T Nation

Fitting in Conditioning?


Hi folks,

I was just wondering how when doing the 5/3/1 lifts over 4 days, people programmed in their conditioning?
I’m going to use hill sprints, kettlebell swings and hitting a heavy bag for my conditioning (not all on the same day). Would doing one of these on my none 531 days be enough? Would maybe lifting in a morning and doing conditioning in a evening several times a week be too much?
I’m just curious what other guys do in regards to frequency so any feedback will be appreciated, thanks in advance


I believe Jim’s official response to this has always been “do it when you can” - and also remember that if you put something in (conditioning) you have to take something out (weights/volume)

I personally do it as the last “exercise” of the day, either some kind of loaded carry or Airdyne sprints


I also do it as the last exercise of the day. Either treadmill sprints or push a prowler. Conditioning isn’t the master I’m currently serving so if I skip it, it isn’t a big deal to me.


I played with a couple of ways and what I’ve found works best for me is tacking it on to the end of my press/bench days.


I also found doing it right after bench/press days (tue, thurs)works for me. If I do a third day then it’s usually Saturday.


If you were to use all these things for conditioning, I’d be more concerned with how it will effect your programming/training. You can’t add all this shit into your program and not take something out of it.

This is what 5/3/1 Forever was written for; understanding the balance of training.

NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON can answer your question; we have no idea your current levels, your history or any of the incidentals (personal/professional/sleep/diet/stress). My best answer is develop a program based on real goals, actual attainable goals you can strive for and then make a plan to get there. One year, one goal.

Now you are free to do random shit; maybe this makes you happy and you just need to blow off steam or whatever. That is fine. But real athletes who care about their training/results take the time to program with some kind of understanding and goal. Find THAT, and you find your answer. I think you are asking the wrong question.


So many times I’ve talked about asking the right question.

Thank you for that.


The big thing is how it all fits in to what you’re doing. I can only let you know what I do from my perspective.

I do my lifting at night, because my kid likes to train with me. He is working towards being a nationally competitive athlete in the under 10 category (yes, he is working toward it, his goal - my bank would prefer he’d rather just have fun and rock locally but he’s pretty good so we run with it). He does his thing, I do mine. It’s a bonding thing. I do my conditioning on my lunch at work. I choose to walk 2.2 miles on squat/dead days, and do sprints / bomb around on a 20" bmx race bike for typically about 3.2 miles, or go for a jog at 2.2 miles, on the pressing days / off days, depending on how I feel and where in the season we are. The sport is a year-long season. If we’re in the thick of it (summer, big races weekly), I dial back jogging and accessory work when lifting, and focus more on sprints. If it’s between “A” races (i.e., there is a week off of the big ones), I ramp up accessory work and do some jogging in addition to the sprints just for that low-key work. If I’m burnt up, I chill out a bit, if I’m feeling spunky, I put the accessory work back in.

YMMV, but I study when the clan is asleep, so I have to manage fatigue, training, ability to focus on my work during the day, and keep up with everything else.