Beyond 5/3/1

So I have had the 5/3/1 and Beyond 5/3/1 for about a year now and after some thought I decided I would give it a go.

Some background info on me: When I was in eighth grade I decided to try out Wrestling, and throughout the season I subconsciously became addicted to progress, doing more push ups, getting stronger ect. Skipping ahead to when I was 17, I started doing bodyweight training, I had fun and I loved adding strength/size. But I got bored after around 4 months. Later on that year I had the chance to go to the gym so I took it. I started off doing 5X5, unfortunately at the time, Deadlifts scared me so I maxed out at 185X5 and only just started deadlifting again this past month. I squatted 125X5, benched 95X5, and overhead pressed 65X5. These were all done with my bodyweight around 140lbs. I got to train for about 4 months until I couldn’t get a ride to the gym. After that I would randomly go to the gym, a month here, a month there. It was inconstant and I couldn’t make progress. Recently (I’m 19 now) I have been going to the gym for about 3 months now. I also bought weights and a bench just in case. So far I have lifted weights for about a year, not long I know but it feels like forever.

As of now my stats are:
152lbs 5ft 10in around 12%bf
Bench 155X5
Overhead Press 105X4
Squat 175X3
Deadlift 185X5
Dips +55X5
Chins +45X4

Anyway, going back to the 5/3/1. My workouts will be as follows:
Overhead work will be done standing unless stated otherwise

Romanian deadlift

Incline bench
Dumbbell overhead press
One arm dumbbell row
Pull ups
Tricep extension
Bar curls

Front squat
Rack pull (from just below the knee)

Overhead press
Arnold press (This has helped my front delts greatly)
Dumbbell row
Incline tricep extension
Dumbbell curls

Light cardio

Moderate cardio
Farmers carries

I may make slight changes like switching lunges for goblet squats but this is what I plan on keeping.

Cycle 1 Week 1
155X15 (I died and came back a stronger man during this set)
115X3X3p (p stands for pause reps)

Romanian Deadlift

High Bar Squats


Grip was shot after deadlifts so I didn’t bother doing it directly

The set of 15 on Deadlifts killed me so I cut back on assistance work by quite a bit. I felt pretty normal, not too good not too bad. Honestly, if someone told me I could do 155X15 on Deadlifts, I would have called bs, but somehow I managed. Definitely one of the most painful/difficult thing I’ve done right there. Also I was thinking of swapping lunges and high bar squats. We’ll see how I feel next week

Welcome to the forums!

I’m sure you’ll get plenty of good advice on here, but I have a couple of comments to start with:

1 - I’m a big proponent of 5/3/1 myself, but I know Jim has a program specifically for beginners that would be good for you at your current strength levels. If I were you I’d jump over to the Jim Wendler 5/3/1 coaching forum and ask about it, or you could search the articles on this site, it may be that it’s laid out here.

2 - Whatever template you eventually go with, it looks to me like you’re doing wayyyy too much accessory stuff. Where you are right now, you need to focus on getting strong in the big lifts, with just a couple accessory or assistance moves to keep you even or attack weak points. You’re not strong enough to have weak points yet, though, you just need to get stronger all around.

3 - 5’10" and 150# is way skinny. You definitely need to put on some weight. Contrary to what some people try to push, it is possible to gain muscle without getting fat, but at your weight and age I would just eat more and lift heavy. Again, search the articles, there are some good ones on this site about gaining muscle without getting fat, and I know that at 19 you probably don’t want to lose the visible abs.

Good luck, and get strong.


1&2 - Over the past 4 months I have been doing a lot of experimenting with weights. I deadlifted once a week going from moderate volume and moderate intensity to low volume high intensity. I did Overhead press Monday and Dumbbell overhead press Friday. Monday was high intensity moderate volume, Friday was Moderate intensity high volume. I only benched a couple times during the 4 months. I was also doing front squats once a week for moderate intensity moderate volume.
Over the 4 months, my deadlift increased 10lbs, my front squat increased 25lbs, my Overhead press and bench increased 30lbs. I was doing a lot of assistance work for shoulders/chest and not a whole lot for deadlift. This is why I keep assistance work and volume high, because it works(for me at least). Noticed how much my bench went up without me actually doing it. Also this shows I can not progress 5lbs every week like beginners, so I would consider myself more of an intermediate than a beginner. However, I appreciate your comment and will look into Wendlers beginner program anyway, but I will probably stick to this for now.

3 - Trust me, I know. I have been underweight almost my entire life, around age 16 I realized how bad it was and so I started eating a lot of food. I am happy with my weight right now because I only just crossed the 150lb mark that I have been trying to get to for a while now.

Cycle 1 Week 1
Bench Press

Incline Bench Press

Dumbbell Overhead Press

One Arm Dumbbell Row

Bodyweight Pull Ups

Tricep Press

Bar Curls
50X10 + 2 cheat reps

Felt normal today, the incine bench press and dumbbell overhead press felt pretty light today. Pull ups also felt good. Was debating changing grips but stayed with a shoulder width grip throughout the pull ups. Also I only did one set of the one arm dumbbell row today, but in the future I will do 2 or 3 sets.

I hope this doesn’t come accross as rude, but you injured in some way?

Welp, during the 5+ set of squats I ended up hitting 15 reps. The only thing is, felt an excruciating pain from my head. I had felt this when I did the 5+ set on deadlifts but it wasn’t as bad. I looked into it and it seems to be an exertion headache. So I ended up skipping bench day as the suggested course of action is to take a week off of lifting and then slowly start re-introducing your body back to lifting over several months.

However, I am going to listen to my body, or my head in this case, and continue lifting. If at any point I felt any pain in my head I am going to end my workout. I will not be doing 5/3/1 so I will not be posting here. I may make a new training log for non-5/3/1 lifting, but this is basically it for this log.

It’s a shame to drop a program because of a relatively minor setback like that. You may just be pushing things too hard too fast, is all. You might want to try one of the recommendations for starting out on 5/3/1, which is to limit your + sets to a max number of reps even if you can do more. I believe the thumbrule is 10 reps for the 5+, 8 reps for the 3+ and 5 reps for the 1+…

Also, I have had exertion headaches before, and a few days of rest was all it took to reset me.