T Nation

Self-Made Program Critique

After being on a Modified SS for the last 4 months, I decided that Wendler’s 5/3/1 program looks very good and have decided to switch over. But, I would like to make a couple changes, and would like some advice.

First, here are some stats-

Height- 5ft 7
Weight-158-162

Dead-lift-305x5 working set.
Squat- 210x5 working set.
Bench-135x3. Previously used DB bench with 65lb.
Overhead press-90x5 working set.

The goal is strength gain. Size is not particularly a goal for me.

The plan is as follows-

Mon-
Deadlift
Week 1 of the 5/3/1 program, minus the all-out portion of the last set.
95% of 1rm. 3 sets of two.

Bench
Week 1 of 5/3/1.

Assistance work-
Pull-ups- 3 sets of 10.
Dips- 5 sets of 6.

Tues-
Squat
Week 1 of 5/3/1.
95% of 1rm. 3 sets of two.

Overhead press
Week 1 of 5/3/1.

Assistance work-
DB rows- 85lb, 3 sets of 5.
DB bicep curls- 4 sets of six.
Planks and one-handed planks.

Weds-
Deadlift
Week 1 of 5/3/1.

Bench-
Week 1 of 5/3/1.
95% of 1rm. 3 sets of two.

Assistance work.

Thurs-
Squat
Week 1 of 5/3/1.

Overhead press
Week 1 of 5/3/1
95% of 1rm, 3 sets of two.

Assistance work.

Friday-
Deadlift
The regular week of 5/3/1.

Bench
The regular week of 5/3/1.

Assistance work.

Sat-
Squat
The regular week of 5/3/1.

Overhead press
The regular week of 5/3/1.

Assistance work.

I plan on raising the weights as Wendler states. 10lb for squat/Deadlift and 5 lb for bench/overhead press per month.

So if strength is your goal follow the program as it was written. I don’t know why people want to bastardize programs because think their shit is the better but good luck anyways.

What is the point of the switches you’re making?

Most Lilly another troll

Ya, I realized that I didn’t explain them.

The point of lifting daily is that I do not seem to make any sort of progress without a lot of work. I previously followed SS as Rippetoe wrote, and saw little progress on everything besides the Deadlift. After switching to lifting daily and with slightly less frequent progression, I saw better result.

The 95% work has less personal backing. I included them largely because they are not all that tiring and because I enjoy making a large effort. A more practical reason would be that heavy doubles are said to be good at strength progression, but seeing as how 5/3/1 is a strength program they’re probably unnecessary.

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:
Most Lilly another troll[/quote]

Thank you for the vote of confidence.

Sadly, I am not a troll.

ok so your not a troll you did a modified version of ss for 4 months and you still cant bench your bodweight so then you decided to run a modified version of 531, and strength is your goal. YOU SHOULD TRY RUNNING 531 AS FOLLOWS I STARTED 531 A YEAR AGO WITH A 275 BENCH!!! my bench was stuck at that for that past 2 years of just fucking around in the gym and doing my own thing well i just hit a 315 bench at 190lbs after running 531 for a year all my lifts have gone up. Just read the 531 book. You did read the book right?

While my squat doubled within the last four months and my deadlift went from 230ish max to 320 max.

I agree that my bench and overhead press are weak. I don’t know why. It makes no real sense to me why they’d more or less stay still, or more accurately improve at a very slow rate, while my squat and deadlift improved dramatically after a three month hiatus due to travel.

I am not doing my own thing for the hell of it. I chose SS because it apparently recommended for beginners, and saw progress on everything besides bench and overhead press.

I then realized that continuing to do the reps stated in SS daily was starting to wear me down and chose to switch over to 5/3/1 to see what happens. I chose 5/3/1 because the premise of improving slowly but steadily appealed to me. Plus, I felt that it would actually leave me strength to test my PRs and push myself at a much higher level.

I’ve done the above for the past week and have felt much better than I have after work-outs previously and have been consistently breaking PRs with little effort.

