T Nation

My Beyond 5/3/1 Program


First off, I’ve read the book through about 4 times and I am at the end of my first week. I love the program so far. I just want to make sure I’m not misinterpreting what I read in the book.

My current program looks like this:

Bench Press 5/3/1 +Jokers + FSL (3x8-10)
Pendlay Rows - 5x10
Incline DB Press - 5x10
Barbell curls - 100 reps

Deadlift 5/3/1 + Jokers +FSL (3x5-8)
Good Mornings - 5x10
Weighted crunches - 5x10

Monday - off

Overhead Press 5/3/1 + Jokers + FSL (3x8-10)
Kroc Rows - 5x10
Dips - 5x10
Tricep Pushdown - 100 reps

Wednesday - off

Squat 5/3/1 + Jokers + FSL (3x8-10)
RDLs - 5x10
Single Leg Press 5x10

Friday - off

I want to make sure I’m not going Dr. Frankenstein on the templates and that this is in fact an acceptable version. I’m basing this off of the recommendation in the book of:

If your goal is to get stronger, these three things should be present in your training:
• PR set
• Joker sets
• “First Set Last” down set. This can be done for one all-out set, or multiple sets of 10, 8, or 5 reps. Don’t over analyze this!

In addition, I’m trying to use specific assistance lifts discussed (rows, good mornings, dips, etc).

I plan on using this template for quite a while, so I really just want to make sure it’s dialed in to specification and I’m not shitting the bed on reading comprehension.


I’m no expert, but it looks OK. I only saw two things I questioned:

  • I always though FSL sets were 3-5 sets of 5-8 when doing multiple reps
  • Kroc rows aren’t for 5x10. You work up to a top set and max out on reps. If you can do another set with the same weight after, they weren’t Kroc rows.


Maybe I should call them dumbbell rows in that case because I kept the weight fairly heavy but consistent as I don’t want my assistance work to become a drain on the major lifts.

I just went back to the book, sure enough 5-8 reps. I will make that modification to hold true to the program.


Kroc rows won’t drain your main lifts - quite the opposite. I’ve found it less than optimal to do them a day before deadlifts, but beyond that all they do is improve things.


Id change the main lifts, the supplemental and the assistance work. Other than that and leaving out the aerobic work, jumping/throws and overall programming system for 53/1- you are on right track.


The man himself coming in to lay the smack down on me. I appreciate the response.

Just trying to understand how I’m completely missing the boat after reading multiple times. I’m using the 5/3/1 outline in terms of % of training max and rep ranges using the 6 week template (5,3,5/3/1 and increase weight after 3 weeks). Doing the PR sets, then Jokers (assuming I hit PR), then FSL for multiple sets.

I didn’t list conditioning work above, but doing 3 days/ 30 mins per the book.

I didnt realize jumping/throws were a requirement. I had read the Beyond 1.1 article where it talks about that specifically.

Maybe its best to just scrap the above and use the 4 day BBB template. That seems almost impossible to screw up.


Perhaps start with the Beyond 1.1 article, then move onto 1.2, etc… If you’re going from the Beyond book and doing one of the 6 options with one of the 11 templates, I suggest doing one of the 6 options with one of the 11 templates. Beyond 5/3/1 is “training maximally”. You shouldn’t have to program your assistance work, it should be whatever you want/need it to be that day. “This is a program that is for lifters that know what they need and will address these needs with the proper assistance work.” What Jim means by that is if you have to ask, this program is not for you.


Cut out the Jokers - I’ve said this about 1000000 million times on this forum. They are to ONLY be used on weeks 1/3 (3/5/1) of an Anchor program. Again, this has been addressed on this forum.


Stick with 5’s PRO and then find the supplemental work that best fits each lift AND works with the other lifts. this is a balancing act.

Assistance work from the 3 categories, addressed numerous times in inverse proportion to the supplemental work. Use your head!


PR sets and Jokers, (3/5/1) as addressed before. Limited supplemental work (no more than 25 total reps).
Higher assistance work but special attention to the exercises - again from the 3 categories.

Now you have a complete PROGRAM and can ditch the tired templates.

Conditioning - zone 1/2 x 3-5 times a week during Leader - can be cut down to 2 during Anchor with 2 “hard” days of conditioining.

Jumps - 10-15 during Leader - 20 during Anchor


Thanks Jim. I will implement this immediately. I appreciate the responses.


Hey Jim - I am following the PROGRAM you laid out exactly. Only 2 things I had a question about that weren’t spelled out in the program:

  1. From what I’ve read, its 2 cycles of Leader, a deload, 1 cycle of anchor, another deload, and then rinse and repeat. Is that accurate?

  2. In the Leader/Anchor setup, I still increase the TM every cycle assuming I am progressing (hitting the 5 reps every set, every week in leader for instance)… correct?

I intend to follow this program indefinitely as long as I keep progressing, so I just want to make sure I’ve got it structured correctly.