T Nation

Going to try 531 for Hardgainers


Going to try this and see how it goes, got a few questions though before I start.

Should I run this for 5 cycles, do the 3 back but pick something different like one of the challenges out of the book, standard 531 or assess in time and if it goes well would it be okay to go back 3 and do another 5 cycles of the same program?

I currently have been doing the opposite lift for accessory work, although I stopped deadlifts after squats as volume was too much. I have been enjoying doing the lifts twice a week and I feel it helps, switching over to just once a week with different accessory work, incline dumbbells for example shouldn’t have a negative effect should it?

Better to switch the accessory movements, day by day or week by week or cycle by cycle? Guess it doesn’t matter much anyways as long as you get it in.

Okay to do weighted pull ups and dips, doesn’t mention in the program about using weight?

I am happy that my new TM are correct, working with 85% of my TM defo seems it will help me progress for longer, the 20 rep squat set is something I’ve never ventured into before, going to be a real test and I can see my legs shaking some for the first cycle.

Will be getting minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night as I do already, going to up my water intake which can be improved for sure, also I am going to eat good.

Hoping I can come back in some months time with some good gains. Thanks for feedback, thanks for being on the forum Jim and thanks for the programs. I can’t see myself ever coming away from 531, especially with all the variations/challenges you provide.


I’d start with a conservative training max, run the hardgainers for 2 cycles, then 5s pro fsl for 1-2 cycles, then I’d go back to an 5/3/1 with less volume but keep intensity up with PR sets and shooting for rep records on 3 and 1 weeks. If you use a conservative training max and work hard you shouldn’t have problems making it 5 cycles with concerns of stalling.

At the end of the first hardgainers cycle I’d assess how did I respond to the first 3 weeks, feeling good or only just slightly beat up, keep marching forward until the end of the next 3 weeks of hardgainer, my rationale for 5s pro fsl being the next cycle is to give the body a slight chance to catch up from being hammered in hardgainers, but volume is maintained, then you are feeling refreshed and ready to crush some PRs going into the final phase so to speak when you go back to 5/3/1 or 3/5/1 with less volume and attacking PR sets on the weeks designated to do so.


I think your worried about to much at once man. Just take it easy. Do hardgainer for a cycle and see how you feel.Then go from there. Let the BIG SHIT take of the small stuff. Best advise I’ve learned from Jim


Let the big shit take CARE of the small shit is what i meant to say


I like that approach @mcghee sounds great!

@vinyl76 true talk bro