T Nation

SS or 5/3/1


Hey T-Nation. I am currently doing 5/3/1 with some BB assistance work. I feel that i could be progressing faster. I am thinking of jumping on SS for a while and see if i can milk it some more. I do want to add in a little assistance work.

Workout A-Squat -3x5

workout B-squat-3x5
bb row-3x8
lat pulldown-3x12

Would adding in assistance work kill my progress or will i be okay. Having a tough time deciding if i should do this or 5/3/1 because on 5/3/1 i can hit all my bodyparts equally and well. Is there any BB splits that you guys have with a template on the compound lifts because without it i will just try to hit my 1 rm every time.


Program jumping is NEVER a good idea. If you feel the you could "progress faster" with another program, it's because you are not intense enough with your present program. And no amount of program jumping will fix that.

There is a saying: "Consistency with a mediocre program is better then jumping from "best" program to "best" program.

The cure for your "lack of progress" is consistency.

Stop blaming the program, it's you that is not making progress.


I am hitting pr's every workout according to the 5/3/1 calculations but you only jump up 5 to 10 a month. i am think of just doing somethingg like 3x3 or 3x5 on compounds and keep my assistance the same.



Just read this to yourself a couple of times and you hopefully will see why its a silly
idea for you to switch it up!


How long have you been doing 5/3/1?


So calculate where you'll be a year from now if you keep hitting them EVERY workout. And if you think you can do better on a different program, than by all means, do "5x5" if you think thats gonna be better....


Who cares if progress is slow, you're 14 yrs. old and you just knowing what 5/3/1 is makes you ahead of the game. Clearly you're seeing great results with 531 so just stick with it till you stop seeing results. And stop worrying about bodybuilding splits till you put on some serious size.


ok thanks guys im just going to stick to 531. I just don't want to miss out on those quick noob gains because as of now i am pretty weak.

And i have done about 4 cycles of 531 and have never missed a rep.


Haven't you started like 5 threads like this?

I believe we explained previously you don't actually see 5-10lb jumps in PRs, thats only working weights. Its totally possible that in 3 cycles your lifts Estimated 1 rep max could be +50lbs from your last 1rm. So while it is only 5-10lb jumps in working weights, your 1rm can actually improve faster.


plainpat-dont remember making 5 threads like this but i appreciate your input. Is there any way i could test my 1rm? maybe once every 8 weeks?


If you were to test your rep maxes do it before you start a new cycle, after your deload week. There's no need to test your 1RM often. If you're getting stronger on your sets, your 1RM is going up as well. As for your "noob gains" don't worry about them. A few of my friends and myself have made the mistake that these 5-10 pound jumps are too little. We wanted to get stronger and bigger faster, so we ended up switching programs every 2-4 weeks and it was stupid, made shitty gains and felt like crap.
Don't be like us. I understand not seeing super 40 pound gains every two weeks seems bummy but, 10 pound jumps every month? If you started out squatting 135 for 5, in 1 year you'll squat 255 for 5. Add another year and well, you can do the math.
As for assistance exercises, do whatever and see how your body reacts to them. It's all trial and error, we're not you and you're not us. If something is hindering your main lifts, lower its intensity/volume or drop it, if not keep doing it.


and example of my assistance work would be this.

flat db bench-3x 8-12
cable flys-3 x 12

Is this too much? doesn't seem to bother my lifts and i am finally growing a chest and arms!


unnecessary. you don't need that many exercises. Try 5 sets of dumbbell incline and 5 sets of dips.


I'm confused by the workout A and workout B.

Are you not able to get to the gym four days a week? I get that on the four main movements you are combining an upper body with a lower body HOWEVER I really think you would make better progress by having each of the main exercises be your first lift on their own day. Sorry but coming out of the rack after an intense PR during 5 3 1 Max week... I' definately not laying down back on the nech and getting the same result that I would going for the max bech FRESH. CNS can be completely shot after max squats OR DL for me.

So um, I suggest days A B C & D


I dont really feel my chest working from db. Especially incline. Would it be possible to maybe cut of just 1 excersise from each muscle group.
for example.

db flat bench-
cable flys (only movement that makes my chest actually burn)

thats only 2 excersises and i'd do like 3 sets of 12 or so for each. Still to much.


My original plan was to do this A and B days alternating throughout the week, while lifting 3 days a week. But now i think in going to stick with 531


my bad, I thought you had written db incline. Just do 5 sets of dumbbell flat and 5 sets of dips.

The extra exercises and "feeling your chest burn" are not getting you closer to your goals.


chris87- thanks for the advice man. Could you give me a template of assistance work for all the 531 days?

right now i am doing

lat pulldown-3x10
cable row-3x10
bb curls-3x10
db curls-3x10
hammer curls-3x10

leg press-(hate this) 3x10
leg ext-3x10
ham curl-3x10

db press-3x12
cable laterals-3x12
Rear delts-3x10

I would love to cut down on assistance work if possible. My goals are to get a lot stronger and bigger so i thought neglecting assistance is a bad idea.



Any template out of the book will be fine.


hey guys hate to bump this thread but i have another question. I am very close to attaining my strength goals that i put infront of myself. I started lifting at a high bodyfat and its only gotten higher. Another thing is my lacrosse season starts in about a month and that is when i will want to start my cut. I weight 175 pounds. high bodyfat (20%?) and want to cut down to about 12.

Any recommendation on how my diet should look? How many cals should i take in considering the extra activity levels and how i can manage lifting and practice and school?