T Nation

5/3/1 Progress So Far

I’ve stuck with Jim’s advise and for those who refuse to follow it, you will eventually learn through trial and error and end up with exactly what Jim told you. I’ve gained 10 pounds, in 7 weeks. I’m finding myself more in the “not doing jack shit” crowd for assistance work and I’m more of a beginner than anything. I’m not worrying about rep schemes for my assistance work anymore. The biggest thing here is working the muscles for a total volume. Frequency has been big for me here. I’m giving myself a certain amount of reps via rows,chins,dips,curls,trap work,core work and splitting it up through the week. I love getting 5 chins between every set of squats. I’m finding myself getting in and out of the weight room in about 45 minutes. The pace is great, and I’m banging out my main lift with the best bang for my buck assistance. I definitely want to get more eggs and beef into my diet like Jim suggests because my mindset at this point is just to get as strong and big as I can. My friend has been fucking around in the weight room for years and like me, just wants to be a more athletic person. He ran a 5/3/1 with 5x5 FSL of squats, chins between each set with me last week and loved it. Said it was the best workout he’s ever had.

I was wondering what does everyone think of high pulls? I would like to use them as an assistance but I’ve only seen cleans on 531 templates.

There’s also many ways to work the traps. If I’m trying to get 50 reps of trap work at the end of a workout, what would be the best movements for me?

Just for show. Here’s what I’ve done for the last 7 weeks:

Day 1:
Squats 5/3/1, 5x5 FSL/chins
50 reps of pure pushups
50 reps of rowing (1-arm DB, T-bar, machines mix)
50 reps of core (v-ups, back raises)
Carry 80 lb. dumbbells for as long as I can 3x

Day 2:
Press 5/3/1, 5x5 FSL/chins
50 reps of rowing (1-arm DB, T-bar, machines mix)
50 reps of curls (barbell, incline, hammer)
50 reps of trap work (front plate raise, face pulls, DB rear laterals)

Day 3:
Deadlift 5/3/1, 5x5 FSL/dips
50-75 reps of DB pressing (mostly from flat bench)
50 reps of core (dead-bugs/inch-worms)

Being a college student, sleep isn’t always the first priority but I’m getting a good 8 hours these days. I’ve been making the effort to get to bed around midnight instead of hanging out or doing homework till 2 in the morning.

I hope over the next 10 weeks, I can continue to to gain a pound a week, as I have so far. That would but me in the mid-180’s.

Right now, is the first time in my life I’ve ever noticed changes happening to my body. The last 2-3 years, I’ve only gained 5 pounds a year. I just put on 10, in 7 weeks. I feel much thicker at 174 than I did at 164, and now that I feel the weight gain is real, I’m only going to push harder to get into the 180’s and beyond.

It’s easy to be lazy. It’s easy to be bitter about where you’re at. Attitude is a learned habit. Effort is a learned habit. Consistency is a learned habit. My life in a way, revolves around when I’m getting my lifts in and making sure I’m getting enough calories every day now.

Man, I love high pulls. They’ve grown my traps quicker and bigger than anything else. Brought my rear delts up to par as well to balance out all the pressing. I don’t know how, with it being very little time under tension and at lighter loads, but I get a lot out of them. It’s gotten me thinking if the other oly lifts might be beneficial for me. I started out with 6 sets of 3 with a low weight that I could pull fast and got the technique down, then moved on to ramped 5x5 and increased the weight by 5lbs only when I could pull the existing weight fast for a few weeks in a row. I now program it 5’s Pro with FSL. Like the other lifts, bar speed and technique are key. Take your time setting up properly in between reps and constantly focus on technique. I program them in on deadlift days, before I deadlift. They haven’t taken anything from my DL so far, if anything they get me primed for pulling heavy.

Nice post KingBrady, it’s nice to see the success stories from people who are actually putting in the work. I have run a couple variations of 5/3/1 and enjoyed them all.

Unfortunately for me to consistently keep the intensity in the gym I am a bit of a program hopper (every 6-8weeks), but will always keep 5/3/1 on the backburner as a great program that I will no doubt be returning to at some point this year.

The biggest thing for me has been just sticking with a program. It’s the hardest part and even when experts in this field tell you, it’s a bad idea to hop around, you’ll still do it if you aren’g getting the results you want. That being said, hopping from program to program or aimlessly going to the gym with no plan doesn’t work either.

5/3/1, is a program of it’s own. There’s countless templates that are balanced out for every need weither that be powerlifting, bodybuilding, whatever… I’m not looking to compete, but I am looking to build a better body through conistency and disipline.

Honestly, I’m trying to get big and strong. There’s no shortcuts either, it’s the day-to-day shit that most people can’t stay with, let alone months and years. I know for me to ever progress, I have to attack every day and if I do that for months/years, I’ll see results. Every good program out there will prioritize the big lifts and I’m fiding bodyweight work and rows to be all the assistance I need to accomplish my goals.

I don’t hop around due to lack of results, it is primarily to keep my head in the game. If I get bored of what I’m doing the workouts become a chore. If you are putting in this much time into something, it’s best to enjoy it. Plus, 6-8 week cycles between programs isn’t bad, especially when they are all quite similar in regards to involving all the same major lifts. Just different, progression, loads and rep ranges…keeps things spicy.

But to each their own, whatever works for you, keep it up!