T Nation

5/3/1 Leviathan Adjustments


#1

I am currently doing the God is a Beast template and really enjoying it. I am thinking about doing Leviathan next. You can choose to do 5x5@FSL, BBS, BBB, 5x5@SSL, and there are a couple more options during the leader. One of my favorite parts about most 5/3/1 templates is how every week, the percentages change. It keeps training fresh and keeps me challening myself. Leviathan seems basically the same through the entire leader. I have not decided exactly how my routine will look but lets use this as an example…

Monday
Bench Press BBS

Tuesday
Squat 5x5@SSL

Thursday
Overhead Press 5x5@SSL

Friday
Deadlift BBS

Assuming I do 2 Leaders/1 Anchor, I would be doing 6 weeks of the same exact weights on the leaders except for when I raise my training max after week 3. To keep things more interesting, can I switch things around and still be following the program? For example…

Week 1
Monday
Bench Press BBS

Tuesday
Squat 5x5@SSL

Thursday
Overhead Press 5x5@SSL

Friday
Deadlift BBS

Week 2
Monday
Bench Press BBB

Tuesday
Squat 5x5@FSL

Thursday
Overhead Press 5x5@FSL

Friday
Deadlift BBB

Week 3 (same as week 1)
Monday
Bench Press BBS

Tuesday
Squat 5x5@SSL

Thursday
Overhead Press 5x5@SSL

Friday
Deadlift BBS


#2

I ran it and used the normal FSL (or whatever) percentages for the supplemental. So 65, 70, 75, raise training max then repeat. The same weights were only used on the main work. And even then, in that particular program, they’re a guide on how to ramp up to the TM. I didn’t always use exactly 70,80,90x3. I might be wrong, but what you’re suggesting doesn’t seem like a program, it’s just doing almost random stuff to not get bored.


#3

On page 199 of 5/3/1 Forever, it says for the leader work up to the 100% single with 70% 1-3. 80% 1-3. 90% 1-3, 100% 1, then do one of the supplemental templates and he says you can do different supplemental templates for different lifts. BBB, BBS, 5x5@FSL, etc. The anchor doesn’t use the supplemental templates and instead you do a PR set after working up to the 100% single.


#4

I haven’t got the book.
But it looks a bit like training maximally from Beyond, exept you go for a rep pr with TM.
I would pick one supplemental move for each lift, BBB Squat, BBS Press, or whatever you like.
IF doing the same weights at the same weight every week is to boring, I would use the percentages as Kbama suggest 65-70-75 % FSL weights.
I have tried doing 1 single at TM, then a pr set at 85-90-95… That was to taxing, so be very careful choosing the assistance.
Good luck


#5

Thank you. The program in the book says do 70x1-3, 80x1-3, 90x1-3, TMx1 and the example in the book shows you doing different supplemental templates on different lifts. One you are doing BBS@FSL, another Widowmakers@FSL, another 5x5@SSL, and another BBB@FSL. He says do the stressful stuff at the end of the week and if you are doing high volume on the squat and deadlift, don’t do single leg and lower back stuff.

Knowing that, do you think it is okay to do what I said in the original post and still be considered following the program?


#6

I’d rather switch the supplemental templates over blocks of 3 weeks instead of every week - at least, that’s how I’m running the program (just started week 3 of second Leader cycle).
I did:
Leader 1 - BBB@FSL for Press and Bench, 5x5FSL for Deads and Squats
Leader 2 - 5x5SSL for Press and Bench, 3x5SSL for Deads and kept 5x5FSL for Squats

Playing around with the idea of moving from higher volume/lower intensity to lower volume/higher intensity with each block and see how it goes. So far I can tell that packing more volume really helped the upper body lifts, and working up to heavy singles helped deads and squats.

I use the same % every week btw - so FSL is always 70%, SSL is always 80%. Don’t really find it boring, I superset most of the work and workouts last about one hour.
I don’t think it can be an issue if you use the standard 5/3/1 %s (65,70, 75% for FSL; 75,80,85% for SSL) since overall volume is more or less the same, but one thing I found useful about always using the same % is that it’s easier to compare and assess technique and bar speed week to week with a straight up comparison - it’s like a dumbproof tool to see if you’re actually improving or heading into a grind.


#7

I didn’t think about doing the same weight being good for assessing technique and bar speed. It makes perfect sense. When I saw the program, it looked great except keeping the same weights for so long seemed like, where is the progression? Will I get stronger? All of the 5/3/1 templates I have done have not failed me so I have faith this will get me stronger, but unlike the others, this doesn’t have a progression until the anchor whether it is lifting heavier or lighter but for more reps and sets. At first glance, I saw same weights all the time, how do you get stronger? I didn’t think about techique and bar speed. Thank you.


#8

Leviathan definitely works for strength. And in my earlier post I just pointed out that the purpose is to ramp up to your TM for a single. I didn’t always do exactly 70,80,90x3. For example on a given week for say the press I was feeling like I might need smaller jumps bc I wasn’t feeling great I might do 70x3, 80x2, 90x2 and 95x1. It’s using the same principle and and helped me have a better workout that particular day. That was my point in that if you get bored doing the exact same weights for three weeks, it works the same. Focusing on bar speed like the above poster said is a good barometer too, but I focus on that every rep of every set already.


#9

I have a rough idea of what Jims programming looks like. And I think I understand at least some of it.
As said keep the same supplemental lift, for 3 weeks, then you can switch it. As mentioned go from BBB at 60 % first three weeks to SSL 5x5 the next.
So your first option where you switch every week is not following the program, to my understanding.
I do not see it as a problem doing the original % 65/70/75 as FSL 75/80/85 SSL. That would rather be an advantage, putting a little bit more volume in every week.
Looking at your first example if that is your plan, I would NOT EVER do BBS with the DL.
That would be very very demanding and taxing. But I saw it as an example.
BBS with Press and squat maybe BBB Squat
SSL Bench
FSL DL and then only 3 sets.
Thats how I would set it up. But we are all different and what works for one guy, don’t always work for others.


#10

Thank you. This is very helpful.


#11

Right now I am doing the God is a Beast leader, which has you do BBS with every lift. The lower body lifts one week and the upper body lifts the other week. So far BBS deadlifts have not been that challening, but after ramping up to my training max, it might be. The reason I chose BBS on the deadlift and bench press is because those are the lifts I need more practice with and BBS doesn’t make me as sore as BBB and is probably better for strength than BBB. I need less practice with the squat and overhead press so I am lifting less volume with those so I can have a couple days that aren’t as taxing and I know BBB doesn’t help my overhead press. It is TBD if BBS helps it.


#12

Makes sense to me.
As I said, we are all different. Otherwise we would all be doing the same shit.
Traning is fail some, have succes in some, learn, adapt and move on. :slight_smile:
Try it out, it’s only 3 weeks or if it’s the whole program it’s no more than a couple of months. You will have learnt something. So follow the program to the end. Look back at the log, what was good what was bad take the good part and leave the bad.
In a year from now, you are stronger and better, have gone through some programs and learnt a lot.
The important part is that you enjoy what you do.