Beginner, Recommendations?

Dont make this complicated.
Just pick the one of the simple programs listed that you like best as written. Run it as written without any unnecessary adjustments for the prescribed length of time.

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I really like the layout of this program, as you mentioned it has plenty of assistance and volume work…thats really what I like

the one thing I have a question about is the frequency of the main lifts…I always thought that in order to get strength gains on a lift, by virtue of the specificity principle, you would have to do it more than 1x a week. Like for example, most “beginner” programs have you Benching Squatting Deadlifting 2-3x a week

when i was a freshman in highschool i was probably a little doughy. I was like 145lbs at 5’7 with high fat mass so i lost some of that fat i guess

whats keeping me at a low bodyweight is my fear of bulking and the inevitable fat gain that comes with it. Like, I have no problem eating tons of food- I consume over 1kg of meat a day, a TON of green veggies, yams, and some eggs.

I’m not orthorexic in that i have a crippling fear of junk food, like once a week ill treat myself to an ice cream or something…i guess part of the reason for my low bodyweight is my high level of activity- i should have mentioned this, but in addition to weightlifting I have also taken up running. I know its not optimal for BB’ing or whatever but thats not really what im about, honestly im just trying to get bigger and stronger for now. Besides, ive seen multiple sentiments echoed on here that cardio isnt bad as long as you eat enough…i guess im not doing the eat enough part. I mean even Wendler recommends cardio no?

@Cyrrex and @bulldog9899 mentioned body image issues, you guys are kind of right.

You can’t see it here, because i took this picture after an ice cold shower, but I have mild gynecomastia and i have “puffy nips” as a result. I hate the way it looked throughout my teenage years, but luckily i might get surgery this summer. I guess i didnt want to make it look worse through additional fat gain.

Like it felt bad being made fun of by my dad one time, also in the locker room at school, thats why I took up lifting and exercise in my freshman year of HS…nobody bullies me anymore but I dont really take off my shirt lol. I mean even my dad says its not that bad now and it was worse when i was chubbier but that stuff kinda sticks with you

Yeah sounds like your a little rough on yourself . At 5’7 at 145lbs being soft as a freshman doesn’t scream fat kid. Maybe just a kid that’s average. Who may or may not have been physically active.


Just pick good assistance exercises and eat excessive amounts food…lol
It will work! It will not work if you don’t follow the nutrition end of the program.
You have to throw out that stupid notion of getting fat and replace it with getting strong.

Yes and no. As a newbie your body will not be able to work as hard during a session as someone who is stronger. But it will recover faster. Hence the squats 3 times a week sort if programmes for new guys. You can squat 3 times a week of your max squat is 45lb. If that takes your fancy Starting Strength is good for about 3 months. You’ll get bigger and stronger on that. After about 3 months though you’ll never be able to keep up with the progression so you’ll need to swap.
As you get stronger it takes more to effort in every work out to get stronger again. And it’s harder to recover. So you need smart programmes to help you work hard but not burn out. You can’t squat 600lbs three times a week.

If you like hard gainers (I do. I’m running it now) go for it. Where it says 50-100 push pulls do press ups and one arm rows.
And as Chicken little says eat. Eat like a monster.
Good luck.


Training Log is up

I’ve decided on 5/3/1 for Beginners, as outlined in 5/3/1 Forever. Planning to run it 5x a week until I stall, then 4x a week. If I get crushed recovery wise, I’ll learn from my mistake.

I will also admit out of respect for Wendler that this book was given to me online through a link, so I dodn’t really pay for it, and I would like to apologize to Wendler personally for not only taking his money but modifying his program. However, my philosophy will be, if it doesn’t work, then I’ll change something.

The days will be structured as follows:

Workout A:

  • Squat
  • Bench
  • Assistance (50-100 reps of Push/Pull/Core movements)

Workout B:

  • Deadlift
  • OHP
  • Assistance (50-100 reps of Push/Pull/Core movements)

Conditioning will be done everyday in the morning. Will eat and sleep to recover.

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This may work for a little while, but once you start creeping up to a point where recovering from the workload/ weights get closer to Max/adaptation is taking longer you will stall, at least doing 2 heavy days a week of each compound. I’ve stalled multiple times on 1 day of each compound a week due to under recovering (ie undereating, mostly) which it seems like may be the case as well for you if you’re afraid to get fat.

