T Nation

Critique My 5/3/1 Program

Jim and Fellas,

Above I attached my workout program I designed off the 5/3/1 principles, and I plan on starting it Monday (if my fractured rib is up to it). I’m looking for input, give me your thoughts, good or bad. Cheers.

On top of my head:

  • you’re not supposed to do PR sets with Boring But Big;
  • you’re not supposed to do supplemental work (BBB in this case) in your deload week, just to hit a couple reps in the main work and ideally back off a bit too on assistance stuff;
  • it’s usually a better idea to keep the upper/lower or lower/upper format, you’re doing lower - upper - upper - lower;

that is, unless there’s some variation/template or challenge program that I can’t recall right now.
These are the things that stick out from your program and imho are relevant regardless of your current experience/fitness level; a few others that might or might not be relevant depending on how experienced you are, but are just my 2 cents:

  • I wouldn’t jump straight into running BBB if you’re recovering/have just recovered from a fractured rib (but maybe I’m just a huge pussy);
  • doing 50 pullups after deads main work & deads@BBB feels like overkill;
  • I wouldn’t do DB press AND triceps as assistance the day before you bench;
  • front squats and close grip bench are usually “too big” to be considered assistance and holy fuck 5x10 on the close grip bench the day after you worked your press - it depends how heavy you go on them, but when running BBB keep in mind that it’s wiser to scale back a bit on assistance exercises (that means, not just in weight, but also to pick stuff that is easier from a technique standpoint, because you’ll be fatigued, A LOT);
  • laterals and front raises are definitely overkill on the same day you do press main work & press@BBB, the front raises are redundant (you’re getting a ton of front delt work from all the press work anyway);
  • weighted pullups AND rows on squat day sounds redundant too;

overall I’d say it’s the kind of thing that will bury you, too much volume with too many hard/technical exercises

1 Like

Thanks for the honest feedback. You’re right about the lower/upper format, I caught that last night and meant to swap it around to lower/upper/lower/upper. I wanted to hit all body groups twice a week, so I added some light movements with front squat, close grip bench, dumbbell press, and kb swings (opposing days from the primary lifts) to hit the same areas like the 4 main lifts to add volume, but nothing too taxing to crush me, and also to achieve that full body effect. I have to maintain a certain level of muscular endurance for my job. I’ll be doing some light active recovery work on wed/sat/sun and I think I’ll be good to go recovery wise.

I just made adjustments and swapped Thursday and Friday. You have a point with the volume, I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks

A few questions:

  1. Is your TM set to 85%?
  2. Is your BBB Supplemental work (ie. 5x10) always done at 65%?
  3. Are you actually shooting for PR’s on your Main Work, or just going for a decent set that feels good with several reps left in the tank?