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5 3 1 Question

I am looking into doing 5 3 1. I was originally going to start next week when I could squat again (still recovering from surgery with open wound) but I was told things are going slower and I prlly won’t be able to squat for another month or two. Anyways I was wondering if I could manipulate the 5 3 1 program to involve cleans on squat day instead of actual squats?

Also another question. I have been bulking for a little over a year now (gained 60lbs), and also doing a 4 day push pull split with more volume/ frequency per body part than 5 3 1. A good deal more actually. I have spent a lot of time getting bigger (especially my chest, that damn things will not grow at all) and I would hate to lose any of it. I need to get stronger though, however if it is at the expense of size its not worth it to me at this point. I have very serious health issues and getting the size back will take forever, and may even be impossible at this point. Thanks for the input guys, looking forward to seeing what kinda responses I get.

Train what is trainable until your legs heal up.

As far as your size/strength dilemma, you have to decide which is more important to you and focus on that.

@ Crhis- do you think 5 3 1 will cause me to lose size after doing a higher volume/ higher frequency program? I’m tempted to run 5/3/1 on my main lifts while doing my 4 day push pull split. However, I know that will be absolutely butchering the program and I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

I just realized that I never really answered your question. Both size and strength are important to me and I’m a big believe in the big without strong is nothing notion. However, I’m not even that big to begin with so losing any of that size would be pretty bad. So I guess in the end the undeniable truth is that its more important for me to be big than strong. I want both though even though I know its not very practical, at least to a point.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
@ Crhis- do you think 5 3 1 will cause me to lose size after doing a higher volume/ higher frequency program? I’m tempted to run 5/3/1 on my main lifts while doing my 4 day push pull split. However, I know that will be absolutely butchering the program and I’m not sure if it’s worth it. [/quote]

Probably not, I didn’t lose any when I did the same thing. I’m more muscular than I have ever been now, and I only do the main sets and 2 assistance movments for 3 or 4 sets each.

I think in general, people don’t need as much assistance work as they think they do. If you switch and start to lose a noticable amount of size, increase your assistance work a bit. And keep eating a lot obviously.

Okay Chris heres a tough one for ya haha. (and anyone else that wants to answer)

I am choosing between these 2 variations I came up with myself. (all fucked up cause I can’t squat and want to increase mass as well)

Monday
Bench Press 5/3/1
Press 5/3/1
DB Flyes 3X10
Cable Flyes 3x10
dips 3x10
tricep extensions 3x10

Tuesday
Deadlift 5/3/1
Barbell Row 5/3/1
Chin up 3x10
Curls 3x10
cable curls 3x10

Thursday
Same as monday

Friday
Same as monday

Squats will be added to mondays/thursdays once i can do them

Or this
2)

Monday
Bench Press 5/3/1
DB Flyes 3x10
Cable Flyes 3x10
Dips 3x10
Triceps Extension 3x10

Tuesday
Deadlift 5/3/1
Barbell Row 5/3/1
chin ups 3x10
barbell curl 3x10
cable curl 3x10

Thursday
Press 5/3/1
DB press 3x10
DB flyes 3x10
Cable flyes 3x10
Dips 3x10
Triceps extension 3x10

Friday
Power clean 5/3/1
barbell row 5/3/1
Chin up 3x10
barbell curl 3x10
cable curl 3x10

Again once i can squat again I will do those on mondays/thursdays

The question i have with the first one is this: Is it too much to do both the bench and press in the same workout, and then twice instead of the once a week 5/3/1 calls for? Squats will be added to those days too once I can do them so is the combination of those 3 in the same session too taxing on my CNS?

Im currently doing a 4 day push pull split similar to the first option i showed. Its basically the first one plus one more lift each day. I just want to add the 5/3/1 loading to it, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea cause will it allow for enough recovery to meet the loading requirements twice a week instead of 1? Sorry for the questions I’m just really excited to start this but don’t want to jump in without a solid plan.

Bulkncut, it’s quite simple: What you’re suggesting has nothing to do with 5/3/1. And why are you changing those things? To make faster progress? If this is at all possible at the stage you’re at, pick another program with bigger jumps. Becuase you like the exercises? Train for results!

Do what you want, but don’t call it 5/3/1 and don’t blame Wendler if it doesn’t work. Period.

Haha no I’m not calling it 5/3/1. One of the first things I admitted was that I was butchering it. I’m merely using the 5/3/1 loading parameters on my main lifts cause I want something with built in progression. I’ve been tossing around possibilities and I like to run things by people on here to see their input. I’ll make this clear though cause I realize i should have in the beginning. I am in no way blaming Wendler for the success or lack of success I gain from this program.

I don’t like the idea of putting two 5/3/1 lifts in the same training session. I think it’s much better to focus on just the one lift, you will get a lot better work done that way.

Here’s how I would suggest you set it up:

Bench 5/3/1
Dips
Flies
Triceps

Deadlift 5/3/1
Row
Chins
Curls

Press 5/3/1
Dips
Raises
Triceps

Power Clean 5/3/1
Row
Chins
Curls

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
Squats will be added to mondays/thursdays once i can do them [/quote]

When you say this, I hope you don’t mean that squats will be the only leg work you do? And can you do any leg work now? Because even doing something like leg extensions and leg curls would be better than no leg work at all

I’m about to make a confession, and you’re about to possibly lose a lot of respect for my training. Squats are the only leg exercise I do. I do my 3 heavy sets, then 3-5 more lighter sets depending on the day. I know I have a problem and its the major weak point of my training. The wound I have now makes all leg work basically impossible. I can’t even do things such as incline bench press cause of the pressure it will put on the area. I’m def not supposed to be deadlifting but it doesn’t hurt so I’ve been doing it.

Thanks for the input though Chris. I’m going with the second option which is closest to your advice. Another major change I made was all assistance work is sets of 10, rather than 12, 10, 8 which I had been doing before. Hopefully that works out for me. I want to start a log on here but I am so pressed for time I feel like I’ll eventually fall behind. If I do you should check it out once in awhile. Thanks again

Oh and once I get my squat back and have that back up to a relatively decent number I’ll be adding front squats for assistance. Kinda frustrating though cause I havent been able to squat in 8 weeks, and I was just told it might be another 8. God knows how much strength/size I’ll lose from that.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
I’m about to make a confession, and you’re about to possibly lose a lot of respect for my training. Squats are the only leg exercise I do. I do my 3 heavy sets, then 3-5 more lighter sets depending on the day. I know I have a problem and its the major weak point of my training.[/quote]

I think adding in some romanian deadlifts would do you some good. Hold the weighted bar hanging with straight arms, then push your butt out, hinge at the hips, and go down as far as you can comfortably without rounding your spine, then come back up. Keep your knees bent just slightly. You want to use your hamstrings, glutes, and spinal erectors to lift the weight.

At this point in time, I think you can get a lot out of doing both squats and rdls, without adding any other leg work.

Of course, that’s once you’re healthy enough to start doing that.

Thanks for the input LoRez. I def need some more leg work, I’ll be the first to admit that I neglect it. Sounds dumb but my legs have responded quite well from just deadlifting and squatting (in relation to the rest of my body). Obviously I don’t have bodybuilder legs though. I honestly can’t wait to start squatting again though.