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Suggestions for a 5/3/1 Template?

Hi all,

So I am going to start one of the 5/3/1 templates and would like some suggestions/feedback. I have been barbell training for around 3 years using various programs. I am currently coming from a upper/lower split 5x5 program using bench, squat, deadlift and press using 85% of my 1RM, with a bit extra supplemental work ( Can post if relevant ). The lifts became grindy and crappy and I stalled out. ( As they pretty much did with every program in the end ).

So I want to try something with a more serious/structured approach so I don’t get stuck in the same place and get something that will increase my maxes in a stable way, long term.

1RM maxes currently are:

Bench: 110kg
Squat: 130kg
Deadlift: 190kg

I have been reading BBB Forever and I would be like to use the leader/anchor approach and then test for new PRs. If I understood it correctly, it would be something like this:

leader -> leader -> deload -> anchor -> pr test/new max test

My current plan is to use the beefcake version of the BBB for the leader, using this version.

image

I did a bit of arm work and shrugs in the last program and I liked it, so would like to keep some of that if it’s fine. If not recommended, then that is ok.

Not sure as to what anchor to use but it’s currently 5/3/1 or SSL.

I have gotten suggestions to use the 5 Pros instead of BBB. I am open to feedback regarding this.

Do you guys have any suggestions/feedback?

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Welcome @tobe.

@dagill2 this is my mate! He created a thread as promised. He’s read the feedback you had in my log already.

@tobe this is an improvement over what you had before.

I’d save the shrugs for later until you’ve done BBB Beefcake as written once first, but it won’t make or break you. I’d definitely ixnay the extra arm work and just focusing on doing good Chins and Dips instead.

Lastly, with Beefcake, be mindful of this

All supplemental work is done with FSL weights: we generally recommend all 50 reps of supplemental work is finished in 20 minutes. This includes the rows on press/bench press day.

And start a timer.

Final remark: you got this wrong

Your goal should never be to try and hurry to increase your TM. Knowing you I know this is what you’re trying to do here. You should only ever increase it by the specified amount in the book. Read principle 2 again. Progress Slow.

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Welcome tobe

It might be worth mentioning to other readers what other physical activity you do during the week as well.

If it excites you, do it, shrugs/arm work and all. We could sit here arguing details all day, but the important thing is that you’re excited to do it. Just remember what bits are important, and what bits aren’t. Don’t sandbag your deadlifts so you can go all out on shrugs. Hit your deadlifts with the focus they deserve, give them your all, then worry about doing shrugs after if you feel you need to.

A few questions:

  • Are you planning to do your “531” sets as PR sets or 5s PRO (every set is a 5)?
  • What TM are you planning to use?
  • Are you planning to do any explosive work at the start of the session, or does your dancing cover that base for you?
  • Likewise mobility?
  • Do you have any red lines that you can’t cross in terms of affecting other areas of your life? For example, I need to be walk fairly comfortably all day to put food on the table. Any program that left me too sore to do that would be a no go.

In terms of Anchors, I’m pretty new to Forever, I haven’t even read it through once yet, so I’ll leave that kind of recommendation to the guys more experienced in the leader/anchor format.

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I think your template looks generally fine. I would suggest removing the curls, tricep ext, and shrugs. Doing BBB 4 days a week with the assistance you’ve chosen is plenty, and if it’s not you’re not working hard enough. Also, I think you mean Press 5x10 on Day 3 or the BBB sets.

I think you’e gotten a couple of things confused (I realize that’s easy to do if you’re new to 531). 5’s PRO refers to the 531 sets, not BBB sets. 5’s PRO would mean you’re doing straight sets of 5 for all the 531 (3 warm ups, 3 531 sets) rather than doing a PR on the last set. BBB refers to the 5x10 you’re doing after the 531 sets. So, I would suggest doing 5’s PRO and BBB.

For the anchor, again you’ve gotten the main lift and supplement confused. The SSL would be doing 5x5 of the second set last weight as the supplement. The 5/3/1/ would be doing the main lift in the original 5/3/1 including going for a PR on the last set. I would suggest you do 5/3/1 coupled with 5x5 FSL as the anchor.

