I have been using 5/3/1 and 5/3/1 for PL for the past 4 years. I have have used many different forms of assistance work over the past years and have found out the following about myself and body.
The basic lifts performed correctly will always lead to improvment:
My numbers when i began were very low, i had lifted weights for six years consistently bouncing aroun from bodybuilding routines in magazines to using Mentzers HIT training. I had what Jim called training ADHD. I never committed to a program. Since using a methodical sytemmatic approach of starting light and improving steadily i have went from a shaky 1RM of 185 to a solid 315 for 2 on the bench. A 315 dl to a 545 deadlift. From not squatting at all to a 455 2rm max in the squat. And an ever improving 245 overhead press.
Assistance work is just that Assistance:
In the beginning i used to track all of my assistance work now i try and not sweat the detail. Plain and simple find out what you are weak on and crush it with assistance work. I have found that the boring but big template is great for a few months before I get bored/burn out on it. I regularly mix body weight and accomidating resistance every few months for change and fun. I also force myself to two months for assistance. Because in the end my goal is strength...and that is covered by the main movement.
I hate running and super setting assistance works for me:
I am in Army special operations and i have to take an Army PT test twice a year. I run a 15:15 two mile which is not out standing but it is definitely not to shabby. After i am done with my main movement for the day i will take two exercises and super set them with minimal rest to improve my cardio. I will usually get a warning about a month out for my test. once i find out the date i gradually decrease my rest times and a mile for time each week.
Conditioning play a huge role how i feel overall:
On Bench and overhead pressing days i do various kinds of loaded carries. Hex-bar, kettlebell carries, plate pinch carries whatever just pick something up and walk. On deadlift and squat days i push the prowler. I generally do light sprints one day and heavy pushes the next. I don't plan this work so somedays its more and somedays its less.
Powerclean every-other week.
I add an extra day on Saturdays and do nothing but power-cleans. I added these two years and have had my deadlift and just overall "feeling good" sky rocket. I have found that power-cleaning on the first and last "deload" weeks works for me. I tend to go fucking heavy on these days like 8x2-3 for a max
Find time to get your shit in.
Someday i train at 3am, somedays i train at midnight. Whenever and wherever you can get it in do it. Alot of people suffer from fibromangina, stop making excuses. I have two kids, a wife, job and Army BS that i deal with everyday. Excuses and laziness and always trying to get me. Make your training fun and you will unlock 45 minutes of zen/relaxation everyday. Nothing is better that picking up 500lbs on a deadlift in your garage at 3am in the morning. that shit makees you feel right.
Again these are some things that i have observed and work for me. Just a few observations.
Lastly, thanks to Jim for posting on these board thanks for your time and this program.