T Nation

Starting 5/3/1


I finally have gotten my head out of my ass and realized that I don't know more about working out than the experts. That is why I am planning on starting 5/3/1 program tomorrow. I am 6'1 190 and about 22% bf. I want to make good gains, but I also need to cut my bf down. If I am on a 4 days a week plan, what kind of cardio should on do on my off days.

Also, I need help with my diet. Any suggestions?


If you bought the e-book, it talks about your cardio in the chapter 'Moving North of Vag'.

As far as diet. Whole foods. Low carbs. Etc. There's tons of information on this site and in these forums.

Good luck. I tested all my 1 rep maxes this last week and am starting Monday.


Is this a good beginner program though, or should I start with something else


Well, I consider myself a beginner...so yes. It was either this or starting strength (which I did a little over a year ago) which I started doing a few weeks ago. But after doing some research on here and asking some questions, decided to give 5/3/1 a try.

It's not like it's the first time I've ever lifted weights, but I still consider myself a begginer and until a couple months ago, have been out of the exercise game for almost a year. You'll be fine. Just get the e-book and do the program. It's solid.


Wendler indicates that the program is great for beginners. He also suggests that you cannot well follow two masters, so you should probably make clear whether you prioritize gains or cutting fat.

For cardio, avoid anything too intense like long hill sprints the day before your lower body lifts. Otherwise, do something awesome like hill sprints, sled drags, or just whatever you feel like. Probably start light and build up over time.

For diet, see the article that T-Nation published but is currently not loading, and can be found on John Berardi's site: http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/tailor_made_1.htm

Here are the starting step, whether gaining or cutting:
Habit 1: Eat every 2-3 hours.

Habit 2: Eat complete, lean protein with each feeding opportunity.

Habit 3: Eat vegetables with each feeding opportunity.

Habit 4: Eat veggies/fruits with any meal. Eat "other carbs" only after exercise.

Habit 5: Eat healthy fats daily.

Habit 6: Don't drink beverages (soda, beer, etc.) with more than 0 calories.

Habit 7: Eat whole foods whenever possible.