squats (I used to hate them). but then i tried over complicating things with all sorts of extra work. thats my round about way of saying i think this template is really going to work for you!


Cheers for the encouraging words!
Have started one today actually - should help me keep it real haha.

Interesting article too. That's some seriously insane training right there! Did you find yourself psychologically beat-down from the daily squatting? And what kind of percentages did you roll with? Or was it ad-lib / by feel?


I squat every session now (I train thrice weekly). I don't think you'll have any trouble with the squats even when the weights get heavier. I'm just finishing up the 3s phase of Juggernaut and will be doing the 5/3/1 full body template. I'm looking forward to hearing how well you like it.



It was a bit ad-lib, but i'll tell you what i did anyway.

i worked out about 5 or 6 times a week.
First week i did 3 sets of 8 squats @ 135 at the beginning of every workout.
-for the rest of the workout i would rotate, squats (day 1 and 4), deadlift(day 3 and 6), or bench press (day 2 and 5) as my "main lift" usually working up to what felt like was a heavy triple. and then do 1 assistance exercise.

second week i did 3 sets of 12 @ 135
third week i did 3 sets of 8 @ 185
fourth week i did 3 sets of 12 @ 185
fifth week i did 3 sets of 8 @ 225
sixth week i did 3 sets of 10 @ 225 (couldn't quit get 12 reps on these)

To be honest i didn't feel psychologically beat down by the squats, it probably helped that i started so light. the first week was the hardest, mentally. When i stopped i was still seeing results from the program, but i kind of have program ADHD.

I will say though, i did suffer quite a bit of joint soreness/ stiffness from doing this. But fish oil helped quite a bit (started taking that in week 5).

also i tested my max squat every second week, usually in the day 4 workout.