T Nation

Nerraw's 5\3\1 and More

So I have decided to give 5\3\1 a go. But first some background.

I am 6’3" 22 years old 225lbs about 25%bf(thru bio impedance) and 23% by rope and choke. I am in the Army but have been tasked out from my unit for the past 6 months to do taxes. Being as such I have been doing PT with the tax center, which was weak and have fallen off the wagon. I started the tax center at about 210lbs. I am now 225lbs(It was very little muscle gain, maybe 2lbs at best.)

So I am back doing PT with my unit and will be forced to get back into shape. However I can always add more work on top of the PT that is sure to come. Now I know that 5\3\1 is not a weight loss program by any means but I also need to get my strength up to par since my job requires a good amount of heavy(to me at least) lifting.

I am told that the PT schedule is going to look like this but is subject to change:
Mondays-Run day. Most likely a distance run for an hour but can be running sprints,stairs,hills,etc.
Tuesdays-Upper Body. Body weight exercises. Then 30 mins in the gym. Usually benching.
Wednesdays-Ruck march. 50lb pack. about 3 miles.
Thursdays-Ab focused exercises.
Fridays-Run day again.

Now for the fun stuff my after work-work.5\3\1.
Actual Maxes:
Military Press 120lbs
Deadlift 235lbs
Bench Press 205lbs
Squat 185lbs(have never trained squat before)

Training Maxes(rounded up)
Military Press 108lbs
Deadlift 212lbs
Bench Press 185lbs
Squat 167lbs

Mon-Military Press
15x5 with assistance.
alternating with
10x5with assistance.
Good mornings
Hanging Leg Raises
Thurs-Bench Press
DB Bench Press
DB Row
Leg Press
Leg Curl
Sun-Off\Short run depending on how I feel.

All the assistance work doesnt have a set weight and will be more off how I feel that day. However I will be using a weight that I will start to have trouble with at rep 12 and 8 respectfully. Also I know that the assistance work is the exact same as Jim described in the Triumvirate but I figured that is a good as any place to start “experimenting”.

Also at the beginning of each workout day I run for ten minutes at about 6mph. I am aware that you should save the running for the end but I like having heart rate up a little.

I realize also that my deadlift,squat and to a lesser extent my military press are quite lacking compared to my(weak ass) bench but those are lifts that I have never really put any focus into.(especially squats, I think I squatted once back when I was 16.) So my form is my limiting factor in getting a good test of my max I THINK. Pretty sure that I will get some good progress in those since I am more or less untrained in them once I learn better form.

And as if this wasnt already long enough I know am obligated to provide my proposed diet.
Well first I plan on eating like shit on Saturdays. The whole sha-bang-a-bang, beer,soda,steaks,ribs,pasta,potato salad, chips and dip. And also on Wednesdays I plan on a carb up meal for lunch.

Other than that here is my very broad plan:
Sunday-Lots of lean meat and a couple salads one sandwich.
0500 Wake up.
0830 Breakfast 3 hard boiled eggs, 1 cup(ish) cottage cheese. 1 piece of toast. 1 banana\apple. With 1 scoop Grow. 2g fish oil. 1 scoop superfood.
1030 2 scoops Low Carb Metabolic Drive.
1200-1230ish Lunch: As much protein I can get from the chow hall with a salad w\ cheese and dressing.
1530 2 scoops Low Carb Metabolic Drive.
1700 1 scoop Power Drive 5g of creatine(week1,2,4)(week 3)1 scoop Surge WF.
1715 Workout
1830\When my workout is done. 1 Scoop Surge Recovery.
2000 I can of Chunky Soup( I know it is shit but it is easy)
2130 2 scoops Low Carb Metabolic Drive. A cap full of Olive Oil.(about a Tbsp.)
2200+ Sleepy Poo nighty nighty.

I know its not ideal on timing but I will admit that I am lazy and also try my best to work around getting two meals at the chow hall a day.

