T Nation

Program for Body Re-Composition

Hi Guys,

I have been to the gym on and off for like 2+ years now but I have been super inconsistent because of my poor planning and general lack of knowledge. My body type is skinny fat and I was looking to cut before bulking but then I came across this magically process - Body re-composition!!!

A lot of those youtube channels like Altheanx, Jeff Nippard etc swear it works for beginners and further research on google checks out. My question is I am doing the 5/3/1 workout and wondering if this will work with the body recomp routine?

Has anyone had any luck with body re composition? What program did you use?

I am 174cm tall and I weigh around 69kg right now, body fat is probably 20-25% (I have attached a body pic). My maintenance calories is around 2100cals, I will be eating at 500cal deficit so around 1600cals which puts me at losing 0.5kg a week. My protein intake will be 2.3x body weight in kg which is 150g. Assuming I am only losing fat, after 24 weeks or so I would lose 11.5kg, all of which is fat and that puts me at a 10% body fat after which I would start clean bulking and switch to a hypertrophy program.

My strategy for training program is to use a strength building program like 5/3/1 to increase strength while body recomping. I am really hoping some personal trainers or guys with some experience in body re composition and confirm whether this is a solid plan.

5/3/1 is 4 days per week. One main exercise which follows the 5/31 routine followed by two accessory workouts which follow 5 x 10reps and ab workout. With my 5/3/1 exercise, last set will be to failure. Every week i increase upper body exercises by 2.5kg and lower body by 5kg (eventually it will taper out to 2.5kg). Exercises are as follows with first being the 5/3/1 main exercise

Day 1 - Squats, Leg Extensions, Calf exercises
Day 2 Bench, Incl Bench, Dumbell rows
Day 3 Dead lift, Romanian dead lifts, weighted hip thrusts
Day 4 Landmine shoulder press, close grip bench press, pull ups

Please let me know if you need anymore info. Thank you for your assistance.

How you eat is going to play a bigger role over a given routine in most cases.


Go for 2.5-2.75g protein per kilo when in a deficit.

This progression model is not the one laid out in any 5/3/1 program I know of.

Some 531 templates will work well, yes. Which one are you using?

This is not a recomp

This is not 531. You would do well to (re)read the book, as you’re missing the point drastically here.

These are not smart assistance exercise choices. I think you should pick an assistance template from the 531 book.

1 Like

I am using this one with a few modifications

only difference is I am going up in weight increments of 2.5kg for all main exercises each week and for accessories I am going 2.5kg every two weeks.

Please elaborate? I am following what the links said in my OP

I did read the books and other than the diet I seem to be pretty much following it? and my question is in regards to wether this diet will work

I am more or less following his assistance work suggested in Triumvirate (see attached screenshot)

. Only difference is with deadlift I do RDLs and calf exercises cause I reckon I am getting enough lower back work and would like to further focus on quads.

Ah you are correct, I miss read lbs for kgs. It should all be 2.5kg increments. Thanks!!

Most of my issues are nitpicking or semantics. My biggest concern is the lack of understanding of the 531 progression model though. Adding weight every week is absolutely not 531.

I’m also unconvinced that 531 will work well with landmine presses, but feel free to prove me wrong.

1 Like

I’m surprised no one has brought it up yet because i see many of the seasoned guys bring it up on similair threads, but theres a reason most experienced guys say either choose to cut or build. Protein is to rebuild muscle, carbs and fat are for fuel. I could be weong here, but i think at 1600 cal and trying to cram in 150g if protein, you may struggle to fuel your body properly, especially for an intense weight program like 531 can be.

I’ve used 531 to get stronger on a 1700cal diet. It can be done.

I think this whole strategy is being over-thought, OP. You are a rank beginner, it seems. Eat reasonable and get stronger. You don’t have the muscle mass yet to be overthinking all of this just yet.

The point being made specifically about 5/3/1…you understand that you do not literally add weight every week I hope. You add weight for three weeks during a four week cycle, and then you reset for another cycle, slightly increasing the weights compared to the last cycle. Kinda like taking 3 steps forwards, then 2 steps back (and repeating). What you are describing sounds more like a Starting Strength plan or something. Which would also be a fine place to start, but it is a different animal entirely.

1 Like

I’ll just add to this, to not confuse @hhlordnugget further. Every week, more weight goes on the bar, yes. But, you increase your training max after the completion of every cycle — not every week. A cycle is three weeks long. In the first iteration of 5/3/1 I read, the trainee would deload on every 4th week. Now, it’s every 7th week.

So you’d do,

Cycle 1:
Week 1
Week 2 (slightly heavier than week 1)
Week 3 (slightly heavier than week 2)

Cycle 2 (increase training max):
Week 4
Week 5 (slightly heavier than week 4)
Week 6 (slightly heavier than week 5)
Week 7 deload, then start a new cycle by increasing your training max.

Heavier is determined by using higher percentages of your training max.

To add to this:

OP, just read the book. Or reread it.

1 Like

Honestly, even just looking up Wendler’s articles here on this site might be helpful. He lays it out pretty clear, if I remember.

1 Like
1 Like

x2, read a bunch of Wendlers “Blood and Chalk” articles

Ah yes sorry all you guys. I hate describing maths, I fked it up. If you see the excel sheet I linked, you will see the weights for main lifts goes up every cycle. I am really sorry. Anways it seems like the post has detracted away from what is a good program for recomp to thats not how you 5/3/1. So just to get back on topic, anyone try a body recomposition as a beginner?

I started lifting again around August/September of last year.

I ran a highly modified version of 531 twice a week on a reasonable deficit. Went from ~240lbs to around 185lbs (from memory) and got significantly stronger (but still weak) with minimal cardio, but reasonable daily activity levels. I also had minimal sleep during this time. So yes, you can do it.