T Nation

5/3/1 New Move New Start


#1

I’m starting this log for the new year and the new me.

2015 overall was a very good year for me. I’m moving to Denver on Dec 31st. I locked into a goal and I made it happen. But I’m saddened to place Oly lifting on the back burner for 2016. I decided due to all my obligations and time constraints now I have to pick and choose what I’m going to do. If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s been if you try to do TOO MUCH you don’t get anything done.

But for this year my goal is very simple. It’s to get STRONG AS FUCK overall. I think if I follow this program for an entire year, eat well, and recovery a few things will happen. 1) I’ll be strong and leaner 2) Will set me up for a good base for when I do transition into Olympic lifting and 3) Will prove to me I can commit to a LIFTING program and give it my all.

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve run 5/3/1. I think for the type of person I am, this fits what I’ve been looking to do. It gives me the flexibility to mess around with different assistance exercises every few months, but keeps the 2 main lifts each day the same.

I’m going to do 5/3/1 for an entire year. I’m not going to switch to ANY other program. I’ve read the whole book, I’ve asked the questions, and I’ve read some of your logs.

MONDAY
-Back Squat 5/3/1 (High Bar) Pyramid
-Bench Press 5/3/1
-Abs
*Assistance

WEDNESDAY
-Clean 5/3/1 (Not C&J)
-Clean Pull 5/3/1
-Abs
*Assistance

FRIDAY
-Front Squat 5/3/1 Pyramid
-Overhead Press 5/3/1
-Abs
*Assistance


#2

These were my training maxes for this current cycle (I adjusted after I realized I didn’t go off my 90%)

Back Squat - 180
Bench Press - 185 (My squat will catch up!)

Clean - 145
Clean Pull - 185

Front Squat - 165
Overhead Press - 130


#3

I’ve watched this video about 10x. I felt like it was speaking directly to me!


#4

For 4 cycles this will be my assistance exercises. This is what I have been doing the last 3 weeks. I used this template as framework to figure out what I was going to do:

I’ll be doing chin ups on Mon/Fri in between squat sets and pressing sets. Aiming for 50 total per each workout.

Evolv wrote:
Nutty, thanks for the kind words and checking in on me man.

Regarding assistance work. Personally, anymore I normally don’t treat my assistance/accessory work as stuff to help the main lift. I usuallly have two parts to my training-- strength work-- then bodybuilding stuff (to look better)-- and then exercises to keep me functionally balanced (such as doing pulling to keep my shoulders healthy). I’ve never really seen much difference in say my squat, from doing assistance work. Only when I focus on just squatting do I really see results directly in my squats. Same goes for benching or deadlifting.

I know a lot of powerlifters are big on assistance work, but that is just my experience. Obviously, you need to try it all, give it time and see what works for you as a lifter. I have trained with lifters that do both as well. So, remember, another person could say that you need to do assistance work to help build a lift and be equally correct. I’m just giving you something else to think about.

However a perfect example for what I have experienced is when I could high bar squat 440, I was squatting 5 days per week and doing absolutely nothing else for my squat. When my bench finally broke 300, I was benching 3 days per week. Again, not saying this is law or anything, but it is what I have experienced and see little benefit in assistance work to build a lift unless you have some glaring issues which then turns it into some type of balancing/physical therapy type work.

Yo I appreciate the insightful response man! I do agree with your points though. I don’t think I have any “glaring” weakness, since I’m weak all over lol. You know bro, after looking carefully through your log, I see you don’t do anything crazy but have tremendous results. You literally do squat, press, pull, assistance, abs. 5-6 exercises each day. Obviously you’ve busted your ass, but I think it also goes to show you don’t need much in terms of variation to be effective. You got me thinking maybe I am trying to major in the minors a bit. I’m thinking if I do more volume for my main lifts and cut back on some assistance that maybe that’s all I need.

What do you think?

MONDAY
-Back Squat 5/3/1 Pyramid AMRAP
-Bench Press 5/3/1 Pyramid AMRAP
-Kroc Rows 5xF
-RDL 4x10
-Abs 4x20

WEDNESDAY
-Clean 5/3/1
-Clean Pull 5/3/1
-Chest Supported Rows 5x5
-Dips 5xF
-Abs 4x20

FRIDAY
-Front Squat 5/3/1 Pyramid AMRAP
-Overhead Press 5/3/1 Pyramid AMRAP
-Barbell Row 5x8
-RDL 4x10
-Abs 4x20

*I’d be doing chins/pullups in between pressing/squatting.
*I’d also be playing basketball 2x a week for about 1-2 hours each.

