T Nation

Assistance Moves on 2 Day Per Week Program

Hi guys, just a couple simple questions. I’m going to be doing 5/3/1 weekend warrior style (2 consecutive days per week) hitting 2 big lifts each day. Question 1, should i do the assistance work after each big lift or do the two big lifts first, then all the assistance work? And question 2, what’s the best split to use, upper body one day lower body next day? Or something like squat/ bench and deadlift/ press? Since they will be consecutive days I wasn’t sure if doing squats and deadlifts one day after the other was ok. Thanks for any insight and opinions!

Push, Pull, Core/Single leg
After the main movements
Do the appropriate amount of volume for the program you are running.

If it was me -
Day 1 Squat, DL and FSL alternating week Squat,DL, a pull of your choice like DB row, pushups and “core”

Day 2 ( the next day) BP or Press first then again alternating week FSL BP or Press , Chins or pull-ups between each of the main exercise sets, curls and “core”

If you can add a bodyweight day mid week- pushups,chins, dips and sit ups , I would try. Quick and recoverable, don’t know where you train but could be done at home.
Good luck

I would personally do BP + DL one day, and OHP + Squat the following day. With no day off in between, it’s not ideal but should be doable given you have a long recovery after that.

Given that you’re doing two big lifts barbell lifts each day on the weekend, I would limit assistance work to easy things like pull aparts, face pulls, and bodyweight movements. Like 0-25 per category, which, if it were me, would be super-setted between the main barbell work.

I would try to find two days during the week (Tue and Thurs, ideally) and get your some assistance work at this time. Even if you can’t hit the gym for whatever reason, you should be able to get in push ups, pull ups, and roll outs at home.

What assistance you choose is DEPENDENT ON HOW YOU TRAIN. No one can answer your question. My recommendation is to commit and believe in a program. But until you do that, the assistance does not matter.

Sorry I guess in my effort to keep the post short I didn’t put enough information. I have committed to 531, I’ve completed 5 or 6 cycles now. Started taking training seriously about a year ago after years of half ass training, starting and stopping, etc. Did starting strength first for a while then transitioned to 531. In a years time I’ve put 100 pounds on my squat (335), 150 pounds on my deadlift (385), 65 pounds on my bench (260) and about 60 pounds on my press (150).

As for believing in the program Jim, all I can say is that I believe this is the ONLY program! Due to massive time constraints with work I can no longer manage training four days per week, I just felt like I was short changing the workouts, so I’m switching to training on my off days when I can devote my whole body and mind to the training. My question wasn’t should I so assistance work, I just wasn’t sure the order to place the lifts now that ill be doing two big lifts per day on two consecutive days. If I should do both the big lifts first then assistance, or one big lift, assistance, second big lift, assistance.

And maybe it doesn’t even matter, I just wasn’t sure if there was a best practices type of approach. But at any rate, thanks for the responses, I’ve learned more from this forum than anywhere else.

Antiquity, thanks for the response, I’m going to try your suggestions to see how it goes. Although I’m older (45), I still tend to recover well so i think ill be able to handle it, at least for a few cycles until hopefully things calm down at work. I did plan on doing a couple 10 minute HIIT Sprint sessions during the week to work on my conditioning, so ill throw some bodyweight moves in there as well if time permits. Thanks again!