T Nation

Combination of Templates from Beyond 5/3/1


I am currently doing full body template and was thinking of adding FSL Rest Pause for the Bench Press and Press. My question is more about the nature of the Beyond 5/3/1 and how far you can go with combining the templates.

I see a lot of people combine Joker sets with FSL and on top of it add accessory exercises. Jim usually simplifies things down to essentials.

In full body template there is plenty of squat volume and enough accessories for other exercises. Will adding additional FSL Rest Pause for the upper body lifts be too much?


Don’t combine templates like this to try and give ‘extra’ work to all of your lifts at once. You will end up with too much volume and you won’t see results.

If you want to focus on bringing up your squat, while still getting slightly stronger in Bench Press and Press, stick with the full body template for a training cycle or two.

If you want to focus on upper body lifts, pick a template that has more work for those lifts and stick to that template for a training cycle or two. Don’t overthink things and look to where you want to be in 6 months+. You have plenty of time to try out the different templates, on their own, to see what works best for your body and your training goals.


Google 5 3 1 Rest Pause Challenge and 5 3 1 Breaking Bad. Both are similar to what you want but are even better as written by the man himself.


I think you could add Jokers and/or FSL if you’re smart. If you’re adding them to everything then you might decrease the extra squat work back to 3x5-10 with 40, 50, 60% like the original template.

If you’re following the template as written then I don’t think you’ll have any problem. The only real extra pressing work is on day 1. Overall I think the total body program has much less volume than any other template. It has no dedicated assistance programs like BBB.

Play with your programming and see how you feel after one or two cycles. I think the total body template is about the only one you could do this without screwing things up.

One thing I’ve been considering is switching to a more traditional 5/3/1 template and just running it 3 days per week so I can do some of the challenges. It’ll take longer to run a cycle but I don’t think that’ll matter too much. I doubt any of us will be able to continue adding 5-10 pounds to our TM for too long so taking longer to run a cycle will just mean you go longer before stalling and resetting.

In regards to assistance work just so what you feel you need. Work on weaknesses. I superset pull ups with 5/3/1 warmup sets every day. I also throw in a horizontal pull movement like face pulls, reverse fly’s, or rows each day. That’s more for personal reasons; I’m paranoid about having an under-developed back.


lordnelb, thanks for clarifying that. Extra volume was my initial concern.

Yeah, compared to 5 3 1 Breaking Bad that Camm suggested full body template definitely does have less volume.


Jim is a huge proprietor of “take things out if you add things in.” If you want more upper volume, that’s fine. Just be willing to take something out. Also, what’re your goals and reasons for wanting to add more and how long have you ran the fullbody as written?