I bought beyond 5/3/1 a year or so ago, and even though I’ve yet to follow it, it has informed much of my training since. I am training for a role in the military that requires extremely high endurance, whilst being able to demonstrate very good relative strength, and physical robustness. My background is in boxing, so forgive me if some of what follows demonstrates my ignorance in strength training.
Achieving and maintaining an extremely high level of conditioning is going to be my primary goal over the next year. I am 6’1, 188lbs and already pretty lean. Because of this conditioning focus, I want to scale back my strength training, to just focus on a few key movements. 5/3/1 seems like the perfect program to allow me to continue to progress on a select few movements, without having too damaging an effect of my primary goal. My other goals would be to at least maintain my current bodyweight, remain injury free, and add 40lbs to my squat and deadlift (giving me 2x and 2.5x bw resepctively), and at least 20lbs to my overhead press. I have no need of the benchpress for my goals, and will be doing a hell of a lot of pressups on the other days.
My plan is to do 5/3/1, a joker or two, and first set last for Squat, Dead, and OHP. Squats and deads I’d do a few HSPUs and pull aparts whilst resting between sets, OHP I’d like to superset with dumbell swings.
I’ll be running/rucking distance (1.5-10~ miles) 3x week. I’ll also be swimming or cycling 3x week (morning) and would look to lift in the evenings on these days, leaving energy for some brief sprint conditioning after the weights.
I already have a good base of conditioning (9:30 1.5 mile time, sub 20 3 mile), but I am looking to kick on from here and the conditioning work I’ve described is more than I do currently.
My questions are:
5/3/1 suggests the TM should be 85-90% of the weightroom max. Given the demands of my conditioning work/bodyweight/abdominal work, do you think I’d be wasting my time if I set my TM even lighter, somewhere between 75-80%?
Do you think there is enough volume/work in the 5/3/1 portion to make gradual progress? I am aware that, given my priorities, progress will not be optimal.
If you were trying to be constantly supremely fit over the course of a year, minimise injury, and be as big and strong as possible, given the limitations, in a year’s time, is there anything you’d change about my intended approach.
I apologise for the length of the post, and thank you for your time.