T Nation

Enough Squatting Volume?

Hey everyone. I found a template on Jim’s website for beginners.
This is to be used in conjunction with the 7th week deloading protocol. I threw in some recommended assistance exercises from the post as well, I’ll link everything here.

Day A
Squat – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
Bench – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
50-100 Chins (Superset)

Day B
Deadlift – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
Press – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
5 x 10 Curls

Day C
Bench – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
Squat – 5/3/1 sets/reps, 5x5 @ FSL
100 pushups

My question is, is this enough squatting/deadlifting volume with enough weight to keep my 1RMs from declining over the course of a few cycles? Or would I have to run a few 3/5/1 cycles with heavier added singles in order to keep my maxes up?



I’m not familiar with 5/3/1. Are you doing a set of 5, then 3, and then 1 followed by 5 sets of 5? What Does First Set Last mean? Does this mean you increase and then, on the last set, you drop back to your first set?

I would argue that 15 reps (3 x 5) is enough to build a higher 1 rep max. I’m sure someone would say I am wrong, but I think you are doing well more than enough strength to increase your 1rm.

Its even more. First you’re doing 5/3/1 sets with fives, then you’llI do 5x5 with the lowest work set percentage. So its 8x5, but with fairly low intensity.

I don’t know much about low intensity training. I prefer the heavy weight training at the moment.

Given your first two posts, I’d see you as an authority and I hope you continue to contribute to this thread.


I did this for my first few cycles of 5/3/1 and saw great progress in all my lifts.

Nice sarcasm. Would you care to share an opinion other than, “your opinion is wrong?” What is wrong with it? Why not just have a conversation?

My opinion is I don’t know how you could have an informed opinion when you seemingly don’t know what 5/3/1 is and have no experience with the specified loads.

Great! That is a start! In most of my professional experiences, conversation is the best way to learn things. We ask questions and then put in the 2 cents that we have. No one is an expert and we learn as a community.

So, I learned something new today and I was able to put forth an opinion based on what I have been doing with Starting Strength. Feel free to agree or disagree, but no Ad hominem are warranted.

When it comes down to it, you should discuss the ideas, not the people.


When there is a credibility factor, it is absolutely appropriate to scrutinize the people. The only people who say otherwise are the ones with the credibility issue.

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Well, I guess we are going to have to disagree on that. I don’t think ad hominems are an effective way to have a good discussion.

I don’t want to attack your person or character, but it seems as if you don’t really want a community of people who disagree with you or people with a different background than your own. Is this true? If so, why not? Why wouldn’t you want to be inclusive of people who want to join the community, learn, have a good time, and become, at least physically, better people?

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I’ll leave you to your hallucinations

Thank you. I happen to like my hallucinations.

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531+5x5 twice a week for a single lift is an ample amount of volume. Remember you are also doing back/core/single leg work for assistance which helps your squat as well.

In my opinion I would run the program as is for 12 weeks before you change anything. If you are training hard, eating well, and recovering your squat shuold go up with 531+5x5. If it didn’t after 12 weeks you did something wrong.


err…this is the 531 forum… best read one of Jim’s books or actually try reading one of his 20+ free articles on the T Nation part of the site

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Honestly, Starting Strength taught me two things: how to squat and how to eat. I went from 155 in the summer to a solid 185-190 with a Squat of 270 x 6, a Press of 115 x 5, a Bench of 170 x 6, and a Deadlift of 315 x 5. But it got to a point where I could no longer afford to grow out of my own clothes, so I cut calorie intake down to maintenance and switched to 5/3/1. Jim has some solid lifts. In fact, I think that he and Rip are very close in terms of Squat PRs (back when Rip used to compete, of course). Wendler’s PR (as far as I know) is 600 x 2, Mark’s PR is 600 x 3. So they’re both some really fucking strong men.

However, their programs are each made for different purposes. Starting Strength did for me exactly what I expected – I gained weight and got stronger. Now, I’m incorporating 5/3/1 so I can continue to make steady progress and turn into an all around ass-kicking monster. It all depends on where you want to be as a lifter.

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Good to know!

I’ve seen Jim squat 1000lbs (equipped), I haven’t seen Rip squat.


I can link a video of him squatting 335 (I think) for 10-12 reps (I lost count somewhere along the way lol) back in 2010. Wanna see it? Here it is.

Not too shabby for a 50-something year old guy.