T Nation

No Rack/Bench, Is 5/3/1 Still for Me?


I do not have a squat rack or bench as of rigth now because I train at homeis there still a way I could incorporate Jim Wendlers 5-3-1 program. I was thinking I could make my main lifts Deadlift, log Press, Power Cleans or Snatch, and Floor Presses. Or is there something else I should consider doing.(other than the obvious of saving money for a the equipment I need)


I wouldn't do deads and an oly lift as your main lift. A deadlift and a front squat would probably work well however, and you would still be able to clean the first front squat rep. Log press and floor presses work.


You train for strongman right? Why not include zercher squats? I'm going to try and run it with dips subbed in for bench press and zerchers instead of back squats in a few months.


Take my opinion for what little its worth as I've never done 5-3-1, but the only serious problem I see is that your schedule would mandate doing power cleans or snatches for excessively high reps. Quite apart from the injury risk one high rep top set once a week just doesn't seem like a very efficient way to improve strength in an olympic lift variation.

I have no idea what else you could do as a main lift (pull ups maybe if you've got a dipping belt?) or if you even need to include a fourth movement. Other than that I guess you'd probably need to throw in some higher rep front squats (cleaned into position obviously) or lunges or something as assistance work to balance things out.


I think you'd have trouble cleaning the weight on the 5/3/1 week if doing front squats


Rob and zephead- I have two other traiing partners what if they helped clean the weight(one on each side) and get it set up for front squats. Also how can I set up for zercher squats with out a rack to get under it.


Deadlift the bar, crouch down and rest it on your thighs, then get your arms under. Its's the only way I've figured of squatting heavy without a rack. The partners thing might work but I wouldn't want to be limited if a partner didn't show up or something.


Rob- THats a hell of a idea I have never thought about that and good point I will try the zerchers first and see how they do.


Why don't you make some homemade squat stands out of 2 x 4s? They should be relatively easy to construct and storage shouldn't be much of a problem either. I don't like zerchers as a main movement because your limiting factor will be biceps and forearms (e.g. how much pain you can handle) rather than stressing out your legs. You have to do what you have to do, but I would think out of what you recommended (1) Homemade squat stands (2) partner assisted front squats (3) Zerchers. If


Do you have any pictures or anything of how to construct it.


Wrapping a folded towel around the middle of the bar will help with pain on zerchers and you can still snatch grip it up without having to worry about the towel.

The only problem with the squat stands is the lack of any way of safely dumping the bar (though you could make something for that too) and probably a lack of stability depending on how it is built.


If you're doing zerchers, and if you're flexible enough, just pick it up from the ground. If you're not that flexible -- and it's fine if you're not, I know I'm not -- use some blocks or milk crates or anything to elevate the weights to a comfortable height.

On the other hand, I don't really see a problem with using cleans for second lower body lift. I think this is perfectly acceptable.

Also, if you are training strongman events weekly, you probably don't even need a second lower body lift/day.

Floor presses are a fine substitute, but do you have a plan for getting those into position without a rack?