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My 5/3/1 Layout

Hey T Nation, I’m new here, and this is my first post. So if I’m going about this whole thing wrong please let me know so I can do this properly.

Anyways, I’m a 17 year old highschool student that has only been weight training for about 3/4 of a year and have only been into powerlifting for no more than 3-4 months. I think the numbers I’m putting up are fairly decent seeing as how I’ve never been involved with any sports prior to. 250 squat for 3, 200 bench for 3, and a 345 dead for 3-4.

Recently, I’ve just got form for the three major lifts down to a point where it’s not embarrasing anymore and have really started to get into the groove of things. I’ve made the conclusion that I’m going to stick with powerlifting. After reading books like 5/3/1 by jim wendler I’ve decided to design a program according to guildlines laid out by the book. Going with the “boring but big” layout, I’ve designed a plan and was looking for opinions, here it is:

Monday
Squat (cycle)

Asisstance:
-power squat (1x10)
-front squat (2x8)
-high bar squat (narrow stance)(2x10-12)
-goodmornings (3x12)
-3-4 sets of ab work

Wednesday
Bench(cycle)

Assistance:
Dumbell press (2x10)
Incline press (2x10)
Floor press (1x12)
Pulldowns (3x12-15)
Pullups (4-6x6-8)

Friday
Deadlift (cycle)

Assistance:
Deficit Deadlift (3x12)
Rack pulls (2x8)
Hypers (3x12)
Shrugs (3x12-15)

Saturday OR Sunday
OHP (cycle)

Assistance:
OHP (5x10)
Face Pulls (3x12-15)
Kroc Rows (2x12-15)
Seated Pulley Rows OR Bent Over Barbell Rows (3x12)

I do 3 runs of farmer carries after each workout for conditioning/grip.

Obviously, all movements are either used to mimic the range of motion in the big 3 lifts or to assist weak points

Any help is greatly appreciated guys! Thanks.

What page of Jim’s book (5/3/1) did you get this out of?

Isn’t necessarily in the book. The “boring but big” section says to do the cycle lift, then the lift with higher volume (5x10), and then another exercise. So i split the 5x10 lift into varations that add up to a total 5 sets. I’m aware this routine isn’t an exact translation but the variance as a novice made sense to strengthen weak points.

It isn’t necessarily in the book but the “boring but big” layout says to do the cycle lift, the lift with a higher volume (5x10), and then another exercise. In the program i put together I split the 5x10 into variations of the specific lift to work out kinks and simply add more variations. Example: I’ve read that dumbell presses help the bottom range of motion in a bench due to the fact that the ranger of motion at the bottom is better. As a beginner I can’t necessarily speak from experience but I chose the exercises carefully and only included them if I felt they were truely benificial

[quote]bmcinnis96 wrote:
It isn’t necessarily in the book but the “boring but big” layout says to do the cycle lift, the lift with a higher volume (5x10), and then another exercise. In the program i put together I split the 5x10 into variations of the specific lift to work out kinks and simply add more variations. Example: I’ve read that dumbell presses help the bottom range of motion in a bench due to the fact that the ranger of motion at the bottom is better. As a beginner I can’t necessarily speak from experience but I chose the exercises carefully and only included them if I felt they were truely benificial[/quote]

Don’t use a variation of the lift for your 5x10 work, at least not for your first run through. It’s boring but you’ll get a ton of practice doing the main lifts and you won’t regret it. I used the BBB routine when I transitioned to Sumo DL and the high volume helped me develop technique. It sounds like you want to improve your technique as well. Don’t worry about your weak points yet since you haven’t been training for very long.

I feel like there’s far too much variety in your programming. Considering you only started lifting a little under a year ago, you might be better served by sticking to the main lifts and following “Boring But Big” to the letter, and just improving your form and technique on those lifts specifically. Hammering away at your weaknesses is all well and good, but without a coach or at least somebody with an objective perspective, you really can’t identify what your weak points truly are. Working each lift ad nauseum may even shore up whatever weak points you’ve been seeing. I’ve been lifting for several years, and I’ve been using 5/3/1 for several years now. The best gains I’ve achieved in terms of increasing reps was by following Boring But Big to the letter; main lift 5/3/1, 5x10 at 50-75%, and then one antagonistic auxiliary: rows with bench, chins with OHPs, and core work with squats and deadlifts. Those are my two cents anyway, I still consider myself to be a newbie with regards to this style of lifting and I’m still trying to figure things out.

