How Do I Balance Conditioning with 5/3/1? Also, What Diet Should I Do?


Im 17yo,76kg and 180cm.

I’ve started doing 5/3/1 for beginners and i like working out everyday or almost everyday. And i want to do conditioning.

But idk how many times a week i should do it. Or how to do it.

Should I do it in thhe same day as 5/3/1 or rest days?

Also, do i need to workout everyday of the week (3x 5/3/1 + 2x conditioning) or can i workout less (i like working out everyday but sometimes i just cant do it)

I want to get athletic tho and get ripped.And strong. I dont want to look fat, i want to look good.

What should I do about my diet?

This is spelled out in the blog post “5/3/1 for beginners”, where I assume you got the program. Any reason you aren’t following those suggestions?

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If you are lifting 3 days a week and doing conditioning twice a week, that is at most 5 days a week. So not every day. Are you capable of doing 5 days a week? I personally enjoy training, and would choose to always do conditioning when I’m not lifting, but really, you can get this all done 3, or 4, or 5 days a week. It’s really up to you.

Find something you will enjoy, and will stick with, and do it. If after a month, it’s not working out, tweak it and find what works for you.

Getting athletic, “ripped”, and strong is possible. It takes work though. Don’t expect it to happen in a month, and don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t.

You have youth on your side, as well I’m assuming inexperience. This will help. By not having much experience, it won’t take much for your body to get better.


Eat a source of protein and some type of vegetable(s) each meal. Drink a lot of water. This is really as simple as it can be. I could stop here.

Protein sources: chicken, turkey, steak, salmon, tuna, sardines, eggs, milk, and protein powder. I’m sure there’s others. These are the most common I can think of.

I believe turkey has the most protein per serving.

Salmon, tuna, and sardines are fish, which means they should have omega-3 fats, which most people don’t get nearly enough of, and are really good for you.

Eggs are super cheap (usually) and very easy to prepare. Milk is the easiest to consume. As well as protein powder - just so you know, this is helpful, and it’s often hard to consume enough protein in your daily diet without it, but it’s not something that will stop you from having any success if you don’t have it.

And why don’t you add peanut butter to the list as well…make a shake with protein powder, eggs, milk, peanut butter, and bananas. That’s pretty good.

I believe dark green leafy veggies like spinach and kale have iron in them, which is good for you. I’ve never even had kale but I throw spinach in shakes and don’t even notice it.

Carrots, red/orange/yellow/green peppers, brocolli & cauliflower (these two were found in some study to be the best veggies for “muscle building”), lettuce, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, squash, brusell sprouts, pumpkin, cucumber, zuchinni…literally so many options here for you. Eat a variety of colors to get all the nutrients.

Dan John recommends trying to eat 8 different vegetables a day. They can be the same 8 each day, but just so you get a variety of them.

Drink water when you wake up, before/during/after workouts, at meals, during school/work…just drink a lot. It’s healthy and helps with recovery.

And SLEEP!!! Sleep often, and well. Get 7-10 hours of sleep a night, every night. I think 8-10 is even better. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time as often as you can every day. Have your room dark and cool. Stay off screens (phone, TV, computer) in the 30-60 minutes leading up to bed. This is literally one of the best ways to build muscle and lose fat, yet nobody wants to do it.

Sorry, but I thought of that. As far as diet, eat fruits as well, and just keep it simple. No need to take 50 supplements, and no need to try some fancy diet. Just eat real foods that comes from animals and plants. Limit sugar intake as much as you can, but you’re young, so there’s nothing wrong with having a few Christmas cookies at family gatherings. Don’t starve yourself for the sake of having abs or something. Big mistake.

For supplements, I’d stick with fish oil for sure, and maybe protein powder if you can afford it. Biotest (the company behind T-Nation) sells each of these.

Jim has lots of articles where he mentions conditioning, as well as some diet and recovery techniques. Read his Blood and Chalk series here on T-Nation. Some of his earlier articles. There’s like 11 of them, and they all contain valuable info.