T Nation

Coming Back to 5/3/1


Starting from scratch, I’m 34 years working as a welder (daytime, afternoon and night shifts).
First started with stronglifts 5x5 and then moved on and tried different programs and got stuck on a program with mixed reps schemes each day which worked for a while, but now it’s taking to long to finish the workout and the estimated maxes are getting to high to quickly.

Soooo, I’ve been doing some thinking and some research and got to a conclusion that 5/3/1 fits me better, recovery wise and time wise and the gradual build up to greater maxes.
Read about 2 templates/programs that I’m interested in doing and they are 5s pro and hardgainer.
What do you think would benefit me more to start on. My goals are to get as strong as I possibly can, if mass gains occur, then I won’t cry.

My stats are
Deadlift:167,5kg (with straps)


Welcome to the Forum.

If this is your first experience with Jims programs, I would do this:

Original 5/3/1 for some cycles.
Do it like this:
Pick the TM wisely. Try 85% of your PR’s, that could be the weight you get a good strong 5 reps with.
Then do the main lift doing Rep PR’s, stop 1 or 2 reps short of failure.
For the first 2 cycles do FSL (First set last) 3 sets of 5.
YES for the first cycles this is feeling light. It doesn’t matter. Put the effort in that one top set.
It’s now time for assistance.
You do about 50 reps of each category.
That is push - pull - core.
example 50 pushups, 50 chins and 50 lunges OR
50 DB bench press, 50 DB rows and 50 hanging leg raises.
It dosen’t really matter it is that one top set that is what matters.

You asked for 2 programs either 5’s pro or hardgainer,
Well at the moment 5’s pro with 3-5 set of FSL is not the worst thing to do.
But learn the principles, start too light, remember the jumps and throws, mobility and some kind of cardio.
Lifting is a life long experience.

Good luck and once again welcome.


Thanks for the welcome! Been reading this forum for a while, but never registered until now. Anyway, did do 5/3/1 bbb just to try it for 2 cycles and found it to fit my schedule perfect, but why I went back to my old program I don’t know.
Will go for the original 5/3/1 and FSL. And use assistance if I got the time over. Only got time to hit the gym on my lunch break. As long as I get stronger on the big lifts, I’m happy.


If short of time, try PR for main and FSL1 set of AMRAP.
Do some chins or rows in between the main sets
quick and short :slight_smile:
Remember to keep track of the pr / amrap sets. When the same weight comes around again Beat it.


Yeah, will do that. And I just looked at my lifts at 85%, so starting light and that’s great cause I’ve been trying to use hook grip on my deadlift, don’t know if my weights were to heavy or my thumbs to small, but now Get the chance to really practice it while the weights are low.
And trying to build up to 5x10 chins which is a goal. Now I can do 3x5