New to the Forum, Novice to 5/3/1

Hi everyone,

I’ve been been reading posts and articles from the forum for about a year now. I was introduced to Jim’s 5/3/1 about 2 years ago from a former trainer. While introduced to it, the program itself was modified from what Jim had stated in his book. Unfortunately I did have to stop lifting for some time with multiple injuries but have just started back on the 5/3/1 but trying to follow what Jim has written in his book. I must say this has become almost like a religion to me. My current cycle of the program is as follows :

Press - 125


Rack Chins - 50 total
Dips- 50 total

Deadlifts - 320

Good Morning - 20 total
Max Sit ups

Bench - 200

Heavy Carry - distance varies
Dumbbell Press - 5x10

Front Squat - 225

Shrugs - 1 warm up/ 1 set 20
Lunges - 50 total (each leg)

Currently my biggest challenge is Conditioning: Sadly my Gym doesn’t have a sled nor are they planning on getting one. Although they have stated they are looking at some stationary sled/prowler type machine. but until then I have gone to battle ropes and a rope machine that I use for a pulling motion. I’m thinking of just maybe doing sprints on the treadmill? This is were I’m hoping to get fresh idea’s from the group.

Thanks and sorry for the long winded first post.


If you’re a handy man, you can go to lowes, buy a wheelbarrow body and some pvc pipes and make your own prowler and load it up wit sand or rocks or what have you. Works well enough

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Welcome Ken!

As far as conditioning goes I would say just do ANYTHING that gets you hating life. Intervals on the elliptical, bike sprints, treadmill sprints, even complexes using some very light weight. Whatever you have available, just do it HARD.

THIS thread has some different conditioning challenges as well depending on what you have available.

@Alpha has a great youtube channel (Brian Alsruhe) that he has now posted 12 different “mindset challenges” that will not only challenge your cardio but your level of insanity.

Thank you @lord_humongous + @littlesleeper for your welcome and idea’s!

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If you’re not doing much conditioning now you need to add it intelligently. If you throw in a bunch of intensity your lifting will likely suffer. Just like the rest of the program, you want to approach this logically and try to have some sort of programming to it if possible. Just doing a bunch of random crap to feel tired and wasted at the end isn’t going to achieve much and will hurt your lifts. Nothing wrong with making it challenging, but you’d want to work up to it and make room for it elsewhere in the program. So whatever you end up going with, add it slowly and methodically and it’ll pay off in the long run.


@FormerlyFast, as for a plan for conditioning, I was again going to follow something form Jim. He stated Conditioning could be say 3 days for 30 minutes. So being on the 4 day program currently I was thinking either on the off days (which would mean training every day) or looking at doing it at least one day after a lift and the others on two off days, which would allow me to have one day off.

I think I’m more going to try and focus on Treadmill sprints, with a could of minutes of battle ropes and a rope pull machine. But should my gym get the stationary sled push I will switch to that.

If you haven’t developed a solid aerobic base and continue to maintain that base, please don’t do anything like Prowler work or anything similar.

This has been discussed many times on this forum. Build a quality aerobic base - stay in Zone 1 or Zone 2 3-5 times/week for about 30 minutes at a time.


if you seriously want to learn more about 531 than what is in the books then i recommend you join Jim’s personal forum at his website and learn there.