T Nation

Anyone Using the Original 5/3/1?

Not speaking for anyone else, but I personally think of the original 5/3/1 as more of a template, and the more recent versions as specifically prescribed workout routines. For this reason mainly, and its inherent flexibility I think 5/3/1 as originally written is golden.

Reason being, it allows you to set frequent PRs, it involves slow, maintainable progression, it’s highly FLEXIBLE, it is centered around big compound movements, and it allows regularly scheduled physical and mental breaks from tough training. These traits capture 100% of the value I get from the program.

For those reasons I will probably do some form of 5/3/1 for years to come, if not the rest of my life. Even right now while I’m recently more focused on physique than numbers, and doing more of a bodybuilding routine, the original 5/3/1 is the template and I just add auxiliary movements aimed at what body parts I’m trying to improve.

Sometimes I might do 4-5 singles with my training max after my last work set or I might drop the weight 20% and do 2-3 back-off sets for added volume, but I count those more as assistance exercises and adjust my auxiliary movements accordingly. And the best part is the template remains the same.

5/3/1.3 looks like a great program, but I was drawn to the simplicity and adaptability of the original that allows me to make my own program out of it. Anyone else in the same boat?

I do original 531 (except I do slingshot bench instead of OHP) and Jack S**t for assistance. It’s kinda like trying to remake certain movies or a cover of certain songs. Some things are perfect the way they are and one should leave well enough alone.

[quote]osu122975 wrote:
I do original 531 (except I do slingshot bench instead of OHP) and Jack S**t for assistance. It’s kinda like trying to remake certain movies or a cover of certain songs. Some things are perfect the way they are and one should leave well enough alone. [/quote]

Totally agree. I’m sure the newer versions produce results. I can tell just by reading them. But I have done a ton of programs over the years, and I have decided I like the simplicity of the original 5/3/1.

I’ve used a slingshot at times. I find it eases my shoulder pain. I actually LOVE OHP though ever since I started to overcome my lack of shoulder mobility. Now it hurts less than bench does.

I also do jack s*** shit when I’m in a hurry or just not feeling well. I honestly think it’s a near-perfect program with pullups as the only assistance exercise.

I’ve been running the BBB assistance version of the original 531 for the last 4 months. I love the simplicity and the ability to get in the gym, do the work, and get out ASAP.

[quote]JNorton wrote:
I’ve been running the BBB assistance version of the original 531 for the last 4 months. I love the simplicity and the ability to get in the gym, do the work, and get out ASAP. [/quote]

I did BBB as well for a while. Loved the simplicity of it. Best gains in pec size I ever had. I would do the 5/3/1 work sets PL style, then do the BBB sets bodybuilding style.

[quote]Juggs wrote:

[quote]JNorton wrote:
I’ve been running the BBB assistance version of the original 531 for the last 4 months. I love the simplicity and the ability to get in the gym, do the work, and get out ASAP. [/quote]

I did BBB as well for a while. Loved the simplicity of it. Best gains in pec size I ever had. I would do the 5/3/1 work sets PL style, then do the BBB sets bodybuilding style. [/quote]

That’s pretty much the way I’m running it now. At the end of my current meso I may switch to the triumvirate template for some variety. Then again I may just keep it the same since it’s working well and I’m still progressing on the main lifts.

[quote]Juggs wrote:

[quote]osu122975 wrote:
I do original 531 (except I do slingshot bench instead of OHP) and Jack S**t for assistance. It’s kinda like trying to remake certain movies or a cover of certain songs. Some things are perfect the way they are and one should leave well enough alone. [/quote]

Totally agree. I’m sure the newer versions produce results. I can tell just by reading them. But I have done a ton of programs over the years, and I have decided I like the simplicity of the original 5/3/1.

I’ve used a slingshot at times. I find it eases my shoulder pain. I actually LOVE OHP though ever since I started to overcome my lack of shoulder mobility. Now it hurts less than bench does.

I also do jack s*** shit when I’m in a hurry or just not feeling well. I honestly think it’s a near-perfect program with pullups as the only assistance exercise. [/quote]

I do Jack S**t mostly because I have made more progress using it and increasing my recovery than doing all the extra stuff. I also don’t care for spending countless hrs in the gym either. I get the best bang for my buck doing what I’m doing.

I like OHP also. There is something awesome about putting a barbell up over your head. I just haven’t done them in quite a while. I believe the best I’ve done is 205 OHP. I’d be interested to see where I am now.