IF there is anything any of you see that feel like would be better assistance wise please let me know. I FULLY understand now that assistance exercises are just that, meant to assist the main lift. I just want to make sure I’m staying well balanced overall. I’m doing a lot of squatting, pressing, and pulling lol.

EDIT: This is the final split. I’ll revisit this before I start my July cycle.


#5

Nutty, thanks for the kind words and checking in on me man.

Regarding assistance work. Personally, anymore I normally don’t treat my assistance/accessory work as stuff to help the main lift. I usuallly have two parts to my training-- strength work-- then bodybuilding stuff (to look better)-- and then exercises to keep me functionally balanced (such as doing pulling to keep my shoulders healthy). I’ve never really seen much difference in say my squat, from doing assistance work. Only when I focus on just squatting do I really see results directly in my squats. Same goes for benching or deadlifting.

I know a lot of powerlifters are big on assistance work, but that is just my experience. Obviously, you need to try it all, give it time and see what works for you as a lifter. I have trained with lifters that do both as well. So, remember, another person could say that you need to do assistance work to help build a lift and be equally correct. I’m just giving you something else to think about.

However a perfect example for what I have experienced is when I could high bar squat 440, I was squatting 5 days per week and doing absolutely nothing else for my squat. When my bench finally broke 300, I was benching 3 days per week. Again, not saying this is law or anything, but it is what I have experienced and see little benefit in assistance work to build a lift unless you have some glaring issues which then turns it into some type of balancing/physical therapy type work.


#6

[quote]Evolv wrote:
Nutty, thanks for the kind words and checking in on me man.

Regarding assistance work. Personally, anymore I normally don’t treat my assistance/accessory work as stuff to help the main lift. I usuallly have two parts to my training-- strength work-- then bodybuilding stuff (to look better)-- and then exercises to keep me functionally balanced (such as doing pulling to keep my shoulders healthy). I’ve never really seen much difference in say my squat, from doing assistance work. Only when I focus on just squatting do I really see results directly in my squats. Same goes for benching or deadlifting.

I know a lot of powerlifters are big on assistance work, but that is just my experience. Obviously, you need to try it all, give it time and see what works for you as a lifter. I have trained with lifters that do both as well. So, remember, another person could say that you need to do assistance work to help build a lift and be equally correct. I’m just giving you something else to think about.

However a perfect example for what I have experienced is when I could high bar squat 440, I was squatting 5 days per week and doing absolutely nothing else for my squat. When my bench finally broke 300, I was benching 3 days per week. Again, not saying this is law or anything, but it is what I have experienced and see little benefit in assistance work to build a lift unless you have some glaring issues which then turns it into some type of balancing/physical therapy type work. [/quote]

Yo I appreciate the insightful response man! I do agree with your points though. I don’t think I have any “glaring” weakness, since I’m weak all over lol. You know bro, after looking carefully through your log, I see you don’t do anything crazy but have tremendous results. You literally do squat, press, pull, assistance, abs. 5-6 exercises each day. Obviously you’ve busted your ass, but I think it also goes to show you don’t need much in terms of variation to be effective. You got me thinking maybe I am trying to major in the minors a bit. I’m thinking if I do more volume for my main lifts and cut back on some assistance that maybe that’s all I need.

What do you think?

MONDAY
-Back Squat 5/3/1 Pyramid AMRAP
-Bench Press 5/3/1 Pyramid AMRAP
-Kroc Rows 5xF
-RDL 4x10
-Abs 4x20

WEDNESDAY
-Clean 5/3/1
-Clean Pull 5/3/1
-Chest Supported Rows 5x5
-Dips 5xF
-Abs 4x20

FRIDAY
-Front Squat 5/3/1 Pyramid AMRAP
-Overhead Press 5/3/1 Pyramid AMRAP
-Barbell Row 5x8
-RDL 4x10
-Abs 4x20

*I’d be doing chins/pullups in between pressing/squatting.
*I’d also be playing basketball 2x a week for about 1-2 hours each.


#7

Right on buddy :slight_smile: Yeah, I’m not telling you should change what you’re doing at all. I am just sharing my experience, everyone is different of course, you might find it helps you.

