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Beach Body Challenge vs. 5/3/1 for Hardgainers


Hey guys,

I’m asking myself which program suits me best, the 5/3/1 Beach Body Challenge or the 5/3/1 for Hardgainers.

I was doing the 5/3/1 for about 4-5 months, became as strong as I’ve never been before, hit plenty of PRs but then I got injured two months back. I couldn’t train at all and didn’t care too much about eating clean 'n shit. Now I feel super weak again.

But I’m back in the game!

I’d very much appreciate your advises and opinions regarding pros and cons of each program, major differences etc. …

Thank a lot!



Age, experience, height/weight, strength #'s?


The good news is you dont have to choose just one template. Jim often recommends running one for 2-3 cycles, then a different one for 2-3 cycles, then you reset in the 5 forward 3 backward method and continue on again with a different template than you just used.

Having said that…Did you get injured because of something to do with lifting? Was it something inherent in the program you were using before?

If not, I would say go back to whatever it was you were doing that lead you to be “as strong as you’ve ever been” and get back to those strength levels. Then, dont get injured and keep on getting stronger.


YAge: 24
Height: 180cm, Weight: 72kg
Experience: 4 years
Strengths: Bench (70kg 1RM), Squat (85kg 1RM), Deadlift (110kg 1RM), Press, (55kg 1RM)

Nah I got injured when I was playing soccer.

I thought about doing a “new program” or doing something different (new assistance exercise, different sets and reps) and these two templates seem quite tempting to me.


Dont want to seem like a dick but I think you would benefit from doing a good 6 months of two cycles of 5 pros + FSL followed by 2 cycles of 3/5/1+ PRs.

When the 6 months is over drop your TM, get big numbers on your PR sets (big rep numbers, not weight numbers) and start learning the power clean (light technique work only).

When the TM starts to catch up to you (getting close to only 5 reps on the 1+ week) then deload and do the beach body challenge.

Earn the right to challenge yourself. No point going into a challenge with an 80kg squat.


Do agile 8, jumps, sprints or hills, pushups, and a combo of kettlebell movements (swings, goblet squats, cleans) for 3 weeks while eating/drinking as much milk and meat (beef, chicken, pork turkey, ham, fish) as you can. This should prep you well and get you mobile and in better condition. Try to get a good amount of fruit and veggies. Sleep hard like 10 hours. Start believing consistency = progress, and the #1 most important thing in any change is DOING IT. Let it become a part of your being.

After a consistent 3-4 weeks prepping your body and eating to support the new training, you should weight about 10 pounds heavier, and be ready to get into 531. Switch back and fourth from 5’s PRO and 5/3/1 setting PR’s. 6 months of consistency, and you have nothing to do but improve.


Cheers guys!

Omg, seems like I’m very stupid, I don’t find any good article that explains the 5’s PRO + FSL. How does this program look like?


Lots of information here on this very forum:


One that stood out to me after a couple seconds of browsing the above link:

Hope that helps.



Thanks man!

Just wanna make sure I got the template right:

A% x 5; B% x 5; C% x 5; D% x 5-8 reps (3 to 5 sets)

How many sets and what % should I go for warm up then?


Depends. For me the bar x10, and 45%x5, 55%x5 works.


All that stuff is in the books, and much more. I’d recommend buying 5/3/1 2nd Edition and Beyond 5/3/1. You’ll have years worth of training between the two.



Thank you guys! I’ve purchased these books now, hope they’ll be here soon.

One more question: What do u think about the following template?

Day 1:
Squat: A% x 5; B% x 5; C% x 5; D% x 5-8 reps (3 to 5 sets)
Chin Ups: 50 reps (as many sets as necessary)
Abs: 50-100 reps

Day 2:
Bench: A% x 5; B% x 5; C% x 5; D% x 5-8 reps (3 to 5 sets)
Push Ups: 5 sets with 10-20 reps each
Kettlebell Swings: 5 sets x 10 reps each (BBB descending)
–> Push Ups & Kettlebells as supersets

Day 3:
Deadlift: A% x 5; B% x 5; C% x 5; D% x 5-8 reps (3 to 5 sets)
Abs: 50-100 reps
Curls: 5 sets x 10 reps each (BBB ascending)
–> Abs & Cursl as supersets

Day 4:
Overhead Press: A% x 5; B% x 5; C% x 5; D% x 5-8 reps (3 to 5 sets)
Lat Pulldowns: 5 sets with 10 reps each (BBB descending)
Triceps Extension: 5 sets with 10 reps each (BBB ascending)

I really like the different BBB variations found here: http://www.jimwendler.com/2013/05/boring-but-big/

// I just noticed that there’s no leg assistance exercise. I dunno what to drop tho. Abs or Lat Pulldowns? But I like them too much :smiley:


BBB is supplemental, not assistance work. And what is a b c d% supposed to mean