T Nation

5/3/1 with Just Free Weights, No Bench

Has anyone ever done the program with just a bar and plates? I have very limited space, kettlebells, and just a bar and plates. Oh, and a low ceiling to boot. I was thinking floorpress, deadlift, and front squat. I know it’s not ideal, but it is what it is.

How would you floor press? Just curious how you’d get the bar in position.

You could do seated overhead presses. Or take it outside so you can stand.

Front squats are fine - if that’s what you can do, then do it. Make the best of your situation.

You’ll have to clean the weight up to front squat - maybe if it’s light enough you can press it up a bit and do back squats.

You’ll be fine though. Do pushups, lunges, goblet squats, KB swings, etc.

You have what you have so do what you can. Anything works if you put in effort and stay consistent.

I just used to hip heave the thing into position. Given, my max was a lot lower than it is now.


I believe Jim has talked about going rackless.

From what I recall, it was something like:

Deadlift 531
Rows 531
Overhead press 531
Power clean 531

Supplemental work was Deadlift, presses, floor presses & front squats for volume.

And you’ve got all you need for assistance with the gym floor & the kettlebell


I imagine this would get most people freaking yoked


Any idea where you read that, or is it just an old memory? Just curious.

A bit of both, it was from a now sealed Tnation livespill. Found this quote (can’t Verify) on another site:

“The main lifts you can concentrate on are as follows: deadlift, power clean, bent over row, and press. These four lifts will be your core lifts – if you are using my 5/3/1 training program, these will be the ones you will try to improve on and break records with. You can train these lifts, one per day, for a 4 day a week program. Or you can train 2-3 days, combining 2 lifts in any day you see fit. For example:

Day 1: Deadlift/Press

Day 2: Power Clean/Bent Over Row

I still believe you can add squatting into your routine but this will have to be done as an assistance lift for VERY high reps (20+).”

@HUNTER13 you can sub out the traditional strict press for seated press, Z press or incline.