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Cycling Meadow's Reactive Pump with 5/3/1 Though the Year

I am basically an advanced beginner or intermediate lifter. My goals are really to gain strength to do lots of outdoor activities like camping and backpacking, etc. However, I would also like to bulk up a bit to look better. I have been following Wendler 5/3/1 which has been pretty good. I can deadlift 1.5 times my bodyweight and squat my bodyweight, etc. So that is good, but I have not seen as much improvement in muscle definition as I would like to see.

So I was wondering whether it makes sense to include some periods of more bodybuilding type training into my yearly schedule. So perhaps do Wendler for 6 months and then do Meadows Reactive Pump for 6 months. Perhaps the split should be 7 months Wendler, 5 months Meadows, etc.–not sure of the actual ratios.

So my question is really whether cycling both types of training is a good idea, and whether anyone has any suggestions for the split in terms of how many weeks of Wendler versus how many weeks of Meadows. Wendler has 4 week cycles, while Meadows has a 12 week cycle.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

If you structure 5/3/1 the right way it will move you from volume focussed work to intensity. I’d probably choose that path.

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Just focus on getting stronger on the main lifts and add plenty of dips, rows and chins on assistance.
The man who can squat 450lbs is probably bigger than the man who squats 225lbs :slight_smile:
Then you may add you outdoors acitvities as active recovery etc.
Good luck!

If you’re only squatting 1x bodyweight, I’d focus on getting a lot stronger. There is a calculator at strengthstandards.co/#/ that can help you assess your strength levels. In any event, keep doing 5/3/1 and I’d suggest using the 5s progression model for a 6 week cycle with something simple like the triumvirate for assistance, deload, then move into your second cycle with something like FSL AMRAP or the up/down ladder, going for AMRAP on the top set and all down sets. There is enough volume in these templates to help you increase size all while getting stronger, and at your current strength levels, that’s all I’d worry about for now.

Hey thanks guys. This really helps. Yep, so I will keep working with the 5/3/1 template but add some of the additional programs as suggested. I will check out the 5s progression like Marc4497 indicated. I had not seen that one before. And I will keep at the dips, rows, and chins like Manze suggested too.

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