T Nation

Beginner Programming


I purchased 5/3/1 Forever and have been reading through it and trying to program my training for the next year plus. I ideally would like to do Original 5/3/1 followed by Boring But Strong and then Boring But Big. When reading the section on BBB you said that you did not recommend it for a beginner which you defined as someone who has not had consistent quality training for a full year which would classify myself as a beginner. I then decided that in order to build a foundation I would do Original 5/3/1 for no less than a year before doing BBS and BBB. However I could not find leaders and anchors for plain Original 5/3/1 (not the FSL variation). There is a program but it isn’t specified whether it is a leader or an anchor. How can I program Original 5/3/1 for a year? And would that be a better option for a beginner as opposed to doing Begginer Prep School? I’m admittedly not at all very knowledgeable about programming. How should I as a beginner program my training for the first year? Thanks.


I would recommend the prep school and having your base covered (jumps, chalistenics,base form in lifting, conditioning, mobility) before jumping in to “’+” - sets.


What Rattus said - you have to have a certain level of fitness/understanding prior to really pushing lifts. Generally, we don’t use any “plus” sets with athletes; if we do, they are closely monitored by me.

Build a base of general mobility, calisthenics, barbell work, bodyweight training, low level gymnastics, running, jumping, throwing and sports (soccer, football, track/field, basketball, wrestling - whatever interests you and gets you to compete and learn new physical skills.)


Thanks. What will I do for the fourth week? Do I deload or start another cycle?


Start another cycle


so… no deloads in beginner prep school, is that right?


It can be - as long as the person knows exactly what they are doing and understands his indicators. The program is important, not doubt - but what is far, far more important is the person administering said program. So understand what to look for and you will be fine. If you don’t know, all you have to do is keep a detailed training log over the next few years to notice the trends.

And that is why you MUST keep a written, detailed training log if you are even remotely serious about training.