T Nation

5/3/1 Once Per Week


#1

Hi all,

I have done a lot of search prior opening this thread, since plenty has been written and discussed regarding 531.
I didn't find any other place where to post that seemed pertinent, so excuse me if I am repeating something that has already been written.

It might be possible that due to work/family I will be able to hit the gym only once a week.
In that day I would be able even to spend a lot of time there.. say even 3-4 hours if necessary..

I was thinking that 531 would be a good program in this situation.

Wendler recommends splitting it like that:
week1
531 squat
531 bench
week2
531 deadlift
531 press

I was thinking what if I did something like that:
All in one workout:
531 squat
531 bench
531 deadlift
531 press

workout would be very long and heavy, but I still would have a week to recover from one workout to another, since there I would have 6days of rest from one to another..

Has anyone tried something like that?
Any advice/idea?

Thanks in advance for inputs/opinions


#2

Hey Gavrillo , R u sure you cant make it to the gym for 2 days a week ? That would be much better than once a week. Jim has a program for once a week in the 531 first edition. If I were you I would do it like this

Week1
Press and deadlift 531
front squat/ push press
Rows
biceps
abs
abs
rehab prehab

Then do little workouts with bands an pull up bars at home 2 times a week
pullups
100 rep face pulls
100 rep band pull aparts
tricep pushdowns wth bands
pullups/chinups

Week 2
Squat and bench 531
snatch grip dead/ Close grip bench
abs
abs
row
Biceps
rehab/prehab

same extra workouts on both weeks, the extra workouts take 10-15 min which you could just wake up earlier or go to sleep later for


#3

I guarantee you would miss the prescribed reps a lot if you do it this way, especially during the 3rd week. Invest in a home gym and just work out at home, that should save enough time that you can split things up into the twice per week program


#4

What Navid said will work great - been there done that for around a year. Sometimes I think I would benefit from doing it voluntarily again. The only thing I did different though was I did Sq/Dl on the same day - not always rep-maxing on both mind you- and then I would do all of my assistance for my bench and mp - so it was still a full body w/o. Then reverse it the next week.

I am 45 yrs old and have been at this awhile and one thing I have noticed about myself is that when squatting and pulling heavy - and I mean honestly w/in 90-100% and/or going for pr's, 10-14 days b/w heavy workouts works great for me - so the assistance 1 week and then heavy again is just fine. It takes a little longer to get through cycles but...I never did deloads because I didn't need them.


#5

Thanks everyone for the replies..

for the week1: front squat and push press and week2: snatch grip dead/close grip bench,
what sets/reps scheme should I use?


#6

What is your height , weight size , and strength in the lifts ?


#7

I am 178 cm per 93-95 kg.
Lifts are
Squat(Oly style) 140kg
Bench 125kg
Deadlift 170kg
Press 70kg
Front Squat 120kg
Pull ups(strict,no kipping)23

I know they are rather low right now.I have had a very annoying back pain(just muscular, not discogenic) and couldn't train for about 2 months; I couldn't even do one leg squats(I only did bodyweight pull, dip, etc..)
Prior having back pain my best were
Squat 165kg
Bench 135kg
Deadlift 210kg
Press 85kg
Front squat 150kg


#8

Ok what I think would work well for the second exercises would be for cg bench/snatch grip deads/front squat/ push press
5x10 65% 1st tiime doing the exercise
5x8 70% 2nd time doing th exercise
5x6 75 % 3rd time doing the exercise
5x3 80% 4 times doing the exercise

So that would be for one 531 cycle or about 6 weeks in your case since you train 2 lifts per week but don't deload because you are training 1x week.
Make sure to hit the extra band work and pull-ups I prescribed those are a big part of the program .


#9

thanks for the good advice! will be very useful!


#10

I would keep to Wendlers recommendations however you could very easily incorporate some short workouts/conditioning sessions during the week.

Bodyweight workouts using exercises such as pullups/pushups/dips/handstand pushups/inverted rows/ab work/single leg squat progressions/jump work (and all of their progressions with or without any extra load you can find to add) could be performed 1-3 times a week at home.

If you can find somewhere to get in some hill sprints - that can only help also!

On the gym days I would perform the required sets/reps for the main lifts and put some careful consideration into my accessory work - in particular I would focus on lifts that I can't do at home in my supplemental workouts.


#11

Ben, Jim has talked about Extra band workouts and approved of them. Plus he is only training once per week so he can afford to push t.


#12

How about you forget 531 and try working to a different lift's 3RM:
Week 1 -
Squat - Build to 3RM
Bench - 5x3 with 95% of previous 3RM
Deadlift - 5x3 with 95% of previous 3RM
+ accessory work of your choice
Week 2 -
Squat - 5x3 with 95% of previous 3RM
Bench - Build to 3RM
Deadlift - 5x3 with 95% of previous 3RM
+ accessory work of your choice
Week 3 -
Squat - 5x3 with 95% of previous 3RM
Bench - 5x3 with 95% of previous 3RM
Deadlift - Build to 3RM
+ accessory work of your choice

Then during the rest of the week focus on plyometrics and sprints, along with, perhaps, some bodyweight circuits. These should complement your training for strength/power/physique instead of working against it as long-distance running would.
Also, I'd really try to make time for more gym sessions, as it will be very hard to progress with such low training frequency.
Good luck.


#13

Whatever you decide, you should really push the intensity in that one session (assuming that you absolutely can't add any more).


#14

thanks everyone for the advice/input.

I am sure that i will be able to implement bodyweight exercise/ running(pull,chin,dip,pushup,hill sprint, some one leg squat, stuff like that..) during the week, and that should help big time..