I did a 320 deadlift yesterday and know that I can do 330+ on a good day. I did a 225x2 squat for 3 sets on Tues and am confident that I can do a 250+ for a single. I did a 145x2 bench yesterday and am confident I can bench my body-weight for a single as well. Hell, even my overhead press seems to be much stronger than I thought. Clearly I underestimated my body’s potential and have been training poorly. The entire point of the above plan is to see how far I can push it without breaking myself.

The 95% of 1rm sets allow me to train at my near max while still at a low enough rep so that I don’t exhaust myself. The week 1 of 5/3/1 daily allows me to train form and keep my muscles loose and actually capable of lifting. For some reason, my muscles freeze up if I stop any particular lift for more than four days.

But I wanted to see what people thought of it before I continued on.

Clearly I made a mistake. I completely forgot the attitude on this site that I’ve lurked on for some time. Anyone who experiments based upon what they’ve seen work for their body while trying their best to apply the knowledge of those much more skilled/knowledgeable than they are are treated as trash and equated to folks who completely ignore all advice and just go “la la la.”

You are so far away from the 5/3/1 principals with this thing you made. One of the GIANT ideas behind 5/3/1 is slow and steady progress. You’ve done away with that by making the progression 3x faster. You’ve also added a ton of heavy work ON TOP of the 5/3/1 work. You also have barely any back work.

You either need to do one of the 5/3/1 templates Jim has written or do something completely different. What you have written does not adhear to the principals of 5/3/1 AT ALL.

My advice would be to just do the progran as written, Jim knows a hell of a lot more about programming than you.

Also get rid of your ego. That is whats holding you back. Ypu think you can lift everyday and progress 3x faster than the program calls for. That obviously isn’t going to work.

Also, eat more for christ sake.

I don’t mean to come off as a dick. Hey do what you want if you keep making gains and your lifts go up don’t change anything, but if you don’t make any progress don’t blame it on ss or 531.

First of all, I want to applaud you on the fact that you’re paying attention enough to say “hey, this part seems to work for me, and this part doesn’t”, and that you spent a bit of time actually testing out your theories.

But… what Chris said.

5/3/1 may not be the right program for you, based upon what you seem to be looking for. Then again, it may be exactly what you’re looking for, you just don’t realize it.

I’d suggest doing 5/3/1 (or really any program) as written for awhile, before ever considering modifications. You need to give it a chance first. When you’ve determined what’s working in it, and what’s not, then you can start looking at how it can be changed. Even then, I probably wouldn’t actually make any changes until running it by some people here.

[quote]magick wrote:
After being on a drastically Modified SS for the last 4 months, I decided that Wendler’s 5/3/1 program looks very good and have decided to switch over to something vaguely resembling it. But, I would like to make a couple huge changes, and would like some advice.[/quote]
Fixed.

[quote]But I wanted to see what people thought of it before I continued on.

Clearly I made a mistake. I completely forgot the attitude on this site that I’ve lurked on for some time. Anyone who experiments based upon what they’ve seen work for their body while trying their best to apply the knowledge of those much more skilled/knowledgeable than they are are treated as trash and equated to folks who completely ignore all advice and just go “la la la.”[/quote]
That’s not really the case at all. There’s nothing wrong with trying to design your own program using smart methods. Training is a lifelong process and it’s most certainly learn-as-you-go. But there’s a difference between “modifying” a coach’s routine and switching out key components for the near-opposite and hoping for the best.

If you saw results from whatever you did, good on you, but it’s because you were doing “magick’s 3x5-ish daily program” and now you’re doing “magick’s 6-day a week program that uses sets of 5, sets of 3, and sets of 1.” Calling them “modified Starting Strength” or “Modified 5/3/1” is confusing the issue.

If that’s “the entire point”, and you believe you progress best when training more frequently, why did you choose not to find a well-designed program that originally called for 5-6 training days per week, instead of trying to Frankenstein one together based on plans that never meant to be used that way?