I do the 5/3/1 with the BBB and some assistance work depending on how I feel or how much time I have. I agree that its main strength is the flexibility sometimes I have done the Jack $h!t when I have other stuff I need to do. The BBB is great though I have been playing with doing heavier weight for 10 sets of 5 reps instead of the 5 sets of 10 reps.

I’m a disciple of the original 5/3/1. I’ve run it 4 days per week, 3 days per week, even 2 days when severely pressed for training time. I’ve varied the assistance work (exercises, rep schemes, etc.) to suit my goals at any given time, and am able to tailor it to match my busy lifestyle. At age 42 and after a few years of running it consistently, I am still hitting PRs and have never been stronger.

I am very interested in the newest series Jim has published, but like the OP said - it is a more structured routine than merely a set of guidelines like the original. I think Jim Wendler has done a great job appealing to those looking for both.

[quote]Heysteve85 wrote:
The BBB is great though I have been playing with doing heavier weight for 10 sets of 5 reps instead of the 5 sets of 10 reps. [/quote]

What kind of results have you gotten with the BBB 10x5?

[quote]Grove wrote:

[quote]Heysteve85 wrote:
The BBB is great though I have been playing with doing heavier weight for 10 sets of 5 reps instead of the 5 sets of 10 reps. [/quote]

What kind of results have you gotten with the BBB 10x5? [/quote]

Can’t speak for heysteve but I had good results in some areas using BBB. I found that doing BBB front squats after my squats made my quads blow up. I also did BBB on the bench and it helped my chest. It was good for my delts, but obviously it hit the medial and frontal heads almost exclusively.

I never did it with deadlifts, because I’ve had issues in the past with my erectors not recovering well. I will say that it did little to nothing for my arm size, even adding in chinups. If I want my arms to grow I have to add lots of direct arm work, but maybe that’s just me.

I also use the BBB template but recently I have started this template from the Beyond book to mix it up abit.

5x10 BBB 2 cycles deload,
5x5 BBB 2 cycles deload,
5x3 BBB 2 cycles deload
5xTM 2 cycles deload
and then start again.

I’m just about to start my 3rd cycle on Thursday - been running 5/3/1 with BBB and core/mobility/and a little direct arm work as well.

By far the best I’ve felt in the gym for a long time and out of it as well. Love the simplicity and just hitting the numbers on the work sets getting the assistance work done and bolting out the gym.

I am going to swap out BBB on deadlift day for FSL in my next cycle, but keep BBB for the other 3 lifts. Also I’m going to run 2 cycles then deload from now on as so far I’ve not really felt I needed it…but that will most likely change in a few more months!

[quote]Grove wrote:
What kind of results have you gotten with the BBB 10x5? [/quote]

I just started it Sunday but my plan is to add more weight every cycle and see how my last set of week 3 look. I am only doing this with the deadlift and squat and seeing what happens.

I am doing the Original program with the BBB 3 month challenge and I am loving every minute of it.

I do BBB. I started just going for 50 reps total (not all at once), but I don’t even care about sets/reps anymore. As long as I can at least crank out a few reps I don’t go down in weight. Doing it this way lets me keep the load heavier. So far I’m having great results. What ever I’m doing, I’m doing it right. I’m hitting rep PR’s left and right.

[quote]MattPiercy wrote:
I do BBB. I started just going for 50 reps total (not all at once), but I don’t even care about sets/reps anymore. As long as I can at least crank out a few reps I don’t go down in weight. Doing it this way lets me keep the load heavier. So far I’m having great results. What ever I’m doing, I’m doing it right. I’m hitting rep PR’s left and right. [/quote]

That sounds like a great variation on BBB. Might give it a try.

[quote]MattPiercy wrote:
I do BBB. I started just going for 50 reps total (not all at once), but I don’t even care about sets/reps anymore. As long as I can at least crank out a few reps I don’t go down in weight. Doing it this way lets me keep the load heavier. So far I’m having great results. What ever I’m doing, I’m doing it right. I’m hitting rep PR’s left and right. [/quote]

I like this approach as well. Any method to determine the weight you are using for the 50 or just depends on how you feel that day?

I am using the original - I have found that you have to earn the right to do anything else. Too much emphasis on “more” and not enough emphasis on better.

I have been using the original now for about 5 months and I hit rep PR’s consistently. I won’t change a thing until it stops working.