5/3/1 with Two Workouts Per Week, Limited Exercises


Unfortunately, due to a health problem, I can no longer do squats and deadlifts. In summary, I do not do exercises that strain the abdominal wall and it is necessary to hold your breath. When I do not perform such exercises, I am 100% fine. I perform bench press and shoulder press controlling breathing, and I use machines for the development of the back muscles. I use barbells and dumbbells for my arms. For the legs, I also train on extension machines and one-sided presses, but I alternate the legs, because that way I don’t have the tension I mentioned. I have no problem training with high volume and heavy weights / for my strength capabilities / of the exercises I perform. I know that I can train 5 days a week in many splits for bodybuilders, but my question is does it make sense to visit the Gym so many times if I follow the strength progression on 5/3/1 and of the four main movements perform only a bench press and shoulder press. I have looked at the training options twice a week in the books, as well as the 2x2x2 option. However, these options include squats and deadlifts, and I can’t do them. I can very easily create a program for, for example, 4 workouts a week - chest muscles and triceps, back muscles and biceps, shoulders, legs, and in two of the days I will perform 5/3/1 for bench press and shoulder press. My idea is that I want to proceed if I go to the Gym only twice a week and which of the 5/3/1 options will be better in this case for both exercises -5 S Pro or 5/3/1. For a start, I made the following scheme. The first workout will be a bench press 5 S Pro + FSL, some rows of machines for back muscles in 4-5 x 8-10, some exercise for triceps and 4-5x10-15 presses are legs. The second workout will be a 5 S Pro + FSL shoulder press, vertical pull for back muscles, biceps exercise. In a few months I’m thinking of replacing 5 S Pro + FSL with 5/3/1 + FSL.

Since I can’t look for a slow and sure progression of all the exercises, at least try to do it for the bench press and the shoulder press. What do you say, share your opinion, what is the optimal approach to training in the scheme 5/3/1 twice a week, but not including squats and deadlifts. If it doesn’t make sense, I won’t. I will just train more days a week with more volume.

And please excuse me once again for my poor English.

I dont see a problem, or a real discussion or anything. You can train in many ways. Cant do squats and deads - dont. Everything you planed looks fine imo.


I made a program according to my health and the risks if I do squats and deadlifts.

Training A
BP -5/3/1 and 5x5 FSL
Clean from the level of the knees - 5Spro
Rows 3-5x10
Triceps extensions-3x10
Leg press or Leg extensions-3x12-15

Training B
Shoulder Press-5/3/1 and 5x5 FSL
Lat Pulldown 3x10 or Chin Up- 3xAmrap
Face Pulls-3x20-25
Biceps Curl-3x10-12
Legs Curl-3x12-15.

I will train twice a week. My goal is to improve the strength of the BP and the Shoulder Press. And how far he got. The rest of the time, if I can I will run, as well as Yoga and Pilates.

Yeah i’d say in your situation thats totally fine.

As just twice a week twice week, could even up the volume a bit to 4-5x12 for stuff like leg press and biceps curls

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Have you thought about adding a prowler workout to your routine. Wendler recommends them highly. You can find workouts in his books. I love them. Gives a good lower body workout plus cardio

At the moment I use the scheme only to gradually and smoothly increase the lifts of the shoulder press and bench press. I don’t do any conditioning or cardio.

I wish my gym had a prowler. I’ve never seen one in person before, but I’ve always wanted to use one

Prowlers are just a sled with uprights to hold when you push. My son made mine with 4x4s and conduit pipe. I take it to a local park on Saturdays.
This would not be possible in the winter if you live up north. If you want to DIY you can google instructions or look on Amazon to buy. Spud Inc sells a budget version you can pull instead of pushing.

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I regained the squat again, but I use lighter weights. Yesterday I squatted up to 5x160 lb and then made 5x5x100 lb. I’m still afraid to do deadlifts because I really have to hold my breath when performing. When performing a squat, I inhale in the upper position and exhale slightly during the straightening. I have no problem for now, but I will see in the future.
Hoho, I found it interesting. Has anyone tried to make the big three without any extra help. When I say none, it means none. You enter the gym, perform, for example, just squat and leave. The other workout bench press and you leave, and the last workout deadlift and you leave the gym. And I’m not necessarily just talking about 5/3/1. If anyone did, what were the results. I ask because there are various Russian schools that practice this way of training and achieve great results in the big three.

Yes I’ve done this on a few occasions when I was really short on time. Jim calls this the “ I’m Not Doing Jack Shit” template in his book. However, every time I ended up doing pull ups and band work at home later on because I don’t like the idea of leaving gains on the table.

You won’t build a balanced physique if you do this regularly, and you won’t get as strong on your main lifts. The assistance work is there for the purpose of not only building to look good, but to grow the muscles that “assist” with your main lifts. Bigger, stronger lats and triceps will make you a better bencher for instance.

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Ok, but then how many riders achieve the big three by doing only these lifts. For example, the system of Doug Hepburn, who has achieved phenomenal results. He did not do any exercises to help, only the main three lifts and shoulder press. Perhaps it is up to the structure and gene of a person and for most such an approach is not optimal. I have no other explanation.

I’m not saying it doesn’t work, it certainly does, but your progress will probably be a little slower and your physique won’t be very well rounded. It works, but it isn’t my first choice.