T Nation

531 for Females


Hi, my girlfriend is tiny, 5 feet tall only 100lbs. She has been doing greyskulls lp for a while now and got good gains but stalled out. She did her first competition and did great. She wants to focus still on strength but add some more hypertrophy work and I thought 531 would be a great option now. Which version of 531 would be optimal? I wasn't sure if she should do 5's pro or bbb or maybe something else....Let me know what you think and thank you

her current meet lifts at 100lbs bw
Squat 135lbs
Bench 71.5lbs (meet was in kg) this is really her problem area, along with getting stronger in general
Deadlift 155lbs

Also, we do have micro plates equaling 1.2lbs for the entire bar, we used them in the past with great success so if they would come in handy with this program that would be great


5’s pro with fsl 5x8 and get her doing some ohp’s


forgot don’t worry about the micro plates just round up or down I use the rule 2 pounds which ever round number is the closest.


so you would say 5’s pro would be better in her situation then the generic 531 template? Also would fsl be applied to the first lift or the second lift of the day


yes she needs to just get strong and since she is a beginner 5’s pro is one good way, the fsl should be for the second lift (same as main) then when she cant hit the 5’s follow the 5 forward 3 back


Micro plates are easy to use - this is how we use them for weaker athletes:

Cycle one: TM
Cycle two: TM + 3/4 plates
Cycle three: TM + 1 1/2 plates

So “big” weight remains the same on the bar; just add the micro plates. Easy. Simple.

As for training, I don’t have a ton of experience training women. I’m not comfortable answering with any kind of authority.


Thanks Jim…Just put this together and wanted to run it across to you. This would be 5’s pro with jokers/fsl

Day 1
Squat 5/3/1
Joker Sets(if feeling up to it)
First Set Last 5x8

Bench (5’s pro)

Day 2
Deadlift 5/3/1
Joker Sets(if feeling up to it)
First Set Last 5x8

Press 5/3/1

Day 3
Bench 5/3/1
Joker Sets(if feeling up to it)
First Set Last 5x8

Squat (5’s pro)


That is fine - my wife trains pretty hard, so here are the things she does, that are totally unique to those with labia:

Squats hard.
Deadlifts for PR’s.
Presses a lot.
Bench Presses.

She also does a lot of Prowler work, chins, push-ups, ab work, reverse hyperextensions and glute bridges. She does box jumps too. Not for time or conditioning though - her eyes aren’t on the side of her head. As for her sets/reps and all that, we just come up with little challenges, nothing of which I haven’t written about before. We also play to her strengths (slow twitch) rather than play to the whole “work your weakness” bologna aka baloney. In other words, we do the same stuff with her as we do with people who are Con Meat.


[quote]Jim Wendler wrote: In other words, we do the same stuff with her as we do with people who are Con Meat.


While I don’t have a ton experience training others, most of it has been spent training females, purely by coincidence. I was just going to say that everything more or less stays the same, females are just going to progress(at least in terms of strength) at a slower rate, which you have prepared yourself for with the fractional plates. Your plan looks solid.



I’m a strength coach for multiple high school teams, about half of which are girls teams. There are only a few differences between my girls and guys programs, none of which are huge.

-Using eccentrics and isometric holds for chins until their strength progresses enough to get adequate volume.
-Regressing lifts until adequate strength is achieved (barbell push-ups, goblet squats etc.) This usually only lasts a couple weeks.
-Really hammering jumping and landing technique (this applies to guys too but girls tend to need a little more).

All these can also apply to guys that are beginners.

The main difference I see between the girls and guys is that guys try to impress me by moving more weight while girls try to impress me by doing shit right and the way I want it done. This makes them infinitely more coachable and makes me look very good.

Helping females reach new levels of physical and mental strength is awesome, good luck to you and your girlfriend.


Thanks everyone! Seems like every site says to go from a LP to texas method but I really like the 5/3/1 template (ive done it before myself) and how there is minimal stalling compared to a texas method template, and 531 is very customize-able which i love. This is my plan for her

Cycle 1 BBB - high volume, lower intensity
Cycle 2 FSL, 5’s pro, and jokers on week 6
Cycle 3 3/5/1 - low volume, high intensity, Jokers, new 1RMs