T Nation

Is It Just Me: Why Recommend 5/3/1?


Is it just me or does everyone here recommend 5/3/1 95% of the time just because they're a beginner? I would never recommend anything that has I have never tried myself and I've checked some of your logs and for that time period at least no one has done it. Sorry for the rant, have a good one fellas.


That's what it seems. It is a simple program that is based on progressive overload. A great starting place for beginners in my opinion.


Was this an appropriate disclaimer?


I agree but I have never personally done it for more than 2 cycles so I don't think its fair to recommend it.


Wasn't about you specifically, just as the site as a whole.



I recommend it to people cause it's something I've done and it's worked great for me and requires very little thinking.


because people just starting out should focus on getting stronger in the basic lifts, and 5/3/1 provides a solid, idiot proof way of doing that.

Also 5/3/1 is so flexible it can be tailored to any goal. Bodybuilder types can use high rep accessory stuff and do all the pushdowns and lateral raises they like. Athletic types can programme in shit like box jumps, power cleans or whatever.

As long as you are doing the big, basic lifts and sticking to the % recommendations, you can do whatever the hell you like (as long as it doesn't decrease your performance on the basic lifts).

So getting you strong + easily tailorable to specific goals = one of the best programs ever written


have you read some of the questions on 5/3/1?

But yeah, solid program, can't argue with the results, will last you a lifetime, etc.

Just so we understand, it is a good program, not THE program.


pretty much what everyone else said. It's a good introduction to the basic movements, and it's totally non-controversial. Every lifter should learn those movements early in their lifting career, and get used to using moderate to heavy weights. And while I've done a lot of lifting under the 5 3 1 template, I have no problem with people recommending it without having done it much, because it's so obviously a good basic program. It doesn't come with the controversy that Rippetoe seems to draw these days. If a beginner does 5 3 1 and eats enough, he will get stronger, period.


lol, yeah I have. I suppose nothing is ever really "idiot proof"


it proves who the real idiots are.


Its very flexible, the monthly deload is also a big strength -it makes you much more resilient to injuries and gives you a bigger margin of error.

Advanced trainees can also use the preceding week to try and deliberately overtrain/ massively up the volume on assistance work if they feel like kicking it up a notch. I believe this is a great way to build a huge work capacity.

Also Alpha recommends it which is good enough for me.


you dont have to personally do something to be able to recommend it to others. i didnt track calories or protein for my first year of lifting but i recommend others do it. i didnt spend enough time getting strong at the basic lifts through a simple program, but i recommend others do it.

5/3/1 is a basic setup focused around progression on the 4 main lifts. ive never done it, but you can tell just by looking at it that its a decent way to train.....


What's more, the 5/3/1 ebook is really well-written, with a lot of humour and common sense.


Do you think it's viable for me to run a 5/3/1 or SS after running bodybuilding splits for 7-8 months? Or just continue my progress?


Yep, when stop making progress try 5/3/1, (and forget about starting strength)


This should be a one post sticky.


I have no problem with the 5/3/1 recommendation, I just get annoyed with the fan boys who go ape shit whenever anyone wants to modify it to their own personal goals in a way that's not given in the book. People really gotta stop acting like it's the great program ever written. It is not suited for many training personality types...myself included.

Think about if someone several months back posted about how they want to try 5/3/1 but use DC rest-pause for accessory? How would it be received? Surely they'd get flamed to some degree and told how that's "defeating the purpose of 5/3/1" and that it was "clearly written by someone smarter than you are!"

But then bam!!! http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/531_and_rest_pause_a_six_week_challenge&cr=

IMHO what led to so much success for 5/3/1 is that someone actually took the time to write up a percentage based progression to go with their training program, so it stood out over all those that didn't. It was also marketed to recreational lifters and not "hardcore" PLing types only. And it's simple. People don't have to overthink things like waves, clusters, and blah blah blah.


Totally but I would not do SS at all at this point.


I agree, which is why other intermediate progs like texas method get overlooked, they're more training styles than simple programs. I know in the TM book, they recommend 531 as an excellent prog for people that can't handle the work in TM. Which leads me to think that some of the younger guys on here might be better off with a more aggressive prog than 531 as they can recover better.