T Nation

FSL/Heavy Conditioning


I'm in a light infantry Battalion and we do a fuck tonne of conditioning. I have been trying to get stronger on top of it. I Started with SS and that has run its course. I started up 5/3/1 with the BBB before christmas leave then missed out on training while home. Read Beyond while home and liked the Idea of FSL as I was hammering out the BBB at 60% with a minutes rest fairly easily. I went back to work Wednesday and finished off the last week from my first cycle (using FSL to see what its like)

I want to make sure it is the right template for what I want to achieve (Getting strong as fuck while still gaining bodyweight), and that I am doing it right.

Here's my monday Bench workout (5/3/1+)

155 (75%) 5 reps
175 (85%) 5 reps
195 (95%) 7 reps

155 (FSL) 5 sets of 8 reps with a minute or two rest ( These flew up and felt really good actually felt like I was working unlike BBB. Wasn't a grind or anything like that just felt like I was actually lifting something)

Then I grabbed a 100lb dumbbell and did 5x10 rows and went home.

Also I'd be lying to myself if I didn't think that the daily pt didn't affect lifting we usually do a lot of sprinting, lunging, and every form of burpee. Until most guys cant walk. Makes it pretty hard to hit squat PR in the afternoon lol. Coming in a little earlier and training before PT and then possibly only lifting 3 days a week should remedy this if it becomes a big problem though. Still maybe you'd recommend something else.

Thanks Jim


I adjust my training so that my peak periods line up with block leave periods and accept that the rest of the year my strength training will be compromised. It’s not ideal, but aside from getting one of those positions where you do PT on your own there is no ideal answer.

The silver lining is that after awhile you get used to the training load and the conditioning takes less out of you.



Ya 3VP. You at the 3rd as well?

How do you usually structure your training throughout the year?


Yeah. I’m one of the dudes that competed for the Bn in powerlifting today.

What I’ve been trying to do is…

2 months 5/3/1 + BBB, but 5x10 assistance is a variation (dumbbell bench/OHP, SLDL, GM, leg press, etc)
2 months 5/3/1 + FSL x 2 sets
1-2 months 3/5/1 with heavy single at 100% TM on 3 and 1 weeks.
Reset 30/15 lbs and start over again.

The final month of 3/5/1 is meant to line up with either summer or Christmas leave. This time around I lined it up for strong contender and used it as my peaking cycle.

What actually happens is once I start to get a good groove on and the Bn sends me away for weeks/months, after which I attempt to salvage what progress I can and piece everything back together before the process repeats itself. I’ll be honest and admit I’m still experimenting but my current recommendation during periods like this is to accept your peak numbers will drop and focus on volume (BBB). Save really FSL and 3/5/1 for when you can get a good month or two stretch that’s relatively uninterrupted.


What type of accesories would you use on the FSL weeks nad 3/5/1 weeks?


The simple answer is that I drop the supplemental lift from 5x10 to 3x10… So the total number of sets remains the same, but the volume reduces while the intensity increases.

The more complex answer is that some exercises seem to work better in sets of 8, 12, 15 or 20 reps and that I choose the specific exercise to target my specific weaknesses. But the general principle is that as intensity goes up, volume goes down.


thanks Some_dude. helps me plan a little better for running this. first time straying from BBB.


Seemed like a good place to put this.


Cool picture, is that you in the rack? how long have you used 5/3/1 ?


Yes. It’ll be two years in April, but within that two years there’s probably been around 9 months of no training. It’s why I like 5/3/1… The program is so flexible I can adapt it around anything and keep making progress.


I’m actually in that picture. Small world lol. What kind of progress have you made in those two years?


In the last 21 months I’ve been away from home for 9 months and injured for 7.

That said, I’ve still made moderate progress in my lifts while dropping 18 lbs in weight, 3in off my waist and lowering my 5k time by 8 minutes.

All that said…

Squat: 355 to 425
Bench: 200 to 245*
Deadlift: 355 to 435
Press: 145 to 175*

  • These numbers aren’t current as I haven’t trained bench or press in 7 months due to a hand injury. Monday was literally the 5th time I’ve benched since last summer.