T Nation

New to 531 Forever

So, im going to start my journey with 531, my lifts are as follows S/B/D/O 100/85/140/60 (in KG)
My goals are strenght and looking good naked equally, i think my best bet would be BBB as leader, Or 5x5 FSL as leader and anchor?
I used 2 hours after buying the forever and just couldnt wrap my head around it, so many variations, first it says on everylift 5/3/1 sets/reps, then its percentages and everyting x 5, then its 5s PRO.
What is the newest/best variation of those atm?
5s PRO with same/alternated lift 5x10 @ 50-55%?
5/3/1 sets Reps and 5x10 @ 50-55%? (with or without PR sets?)
Forever BBB 3/5/1(also 5s PRO) with 60 - 50 -70 Percentage BBBs?

You basically just watched the 3rd movie in a trilogy and are wondering about previous plot points.

Read the first book and then beyond before reading Forever.

I like 5’s PRO 5x5 FSL for beginners (I like using the same lift supplemental work so I don’t have to move or set up another exercise). This is a variation that even a complete beginner would have a tough time screwing up.

This WILL make you stronger. I wouldn’t even suggest adding +sets until you get a couple cycles under your belt and are sure that your form is solid.


Like sleeper said, Pro 5’s with FSL 5x5 is an excellent program for those starting 5/3/1. The creator of the program has even prescribed that to beginners right here in this very forum, and has implied that that is now the base program.

BBB will turn you into a walking stomach…you would have to eat well above maintenance to survive that program. I don’t see that aligning with your goals.

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Agreed with littlesleeper that 5’s PRO with 5x5 FSL is the best bet for a beginner. It will also give a feeling for 531, and you’ll be less confused/intimidated by the other templates.

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i am on surplus, so u are telling me that BBB will make me big but fat? :smiley:
i understand that if u do BBB as leader(2cycles) u do then 7th week protocol deload, then 3/5/1 with PR sets with 5x5 FSL first and 3 week BUT if i do 5s PRO FSL as leader, what do i do as anchor then ?

well, im not complete beginner, it will make me stronger, but will it make me bigger(im on surplus)

i understand that if u do BBB as leader(2cycles) u do then 7th week protocol deload, then 3/5/1 with PR sets with 5x5 FSL first and 3 week BUT

Training age?
Height, weight?
Best lifts for squat/bench/dead/ohp?

1 year, age 28, 177cm 77kg

S/B/D/O 100/85/140/60 (KG)

My bad, I did see this in your first post and just forgot as I was asking my other questions.

1 year of lifting with this strength level does put you in the “complete beginner” category. Don’t take that as a jab, but as a good thing. You’re still at the point in your lifting career where you will see HUGE strength/muscle gains by executing a proven program consistently as long as the effort is there.

You’ve already overcomplicated things. You don’t need any of this yet.
Just stick to running a few cycles of 5’s PRO with 5x5 FSL. You can play around with some of these extras later this year if you feel the need.

Accurate. The most important and taxing assistance work on BBB is cooking and dishwashing.

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ive been training optimally on program :frowning:
No PR sets? like something to push myself? just 5s PRO and 5x5 FSL? if i start light, i might get to what im lifting now after 5 cycles

You should first probably stop vaping if you want to be serious about lifting.

Again, read the first two books like I mentioned earlier. If you think that lifting lower poundage per set than now if you start 5 pros and FSLS you have missed the point of 5/3/1 completely.

It is not a simple rep/set template. It’s the WHY you use said template that is important

That depends on what he’s vaping.

I had assumed something like this https://youtu.be/iKFhNP9ku-c

i know the base meaning of 531, but feels odd that the 531 for beginners has PR sets every week to push the slack, when i will start 5s PRO FSL, the first set that will challenge me will be 6th weeks last set and every other set are like my warmups, and FSL sets will be my first warmup weights when i start building up to my working weights, while being on surplus, this just feels kinda pointless, or am i just retarded?

btw if u dont have anything else to say that buythe books and not willing to help then idk

Your overthinking it and making it more complicated than it needs to be. Follow the 5x5 template for a solid 6 months, a year, maybe 2, you will be surprised at how sticking to a simple program and taking it seriously will get you strong! Be consistent, don’t be a pussy with the lifts, make regular and little increases, eat well, then reassess things. If you have a session where you feel like Thor, have a crack at a PR, don’t get hung up on them though. Once you’ve built a good base and have a decent squat , dead and Bench, then start fucking with things.
The whole PR sets, Joker sets and all the other stuff gets everyone way too worked up.

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You are over thinking and over complicating it. Trust that Jim knows what he is doing, pick a template and do it without tweaking it. If that doesn’t help than nothing I or anyone says will.

If you read the content of the books, not just the workout you wouldn’t be confused hence my constant references to it. I not arguing, I’m just not going to be able to articulate 30 pages of philosophy into one post for you.

yes i might be and i know that jim knows his shit, but on forever page 59 its laid out as 531 sets/reps, and on page 61 its laid out as 5s PRO, and then it says that 5s PRO FSL can be used as a leader and as anchor there is PR Sets and FSL

So u are saying now that i can run JUST 5s PRO without ANY anchors for lets say 6 months, as jim says one program should be ran for 2-3 cycles? do i do old school deload or 7th week protocol TM test/deload after 6 weeks? as 7th protocol deload is used between leader and anchor

Okay so i can just run 5s PRO 5x5 FSL for many cycles without swapping anything? just deload after 6 weeks?