Hope that helps, and makes sense.

Alright, points presented make sense. The weaknesses aren’t as obvious so straight forward rep work would be more beneficial. Kkelkar, would it be best to keep ab work as auxiliary for both deads and squats, or could something be substituted with deads?

[quote]bmcinnis96 wrote:
I’m a 17 year old highschool student that has only been weight training for about 3/4 of a year and have only been into powerlifting for no more than 3-4 months. [/quote]

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
What page of Jim’s book (5/3/1) did you get this out of? [/quote]

Allow me to clarify, as my post wasn’t received in the way I subtley intended. You are new to the game. I would recommend that you simply do the standard 5/3/1. Jim has said before that you must earn your way to doing the more advanced variations. Yours listed above isn’t even a sanctiond variation. Get the book and follow it as written until you know the ins and outs of it. THEN you may start tweaking it to your “needs”.

This will allow you to progress on a proven plan and makes it simple to follow. Most guys do not need all this special shit they read about in Musclke and fiction type magazines. HArd simple work is 99.8% effective in reaching some pretty respectable strength and fitness goals. Trust me, I’ve been at this since I was your age.

I appreciate the fact that all of you guys took the time to respond, thank you. I think I’m going to give wendler’s book another read through and stick to the strict BBB template.

Any thoughts on farmer carries 3 times a week for conditioning instead of the sled/prowler or hill climbs indicated in the book? Gym I go to doesn’t have any equipment remotely close to A sled/prowler.

Train with what you got. Maybe consider making a dragging sled. Get an old tire and put a rope on it. Add weights and drag it up and down your driveway / street etc. I made one and it kicks my ass.

here’s an article by T-Nations contributor Tim H.

Sounds like something I could do! Thanks for sharing the link, I’ll definitely look into making a sled asap

Ive just recently started doing farmers walks as my finishers on days that I have enough gas in the tank and ive been loving it so if you enjoy them id say keep doin that. Heavy ass trap bar carries are helping me with my squat walk outs also. Never thought that I would find the walk out to be a weakness but lately it has been killing my confidence and therefore I havnt been killing triples like I should be. Where in ontario are you from I need a training partner this summer as all my friends stick to bodybuilding splits -.-

Yeah man! They’re really improving my grip which was always a problem with heavy deads before. Plus, everyone at my gym looks at me like a fucking alien when I do them for some reason which is fun. And London man!

Seeing as you are so new to lifting, you might want to consider doing Starting Strength for a while before 5/3/1. Read up on both and decide, but as said above, just do the program as written whichever you choose.

So I went ahead and did a simple bench day according to the BBB template. 3x3 + bench 5x10 and barbell rows 5x10. Kicked my ass just as much as the other layout I was doing. What about joker sets? Would it be appropriate to use them?

[quote]JLD2k3 wrote:
Seeing as you are so new to lifting, you might want to consider doing Starting Strength for a while before 5/3/1. Read up on both and decide, but as said above, just do the program as written whichever you choose.[/quote]

I did strong lifts for a while (bastardized version of starting strength) for a while… I don’t know if it was the layout or what, but repeating the same two workout was just way too uninspiring for me

[quote]bmcinnis96 wrote:
So I went ahead and did a simple bench day according to the BBB template. 3x3 + bench 5x10 and barbell rows 5x10. Kicked my ass just as much as the other layout I was doing. What about joker sets? Would it be appropriate to use them? [/quote]

I would recommend that you not use joker sets unless you are very disciplined and know when to stop pushing hard too often. You shouldn’t be testing your strength, you should be building it. Try doing this 5/3/1 program exactly as outlined without changing any variables (including accessory movements) and only changing your training max from month to month for at least 3 months. If you’re making great progress then don’t change anything no matter how strong you’re getting to ride out the gains. You may get bored doing these workouts over and over but is your main goal to get strong as fast as possible?

[quote]
I would recommend that you not use joker sets unless you are very disciplined and know when to stop pushing hard too often. You shouldn’t be testing your strength, you should be building it. Try doing this 5/3/1 program exactly as outlined without changing any variables (including accessory movements) and only changing your training max from month to month for at least 3 months. If you’re making great progress then don’t change anything no matter how strong you’re getting to ride out the gains. You may get bored doing these workouts over and over but is your main goal to get strong as fast as possible?[/quote]

Fair enough! BBB to the tee it is.