T Nation

Exercise Pairings on 5/3/1


I am on my 4th cycle of 5/3/1, and yes, I know it considered more for powerlifting but my question is in regards to exercise pairings.

I was considering doing tricep, chest, shoulder and back width assistance work on military and bench days, and adding trap, bicep and back thickness assistance work to my squat and deadlift days. My lower body days don't usually take as long due to less assistance work so I figured moving back thickness exercises to those days would allow me to spend more time on the muscles directly involved on bench and military press. Would this result in too much training on back/pulling muscles, or would that depend on volume?


Well, the 5/3/1 is practically no volume at all for each exercise under that protocol (three sets once per week, two of which are substantially submaximal in effort), so unless your amount of work in the rowing is pretty extreme, I wouldn’t think it too much in total to do on the same day, particularly for bb’ing purposes.

Nor is training back twice a week, one day being vertical pulling, ordinarily too much. It can be made too much of course but you’re probably not going to.


Bill, thanks for the advice. I’m using 5/3/1 to get raise my 1rm’s on those 4 lifts, but gaining mass is my primary goal.