Ergometer Training and 5/3/1

Hey Jim and everyone,

I am about to begin the 5/3/1 program but I wanted to get others input as to conditioning. I would like to use some of the conditioning suggested in the 5/3/1 program but as a rower my training calls for ergometer training 6 days a week allowing for Wednesdays to be a cross training day or ergometer training day. The training is a mix between 30-60min steady state and also short AT work. I am not worried about my size at all but I know the constant cardio will require me to eat plenty (which I do) in order to maintain my size but I’m just a little concerned as to what effect all the ergometer training will have on the 5/3/1 program since erging puts tension on ones back at times and of course the movements performed in 5/3/1 such as dead lifts and squats will make your back a little tense.

Just want some input!


What is you number one training goal right now? Rowing or strength? if rowing, then maybe a two day a week program would be good. Lift lower body on the day before you off day if you have reservation on lower back stress. for your upper body just put it in anywhere. If you goal in strength then use any of the templates for 5/3/1 and decrease you intensity on rowing. In my opinion I think it is counter productive to chase two rabbits. Pick one and destroy it.


“what effect all the ergometer training will have on the 5/3/1 program” - it’s not the program but the lifts that may have a problem with the extra lower back work. My advice would be to use a 2 day/week program (as shown before), use 85% TM, 5’s PRO and figure out the FSL volume slowly.

Other than that, you are going to have to be smart. With any sport, it’s a balancing act. The smartest thing to do is keep a written training log in a spiral notebook and make notes on what you’ve done/how you feel, sport performance, etc.