I think that split looks solid as stone man. I don’t see why that won’t help you get stronger. Patience, intensity, focus.

Keep at it, you have made great progress since you have started!


#8

[quote]Evolv wrote:
Right on buddy :slight_smile: Yeah, I’m not telling you should change what you’re doing at all. I am just sharing my experience, everyone is different of course, you might find it helps you.

I think that split looks solid as stone man. I don’t see why that won’t help you get stronger. Patience, intensity, focus.

Keep at it, you have made great progress since you have started![/quote]

Thanks man I appreciate it! I feel like I’ve come a long way, but still have a really long way to go.

This is what I’ll do for the next 6 months. I’ll see where I’m at physically in June adjust accordingly. Thanks for the advice man, I always do appreciate it!


#9

Looking forward to seeing the results from this.

Only thing I’d add is that it might be worth putting some numbers to “Strong as fuck”. I think if you set a few milestones along the way, they become “little victories” to help push you on.

EDIT: And remember to make them reasonable. Life has this way of happening, and your results will be affected. Keep that in mind when setting your goals.


#10

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Looking forward to seeing the results from this.

Only thing I’d add is that it might be worth putting some numbers to “Strong as fuck”. I think if you set a few milestones along the way, they become “little victories” to help push you on.

EDIT: And remember to make them reasonable. Life has this way of happening, and your results will be affected. Keep that in mind when setting your goals.[/quote]

Thanks man, I appreciate it! Always appreciate the insight. This sounds good to me.

Here are the first milestones I want to hit. Once I hit these, then I will set new goals.

Back Squat 200-1x5 (When I eventually hit 225x5 that will be happiest day of my life!)
Bench Press 200-1x5 (I’m at 185x6, I think I’ll get a 225 bench before a 225 squat lol)

Clean 155-1x5
Clean Pull 200-1x5

Front Squat 185-1x5 (15lbs away!)
Overhead Press 135-1x5 (10lbs away, I’ve done 135x3 before)


#11

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Looking forward to seeing the results from this.

Only thing I’d add is that it might be worth putting some numbers to “Strong as fuck”. I think if you set a few milestones along the way, they become “little victories” to help push you on.

EDIT: And remember to make them reasonable. Life has this way of happening, and your results will be affected. Keep that in mind when setting your goals.[/quote]

Thanks man, I appreciate it! Always appreciate the insight. This sounds good to me.

Here are the first milestones I want to hit. Once I hit these, then I will set new goals.

Back Squat 200-1x5 (When I eventually hit 225x5 that will be happiest day of my life!)
Bench Press 200-1x5 (I’m at 185x6, I think I’ll get a 225 bench before a 225 squat lol)

Clean 155-1x5
Clean Pull 200-1x5

Front Squat 185-1x5 (15lbs away!)
Overhead Press 135-1x5 (10lbs away, I’ve done 135x3 before)[/quote]

Looks like you’re most of the way there. Just remember goals should be SMART:

Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Time constrained

I think what you’re missing here is time constrained (set yourself a deadline) and, potentially, specific. Set yourself a few ground rules that will stop you cheating. The last big goal I set myself in fitness was 180kg deadlift. I could have (and in fact did), cheat this by switching to a trap bar, using oversized bumper plates, hitching etc. But I didn’t count it until I did it how I originally set out.


#12

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Looking forward to seeing the results from this.

Only thing I’d add is that it might be worth putting some numbers to “Strong as fuck”. I think if you set a few milestones along the way, they become “little victories” to help push you on.

EDIT: And remember to make them reasonable. Life has this way of happening, and your results will be affected. Keep that in mind when setting your goals.[/quote]

Thanks man, I appreciate it! Always appreciate the insight. This sounds good to me.

Here are the first milestones I want to hit. Once I hit these, then I will set new goals.

