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Conditioning Between 5/3/1 Assistance

Hi all,

I’ve been doing 3-day 5/3/1 with Dave Tate periodization. It’s going great so far (7cycles).
However, I wanna push my conditioning (and maybe a little fat loss). And because I’m training with two other guys, my first idea was to do something during their sets such as goblet squats on upper body days and push-ups on lower body days.

Does anybody have a better/other idea to stop the boredom and keep sweating between the (assistance) sets?

(I’m sorry if I missed an article on this, but I did used the search function)

If you have sufficient room, you could skip rope for during your rest time. Works for upper and lower body. I’d recommend it for someone who is already proficient at skipping rope, because when you fatigued, it’s just that much harder.

Would charting your rest periods and gradually lowering them do the trick? With maybe some prowler work on lower body days

Your Rest periods should be used for activation and release exercises to help with the big lifts [ they will help with your conditioning and any problem areas ] but they won?t help with your fat loss, you could superset the assistance exercises used after the big lifts eg. Bench day doing 1 set back 1 set chest then rest.
It would speed up your metabolism and you wouldn?t have to increase your gym time.

Thanks for the answers! There isn’t a prowler, so that’s a no-go. Rope skipping sound good.
Dacka, could you elaborate on those ‘activation and release exercises’? I’m now studying the supersets for the assistance.

No prowler? Take a plyo box, or a box that you squat with, flip it over and just put the plate there, then take an old pice of carpet put it upside down and push!

Hey Rob,

Each big exercise will have muscles that need to release to gain ROM and other muscle that need to be “primed” to help fire so for example.

Release = calf stretches (the depth of your squat will be restricted by this, I know it might sound strange but trust me, find someone who can?t squat put 5kg weights under their heels and they will squat like a pro)
Also Hip flexor stretches helps prevent and hip “pitching” when going low

Activation = performing buso ball isometric squat will wake up your nervous system ~15 sec should do [be aware not to got for to long the idea is to increase reaction not burn out the muscle.
Followed by explosive jump set, you’ve probably read this before but depth jump or box jumps will fire up your nervous system so the big lifts so do 3-5 reps about 1-2 mins B4

Bench / OH Press

Release = Dislocations and a light weight Row of any variation as long as you get a good scapula retraction for less than 8 reps

Activation = Isometric push up hold on buso or swiss ball, then 3-5 reps of clap push-ups


Release = Hip flexor stretches,

Activation = Upward Dog stretch [it?s a yoga pose], Kettle bell swings 3-5 reps

I stop explain all the exercises after squats, didn?t want to post heaps so anything that needs explaining let me know. Also these aren?t the only exercises you can do the idea is to get restricting muscles to release and turn the firing muscles on so anything else that does these can be substituted in

I use a lot of rubber bands. All kinds of movements.



I’ve used quite a few of the exercise over time.

Dont try to do “conditioning” during your weight lifting. You could increase work capacity by lowering the rest periods gradually, particularly on assistance.

for actual conditioning work though, either after or on a separate day.

I normally do burpees, KB swings/cleans, Goblet squats, box jumps or double unders with a jump rope. The rope tends to be more of an issue given a lack of space. A combination of KB swings and Burpees is surprisingly effective if you’re looking to minimize rest between your 5/3/1 work.