Drop Block Set w/ 5-3-1 Program

Hi Coach -

I’m considering starting a four week program using drop block sets. I read in your article that it is not a standalone program and could work as assistance with the 5/3/1 program. So, here goes:

Day 1
Squat using 5/3/1 progression
3 Drop Block Set exercises
Leg Press
Leg Curls or Leg Exts

Day 2
Bench Press using 5/3/1 progression
3 Drop Block Set exercises
Incline Dbl Press
Cable Crossovers

Day 3
Deadlifts using 5/3/1 progression
3 Drop Block Set exercises
Dbl Rows or Bent Over Barbell Rows
Lat Pulldowns
Seated Cable Rows

Day 4
Overhead Press using 5/3/1 progression
3 Drop Block Set exercises
Arnold Press
Rev Dbl Flyes
Side Laterals

I’d throw in arms somewhere in here if I have time.

Thoughts are welcomed, thanks Coach!


I personally see no problem with that. But I’m always weary of recommending an add-on to someone else’s program as it might interfere with the logic/progression of that plan. In the case of 5/3/1 the fourth week is the deload week, so you should also have a deload with the assistance work to respect the spirit of the program

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Understood. What about using a rest-pause scheme for the heavy work instead of the 5/3/1?

You could use:

Week 1: Rest/pause
Week 2: Ramping to your 3RM in 8-10 sets
Week 3: Cluster (using around 3RM and doing sets of 5, 15-20 sec between reps)
Week 4: Ramping you your 2RM in 8-10 sets

Didn’t think about clusters. Do you mean 5 sets using 2-2-1 rep scheme as
outlined in some of your articles? I might try that and use the Drop Block
Set method as the hypertrophy/assistance work. Thanks Coach.

There’s a few different ways to perform clusters (his article on the layers system on his new site lays out three or four) so you have some flexibility to adapt to what you like.

In this case I suspect the cluster being referred to was the 1-1-1-1-1 scheme.