I was also a very skinny kid out of highschool at 6’ 165ish lbs. Tried to stay skinny, ended up just getting a bit fat as time went on. Now I’m 29, and have put on about 25-28lbs in the past two years. A bit of it is fat, but honestly it helps to fill out my frame. Still have some ab definition, definitely not shredded though. I’d highly suggest following Jim’s food recommendations as closely as possible. You’ll for sure gain a lot of muscle and not get fat if you’re working hard enough.

I see you have chosen a program and that’s great. You also may be a good candidate for isdatnuttys beginner program. It’s double progression, highly customizable and higher volume than 531. I gained a good amount of strength and put on some very decent size during my short stint with it, but I underate and had some stressful weeks at work and tried to progress too quickly so I under recovered, and it wasn’t sustainable for me. You might want to check it out as a fallback if 531 doesn’t end up being your thing.

I don’t understand- if you’re going to do this when why not just do one of the other 5/3/1 programs that this looks an awful lot like instead of specifically naming the 5/3/1 Beginner Prep School (which is what I assume you mean since there is no program named “5/3/1 for Beginners” in that book)?

Why 5x a week?
You should do the assistance method outlined in the Beginner Prep School- that thing is hard if you’re not used to doing anything remotely close to athletic work, which I assume you haven’t done given what you’ve posted here.

Ok couple points. In normal clothes, until you hit 150 you wont even look like you lift. So you need to really push the calories multiple days a week
Dont worry about the abzzz getting a bit blurry…
A) your frame is still growing even if height has stopped.
B) The volume of all these programs is enough to keep you lean especially at your age
C) If for arguments sake you get fat, there are loads of strategies here to cut down fast

Do this for a short period like 6 weeks max then move on to Triumvirate(generally the best intro to 5/3/1). Do that for a few months to really “get” the system and then can do templates like Hardgainers

Cut back on this, ideally to like 2 days a week. Also running is particularly counter productive to putting on mass in your situation, change it up to bike, swimming, short hill sprints etc

Ok I still haven’t got clarification on one point. You mentioned you had lifted for 2.5 years and due to issues you lost size and strength. What was your top strength level and bodyweight at the end of the 2.5 years before the fall off?

"Never run when you can walk, never walk when you can get the bus, never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never just lie down when you can sleep. " Charles Poliquin. Or something close to that, I wrote that from memory.

Limit activity, rest lots, train 3 times a week and eat a shit ton of calorific food. Food is going to decide 95% of your success. Your wasting your energy and gym time if you eat like a baby bird.


I don’t own forever and I breezed through your listed program last night very quickly before I posted. A little bit of research his morning shows beginner prep as a 3 day/week program, which you are adding two additional days to.

In that case, you will be adding 10lb to your squat or DL and 5 lb to your bench or ohp a week? Or with 4 days a week you’ll be adding that weight every week and a half?

Any deloads planned?

I guess it could work for a short period of time to get back to your previous numbers (which are still a mystery like @bulldog9899 said)


Makes it sound like eating is going to go on the back burner to me. I’d try and follow Jim’s diet guidelines if at all possible.

Setting your shit up like you have written won’t get you fat, but it probably won’t get you very strong or big either.

Yeh, he has already logged a 7.5 mile run. I think we may have found @anna_5588’s soulmate!


Yeah, but he deleted it so that undoes all the damage, right?

Sarcastic shit aside, I would suggest that if you feel you need to hide what you’re doing from the people who are trying to guide you, you’ve gone fucked up. This is true in nearly all areas of life. In fairness, I don’t have anything against the 7.5 mile run as long as you did the appropriate things to recover from it (eat lots, and rest taking top billing).


Maybe he ran backwards for 8 miles, you don’t know.

OP, fix your head first, then worry about your program. That said, I see your point about the puffy nipple thing…and I don’t know enough about that problem to offer sound advice, but it seems like putting on some real muscle won’t necessarily make that worse, I dunno.



Yeah I like to get as much info as possible before putting my foot in my mouth. I am also curious on how long the down turn period lasted and what his programming looked liked before hand.