T Nation

Loosely Structured Supplemental & Accessory Work

Hello brothers in iron and especially Jim!

First of all thank you for the books and also for all the free training advice you have provided us with over the years. I personally have 531 2nd ed and Beyond 531 and owe a lot of my progress to them.

A little back ground info: Im a 29 year old male and I have used different variations/templates of the program with great succes. Im the kind of guy who is really interested in both programming and learning how my body works and I have also tried a lot of other training systems, but at some point i seem to always come back to 531. I now have a few questions about my current training program. Its not an exact copy of any of Jims templates. This is not because Id have any illusions of me being a better programmer than Jim but because I probably have some kind of attention dissorder which makes it extremely hard for me to follow programs to the point. I also think I have at least a pretty good understanding of what my body may need at a given workout and what works for me.

The program:

Monday: Squat 531, bodybuilding work for lower body, abs
Tuesday: Bench feet up 531, bodybuilding work for lower body + conditioning work
Wednesday: off
Thursday: Deadlift 531, lower body work with focus on strength
Friday: Press 531, Bench Press 531, upper body work with focus on strength + condition work
Saturday: foam rolling and stretching

Its set up like this because I need more time to recover after deads than after squats. I haven’t been doing it long enough to reliably comment on the effects of pressing and benching heavy on the same day but so far so good.

The reason I do bench with the feet up is that i live in a country where you can compete that way both for a 1 rep max and a max set with your bodyweight and I am interested in giving it a try. As for the different variations of FSL, BBB, BBS and adding singles, I use them but i play it a lot by feel. If I feel ive done great on my +set i usually call it a day in that given excersise. If I feel I need to get some more volume in a might do one all out fsl-set on the squat (ive found this to work well for squats) or BBB 5x5 for the bench (this seems to work better for the bench). If I feel like testing my maxes in 4-6 weeks i might take it easier on the plus sets and add in a single or two at around TM after the +set for one cycle and then test my maxes after a deload.

My assistance work is usually pretty much Wendler 6 + a lot of rear delt work and often incline barbell presses which I do after my Feet up bench day because I have found these to have a good carryover to my overall upper body strength. These I cycle 5’s week 2x10, 3’s week 2x8 and 531 week 2x6 leaving 2-3 reps in the tank. I also like doing variations of the lifts and my fsl/bbb sets for squat might be done with a pause one week and on to a box the next. I also love power cleans but I rarely do them since i feel they take away from my major lifts.

I guess what I am looking for is some kind of a ”seal of approval”. I understand that Jim cant fully approve of something he hasnt tried himself or on hes atlethes but do you feel a routine might have potential even though the supplemental and assistance work is very loosely structured? You talk a lot about the mental aspect of training and this way of structuring my workouts seems to take away a huge amount of the psychological stress.

Btw my lifts are

485lb squat
375lbs feet up bench
520lb deadlift
225lb strict press
430 bench

All completely raw.

BW 225ish

Sorry about the long post, got really caught up in it and now I dont know what to leave out.

You should program however you want. However - how we program the running, lifting, conditioning, jumps and throws is a result of decades of experience. I’ve worked my ass off fine tuning this - so give it a shot.

Thank you for the answer Jim! I think I’m gonna look into the challenges more and try at least one of those out exactly as you have planned it.