T Nation

5/3/1 or 6,1?


Currently im trying to increase muscle and lose fat. As far as nutrition goes, im eating to maintain 190lbs or gradually increase my weight, but my main goal is to get my BF% down by August so I can do a more extreme bulk to 215 or 220. My current program is a mix of "heavy" training and HIIT with some assistance work thrown in here and there when needed. Im going pretty high frequency, to allow for shorter easier workouts, and more refeeds during the week. As for the "heavy" lifting, I heard about 5/3/1 and decided to give it a try.

The way I read it goes is this:

Week 1: 3x5
Week 2: 3x3
Week 3: 5,3,1

But I have seen other methods as well.

So currently I have two of these workouts a week.

Workout A

Front squat

Shoulder press

*Assistance (optional) Leg curls, JM press, triceps, step-down reverse lunge
***Assistance is complete optional, and i may do one set to failure or mutliple sets of 12.

Workout B



*Assistance (optional) Split squat, kroc rows

As for my "HIIT" workouts, im following a progression I found on the internet that starts with 8x (30w/60r) and then goes all the way up to 12-16 sets of 30w/30r. And im using exercises similar to what are in one of the HIIT articles on this site (snatches + hill walk) or (swings + walks) etc. and instead of the 30sec work, im doing 6-10 reps or so.

Ok so thats what im doing currently, but am wondering if 5/3/1 is an ideal choice here for me and my goals, or if 1,6 might be a better option, since im not a competative pl'er or athlete.

My current stats are:

~15% BF
Estimated maxes:
Bench 235
Pullup 270
Shoulder press (standing) 145
Front squat 255
Deadlift 405


Man, and I thought that DC wasn’t enough volume. What exactly is your issue?


Personally I don’t like this split myself I am doing wendlers 5-3-1 but I have tailored to strongman but if I were you and I didn’t compete in anything I would use 3 day a week approach with the a 4 day split.

Workout 1 monday- Squat and assistance
Workout 2 wendesday- Bench Press and assistance
Workout 3 friday- Deadlift and assistance
Workout 4 monday- Overhead Press and asssitance


Dankid, how much have you gained over the last 6 months? Muscle mass and strength on your lifts?


[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Dankid, how much have you gained over the last 6 months? Muscle mass and strength on your lifts?


Hmmm. Well muscle mass is hard to say, because im still the same weight as before but with less fat. I’d say ive probably gained 10lbs of muscle, and lost 5-10lbs of fat.

As for strength, I am just now going back to low end strength, but…

I previously repped 80’s for DB bench, and now can do 100’s. And front squats I previously couldn’t do well at all because of form issues and back issues, but now can rep 185+ easily.

Ive definately added a bit of strenght in all my lifts, and have the most room for improvement in my shoulder press, squat, and arms. I tend to do better with low reps, but need some improvement on lactate work, and endurance. I’ll continue deadlifting and doing pullups, but more of my focus is going to be on my other lifts that have more room for improvement. I want to be able to front squat 300+ for reps, and deadlift 405 for reps. My shoulder press goal will be BW for reps, and I’d like to do pullups with BW+80 for reps.

But its been a while since ive done “strength” work, as I was previosly going higher volume during my bulk. Now I want to increase strength and cut down on fat to prepare for my next bulk after summer.

If I can reach all those strength goals, and get my fat down to around 12% or less, I know that a successful bulk to 215+ will be much easier.


Well, anyone have an opinion on the 5/3/1 or 1,6?

Ive done a little thinking and modified my goals a bit.

My goal is to take my 6rm’s and increase them about 20%, which is my current maxes.

DB bench 100----->120’s (+20)
Pullup 220----->260 (+40)
Push press ? ----->190 (?)
Front squat 205—>255 (+50)
Deadlift 335----->405 (+70)

And my goal would be to reach these numbers by august which is about 14 weeks, depending on when I start and when I finish, but this should give me enough leeway, to deload have a break here and there, and be ready to start bulking in september. Rather then figure out exactly how much weight I should try to increase each week, since this is all based on guesstimation, i’ll aim for a +2% increase in weight each week. And I know that gains wont be linear, so i’ll probably hit these gains early on and then start to stagnate towards the end. Either way this should allow me to reach these goals or get very close.

So thats what I want to achieve, but am not exactly sure how i’ll do it. I was thinking of trying something similar to 5/3/1 and 1,6. It would go something like this for ex:

Week 1:

Deadlift 1,6,1,6,1,6 (340,290,350,300,360,310)

Week 2:

Deadlift 1,6,1,6,1,6 (350,300,360,310,370,320)

So basically the second set of week one becomes the first set the next week, and you go up each week. This looks like a pretty intense progression, as its not actually 2% but is rounded up to 10lb jumps each week. I’ll progress like this until I start to stall and then round down for the rest of the time.

Any other advice or comments?


Just incase you need any more info


1-6 is meant to be VERY good, for rapid increases in strength.

No notion what the 5/3/1 is like so cant comment.

Best of luck with your training, hope you get your goals.