Also goals I know is a big one. Well here are my short term and “long” term.
By November 15th 2010.(Will be going to Afghanistan shortly after this.)
Military Press 120lbs=140lbs
Deadlift 235lbs=275lbs
Bench Press 205lbs=225lbs
Squat 185lbs=225lbs
I figure those are very optimistic goals but I dont want to fall more than 25lbs total short.

As for “long” term. I dont have specific goals in this section. Just by the time I get back from Afghanistan in like Spring of 2012 I hope that my big three will be high enough that I can be in the 1000lbs club.
Other than that long ass post that is pretty much it.

Please let me know of any suggestions\comments\advice\CONCERNS you may have.

Tuesday I went to the gym and did my monday workout since the gym was closed due to the holiday. So no off day in the middle of this week.

I also learned an important lesson on the first day. Hunt down a pair of 2 1/2’s before you even start or be SOL.

So I did my 10 min jog.
Then Military Press
95x5(completely slipped my mind this was an all out set, probably had a good 3 left)

Then 15x4(fell short) with 120pounds assist dips
alternating with
10x3,8x1(fell short again)with 140 pounds assist chin-ups.

So the day was all around a disaster as far as the plan goes, but I felt great afterwards so I wont mark it as a loss.

Wednesday was Tuesdays workout
And another learning experience. I went in there with the plan of doing good mornings for assistance however I have never done them before so it felt to weird so I ditched them for back extensions until next week when I plan on knowing the proper form. Also a little overzealous on choosing hanging leg raises so I did them in the dip combo tower. But as for the day it went like this.

10min jog.

Back extensions(body weight)
15x4(fell short,pain)
Leg raises
15x2,10x1(fell short,pain)

I usually get a lower back\hip pain from deads on my right side. I have been doing some stretches lately to try and correct the problem. Dont know how effective it has been. I love doing deads but this really limits me, the pain starts way before I feel like I cant do anymore reps. End up walking like an old man for two days after usually. Going to see about going to the doctor sometime this next week to see if they have any suggestions.(Being in the army you have to go in and complain about a pain for like a month before they stop just giving you Motrin and let you see a real Doctor.)

So military press day was fun\satisfying. Deads day sucked.

I just found a place like 20mins from here where I can get a 60min Thai Massage for about 35euro=43.75USD. It will take me about 15USD to make it there and back. Might as well get some good food while I am out there, another 30USD at most. So I figure the Saturday before week 3 and the Saturday of week 3 I will go out there and get one.

Today was the workout it was suppose to be.

Bench Press

DB Bench Press
15x3 with 45lbs 12x1 with 45lbs
alternating with
Single Arm DB Rows
10x4 with 50lbs
Decided on 4 sets so I could get some preacher curls in.
10x3 with 60lbs
alternating with
10x3 pushups
10 min jog.

After I warmed up I got through the Bench Press pretty quickly, but ended up falling short on my last set of DB BP. Kinda weird. I think I was going a little to quick. Although I am putting today down as a sucess since I got the closest I have got to completing the planned workout. I useally just go in and do whatever I feel like without thinking to deeply about it. I am looking forward to tomorrow so I can work on my horrible squat. I am really looking forward to next week when I get to move the weight up.

My first squat day.


Leg Press Feet Close
15x2,13x1 90lbs
Leg Press Wider
15x2 90lbs

Seat Calf Raises Neutral Toes
10x1 90lbs(was waiting for machine)

Single Leg Curls
10x4 35lbs
10x1 40lbs

Barbell Shrugs

Seated Row
170x10(last two sucked)

DB Shrugs
10x1 80lbs

10 min jog.

Today was pretty good. Hit muscles in my legs that dont usually get any attention. Week 1 as a whole was a okay. Definite learning experience. My bench is the only thing that pain isnt what stops me. My squat is unbalanced but bearable. Military Press, I think I am doing them slightly wrong, I feel like my muscles can do more but the form blows. And finally the deads, I love doing them but they end up hurting like a bitch! Also think that I am going to move to add in BBB so that I can learn the movements a little better.

