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5/3/1 Two Days a Week with Option 2?

Hi there

I just bought and read the 5/3/1 book, second edition and read a lot in the internet. Now I really want to start with the program.
I am a 31 years old family father and I work pretty unregular (with night shifts). So for me, 2 times a week going to the gym is the thing I can do. I also do martial arts (1-2x a week). I train in a Crossfit Box, withour doing Crossfit (just open gym). But this means, I dont have machines… Only racks, barbells and dumbbells (and my iron will). I go for the gym for years, but my progress started to stop.
With all the information I have, I just created my first 5/3/1 training (based on option 2 from Jim Wendler):

Week 1:
Training 1a:
Powercleans 3x10
Squats 5/3/1
Deadlift 5x10 (50-60%)
Lunches 5x10

Training 2a:
Bench Press 5/3/1
Overhead Press / Dumbbell Press 5x10 (50-60%)
Kroc Rows 1 x 20-40
Biceps Curls 3x15

Week 2:
Training 1b:
Powercleans 3x10
Deadlift 5/3/1
Squats 5x10 (50-60%)
Good Mornings 5x10

Training 2b:
Overhead Press 5/3/1
Weighted Chin-Ups 5x10
Weighted Dips 5x10
Biceps Curls 3x15

What do you think? I try to train every main lift (except bench) one week heavy and the next week as assistance lightly. So I can focus on the 4 main lifts, but still train every lift once a week. The main lifts assistance can be done as a variation exercise (squats, front squats, …).

I will also go out running twice a week (freaking hill runs) and do martial arts once a week. It will be a very busy schedule for me, but I am ready to do this.

Any suggestions? Any tipps?

Thank you very much guys!
And thank you Jim, you just motivated me as hell!

(I am not a native English speaker, so please go easy on my writing) :slight_smile:


First, dump the PC.

Second, I would HIGHLY advise you to do the program AS WRITTEN because:

  1. It works.
  2. You’ve never done it so you don’t know what to change. I have done it for years and have had others do it for years.

After a full cycle (6 weeks) feel free to drastically alter the program. But if you do this and combine it with the Anchor program, all is good.

Hey Jim, thank you for your very fast reply!

I guess you are totally right. My last question about this topic:

Do you suggest the template from your book (option 2) or the template from this link: https://www.t-nation.com/training/5-3-1-reloaded (modification 2)?

And what is the Anchor program?

edit: In the Beyond book, you dont even mention those Templates, u go for a template with Squat & Bench / Deadlift & Press… why?

In the spirit of the program you wrote on this forum, do this:

Day One

Squat/Deadlift (alternate every week) - 5/3/1, PR set
Squat - 5x10
SLDL - 5x10

Do chins/dips/pushups between your sets.

Day Two

Bench Press/Press - alternate every week (5/3/1, PR set)
Dips (weighted) - 5 sets of 10-25 reps
Rows - 5 sets of 10-25 reps

Do abdominal/low back work between sets

Do the above for one cycle (6 weeks). Then:

Day One

Squat/Deadlift (alternate every week) - 5/3/1, PR set
Squat - 5x5 (FSL)
SLDL - 5x10

Do chins/dips/pushups between your sets.

Day Two

Bench Press/Press - alternate every week (5/3/1, PR set)
Bench Press/Press (alternate every week; do opposite of the main lift) - 5 x 5 @ FSL
Rows - 5 sets of 10-25 reps

Agile 8 x 2 times/day
Bike/Walk/Jog - 4 times/week (easy conditioning)
10 jumps/throws prior to each workout

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Jim, u are just awesome. This is, how I am going to do it!!
Thanks for this input and best regards from Switzerland!

Switzerland is the home of one of the top 5 metal bands of all time: Celtic Frost. Literally the most important band to me and to thousands of bands.

If you want to know why their music is so damn dark, try listening to this interview. It’s a sobering look into how so many artists’ art comes from a lifetime of suffering and trying to pull through.

