T Nation

Beyond 5/3/1 Clarification


#1

Hello Jim (or anyone else for that matter),

So just to clarify...Would the "near-perfect" strength program look something along the lines of...

5/3/1 Sets
Joker Sets
First Set Last Sets (AMRAP Version)
Lat/Ab Work (Depending on upper/lower day)

?


#2

No - the basic 531 program is the base of the program. Then you choose the supplemental work according to your needs/goals.
What you listed is one part of the program and not recommended for more than 3 weeks - jokers should only be used 1 every 6-12 weeks.

You also forgot: conditioning, speed work, mobility, etc. All are ESSENTIAL to the total program.


#3

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:
jokers should only be used 1 every 6-12 weeks.[/quote]

Quick follow-up: does this apply to lifters of all levels, or do you specifically have highly advanced lifters such as yourself in mind? Won’t people in their first year be able to work up in Joker sets more frequently?


#4

Nope.


#5

Ok, thanks. Do you have a suggestion when is best to throw in a Joker set? The 5/3/1 week before a deload? Just go by feel?


#6

[quote]Severin wrote:
Won’t people in their first year be able to work up in Joker sets more frequently?
[/quote]
Yes they can, doesn’t mean they should.

[quote]Severin wrote:
Ok, thanks. Do you have a suggestion when is best to throw in a Joker set? The 5/3/1 week before a deload? Just go by feel?[/quote]
I think you’re missing the point of Joker sets. They’re a form of auto regulation designed to take advantage of good days, as such you shouldn’t be planning when you’re going to do them ahead of time.


#7

In general, we use them every 6 weeks for intermediate lifters. On the 531 week.
What I do is train people for the bigger picture (years) not for the hour or the day. I realize most people don’t like this but that’s what I believe. Weird how people always get stronger using this approach.


#8

Beginners need to have a very qualified coach with them - to save them from themselves. Last thing I’d do is put more weight on the back or hands of a litter not physically or mentally prepared to handle it. Again, long term planning and slowly grinding yield better long term results. This may not be your attitude or belief.


#9

No, sounds good and makes sense. It’s just so counter-intuitive in a way. Thanks for the input!


#10

jim in the book which I bought It says to do them when you are really feeling good (joker sets) and strong about your day. now your saying add them in ever 6-12 weeks.

by the way what is the reason for not doing them to often??? can you explain what is the problem if they are done to much. or are we talk about skinny little bastards which is not me. you got me confused man and i read your book many times. please explain.


#11

[quote]bigtony200 wrote:
jim in the book which I bought It says to do them when you are really feeling good (joker sets) and strong about your day. now your saying add them in ever 6-12 weeks.
[/quote]

I would guess what’s happened in practice is people have been doing jokers when they are feeling anything above totally beat up instead of only when they’re feeling good/strong

6 weeks is probably an average and safe estimate on what Jim has observed as about how often people are having good days.


#12

If you read this forum enough you’ll notice a lot of people interpreted jokers as, “Max out every lift every week for months on end regardless of how shitty you feel”.

Like most people I over used them at first and I found they ground me down after a few weeks. I ditched them altogether for awhile, went back to stock 5/3/1 and my training quality improved. Now I’m starting to use them very conservatively during my strength cycle, which for me at the moment is every 5th cycle.


#13

thanks fella’s for the reply so it was about the over use of jk’s and get a bit overtrained in them were they could be hurting gainz. gotcha.

I never used them that way I did do it when I felt I had a good max rep set and could make a leap to accomplish the jk to finish them or I would not do them at all and just do the fsl variations in jim’s book. I know when I feel pooped I have gone to far. more is not better like jim says. thanks for the explanation so I could understand why.

today doing the bench for max reps and pause bench and pause squats on sunday :slight_smile: