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5/3/1 with Arm Specialization


Jim Wendler states that it does not matter what assistance exercises you do. Can I blend in a arm specialization routine 2 of the 4 days a week with 5/3/1?




Have you already done a few cycles of 5/3/1?


i just dont even get why you would want to run 5/3/1 with arm specialization.... one routine is for powerlifting and the other is just for arms.... seems stupid to me. If i were you id either do 5/3/1 with alot of back and various close grip pressing for accessories with SOME direct arm work, increase numbers and then do the arm spec. routine with more of a maintainence routine for other body parts.

You will not be able to increase your 5/3/1 numbers to their max if you are instead just focusing on arms, thats counter productive.

Now make a smart choice, and fucking do it.


5/3/1 is specialization in 4 main lifts. You can't specialize in 2 things at once.

This is definitely a "majoring in the minors" idea.


He's only asking us the question because he's afraid of Jims reply!


you can specialize for the 4 main lifts at the same time but cant specialize in 2 things at once? :slight_smile:


I've ran 531 a few times and am a big fan of it. He says that if you want to add in some more arm work then you're more than welcome to and thats what I did. I would hit tri's on OHP & Bench day while hitting up Bi's on DL & Squat day.

I ran the Perodization Bible template and liked it more for a "bodybuilder" style workout after hitting the big 3 (or 4 i guess)

That would be my recommendation... but I wouldn't necessarily try and combine two different programs if I was you.

Good luck.


It just sounds wrong to me. Like fish flavored popsicles.
I would certainly add some direct arm work during 5/3/1, and I would try to push a bit (just like all the work), but I wouldn't prioritize the arm work. If progress on the primary movements began to stall, reducing the direct arm work would be my first move.

Edit: the arm work would be in addition to the assistance work that is already part of 5/3/1 not instead of.


Yes, you can focus on improving your strength in basic compound movements. There is nothing contradictory about that. You cannot have that as your focus while focusing on bringing up your arms. You cannot focus on things that donâ??t naturally go together like that.

If you are running 5/3/1 and want to bring your arms up, add in some more isolation arm work as accessory lifts. But on 5/3/1, it still just accessory work which should take a back seat to your main lifts. Accessory work is for bringing up weaknesses, gear it toward arms if that's a weakness. But if you are incorporating an arm "specialization" routine, you aren't running 5/3/1.


At first I thought, "What the fucking fuck is this fuck-tard doing with his fucking life?"

But then, I read critically and OP hasn't actually said what "blending" the arms specialization with 5/3/1 was all about, so I'm gonna need OP to show me what his split looks like with the arm work added in. Having done about 234 different accessory templates with my 5/3/1 training in the past 2 years or so, I know you can do just about any assistance you want depending on what your goals are. If OP wants to just maintain his strength while he does a cycle for arms, then his goals aren't to get stronger.

But before I can write this kid off as a "fuck-tard", I just want to see his split. I definitely wouldn't recommend only doing arms and abandoning chins, rows, and the sort, but maybe this will work out for him with a little different programming than just hitting the bench and press then doing "TEH CURLZ".


I was just messing with you man (hence the smiley face)


I honestly missed the smiley face. I must be tired from doing too many curls.


How about just doing an arm specialization? or is that just too ridiculous an idea??


Like Gregon said you can incorporate some arm work into your assistance work. On OHP day you will most likely be doing 5x10 pull ups for assistance, and 5 x 10 dips on your Bench day. Both these get the arms real good.


While both of these do hit your arms to some degree, I think Gregon means that he could include some actual isolation work for his arms as part of his accessory work. So for example on his bench day he could include some sort of pushdown and on the deadlift day he could do some form of curl. I don't see that doing this would take away much from his recovery and stop progression in the four main lifts.


"Offseason for mass" template


For those without the e-books, the "arm specialisation" is

Monday: BB curls 5x10
Thursday: pushdowns 100 reps

This is in no way a specilisation for arms, it's to add overall mass - which the OP has suggested by the thread title is not what he desires.


I would just do the minimum reps for the main lifts. Do assistance like rows, chins or pulldowns but don't kill yourself on these.

Then overhead press day I'd do 2 biceps exercises. Whatever reps/sets promotes the most growth but 3-4x10 should work. Use as much weight as possible with good form.

On bench presses day I'd do 2 triceps exercises. I'd do one a bit heavier maybe 3x8 and another for higher reps. Again, use as much weight as possible with good form.

For forearms you could add in some farmer's walks after your deadlift day.

Edit: for full disclosure I haven't run this setup myself but this is how I would structure it if my goal was bigger arms


^^this is correct.

I was doing the pull ups and dips on their respective days... but this is something like what I was doing

OHP Day:
all the regular movements that were prescribed
Skull Crushers

DL Day:
all the regular movements that were prescribed
EZ Bar Preacher Curl

Bench Day:
all the regular movements that were prescribed
Overhead Tricep Extension w/ Cables

Squat Day:
all the regular movements that were prescribed
Alt DB Curl

You'll be hitting the main lifts first when you're fresh and should definitely have enough time to recover between "upper body" days and the "lower body" ones so you're main lifts should keep progressing. I just added in some direct arm work at the end of each workout. I did Bi's on lower days and tri's on upper days.


^^this would kind of defeat the whole purpose of the doing 531 IMO