T Nation

Combination Template with Front Squats and Close Grip BP

Hello guys, I am currently finishing up my latest leader/anchor and planning my next but would like some input on some parts. I have the books including Forever and have been doing 531 or “531-inspired” training for several years now.

My previous run was 2 leader cycles with: 5’s PRO for squat, dead and press and 5x531 for bench followed by a 1 cycle anchor(351 style): PR sets + 3x5 FSL on squat, 5’s PRO + 1 jokerset + 3x5 FSL on dead and press, 5x531 anchor for bench.

It has worked pretty OK but now I want to change things up a little and add in front squats and close grip BP as supplemental after dead/press and would like some input on which supplemental template to use for these two lifts. I am now on my 7th week protocol and will test my front squat and close grip BP after my main lifts to get a good grip on what TM to use for these supplemental lifts.

What I am planning next is:
2 leader cycles (531 style):
Day 1: Squat 5’s PRO + Forever BBB (the 40-60% version): I am not sure if FSL 5x5 has worked that well for my squat lately so I want to try some higher reps/volume this time.
Day 2: Bench 5x531: I think that 5x531 has finally got my bench moving again so not dropping this one yet!
Day 3: Deadlift 5’s PRO, Front squats FSL 5x5 or maybe SSL 5x5? or if you guys have any suggestions? I have done this setup but with SST in the past and it has worked OK but I am not a big fan of the higher reps on front squats and like to try something different.
Day 4: Press 5’s PRO, Close grip BP FSL 5x5 or SSL 5x5 or something else?: Pretty much the same situation as the front squat, done SST in the past and want to try something else.

Anchor (1 cycle, 351 style):
Day 1: Squat PR sets +maybe a jokerset + 3x5 FSL(w1 and 3), w2 only minimum reps.
Day 2: Bench 5x531 anchor (probably)
Day 3: Deadlift 5’s PRO +1 jokerset on w1 and 3 (1-3 reps), Front squat 3-5x5 FSL
Day 4: Press 5’s PRO + 1 jokerset on w1 and 3 (1-3 reps), Close grip BP 3-5x5 FSL

The rest of the programming (TM%, mobility, jumps/throws, assistance, conditioning etc) will be adjusted according to the books recommendations for the different types of templates. My goal is mainly to get stonger but a little extra muscle would also be nice.

So even if it became a lot of text my questions are simply what supplemental template would you use for front squat and Close grip BP. Also feel free if you want to comment the rest.

I’m not very experienced so take this for what it is.

I’ve been using front squats as main squat for the last year, once TM approached 100kg 5x5@SSL began to grind me out. Doing something like 8x3 was more manageable, still found 5x5@FSL to work better. Worths to note that my TM was at 90%, using an 85% TM is probably a better idea. I’d definitely start off with 85% TM and 5x5FSL on front squats if you do them after deads and evaluate from there.

I’ve also always benched “close grip” (shoulder width) during the last year and will keep doing so. What worked really well during the last cycle was doing BBB@FSL during Leader 1, then switching to 5x5@SSL in Leader 2. TM@85% the whole time.
Bench is actually the lift that improved the most in the last cycle and I got the impression that packing more volume (BBB) really helped bench and press to move up.

I’ve run the combination template for almost 2 years before forever was released.
I’m 58 and have trained for 45 years.
From what you have said , I would run front squats on my DL day, 3-5x8-10 at 50-70%of the TM of the lift. I don’t do front squats and if they are better suited to lower reps 5x5 or even 12x2. I use SSB good mornings after DL and go 5x10 with a lighter weight , but that might be a recovery issue at my age. You could go 5x5 and ramp up.
I use CGBP and like either SST or I’ve done SSL and also 5x10.I think they are very versatile. I use the shoulder saver pad from EFS on the bar and it’s great.
I try to go 5x10 on my DL supplemental lift, and 5x10 for an upper body lift . Squat and BP/press 5x5 FSL. On my anchors 3x5 at a light weight.
It’s great variation within a stable program

Thanks for the input guys. I think I’ll stick to lower reps (i.e 5x5) for both lifts because I sometimes feel that form breaks and becomes a bit sloppy when doing 10’s and such. Instead I’ll focus on really stable explosive reps with a short pause in the bottom in order to keep good form and good bar speed.

Atlas you might be right about the front squats so I will start with FSL, well because if I do it and it shows to be a little bit to light it will probably not fuck up my overall progress much which going to heavy probably will…

On the CGBP I might go with SSL because I feel that its easier to recover from a little heavier upper body lifts, but I will use a little lower TM(82% instead of 85%) just to be on the safe side.
I ran the numbers with the TMs I had in mind and it looked OK and very doable.