531 for PL and Weak Muscle Areas

Hey guys!

SO i�´m a powerlifter and i�´m loving the sport. My main goal is to get as strong as it�´s possible for me!

BUT i also want to gain size, which of course isn�´t as important to me as getting stronger, but definitely has its place in my training.

So my weakest areas are my arms and shoulders (esp. side/rear). I can do whatever i want, they just DON`T GROW…i tried training them none, once per week, 2x/week, high reps,low reps, many sets, low volume and so on…it seems like they respond to just nothing.

I trained with 531 for about 1 year and had great succes, next week i�´ll begin with 531 for Powerlifting. Here�´s how the schedule will look like (it is the off season template for strength with little modifications from the ebook):

531 military (+singles)

  • BBB (5x10)
  • Dips
  • 4x rear delts
  • 6-9 sets of biceps (increased the volume, but also didnÃ?´t help very much…)

531 deads (+singles)

  • 3x6-8 rack deads
  • 3x10 tbar rows
  • 3x12 GHR
  • abs

531 Bench (+singles)

  • 3x6-8 CGBP
  • chinups (supersetting them with cgbp)
  • 3x12 chest supported rows
  • 4x side laterals
    (- some band pushdowns)

531 squat (+singles)

  • 3x6-8 frontsquats
  • 3x10 Good Mornings
  • abs

How could i do any modifications to improve my weak shoulder and arm area? Or should i even change something?

Thanks for your answers, really appreciate it!

Have a nice day,

greetz :wink:

How much do you weigh? How big are the guns?e How old are you? What’s your training history?

Thanks for your answer!!

I am 18 years old (become 19 in 3 months) and i weigh about 90kg. My “guns” (would not even call them like that haha) are ~15inch, so really really small.

I train for about 4 years now, but the first two years were miserable as f*ck. I trained like 4-5 times a week, no plan of training, programming or nutrition. 1 and a half year ago i wanted to start training for strength. April 2011 i decided that i want to powerlift and began wih 531 and since then i did most of my strength gains. In about 2 years my arms gained maybe just around 2cm.
Even though i started lifting with good programming and nutrition, also with 531 i could only gain like 1cm in 1year. Same thing with the shoulders…

Thanks for your answers guys, much appreciated!

Wish you a nice day,


Have you tried eating?

The exercises/movement you do give your body a reason to grow and the food you take in makes it grow. Eat more than you do now.

I am sure, that i eat enough. I gained like 10-12kg in 1 year (bodyfat level was quite the same, maybe became a little bit higher), but my arms and shoulders did not really grow. My legs and chest grew pretty much…

whaddya bench

Ok, the reason I asked is to make sure you weren’t some 140 pound kid trying to get massive arms…198 pounds is pretty solid base, and if you are gaining weight you are obviously eating enough.

Honestly, I don’t know much about arm training since I never do it. My arms are definitely not quite as big as the rest of me (probably 17.5 inches or so) but I do a lot of floor presses and pullups…no direct arm work…sorry I dont know how to help for arms.

My shoulders grew like crazy when I did I, Bodybuilder (Shoulder Spec Phase). That was about 2 years ago and I have maintained all of that size, despite being 20 pounds lighter. So you may want to look into that.

Thanks for the answers guys!

I looked up the I,Bodybuilder program. So it´s basically a 5 week program (1 week for each muscl group?!) Looks interesting, but i don´t think that i could incorporate it into my training schedule somehow…

no other suggestions? Would be much appreciated…

The shoulder spec phase is only 4 weeks. As short as 2 and as long as 4 actually. You dont have to do the whole program.

As a fat wanna be powerlifter, I also had issues with arms size. Lucky for me, I’ve always kept my weight in traps/neck/shoulder girdle, so that would always be thick, but my arms have never been that impressive (I am blaming YOU, mom and dad, for horrible high attachments and muscle bellies, ha).

When I decided to get serious with my bench (and jsut PL training overall) and all the tons of videos I watched I notcied all the big total fuckers have massive arms. THere’s something to it. Here is what I’ve done in a nutshell over the past year to get me from 16" to ~17.5 and my bench from 265 to 315.

  1. Train the fuck out of your triceps. Seriously - Triceps, I’d say after back, is the most important bench muscle. It is also 2/3rds of the arm and gives it that 3-D thick look. I hit tri-s on my DE day and ME with varying volumes like this:

DE Day - High volume, lower intensity (relative to ME)

  • Immediately after DE work I go to a heavy triceps exercise for 3 sets x 6-8 reps. That would be some close grip variation, be it against chains/bands/weights hanging off. In my accumulation block I go for 15+ DB presses for 3-4sets
    -At the end of the session do 3 sets of high (20+) oushdowns/extensions

ME Day - Low Volume, High Intensity

  • After my ME Lift, I’ll go into a heavy triceps press variation for 3-4sets of 4-6 reps.
  • After the heavy triceps work I’ll go high volume (4-5setsx10-12reps) on some sort of extension - I lvoe Tates, ROlling DB, but I also throw in Dips sometimess
  1. For the Biceps I do pretty much the same - on DE Day I throw in one exercise at the end, supersetted with my tri-s high-rep finisher. Something like 5 sets x 10-15reps of BB Curl, Alt DB Curls, Cable Preachers. On ME Day I finish the day with 2 biceps exercise - rev curl of hammer curl (for the brachialis, since you need strong forearms to stabilize the bench) and some sort of a regular curl for high reps as a finisher

  2. Remember, your body only has so many resources to go for everything you want from it - if you wanna push your squat and dead - push them and don’t expect some miraculous arms gains. f you want to focus more on your arms - do all your ME lifting wiht close grip and go balls out on triceps supplementary work, but taper back the squat and deadlift. YOU CAN’T SERVE TWO MASTERS AT ONCE!

  3. Eat a lot. I was 220lbs last year and now I’m 234. Arm size came from that. IF anyone tries to convince you that your arms can grow, without you increasing your bodyweight is either full of shit or trying to sell you somthing.

  4. Remember in the end, this is hte powerlifting forum - all we care about is bench, squat and deadlift. I’ve been hammering my arms cause I believe they hold me back on my bench - I couldn’t give a fuck about biceps peak or horseshoe shape. When you start squatting 400+, deadlifting 500+ and benching 300+ you look like a thick enough motherfucker thru baggie clothes to not care about silly childish shit like that.

Good luck!

EDIT - Tons of typo-s in there, but I don’t care enough to fix them. It is still readable :slight_smile: