T Nation

Cutting and 531


i'm now cutting in the second week,

and have done 531 for 15 week so far,

but today while i'm squatting i miss so much reps on the last set for 5/5/5+ week,

so , what i can do to minimize miss reps due to my cut ?
or is there something i can do for the upcoming week where the weight is increase ? follow the plan or what ?

thank for you advice ,


If you are already losing that much strength in your 2nd week of a cut why not increase calories. How much did you reduce.


just get back to my maintenance from 500 calorie surplus . . .
and the first week 5/5/5+ is after the deload week , is that affect my lift ?
that's just in my squat, for deadlift, bench and OHP everythings good,


You probably just had a bad day.

I'm presently dropping down from 105kg class to 93 kg (205lbs) class for February. I hit a new joker bench 1RM after 8 days and five lbs (217.5lbs to 212.8lbs) of morning weight lost. Strength doesn't just disappear overnight like that. You must have just killed your Cals and/or recovery methods.

Practically? Lower your TM and assistance volume.


I dieted down in early 2014 to a legit sub-10% bodyfat, and went from 231 to 217 over 8 weeks. In that time period, I continued to gain strength in all lifts. There are other factors at play here.

You say you have been doing the program for 15 weeks. As Mattyb83 suggested above, in your 15-week time period, have you ever gone back 2 or 3 cycles and started over like Jim says to do?

Good luck


You could eat and actually have performance goals. That's what this program and the princioles are designed for. Please post this in the appropriate forum.


Okay, well, let's say I wanted to drop 15lbs to move into a lower weight class in wrestling or MMA or even powerlifting. Are you saying 5/3/1 isn't a good program to use for this purpose (i.e. to maintain strength and msucle while decreasing bodyweight)? Just curious...


This isn't to say that one can't lose weight/fat while using 5/3/1. But, since it is not designed for that purpose and with those objectives in mind (particularly, not for a current 'athlete' trying to shed presumptively 5-10% of body weight), it would certainly be reasonable to utilize a different training methodology.

Objectivity aside, this isn't the program I would use if shedding fat was the/a primary goal. But it is absolutely stellar for what it was designed for--particularly if you read the books, have a clear and concise goal/goal set, and apply accordingly.

Best of luck, craze.


^ I disagree. As I stated above, using carb cycling, high protein and a slight deficit on a 3 day template I've twice lost weight successfully while adding to my lift numbers. I'm not about to run hills or push a prowler with this meal plan, though, because I must prioritize recovery in this state. It's about intelligent programming for your goals. If your goal is asthetics, maybe 5/3/1 is not the program, but if you aim to cut fat while maintaining or increasing strength and can eat properly, 5/3/1 is as good as any.


I agree with @craze9. Firstly I have to say I have followed your programme for 14 cycles now and have enjoyed steady progress (Squat +35kg, deadlift +40kg, bench+22.5kg). I also have to say I understand how your programme is designed for calorie surplus but I believe your views on cutting weight are de-constructive, I feel you are painting all "cutters" with the same brush which is dudebros who want to cut to look good or want a 6 pack.

There is a fairly substantial demographic that need to cut weight for competing (powerlifting, mma, etc), for example I cut weight for competing in MMA and brazilian jiu-jitsu and I believe powerlifting is ideal extra-curricular training. I would love if you could accept cutting as a necessity for some people's training and help us tweak your programme to suit. I have to this date went through 2 x 8 week cuts and 1 x 4 week cut so I am aware I have to take my lifts to -1 cycle of my most recent cycle at the start of the cut (I have only learnt this recently).

I am a great fan of your training method and recommend it to people but I do not agree with your very critical views of cutting as "eating like a pussy" etc. You yourself have mentioned in your book that you created this programme because you were sick of being out of shape and too fat to do anything apart from walk to a platform and lift.


Once again, the program is based on PERFORMANCE - both in conditioning and strength training, and in hundreds of cases, performance on the field/court. I have no interest in anything other than performance. I have written countless templates and articles for athletes as well as working, in my weight room and in universities, with athletes.

This is not a PL program - this is a strength program. As you may know, I spent the vast majority of my life as a football player and coaching football, baseball, track, volleyball, basketball. I continue to work with young athletes and young non-athletes. So you are welcome to use the program however you want. I will continue to work and help others, as I have for the past 20 years, with their PERFORMANCE.

You are welcome to disagree with my thoughts on "cutting". It doesn't bother me at all. I long stopped trying to appease and make everyone happy.


You could use it as an amateur PLer who wants to slowly and steadily increase his total while also improving overall performance though, right? That's what I'm doing and even after just the first cycle I feel overall better and happier training.


It's just fine to use as a PL program. Hell, that's why there is the 5/3/1 for PL book!

Any program that you buy into 100% will work provided it isn't a stupid program.


Pretty much. Not my most sensible question ever.


Even to get really shredded you dont need to cut calories just make more sensible/very clean food choices and over time really build up your conditioning work


People think way too much into whether programs are PL specific or not. PL is about being strong. 531 gets you strong. Have a short prep? Drop some volume and do some jokers. It is really that simple.


Whilst it's hard to overeat whole foods, you can definitely get fat from it if you eat like a fool.

Treat your food like a training variable and balance everything accordingly if you take some food out.


Yes - it's fine for PL. It's about the application of the principles.


Thank you. I suspected as much.