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Wow. It must be 25 years since I listened to Celtic Frost. Where did that time go? At least I know who I’m going to be listening to for the rest of the week.

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Hey Jim, I have seen this setup in the 2x2x2 training in your book.

Why is it that Some weeks squats get doubled up yet at the same time DL get omitted? Never really understood why we dont do Squat 5/3/1 and DL 5 x 10 week 1 then then DL 5/3/1 and Squat 5x10 week 2.

Would you still be adding 10lbs each month even though the volume on DL is a lot lower than the volume for squats the same month.

I’m not Jim, but if I were to guess, the reason the deadlift gets omitted is because the squat has more carryover to the deadlift. If you skip conventional/sumo deadlift volume work, but continue to squat, this will have greater impact on both lifts, whereas the deadlift volume work doesn’t help the squat as much. Another reason might be recovery of the DL vs. squat.

It also helps to squat every week, whereas deadlifting every other week should suffice.

Again, not Jim here, only trying to make sense of the programming he’s laid out. Perhaps he’ll offer more explanation.

You are probably right.

I guess again what I dont get is that in either case we are squatting 1 day per week, just the volume is higher 1 day per fortnight.

This has appeared a few times in Jim’s programming so there is definatley a reason for it, its not a typo!

I am following 2x2x2 training and coincidentally my next cycle starts next week… and its the hypertrophy stage AND I have been wondering about putting dips into my program!!! I think Ill follow this one for a bit.

So I do the first Cycle (6 Weeks) and then I go to the second Cycle.
Do I ever go back to the Template, written in Cycle 1? Or will I stay with the second template?

You keep a;alternating them

okey, didnt really get that from the post! thanks :slight_smile:

After trying my 1RMs for all the mainlifts, I started with the template exactly as Jim wrote it.
Now everybody writes about PRs. BUT I never use the same weight twice. So i guess, u PR the ‘CALCULATED 1RM’? Is this the number you take to compare between the trainings?

Because of the weight of the 5/5/5+ is lower than 3/3/3+ than 5/3/1+, so i can’t imagine another way to compare those sets!

Thanks for a short reply :slight_smile:

PS: Those trainings are tough. I LOVE it to give everything for those 5/3/1 sets and to know, that everything else is only assistance. This helps to do some awesome sets. The assistance looks like easy on the paper, but after all the assistance work, I’m totally done :-). I definetly will follow the template for several cycles and stay in this forum :smiley:

I don’t always go for PRs, but when I do, I prefer to use my calculated 1RM from the formula in the original 531 book.

Okey, thats what i meant… everybody screams for PRs :slight_smile:

I will use the formula of the books

Jim, could this be done with 5’s Pro, or would that not work with this setup? Something like:

Cycle 1- Squat/Dead 5’s pro. 5x10 Squats, etc.
Bench/Press 5’s Pro. 5x10-25 dips, etc.

Cycle 2- Squat/Dead 5’s pro. Squat 5x5 Fsl, etc.
Bench/Press 5’s Pro. Opposite lift 5x5 Fsl etc.

Cycle 3- Squat/Dead 531 PR set. 5x10 Squats, etc.
Bench/Press 531 PR set. 5x10-25 dips, etc.

Cycle 4- Squat/Dead 531 PR set. Squat 5x5 Fsl, etc.
Bench/Press 531 PR set. Opposite lift 5x5 Fsl etc.

(including agile 8, easy conditioning, jumps/throws)

If I’m reading this correctly, you are replacing the PR sets with 5’s PRO? If that is the case, that is acceptable.

I wouldn’t replace the barbell work with dips - do the dips/chins on your dead/squat days.

Yup, all the same but just PR sets with 5’s Pro. Think I will give this template a shot after I finish my current one! Many thanks Jim!

Another question about the template :-):
Right now I have a little bit more time then I normally do.
Can I just do the template 3x a week how it’s written here? Or will it be too much?
I would go for:
W1: Squat/Bench/Dead
W2: Press/Squat/Bencht