Back Squat 200-1x5 (When I eventually hit 225x5 that will be happiest day of my life!)
Bench Press 200-1x5 (I’m at 185x6, I think I’ll get a 225 bench before a 225 squat lol)

Clean 155-1x5
Clean Pull 200-1x5

Front Squat 185-1x5 (15lbs away!)
Overhead Press 135-1x5 (10lbs away, I’ve done 135x3 before)[/quote]

Looks like you’re most of the way there. Just remember goals should be SMART:

Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Time constrained

I think what you’re missing here is time constrained (set yourself a deadline) and, potentially, specific. Set yourself a few ground rules that will stop you cheating. The last big goal I set myself in fitness was 180kg deadlift. I could have (and in fact did), cheat this by switching to a trap bar, using oversized bumper plates, hitching etc. But I didn’t count it until I did it how I originally set out.[/quote]

I see what you’re saying. For the goals, I want them to all be clean, crisp, controlled, but yet explosive reps. That’s when I know I hit them.

I’m giving myself 3 months or less to hit all of these goals. I’m certain this is doable. Some will get done sooner than others that’s for sure!


#13

So I had a question for anyone following, in terms of DIET, how should I be approaching this?

~2500 cals is my maintenance. And I haven’t really done much cardio in the past year regularly.

I would say I’m still around ~20% bf. I weigh 165lbs (I’m 5’6). The “skinny-fat” bs.

I’m thinking cleaning up my diet and adding 2-3x a week cardio is all I need to start getting leaner as I’m getting stronger. Then at some point I’ll need to add more calories.

Any ideas/tips/help?


#14

I figure I should write these down, so I know what the end goal is for this year.

GOALS FOR 2016

Back Squat 315-3x5
Bench Press 225-3x5

Clean 225-1x5
Clean Pull 315-1x5

Front Squat 275-3x5
Overhead Press BW-3x5

In terms of training, everything circles around these few goals.


#15

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
So I had a question for anyone following, in terms of DIET, how should I be approaching this?

~2500 cals is my maintenance. And I haven’t really done much cardio in the past year regularly.

I would say I’m still around ~20% bf. I weigh 165lbs (I’m 5’6). The “skinny-fat” bs.

I’m thinking cleaning up my diet and adding 2-3x a week cardio is all I need to start getting leaner as I’m getting stronger. Then at some point I’ll need to add more calories.

Any ideas/tips/help?[/quote]
I’m far from an expert on diet, and usually refrain from commenting. The only advice I’d give at the minute is to keep any diet efforts fairly “loose” right now. Trying to start a totally new workout program, in a new city is enough to drain your mental focus already, I would say that your dietary efforts should take a back seat until you’re more settled.


#16

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
So I had a question for anyone following, in terms of DIET, how should I be approaching this?

~2500 cals is my maintenance. And I haven’t really done much cardio in the past year regularly.

I would say I’m still around ~20% bf. I weigh 165lbs (I’m 5’6). The “skinny-fat” bs.

I’m thinking cleaning up my diet and adding 2-3x a week cardio is all I need to start getting leaner as I’m getting stronger. Then at some point I’ll need to add more calories.

Any ideas/tips/help?[/quote]

Cardio is another form of training, and as such is something that taxes recovery. If you’re already in a state of taxed recovery (eating below maintenance), this will mean really piling on the demands for your body, which can be a pretty easy way to burn out and regress.

Whenever I am trying to lose fat, I REDUCE my work rather than increase it. Less volume, less conditioning, etc etc. It’s a real razor’s edge. I save all my cardio and conditioning heavy training for when I’m pushing the calories, as it means I’ll have the chance to recover better from it.

Were I in your position, I would focus more on really dialing in the nutrition and getting the most quality you can out of your lifting. If conditioning is done, keep it short and intense (tabata work, 15 minute circuits, intervals, things like that).


#17

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
So I had a question for anyone following, in terms of DIET, how should I be approaching this?

~2500 cals is my maintenance. And I haven’t really done much cardio in the past year regularly.

I would say I’m still around ~20% bf. I weigh 165lbs (I’m 5’6). The “skinny-fat” bs.

I’m thinking cleaning up my diet and adding 2-3x a week cardio is all I need to start getting leaner as I’m getting stronger. Then at some point I’ll need to add more calories.

Any ideas/tips/help?[/quote]
I’m far from an expert on diet, and usually refrain from commenting. The only advice I’d give at the minute is to keep any diet efforts fairly “loose” right now. Trying to start a totally new workout program, in a new city is enough to drain your mental focus already, I would say that your dietary efforts should take a back seat until you’re more settled.[/quote]

Thanks man! You are absolutely right. I’m going to keep a generally “loose” diet this year. I figure have a monster breakfast, and then for lunch/dinner make sure to have a piece of meat, some rice/potatoes, and a shit ton of veggies. But to make sure to cut out all the processed, junk food, etc. I feel like theres 21 meals a week (3 a day) and if at least 18 of them are SOLID, I should be good in the long run.


