T Nation

On the Right Track after Long Break and Injury?

Hey Jim and everyone. I’ve been reading here for a while but never posted before. I love the new book! Lots of great ideas, and it got me excited about training again. I hurt my lower back a while back and basically had to stop training for about a year, the spent most of last year program hopping and dicking around, not training consistently or making any progress. I want to get back to 5/3/1 seriously and I’m trying to put a program together based on the new material. Just wanted to run it past you guys and see if I’m on the right track, and if it looks appropriate for me.

I am a 39 year old single dad, 6’, and 185 lbs (I guess you’d call me skinny-fat). Work nights, so I can really only train at home after I take my kid to school and I should be sleeping (which also makes recovery an issue). I figure I can handle 3 days/week of lifting with 1 big lift per day. I walk from 30-40 miles a week at my job, so I’m already getting my easy cardio. I figure once I get going and see how my recovery and low back are holding up, I’ll start adding in some brief running and/or heavy bag workouts a couple days a week for hard conditioning. Obviously I’ll be doing a mobility warm up prior to every workout.

7th Week, TM Test, to see if I am where I think I am with my lifts and get a realistic 85% TM. Then:

Leader, 2 cycles:
10 Jumps/Throws
5s Pro + 5x5 FSL
50-100 assistance from all 3 categories (lots of pushups, chins, pull aparts, and core work)

7th Week, Deload

Anchor, 1 cycle:
15 Jumps/Throws
5/3/1 (w/PRs) + 3x5 FSL
25-50 assistance from all 3 categories (with harder lifts/movements this cycle)

7th Week, TM Test, then move on to maybe BBB or Krypteia prep?

Thanks in advance for any advice. And if Jim reads this, thanks for all you do. You’re writing motivates me to get my shit together and train harder, and to be a better man and a better dad.

I think you usually increase the assistance in the anchor phase. This is offset by a decrease in the supplemental work.

I think you usually increase the assistance in the anchor phase. This is offset by a decrease in the supplemental work.

Yeah, that’s what I thought, and that’s what I originally intended to do. But after reading some older threads and rereading the book, Jim seems to sometimes recommend doing the opposite when using FSL as a leader. So now, I don’t know. Would I be better off switching it back? Or am I just overthinking the assistance?

It probably won’t matter much, but if you can handle the assistance workload in the anchor phase I wouldn’t decrease it from what you were doing in the Leader.

Good point. I’ll just see how this first cycle goes and adjust accordingly after that. I’m starting tomorrow either way. Thanks for the feedback.