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Starting 5/3/1 Again After Nagging Injuries

Hey guys,

After a few nagging injuries, elbow and knee tendonitis, I’m looking to jump back into 5/3/1 next week. For years I’ve followed this same kind of template. It wasn’t out of Jim’s book, but it was a routine I followed before adding in the 5/3/1 percentages to the lifts. In my opinion, I have followed it for way too damn long and I feel like I have completely plateaued.

This is what I was originally following for probably 4 years (the last 10 months of it had the 5/3/1 percentages)…
Day 1: Chest/Back (5/3/1 Bench)
Day 2: OFF
Day 3: Deadlifts (5/3/1 Deadlift)
Day 4: Arms
Day 5: Legs/Shoulders (5/3/1 Squats. I haven’t been doing the Overhead Presses until later on.)

So after doing this template for way way too long; I decided I need to suck it up and change it up and GROW. I’ve chose the “Simplest Strength” template from the 2nd edition book. I feel like this should a very nice change, and hopefully it helps me out.

With my old template, besides the 5/3/1 percentages on the main lifts, my reps and sets were all over the place for assistance work. I obviously want to get stronger, but I think I was doing too much hypertrophy. I love building muscle, and I still am looking to do that; but I want to follow a good template.

Is Simplest Strength best for my goals?? I also have read ‘Beyond 5/3/1’. I will eventually use one of those templates after I use something a little more novice for me.

If you have Beyond then SST sets/reps have been superseded by 5’s Progression. I like the 5’s Pro as it’s a little bit simpler.

If you want to get stronger I’d recommend doing the main movement using 5/3/1 with rep-PRs, Jokers and First Set Last, then do the secondary movement with 5’s Pro. Do a bit of assistance afterwards but nothing too crazy.

[quote]some_dude wrote:
If you have Beyond then SST sets/reps have been superseded by 5’s Progression. I like the 5’s Pro as it’s a little bit simpler.

If you want to get stronger I’d recommend doing the main movement using 5/3/1 with rep-PRs, Jokers and First Set Last, then do the secondary movement with 5’s Pro. Do a bit of assistance afterwards but nothing too crazy.[/quote]

Hmm, that’s a good point. I think I will try this out! I do want to gain strength but use a little bodybuilding work as assistance; nothing crazy (I know there’s a 5/3/1 bodybuilding template, but I’d rather not use it…). How does this template look?

Monday:5/3/1 Press superset with chins (Could I possibly do weighted chins?)

  • CGB - 5’s pro superset with DB rows
  • Bicep/Tricep/Upper Back work?
  • Could I hit side lateral raises as well? Or maybe throw those in on Thursday…

Tuesday: 5/3/1 Deadlift

  • Front Squats- 5’s pro *Haven’t decided on which exercise I want for this yet.
    -Lower back/Hamstring work

Wednesday:OFF (Cardio)

Thursday: 5/3/1 Bench

  • Incline BB - 5’s pro superset with lat pulldowns
  • Flat DB or Incline DB with t-bar rows
  • Bicep/Tricep/Upper Back
  • I wouldn’t mind tossing in some cable crossovers or DB flies. I could always do these instead of Flat DB or Incline DB. Just a thought.

Friday: 5/3/1 Squat

  • Straight Leg Deadlifts - 5’s pro
  • Lower back/Hamstring work

** Abs and cardio will be thrown in on certain days as well.**

I’ll post what I do, which may give some ideas on how to fill in some of your blanks.

Squat (5/3/1)
SLDL (5’s Pro)
Back Raise/Abs (3-5 sets)

Bench (5/3/1) / Chins (30-50 reps total)
Incline Press (5’s Pro) / DB Row (2 sets x 10 reps, then 1 set AMRAP)
BB Curls / Dips / Face Pull (3-5 sets, depending on how I feel)

Deadlift (5/3/1)
Front Squat (5’s Pro)
Back Raise / Abs (3-5 sets)

Press (5/3/1) / Chins (30-50 reps total)
CGBP (5’s Pro) / BB Row (5’s Pro)
BB Curls / Dips / Face Pull (3-5 sets, depending on how I feel)

  • On bench day I curl heavy (5-6 reps) and do unweighted dips
  • On press day I curl light (10 reps) and do weighted dips
  • In the past I’ve dropped one session of face pulls and replaced them with a side lateral/rear lateral superset.

[quote]some_dude wrote:
I’ll post what I do, which may give some ideas on how to fill in some of your blanks.

Squat (5/3/1)
SLDL (5’s Pro)
Back Raise/Abs (3-5 sets)

Bench (5/3/1) / Chins (30-50 reps total)
Incline Press (5’s Pro) / DB Row (2 sets x 10 reps, then 1 set AMRAP)
BB Curls / Dips / Face Pull (3-5 sets, depending on how I feel)

Deadlift (5/3/1)
Front Squat (5’s Pro)
Back Raise / Abs (3-5 sets)

Press (5/3/1) / Chins (30-50 reps total)
CGBP (5’s Pro) / BB Row (5’s Pro)
BB Curls / Dips / Face Pull (3-5 sets, depending on how I feel)

  • On bench day I curl heavy (5-6 reps) and do unweighted dips
  • On press day I curl light (10 reps) and do weighted dips
  • In the past I’ve dropped one session of face pulls and replaced them with a side lateral/rear lateral superset.
    [/quote]

Thanks a lot for your advice, bro! That looks good. I like the idea of doing Squat and Bench earlier in the week rather than later. I’m actually going to follow your layout for which main lifts are on each day; I like that setup- but I am going to do a little more bodybuilding work for assistance. Nothing extremely taxing; just enough to build some muscle.

As for cardio, I usually like to do HIIT conditioning 2-3 times a week. Unfortunately I don’t have access to a prowler at my gym, which sucks. Spring, summer and fall, I will be doing hill sprints and car pushes ( love them!) . I have also trained in Muay Thai for years, and transitioned into MMA 5 years ago. Depending on how busy I am during the week, I go to MMA when I can but usually only end up going 2-3 times.

I try to even things out; if I can’t fit in MMA class, I will do conditioning at the gym or outside; and vice versa if I can train more MMA that week, I will do less conditioning at the gym or outside.