T Nation

Doing 5/3/1 4-Day Template Over 3 Days?


#1

Anyone here had success doing a 4-day template over 3 days, making the regular 3 week cycle into 4 weeks? i.e.

Mon - Bench 5/3/1
Wed - Squat 5/3/1
Fri - Press 5/3/1

Mon - Dead 5/3/1
Wed - Bench 5/3/1
Fri - Squat 5/3/1

Mon - Press 5/3/1
Wed - Dead 5/3/1
Fri - Bench 5/3/1

Mon - Squat 5/3/1
Wed - Press 5/3/1
Fri - Dead 5/3/1

I was going to run BBB for Bench/Press and FSL 5x5 for Squat/DL (on same day as the 5/3/1 for that exercise). And then the accessories in the regular way: 50-100 reps Push, Pull and Single-Leg/Core.

My two main concerns:
8 working sets once every 9-10 days doesn’t seem ideal, anyone had good results running something like this?
Would this be okay to run without a deload week?


#2

Don’t do it, your dick will fall off.

The rotating schedule is fine and much better for recovery, not just my opinion but a tested fact. You would still deload using the 7th week protocol.

Now if you’re a young buck and in great shape and don’t play a sport, you could up your frequency to 4 days a week, but that wont really change anything. 5/3/1 is a performance based program and if you’re trying to bodybuild or some other shit and believe that more frequency = better, you just have to test for yourself.


#3

The original 5/3/1 program was in the EliteFTS 3-day training manual a decade or so ago, and was set up exactly the way you laid out above. Training 4x/week was always a variation on the original.

What is or isn’t “ideal” has a lot more to do with your day-to-day reality than with your ideas about the physiology of adaptation. If this schedule works and you’re excited to do it, then execute it. When I needed a 3x/wk approach with sessions that could be completed fairly quickly, i used the Trident program from Jim’s forum, which is 3x/wk, 1 main lift/day, and it worked very well.


#4

Interesting. I always thought it was 4x a week by default, but what you guys are saying does add context to what Jim said in Forever 531’s BBB section (that it’s probably better to do it 3x a week).

I suppose if we are in this for the long haul (decades vs get 100 lbs of bench in a month), I might as well get in the habit of always having a non-lifting day after a lifting day (and do conditioning of some sort or “active recovery”), wouldn’t you say?


#5

I think this is fine and possibly even in some of the books with this schedule. Also if you ever have time for an extra workout some week you can throw it in if you feel like it.


#6

Thanks for the replies! So do you think a deload week would be necessary still?


#7

So I train every other day, like your template. Sometimes I take 2 days off at the end of the " week". So each wave is either 10 or 8 days. I rarely deload except for travel/vacation and rarely train to failure like missing a rep.
If you are concerned about frequency of training a particular lift then consider one of the many full body programs .