T Nation

New to 5/3/1 Program


Hey everyone,
Im a 45 yr old male,5’9" and currently at 258lbs. I started eating healthier about a year which I weighed 310lbs. So far I have lost weight just by dieting and no excercise. Only excercise was walking 10000+ steps at work.
I looked into joining a gym but decided to but some equipment for my house. I was looking into workout programs and there are so many it gets confusing. The SL 5x5 came up but found a lot of people moved to the 5/3/1 program.
I would like to use the program but not sure what book to purchase and go off of, There is the 2nd edition and the Beyond.
I did read I can use this program and add some bicycling to off days to aid in fat loss. That is something I really would like to do.
Up to date all my blood work has come back normal when it was in terrible ranges before, blood pressure is controlled and almost off medication.
Im really looking forward to focusing n my strength and get in the best shape ive been.
Any help is appreciated


Hi, welcome on the forum!

Probably Beyond to start with as there are a lot of different templates in it and it covers the philosophy of 531 too.

If you type “531 for beginners in google”, Jim gives a program for people starting out. He also talks about doing conditioning like walking/bike. I’d recommend that. The book will definitely help you understand what you are doing and for what purpose so I would definitely get it. It explains the different terms Jim is using too.

Keep it simple at the start and master the basics while keeping your diet on track

Good luck!


Congratulations on your weight loss and your decision.
I think you can just get the latest book “Forever”, there is a beginner prep program but the rest is more advanced.
The Strong lifts or Starting strength programs are good to start with then when you got the max out you can move to 5/3/1.
There isn’t really any explanation of the lifts in 5/3/1, that you can learn from Rippetoe and others.


x2 as above do SS or stronglfts until they become a grind then hit up 5/3/1

Boring but Big original(not the challenge) is a good place to start and the volume will help lean you out


Hey, well done to you. I’ve just joined the forum myself but it’s great to hear. My own situation was that I started off with typical gym routines then found Stronglifts which I did until I found 531 and then did that. I had some time off training and came back to Stronglifts but I’m looking through the forum now at the 7th week protocol as I didn’t do that last time. I’d agree with above SS or Stronglifts are great beginner routines and squatting 3 days a week is good for a beginner so that they’re able to lock down the form by the time they’re starting to add some decent weight to the bar.