T Nation

5/3/1 Recovery Problems


I'd just like to start out by saying that 5/3/1 has helped my numbers a good amount, however I'm starting to stall and I feel like it's a little early in the program to start stalling (3rd cycle)....I feel like it's in the recovery because I'm in college and work on the weekends so I lift at school for the 4 days I'm here (M-Th) and I feel like having 4 days on, 3 days off is fucking with my recovery and my numbers are being affected by it, and have actually gotten less reps on weights I got more from from weeks prior. Are there any suggestions as to recover better? Any specific supplements for recovery to go day to day with? My deadlift 1RM is 340 and I'd like that to be 405 by May and I need to recover better.


I'm really not trying to come across like a dick but there's no magic bullet here. More sleep is your best option when it comes to recovery. Your nutrition needs to be spot-on as well. Food and sleep are the two main components here other than the training. You need AT LEAST 8 hours. Some people can get by on 7 but most average people need 8 or more. And make sure you are eating enough. Not just enough protein, but enough kcal's overall.

I'm sure someone will have better suggestions but those are mine.


I'd be willing to say its the 4 days in the gym that are killing you. Wendler recommends a monday, tuesday, thursday, friday split for a 4 day workout week. I feel you going monday thru thursday is what is affecting your recovery.


Hey, if your having an issue with recovery and your working out four days in a row cut back some. Maybe try a split like this with the 5/3/1

Week 1
Monday-Overhead Press
Week 2
Monday-Overhead Press
Thursday-Bench Press

You did say that your focusing on deadlift so maybe switch out the lifts to accommodate your goals, make sense?


Jersey Kev, I'm coming towards the end of my second cycle of 531 having been following a WS4SB template for a while. I had a similar problem and it was from busting a gut to try and break a rep PR each day I trained. Each day I went to the gym I had a number with me that I knew I needed to beat break my estimated 1 rep max. This worked fine for a few weeks and then my estimated 1RM numbers weren't reaching the same heights.

I train Mon/Tue/Thur/Fri (Military/DL/Bench/Squat) and I think I was just pushing too hard too often so I've decided to follow the advice Jim gives in his book - choose your battles. Make your required reps somedays, maybe a little more other days and only go all out now and again.
Just hit 407 x 1 DL today. It was 531 day and I worked up to 407 from my training weight today. I'd been planning on doing this for the last month and it nearly killed me to wait until today to do :).


start doing some conditioning work, sleep more, stretch and foam roll more, eat more and grow some nuts.


How many cycles have you ran? I would guess your not overtraining, you are actually under trained to 4 days a week. I'm guessing your GPP sucks. I've combined squat and bench, and deads with military, and run the whole cycle in a 8-10 day period. I'm still hitting PR's also. Add some extra workouts, sled, hill runs, prowler, KB's, whatever it takes to improve your GPP.


Do you mind showing what an avg 8-10 day period looks like for you?


Casein hydrolysate


First you can always refer to my log in the 35over forum.

Back Squat 3x3, plus singles
Bench Press 3x3, plus singles
T-Bar Rows

Clean & Jerk
Deadlift 3x3, plus singles
Military Press 3x3, plus singles

Back Squat 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
T-Bar Rows


Power Clean & Push Jerk
Deadlift 3x5
Military 3x5

Power Snatch
Back Squat 5,3,1, plus singles
Bench Press 5,3,1, plus singles
T-Bar Rows


Deadlift 5,3,1, plus singles
Military 5,3,1, plus singles

It starts over


Thanks Crow, awesome work. I'll be checking your log, really impressive and proof of how the human body can adapt.


Having cut my "powerlifting teeth" on West Side. I am fond of doing Squats-Monday, Bench-Tuesday, Deads(the most taxing for me)-Thursday, Military-Friday. I tried to do the book order with Presses, deads, bench, squats but I felt like I'd been hit by a bus all the time..

Here's why exercise order is important for me..

Squats first in the week after a week end. I'm generally more preparred to squat heavy first in the week.

Bench second. I can bench with sore legs.. If I benched or did military presses first in the week my back would be shit for supporting the weight I use to squat with.

Deads- the deads traction my shoulders and they typically feel pretty good for the next days pressing.

Pressing- wraps up the week nicely. Come Monday I'm ready to do it all again...

Assistance work needs to compliment the overall training. If what you are doing is fucking up the next days lifting then you probably need to cut back on tht or find something that doesn't screw with you.


I'm using the boring, but big template for my accessory work. I think I'm going to do the order that you're doing, it seems like a much better set-up. Thanks


Yeah I think this is your best option.

I know if I went hard 4 days in a row I'd just be a walking zombie by Thursday.


from the supplement side, I would look in to taking some glutamine. I usually take it right before bed on days that I lift and it helps a lot. You won't really notice the difference, but you will feel a lot better. I think that it really helps to aid recovery.


2 days a week format may be good if you are busy