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Rest Periods? Light Conditioning? Complexes? Favorite Templates?

(Wall of text alert)

I’ve been running variations of 531 for a little over a year now. I’m definitely a pretty devout fan. While I’ve made more progress on other programs, I was younger, had less stressful jobs, and my joints felt like they were thrown in a wood chipper. So I’m devoted at this point.

I just have some simple questions that Jim may have considered trivial, or I may have just over looked in the book, as well as looking for others varied experience; now that I’m not totally blind to the programming like when I started. Also some personal experience to note.

  1. How do you guys handle rest times? For the big lifts, I slam through my warm-up sets without rest. I typically rest until I feel recovered during the working sets. Then during assistance, in try to super/giant set what I can and keep my rest ~1 minute. I also have to account for 2 other people, so I like to hustle whenever possible.

  2. I’ve been alternating pull-ups at the start of every training day.

Mon: 5×5, final set to failure.
Tuesday: Progressive overload, generally get to about 5x5 capping out around +50lbs.
Thursday: 5×5 +25lbs, followed by 5 reps bodyweight between each set of OHP
Friday: wild card. Its deadlift day, so if I feel up to snuff I’ll do a 5×5, or I may nix it if I’m feeling run down.

I’ve seen awesome progress, at 250lbs I can do a pretty extensive number of sets at 5 reps, and around 17 dead hand 1 second pause pull ups if I’m fresh, and its doesnt seem to negatively impact the rest of the workout.

  1. What do you consider “light conditioning”? This is definitely a weak point, and I typically try to superset what I can, as well as tag on anything to get my heart rate up during warm up, and post workout. I’ve just been doing 40 jumping jacks, followed by something a bit more intense, either burpees, or battle rope, or mountain climbers for sets of 3 with minimal rest. Is this a decent starting point, or am I just fucking this all up?

3b. What are everyone’s thoughts on complexes 2 times a week for heavy conditioning? I dont lift to be good at anything other than my job and… lifting. So using a barbell complex seems logical, I get to train movement patterns, while giving my heart and mind a run for its money?

  1. What are your favorite 531 program? What was the most efficient for your goal, and what was said goal? I’d just like some input moving forward, I may be more inclined to try programs that didnt appeal to me right away.

My personal favorite is Coffinworm so far. I hate assistance, I consider it boring. While its necessary, the pace of CW and the number of barbell sets allows me to superset in most of it, which takes away a lot of the boring nature of the assistance.

I cant speak for most effective, but I ran variations of standard 531 mixed in with FSL and Widowmakers for the majority of the year and am marginally stronger in all lifts, especially squat and bench. Bench went up roughly 30lbs, squat went up 40lbs.

For what period you raised the strength of the bench and squat. For a year? 30 lb for Bench and 40 lbs for squat is not much in my opinion. You must be a more advanced lifter, and your progress is a little slower. If so, it’s a normal thing.
I have several times I took a decision whether to start 5/3/1 because I simultaneously want to take off some fat and not eat much. I’m going to watch the protein at least 1.6. A few months ago I started the program triumvirate and I liked it. I made a mistake to stop the program. Last week I started the program again and crossed this part of the cycle with 5/5/5 + I had a slight knee pain and did not do the squat 5 + but only single repetitions with weight gain.
I would personally like such a program because progress is slower. Also I do one lift per week of each of the four lifts and thus my muscles and joints do not do a few times the same lifting a week. I’m 46 years old after all.
I would be happy for others to share what they have achieved for the time they have been running the program.

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It was about a year, I should note: this was during reconstruction/restoration on my house, long working hours to fund the reconstruction, and a general shit diet. I’m by no means advanced, but my bench topped out at 375, and squat topped out at an ugly ass 420 as of November. So I’m past newbie gains unfortunately.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend anything 531 for weight loss. It’s a great straight forward program, but its distinctly built around lifting, eating, and otherwise remaining healthy. Weightloss is achievable, but there are programs more catered to that end result.

Otherwise man, it’s great. Just dont overthink it like I tend to do. Do your prescribed lifts and weights. If it says do 100 reps assistance for pull, then just do the damn reps.

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You are an elite lifter, once you have a 375 bench, that’s about 190 kg. Few people in this forum have such a bench.
5/3/1 I will not do it for weight loss because it is a strength program. I just won’t eat much. However, I am over 30% fat that is energy stored. I’m going to experiment for a few months to see if you can both power and burn fat at the same time.
I think in the case of thicker people this can happen. I am also running a beginner lift, which will further empower me because I have not reached my potential.