T Nation

531 'Off Days'

i’m currently in my 2nd cycle of 531, 4-day split-squat day, bench day, deadlift day, press day. off wednesday, friday, sunday. i’d like to do something(farmers walks, complexes, etc.) but don’t want it to compromise my progress of getting stronger and adding mass.

current training maxes are 270, 205, 310, and 145 for squat, bench, dead, press respectively. i’m 34, 5’7" 158-161lbs and est 10-12%bf. just wondering what everyone does on their off days pertaining to training.

Epsom salt bath
Contrast shower
Walk for recovery
Mobility work/Stretching
Soft-tissue work
Taking a nap
Reading
Preparing food for the week/next few days
Other relaxing undertakings

Recovery is about soaking up the maximal amount of benefit from each training day. Work as hard on your recovery protocol as you do in the gym and watch your rate of strength gain go up.

[quote]bobbyPGA wrote:
just wondering what everyone does on their off days pertaining to training. [/quote]

some days it’s Jack shit out on the lake on my boat. Others it’s mtn biking, cycling, running hills. Just something to pass the day. It’s ok to not work out everyday.

I do a lot of rock climbing and snowboarding, but I still make sure to have at least one full day off per week where I do nothing but some walking and eating.

[quote]bobbyPGA wrote:
i’m currently in my 2nd cycle of 531, 4-day split-squat day, bench day, deadlift day, press day. off wednesday, friday, sunday. i’d like to do something(farmers walks, complexes, etc.) but don’t want it to compromise my progress of getting stronger and adding mass.

current training maxes are 270, 205, 310, and 145 for squat, bench, dead, press respectively. i’m 34, 5’7" 158-161lbs and est 10-12%bf. just wondering what everyone does on their off days pertaining to training. [/quote]

Do what you feel good doing (the various 5/3/1 books/challenges present lots of options for just about any way you could want to d–or not do–assistance). As long as you aren’t killing yourself, farmer walks and light accessory lifting won’t hurt your progress. As far as getting blood flow to muscles and mobility if you’re stiff from the previous workout, it might even help. If you aren’t already conditioning, the complexes would be fine to do. Being only 2 cycles into 5/3/1 training, you’ve got a lot of learning your body, growth and PRs ahead of you. I’d say as long as you don’t start missing reps on your work sets, go for it.

**My disclaimer in saying any of this is that I have no idea how high your current volume is for assistance work and/or conditioning on main training days. We are always walking the line between increasing your ability to handle volume and proper recovery.

I rest. Let the body heal and get stronger. It works for me.

I do whatever I have no set routine but I do take an Epsom salt bath and stretch a lot if I’m feeling really sore or beat up.

You don’t get stronger by lifting weights…

…you get stronger by recovering from lifting weights.

My off days are rest days.

Guys, thank you for your responses and feedback. Like i-bomb said, feel like i/we are always trying to find that volume/rest balance. For assistance, on squat day it’s 5x10 walking lunges, and bicep curls for dessert; bench day-it’s 5x10 slight incline db bench, 3x10 weighted dips, 5x10 cable row; deadlift day-3x10 SLDL, 3x10 leg curl, calves; press-5x10 seated db press, 5x10 pullups. Weights are increased each set(i.e. incl db bench might go 40’s x10, 45’s x10…60’s x10).

Not to be that rhetorical idiot on the forum that doesnt answer questions, but why do you want to do more? Conditioning? Boredom? Like moving around every day? Cant stay out of the gym?

Extra work will most likely hamper recovery unless its light or restorative in nature. If your doing conditioning for fatloss understand that fatloss is now your main goal so strength takes a backseat. If your doing it just because you like being in the gym, find something restorative to do instead, foam rolling stretching yoga etc maybe if your worried about the extra session taking away from the main lifts