Analogy-time… If I’m looking for a meatloaf recipe and I find one by Alton Brown that calls for mixing 2 pounds of ground beef and 1 pound of ground pork cooked in an oven, but I decide to make the recipe with 1 pound of ground lamb and 1 pound of ground turkey and cook it on a grill, I’m not going to say “check out this modified Alton Brown recipe I made.”

Lol Chris your meatloaf analogy is awesome I love analogies and meatloaf so it awesome. I actually am eating meatloaf right now so it makes me happy.

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:
I don’t mean to come off as a dick. Hey do what you want if you keep making gains and your lifts go up don’t change anything, but if you don’t make any progress don’t blame it on ss or 531.[/quote]

On a general note, I apologize for being a whiny brat in my last post. I let other annoying occurrences that happened more or less at the time I was posting bleed into my post, and that was supremely childish of me.

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
You are so far away from the 5/3/1 principals with this thing you made. One of the GIANT ideas behind 5/3/1 is slow and steady progress. You’ve done away with that by making the progression 3x faster. You’ve also added a ton of heavy work ON TOP of the 5/3/1 work. You also have barely any back work.[/quote]

I’m not sure how I’m trying to progress 3x faster than what the program says. The modifications that I made was lifting daily with the actual planned sets on Fri/Sat and with a 95% effort worked into it. The increase in weight occurs only once a month as stated in Wendler’s program.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
If you saw results from whatever you did, good on you, but it’s because you were doing “magick’s 3x5-ish daily program” and now you’re doing “magick’s 6-day a week program that uses sets of 5, sets of 3, and sets of 1.” Calling them “modified Starting Strength” or “Modified 5/3/1” is confusing the issue.
[/quote]

Fair enough. What I’ve basically tried to do with this was take the concept behind 5/3/1 that I found appealing, that one doesn’t have to be lifting 3x5 or 5x5 in order to improve, and took it and ran with it. Obviously what I made here is different from 5/3/1, and calling it a modified 5/3/1 doesn’t work because modifying any program means it’s no longer that program.

In any case, I’ll stick to this for a couple of months and see what happens. Don’t worry though, I won’t whine about lack of progress if that occurs. Lifting is entirely about me and any failure to improve will be on my part.

If you want extra frequency and heavy singles/doubles and such, why not just run 5/3/1 for Powerlifting, which allows the heavy singles, combined with the assistance from Boring But Big?

5/3/1 for Powerlifting allows heavy singles on the big lifts.

With the Boring But Big assistance template, you could use the squat for deadlift assistance, press for bench assistance - and vice versa, giving you loads of volume and frequency with the big 4.

OR… if you are feeling insane, do the 5/3/1 routine laid out in this thread:

As someone who lost years of progress through trying to do my own thing… I strongly recommend follow the program correctly. 6 days of 5/3/1 per week is not the way.

Good luck!

Your program is absolutely terrible.

You want to do 95% 2 more times after already having done the sets of 5,3,or 531 ?

Yeah, you clearly have no idea what you’re doing.

Please OP, do yourself the favor and run a program that will get you to a bodyweight bench before you try to make your own.

if you want to do a follow up on the 5/3/1 try doing it with a starr 5x5 type cals for example
dead liftting
1x5@150 1x5@170 1x5@190 1x5@225 1x3@250

the next dead lift day you would use the same numbers till the 250 was 1 set for 5 reps then it would look like this.

1x5@170 1x5@190 1x5@225 1x5@250 1x2@260

and so on, then it would turn into 5 sets of 3

[quote]Ethan7X wrote:
Your program is absolutely terrible.

You want to do 95% 2 more times after already having done the sets of 5,3,or 531 ?

Yeah, you clearly have no idea what you’re doing.

Please OP, do yourself the favor and run a program that will get you to a bodyweight bench before you try to make your own.[/quote]

I gotta agree with this.
Now I’m a beginner myself but i know the conjugate training.

There you do a couple reps at above 90% for Max effort day.
This happens 2x a week. Cause more would be too much.

And TS thinks he can do it 4x a week while doing 531?