T Nation

A Beginner Suggestion

I posted this and it got lost - but this is another way we train beginners. It is very, very simple but it works. Remember that the program isn’t as important as the execution AND the consistency.

"Bench and Press - 5’s PRO with 5x5 FSL.

In between every set of bench/press do 10 reps of DB Squat with as
heavy a weight as you can. I have kids that squat 185 that do 10x10
with a 100lbs dumbbell. So anyone can do this.

Squat and Deadlift - 5’s PRO with 10x5 of FSL

In between every set, alternate between dips for 10+ reps and some kind of row for 10 reps.

Lift 3 times/week. 10-20 jumps before lifting. Agile 8, etc.
Aerobic/recovery work on off days. I have kids who have very little
experience do this and they also run so any schmo can do this.

I am very sick of the excuses I hear and I have kids do WAY MORE than
this and have less training experience than most people. Either get on
board or get left behind."


Jim- with this 3X/week is are you

Monday: Bench &OHP
Wednesday: Squat & Dead
Friday: Bench & OHP
Monday: Squat & Dead


Monday: Bench
Weds: Squat
Friday: OHP
Monday: Dead

The latter. Truth is we don’t even press when we do this program. And this is just the beginning. We’ve had kids do some insane shit and the size/strength and speed is best Ive seen. So proud of kids and this program WORKS.

Being in a HS situation has made me a better coach/programmer.

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Also - push the assistance lifts. All workouts are timed and include several different warm-how, jumps and post-workout stretching. If you squat over 200 pounds, all DB Squats should be over 100lbs. Well over. I’ve had 14 year old kids who weigh 145 able to do 10 sets of DB squats as a superset with 100’s. We built up to it but it can be done. SLDL’s are done heavy too. All reps have to be EXPLOSIVES on concentric and super-controlled on way down.

Bottom line is if you have enough patience and are super smart about the TM (be very wary of the advice you take), and actually eat (trends are for losers) - I promise you will make huge progress.


A quick question, when you say push the assistance lifts, do you mean other than the squats/dips/rows? Or is that the assistance you mean, seeing that they already represent the 3 categories?
This is how I understand it, but maybe I got it wrong?

No. It means do the program how it’s layed out. Change anything and its on you.

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Jim, forgive my ignorance here, but are the DB Squats 100lbs in each hand or are they the kind where the trainee is holding one 100lb dumbbell in both hands? Thank you.

Holding one DB, in front of their body.

Thank you; much appreciated.

Jim, do you have any general guidelines on when you start kids with this type of program? I’m asking because we have 7th graders (12 years old) that are starting to train. Other coaches are asking for a program as they are buying in to athletes lifting during their season.

In the past, I had a group of younger kids that I worked with and we started with a very basic BW program and made adjustments as they made progress, but I’m not able to do that this year.

Thanks for any help.

Jim are they doing more assistance work after this program or just the supersets?


They do the EXACT program, nothing else. We only believe in quality, not serving some odd dead-god.

EVERYTHING is done with the 20% method of conditioning also and NOTHING is overdone. The goal is that everyone build a solid base prior to the program (the Krypteia prep phase) so that every athlete leaves a workout without being worn down. That is the key of longevity.

We started with 85% TM and after 3 cycles - 15 reps with TM was the norm. .5/3/1 Krypteia program, no changes. All football players can now bound over 24" hurdles too.

Whether or not this translates into wins, I don’t know. I can say that it’s amazing what happens when you do the program that has been well-thought out and written by someone who has been doing this shit for 28 years. DO THE PROGRAM!

Okay great, thank you. I’ve been back to lifting 6 months now and recently stumbled upon your 5/3/1 training and am super interested. This week I start on the 5/3/1 portion of the cycle (so on my third week) and am enjoying it. Now I’m wondering if I should have started with 5s Pro for a few cycles. :disappointed:

This thread should be stickied, it’s a gold mine. This fits perfectly with my training goals. I especially like that it’s very time efficient.

Is this set up possible 2x a week template? Or is this a rigid 3x a week ?

In each of the articles on this site about the different 5/3/1 templates he offers multiple days per week set ups. If you search through the Wendler portions of the forums I believe there is one even labeled 2x/week that goes into great detail where Wendler has already made suggestions about how to put exercises together. (Deads/press, squat/OH press I believe was the typical pairing for the 2 days a week split.)

Yes, byt Jim specifically noted:

Sometimes he is adamant about sticking to the program as its written (BBB challenge), sometimes he offers 2//3/4 sessions a week templates. I was wondering if this beginner program would fit into the 2x a week sessions…

Considering he answered twice in this thread about changes…

I would just find a template that is 2 days per week.

In another thread “5/3/1 and long distance running” Jim gave a two day template of

Quoted below
"Train 2 days/week

5’s PRO and 5x5 FSL for all lifts - two lifts/day.
Superset ONE assistance exercise between all main lifts.
Squat and Deadlift - dips
Bench press - DB Squat
Press - DB SLDL
TM at around 80-85%. All workouts should be done in such a way that you are never, ever worn out after."
End quote

Of course, the above was written to someone who runs 4x/week for trail ultra marathons.

Quoted directly from above, “Remember that the program isn’t as important as the execution AND the consistency.” Find a 2 day a week template (or pair up lifts as reported by strong_runner) and stick to it. Don’t “major in the minors” lift hard, lift heavy, lift consistently.

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