T Nation

Feedback on My 5/3/1 Routine


I'm starting up 5/3/1 again, and I wanted to get some feed back on my routine..

Mon: Trap-Bar Deadlift 5/3/1, Trap-Bar Deadlift 5 X 10, Weighted Wide-Grip Pull-ups 5 X 10, Bent-Over Db Row 3 X 8-10e, Bb Shrugs 5 X 10

Tues: Bb Military Press 5/3/1, Standing Bb Military Press 5 X 10, Seated Cable Face Pulls 5 X 10, Plate-Loaded Seated Military Press 5 X 10, Cable Front Raises 5 X 10

Wed: Run (20 min), Assorted Body-Weight Pull-ups (6-8 X Max Reps), Reverse HyperExtensions 5 X 10

Thursday: Squat 5/3/1, Squat 5 X 10, Leg Press 5 X 10, Leg Curls 5 X 10, Leg Extensions 5 X 10

Friday: Bb Incline 5 X 5, Bb Bench Press 5/3/1, Bb Bench Press 5 X 10, Guillotine Press 5 X 10, 3-Way Shoulder Raise Circuit 3-4 X 10-12

Saturday: Weighted Dips 5 X 5, Close-Grip Bench Press 5 X 10, Weighted Chin-ups 4 X Max Reps, Bb Curl 5 X 10, Cable Triceps Extensions 5 X 10, Reverse Preacher Curls 3-4 X 8-10

Note: I begin each workout with a 15 min run (except for Friday's workout). I work Abs about 3 times a week with different bodyweight and weighted exercises. And finally, I do multiple sets of bw pull-ups outside the weight at least three times a week.

I wouldn't say I'm new to this game. I've had success in different places over the years, but I'm hoping for the best this time.. I'll add any more details for anyone who wants to know about my past lifting history, diet, stats, etc..


monday looks good

tuesday I would take out the seated military press and front raises and do some rear delt work instead

thursday Id cut the leg extensions, leg presses should be enough for quads

friday Id cut the incline 5x5, youve got plenty of pressing

Id cut saturday all together


Phew, where to start; I guess what sticks out first and foremost is that you're putting your 5/3/1 days back to back on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday. In my experience, it's almost impossible to go in the gym for a max squat one day and then going in the very next day and going for a max bench. It may sound like pussy-programming, but weight-training on non-consecutive days isn't total bullshit. I have a feeling that you're either going to burn out very quickly, or your not going to make as great of gains as you could if you, for example, trained 3-4 days a week on non-consecutive days. If you want to put in some supplementary work on your off days, then great, but the focus on 5/3/1 in my experience is working on your core lifts.

For the program you've designed itself:

Monday: Is there any reason why you've selected trap bar deads over barbell deads? Personal preference?

Thursday: I don't know what your training goals are, but the leg press/leg curl/leg extension thing you've got going on makes me cringe a bit. Have you considered incorporating GHRs? I'm also a huge fan of heavy, walking, barbell lunges.

Friday: I'm assuming you put your lifts in order. Why are you working incline before your 5/3/1 bench? Finishing up with a lateral raise circuit seems unnecessary considering all the pressing you're doing. You're anterior delts are getting plenty of work. You may want to consider doing some rear delt work here instead.

I wouldn't say that I'm opposed to the high volume workouts that you have going on, but without knowing what your goals are, it makes it hard for me to criticize the amount of volume you've chosen to use.

At the end of the day, just do what works for you. If you're getting stronger doing what you're doing, then keep doing what you're doing.


Also, you may want to consider back-loading your running, doing it after your workouts. I've found that although doing conditioning AFTER a heavy leg day can suck ass, I'm actually less sore the following day because I end up properly stretching/cooling down.


You're doing the main compound lifts and then using the same compound lift as an assistance lift?


Doing 5/3/1 days consecutive can be a problem, but it is not necessarily one. I've been doing mostly 2 days consecutive for a while and it works fine. Only problem I've had is my core being too fried for OHP, but that's much more to blame on a weak core than the programming. I could be wrong.

Far as doing the main lift for assistance, that's called Boring But Big assistance template from Wendlers program. I think the general idea was for that to replace other assistance, but it doesn't have to. OP, if you get better results with that kind of volume, and you aren't outpacing your recovery, keep doing it. One piece of advice should be obvious: focus on the main lifts.


He's following the initial template of the Boring But Big routine, and then adding a lot of assistance work.

Yea, when I said it was "impossible" I was referring to my own experience, but like I said, if it works, it works.


Thanks for the input guys.. I definitely appreciate it. As for the trap-bar deadlifts, it is a personal preference. I spent all last year doing regular dead-lifting or sumo-style. It tore up my shins no matter what I did (From changing form to wearing knee socks under my sweats). I just got sick of constantly bleeding/ having scabs. So, trap-bar deadlift seems to work as the best alternative.