#18

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
So I had a question for anyone following, in terms of DIET, how should I be approaching this?

~2500 cals is my maintenance. And I haven’t really done much cardio in the past year regularly.

I would say I’m still around ~20% bf. I weigh 165lbs (I’m 5’6). The “skinny-fat” bs.

I’m thinking cleaning up my diet and adding 2-3x a week cardio is all I need to start getting leaner as I’m getting stronger. Then at some point I’ll need to add more calories.

Any ideas/tips/help?[/quote]

Cardio is another form of training, and as such is something that taxes recovery. If you’re already in a state of taxed recovery (eating below maintenance), this will mean really piling on the demands for your body, which can be a pretty easy way to burn out and regress.

Whenever I am trying to lose fat, I REDUCE my work rather than increase it. Less volume, less conditioning, etc etc. It’s a real razor’s edge. I save all my cardio and conditioning heavy training for when I’m pushing the calories, as it means I’ll have the chance to recover better from it.

Were I in your position, I would focus more on really dialing in the nutrition and getting the most quality you can out of your lifting. If conditioning is done, keep it short and intense (tabata work, 15 minute circuits, intervals, things like that).
[/quote]

Thanks for the advice man, I appreciate it! You are right though, I’m going to just focus on lifting hard and eating as well as I possibly can. I figure I’ll just play basketball twice a week instead or going for some running/sprinting or doing something of that nature. I can play 4 pickup games a week and call it good for a bit.

My conditioning is horrible and I feel like just playing basketball twice a week will get it to at least an OK level so I don’t run out of breath so fast. If I feel like it’s taking a toll on the lifting, I’ll just increase the calories.


#19

MONDAY 12/28/15

Back Squat --> FELT SO HEAVY and weak. I’ve been eating like CRAP for 2 weeks. Definitely felt it today.
135x5
155x5
165x3
145x3
135x3

Bench Press --> Not eating well at all for past week took a toll on my body.
140x5
155x3
180x3
155x3

Kroc Rows --> By the end of these I was done.
55x15
55x15
55x12
55x12
55x10

Today’s workout was so SHITTY! My eating has been horrible the past 2 weeks. No excuses, but that’s what it is. I know once I get back to my normal eating habits, I’ll be ok. I was SOOO gassed but my end of the last set of kroc rows I had absolutely NO energy to do anything else. EVERYTHING felt so heavy today. Even the 135 lol.

It got me thinking if I even need to do RDLs right now. I’m thinking since my setup is like a full body right now anyway, if I should just stick to my squats/press/pull/abs setup for a a while. Probably makes sense.

Evolv told me once back in the day, always look to remove something from your program before adding anything. I’m thinking RDLs might just not be necessary right now.


#20

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]isdatnutty wrote:
So I had a question for anyone following, in terms of DIET, how should I be approaching this?

~2500 cals is my maintenance. And I haven’t really done much cardio in the past year regularly.

I would say I’m still around ~20% bf. I weigh 165lbs (I’m 5’6). The “skinny-fat” bs.

I’m thinking cleaning up my diet and adding 2-3x a week cardio is all I need to start getting leaner as I’m getting stronger. Then at some point I’ll need to add more calories.

Any ideas/tips/help?[/quote]
I’m far from an expert on diet, and usually refrain from commenting. The only advice I’d give at the minute is to keep any diet efforts fairly “loose” right now. Trying to start a totally new workout program, in a new city is enough to drain your mental focus already, I would say that your dietary efforts should take a back seat until you’re more settled.[/quote]

Thanks man! You are absolutely right. I’m going to keep a generally “loose” diet this year. I figure have a monster breakfast, and then for lunch/dinner make sure to have a piece of meat, some rice/potatoes, and a shit ton of veggies. But to make sure to cut out all the processed, junk food, etc. I feel like theres 21 meals a week (3 a day) and if at least 18 of them are SOLID, I should be good in the long run.
[/quote]

By “right now”, I meant a few months, tops. I need to learn to be clearer. This is just so you can get over the settling in period of the move. I find trying to do everything at once is when I slip up on diet so allowing for some “looseness” stops anything worse happening.