T Nation

New Program After 5-3-1


Hey everyone,

Just finished my 20th week of 5-3-1, and although I love the program and have progressed a lot, I'm getting a little bored and want to change it up for awhile. For any of you who have done the 5-3-1 program, do you have any suggestions of a good follow up program that I could pursue which hits bench, squats and deads?

Any suggestions appreciated!


I've gone back to West-Side.


Oh, BTW your prolly gonna get flamed here, not by me, but, 20 weeks is 5 months. 5.3.1 is not a quick system ok. It's cool if you don't like it but you said you've made some good gains? Why not run it till you stall and then worry about changing it up. IDK just some suggestions.


Yeah I understand what your saying about only being 5 months, but I don't know if its just me, but being on a program much longer bores me a little and that's when my gains stop. I plan on doing it for a few more weeks but just looking in advance, but might try a westside program actually, not a bad idea, thanks for the help.


Have you seen improvements? If so, maybe changing up your assistance setup could help. The beauty about 5/3/1 is its ability for you to mold it how you like(for the most part). If you bought the book, Wendler lists several options for assistance exercises. Hell you dont really even need to follow those either.


I did 5/3/1 for a while. My repetition maxes were going up, but there wasn't much translation to my maxes. And I stalled after a while on the rep maxes after a while. I could've reset my maxes and work my way back up, but doing the same main lifts week in week out was boring me way too much. For variation and work in higher percentages, I started West Side BB template. The difficult part of WS is that it's taken me a while to find the best lifts for me. I did 7 cycles.


The beauty of 5/3/1 is that it is a really flexible program. Wendler had an article here not too long ago (called 5/3/1 reloaded IIRC) where you use singles twice a cycle.

I agree about the maxes. My deadlift went up into the 500 range by doing the BBB but my bench and OHP really went nowhere. Doing singles my OHP went to 235 and my squat finally got above 400. I'm doing the 5/3/1 reloaded version now and am trying the "look like an bodybuilder/perform like an athlete" template for the assist work (very roughly that equates to triples done with as much power as you can muster). So far I'm only a week into it but I'll see what my log says in a month or two.

I would be inclined to stick with 5/3/1 but just change around some of your parameters for the assist work. There's always the two day a week version with a lot of prowler/sled work thrown in the mix.

best of luck,


thanks everyone for the advice


Giving up after 5 months is retarded. I never even changed my 5/3/1 program up until after a full year.

Add in some DE movements to spice it up some.


Where did you find this variation? Is it outlined in Wendlers 5/3/1 book? I have 5/3/1 for football but I wouldnt mind taking a look at the variation you mentioned.


This. It's meant to be long-term. If you're stalling you go back and re-evaluate. If you're bored then maybe put down the iron and pick up an xbox controller.


If you search on this site you'll see the reloaded variation although I think that it originally showed up on the EliteFTS site with Matt Rhodes. But if you search the site for "5/3/1 reloaded" you'll see the template. He also outlines twice a week training.

The assitance work I added myself using the template pulled from Thib's work as I seem to respond well to triples and I like the idea of auto-regulation. I just started though so I don't know how effective it's going to be.



Some ideas:




I did an abbreviated version of the Hepburn program and it worked really well. I would highly recommend it if you're looking to get stronger. Make sure and read the comments section of that article because you'll see that Hepburn himself made some changes to his original program. Essentially he had you doing singles (4 - 10) for as long as you could then moving onto triples (4 - 10) when you couldn't do the singles anymore.



OP- I did 6 cycles of 5-3-1. As a new year's resolution to myself, I decided it would be fun to make myself hurt by doing Smolov Jr. for the month of January, retest my max, then jump back into 5-3-1. I have been continuing with 5/3/1 for the bench press and doing additional upper back work. You don't have to do the entire program, and then again you don't have to quit it completely. If there's a specific lift you want to work on, do 5-3-1 for the other lifts and do a specialization program for the single lift.


That sounds like a pretty good idea actually. I guess that's the beauty of the 5-3-1 that although its good to stick to the exact program, its ok to make a few variations as well.