T Nation

Assistance Exercises and 5/3/1

I am preparing to start 5/3/1 one week from tomorrow. I just finished a sixteen week program on Friday, and I am going to take a week off this coming week to focus on conditioning, recovery, body weighted exercises and manipulating where my 1 RM/90% 1 RM stands to find appropriate percentages for the induction of my 5/3/1 regiment next Monday.

Question - on a few of the assistance exercises, I am not yet at the ability to complete 5 sets of 10-15 reps per my charted progress with them on the previous program. Particularly, this refers to chin-ups and hanging leg raises. Though I have pushed myself and can do more sets/reps than I could do four months ago, without taking a break, I’m not at the point prescribed in the program. Hence, is it a) best to pick a different assistance exercise that can be done for the prescribed sets/reps (i.e. no less than the 10-15 total per set as stated in the program) or b) keep hitting them hard and aim to see increased progress till I can get to within the prescribed set/rep ranges?

I think both are weaknesses that are worthwhile to improve upon, as I am not satisfied with not being able to consecutively do more chin-ups and hanging leg raises, but if it’s more important to find assistance exercises that you can already do for 10-15 reps, I am fine with that too.

Pick a goal number of reps - and then hit that goal. Malcom X it.

When I started 5/3/1 I did chin-ups in sets of 3 reps. I usually had a goal in mind, such as 30 reps and kept doing them until I achieve all 30. Sometimes this meant the last few sets were singles.

I can do sets of ten but last week’s Press day I YOLO’d and went for 100 Bodyweight reps as a challenge, the difference being sets of five at most, over the course of my workout. I was doing triples for chinups, doubles for neutral grip, and singular pullups by the 90s. Never been more sore in the upper back. Doing fives made it so each rep was focused and tight and it was awesome and much harder. Mini challenges rule.

Perfect, thanks for the responses - I have some goals in mind and am eager to get started next week.