So here is the purposed workouts for this week.

Monday-Military Press

Dips 15x5 alternating with
Chins 10x5

15min jog.


Good Mornings12x5(gonna give them another try)
Hanging Leg Raises15x5

15min jog


Thursday-Bench Press

DB Bench15x5 alternating with
SA DB Rows 10x5

15 minute jog


Leg Press15x5 hopefully alternating with
Leg Curls10x5

I moved my cardio to the end since it affected my Bench Pressing last week doing it first.

All those last sets were suppose to read 3+


Military Press

Dips with 125lbs of assistance(thought it was 120)
15x5 alternating with
Chins 140lbs of assistance
Chins 155lbs of assistance

15min jog.

Today went well minus the chins. My back has been doing considerably better. Been more cognoscent of posture and stretching.


190x10(couldve done 12,shouldva done 8,my form started to really suck)

Good Mornings
(fell short,pain)

Leg Raises in dip tower
10x2(fucking pain)

10min jog instead of 15min(pain)

Another deads day gone wrong. Although I do have to say that I kinda like Good Mornings, still need to work on them though.

Bench Press

DB Bench Press
15x5 with 45lb DB
alternating with
DB Single Arm Rows
10x5 with 55lb DB

Preacher Curl
50lb total EZbar
60lb total EZbar

Didnt run since my left hamstring was tender(more than sore).
Other than the run I accomplished what I set out to do but felt like the day was lacking somehow.

Thinking that next week I am going to move to BBB.

I’m using nearly the exact same 5/3/1 template as you - keep up the solid work.

[quote]Frooshy186 wrote:
I’m using nearly the exact same 5/3/1 template as you - keep up the solid work.[/quote]

I’ll try. How long have you been using your template for?

Damn injuries and I am only going on my third week!!! The back thing was before this, but right now my left hamstring is tender. I am not going to do squats today cause of it. I will see how I feel tomorrow.

All of 4 days haha. It feels good even for the short amount of time I’ve been on it though.

Better to let stuff heal than risk reinjury - even though that does suck mentally.

My hamstring felt much better yesterday so I went to the gym to get in my squat day.


Leg Press 90lbs
15x3 Feet Close
15x2 Feet Wider

Leg Curls
10x2 60lbs
10x1 80lbs
10x2 90lbs

Didnt get to do cardio cause the gym closed.

Today first day of Week 3.

Military Press

15x3 125lb assist
15x1 100lb assist
14x1 100lb assist

10x4 140lb assist
9x1 140lb assist

No Cardio, ran enough in the morning.

Today. First “real” day back with my unit. Worked much later than the past 6 months spent alot of time in awkward positions. Back doesnt feel too good. I am sure that I could deadlift today but I have to run stairs tomorrow and that really flares up my “injury”.

So I will not be doing third week deadlifts. I also took into account my schedule for the next three months. Well the end of next week I am going on leave for two weeks then after that I will be in the field for a month and halfish, then busy busy training. So gym time is sure to be limited. I may have to move to a 2 day a week format. Which is fine but I like the 4 day format. Oh well, Improvise,Adapt and Overcome.

Bench Press(Day Early since I got CQ tomorrow)

DB Bench Press
15x5 with 45lb DB
alternating with
DB Single Arm Rows
10x5 with 55lb DB

Preacher Curl
8x1 with 50lb EZbar
8x4 with 60lb EZbar

I havent done 5 3 1 or pretty much anything in the gym for months. Been in the field and on leave. I will not be doing 5 3 1 until downrange. However I need a plan to train the shit outta myself this whole next month in a attempt to use up a bunch of supps that I wont be able to take with me to Afghanistan. The “plan” might just end up being to smoke myself with body weight exercises and make every attempt to recover so that I can do it again.

What part of Germany are you in?

I’m doing the 5/3/1 as well. I maxxed on Dead, Squat, and Bench at 210 due to limited plates at the time. My overhead press was 125. So we’re right at the same starting point.

Good lifting!