T Nation

5/3/1 Variation


#1

I know that Jim is generally against customization of his program, but instead of doing BBB or 5/3/1: RP 6W Challenge in between 4W cycles of "The Triumvirate" version of 5/3/1 I was thinking of doing a variation of 5/3/1 that I found on mensfitness. (I know, mensfitness...boo-hoo). But it goes as follows:

Workout A

1 Barbell Shoulder Press
Sets and reps according to 5/3/1
2 Barbell Upright Row
Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
3 Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Sets: 4 Sets: 12 Rest: 60-90 sec.
4 Bentover Dumbbell Raise
Sets: 4 Reps: 15 Rest: 60-90 sec.
5 Dumbbell Curl
Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 60-90 sec.
Workout B

1 Deadlift
Sets and reps according to 5/3/1
2 Chinup
Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
3 Dumbbell Row
Sets: 4 Reps: 15 Rest: 60-90 sec.
4 Back Extension
Sets: 4 Reps: 25 Rest: 60-90 sec.
5 Ab Wheel Rollout
Sets: 4 Reps: 15 Rest: 60-90 sec.
Workout C

1 Bench Press
Sets and reps according to 5/3/1
2 Dumbbell Bench Press
Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
3 Dip
Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
4 Dumbbell Fly
Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
5 Triceps Pushdown
Sets: 4 Reps: 10-15 Rest: 60-90 sec.
Workout D

1 Squat
Sets and reps according to 5/3/1
2 Leg Press
Sets: 4 Reps: 10-15 Rest: 60-90 sec.
3 Leg Extension
Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 60-90 sec.
4 Leg Curl
Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 60-90 sec.
5 Situp
Sets: 4 Reps: 25 Rest: 60-90 sec.

Is this fine or am I damned to Hell for even thinking about such a thing?


#2

I have no comment other than my improved shoulder health and my avoidance of upright rows are very closely correlated


#3

I don’t see too much of a problem with what you are suggesting. The assistance lifts are just that - Assistance. It doesnt matter too much what you do. Pick whatever suits your goals, do it consistently and you’ll be fine.


#4

[quote]KaiserKaktus wrote:
Is this fine or am I damned to Hell for even thinking about such a thing?[/quote]

I think it’s fine. Try it for a couple months to get a feel for it and adjust the sets/reps/exercises to suit your goals.

Check out 5/3/1 for Powerlifting’s Off Season for Mass template. It’s not identical to what you wrote but there are a lot of similarities and the book might give you some new ideas to work with.


#5

There is nothing “wrong” with this template necessarily, it’s a fairly standard bodybuilding template with a heavy barbell movement as the first lift. The assistance work volume is quite high, which will probably take away from the main lifts, both in mental focus and strength. If you are OK with that, then proceed.

If you recover “hard” enough, you could very well see some size gains from this. I personally prefer to program the four main lifts for my hypertrophy goals.

Good luck!


#6

Is men’s fitness North of Vaj ?


#7

[quote]JoeyWaters wrote:
The assistance work volume is quite high, which will probably take away from the main lifts, both in mental focus and strength.
[/quote]

I’m alternating this more bodybuilding-esque variation cycle with the more strength-based “Triumvirate” in order to make sure that I still make adequate improvements on my main lifts and overall strength.