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Pretty sure he means Bench, based off the previous template I saw.

X2

@Voxel has suggested I give you some of my specific suggestions, bearing in mind that you’re planning to climb twice a week as well. So, starting at the top:

  • Consider explosive work and mobility. What kind of work do you need here?
  • What benefits from this program are you looking to get for your climbing or dancing? Would a lunge variation transfer better to climbing than a deadlift variation for single leg work?
  • Are shrugs really adding value after you’ve already completed 65 deadlifts?
  • How is your grip going to hold up to 65 reps of deadlifts, plus climbing twice a week?
  • Why the focus on benching over pressing?
  • How are you going to make sure you recover appropriately?

Thanks. I didn’t see his previous template.

Good points he should consider. Deadlifts, for me, often need adjustment if I am doing a sport/activity I want to do well at. I take a page from Dan John, and add 5x2 DL’s at the beginning of the press day. For this, you start light and take big jumps in weight to a reach a heavy double. Ex: in twos: 135, 225, 275, 315, 365 (adjust depending strength). It will keep you strong in that lift, but not wear you out.

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I really like this, I’ll probably steal it.

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That’s cool. Saving for later

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Thanks for the responses everyone! Really appreciate the feedback and clarifications.

I will try to respond to the questions. Kinda new to this forum thing so we will see how it goes =)

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It might be worth mentioning to other readers what other physical activity you do during the week as well.

Ah, yes! Light dancing 2 days a week with medium/heavy climbing 1-2 days a week. In all likelihood only 1 climbing day. Social dances are cancelled for now and those still kinda easy to medium intensity.

Are you planning to do your “531” sets as PR sets or 5s PRO (every set is a 5)?

5s PRO is the plan. Was a little bit confused as to how the terms are used but thankfully @antiquity cleared that up for me. If it is fine, I will use the PR sets on the anchor version, whatever that will be.

What TM are you planning to use?

0.85 of 1RM

Are you planning to do any explosive work at the start of the session, or does your dancing cover that base for you?

I plan to do jumps and throws at the beginning, if I understood it correctly. I have boxes and apparently medicine balls. Learned from @Voxel that my definition of a medicine ball was completely off. There are a ton of them at the gym.

Likewise mobility?

Prob do some mobility at the start. I try do some full body stretch every day with varying intensity.

Do you have any red lines that you can’t cross in terms of affecting other areas of your life? For example, I need to be walk fairly comfortably all day to put food on the table. Any program that left me too sore to do that would be a no go.

Not doing biceps curls and triceps extensions =) Joking aside, no. I don’t anticipate the program to interfere with the dancing stuff. My previous program had more volume and that was fine. When the “heavy” dance days starts again after the quarantine goes away, those will not be in connection to the deadlift and squat days.

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Translate this into how many hours are you actively dancing and on your feet? Do you break out into a sweat? Can it eat into your recovery (legs)?

That’s a good estimate, especially given your fear of heights. That’ll have a lot of impact on how harsh the training stress is perceived by the body.

@T3hPwnisher Should the 1RM be a clean 1RM or just the max single?

Don’t underplay this. You sometimes do PNF-stretching which can have a genuine impact on recovery!

Try Agile 8 or Limber 11.

You were repeatedly training on the nerve and not progressing as quickly as you could have. So, no, it wasn’t fine. That’s why I’ve been trying to “sell” you on something else.

I think you’e gotten a couple of things confused (I realize that’s easy to do if you’re new to 531). 5’s PRO refers to the 531 sets, not BBB sets. 5’s PRO would mean you’re doing straight sets of 5 for all the 531 (3 warm ups, 3 531 sets) rather than doing a PR on the last set. BBB refers to the 5x10 you’re doing after the 531 sets. So, I would suggest doing 5’s PRO and BBB.

Ah right, thanks for clearing that up. Was a bit confused about the terminology and how it is used.

5 PROs with the 5x10 BBB sets was/is the original plan. BBB sets will probably be at 50% of TM.

For the anchor, again you’ve gotten the main lift and supplement confused. The SSL would be doing 5x5 of the second set last weight as the supplement. The 5/3/1/ would be doing the main lift in the original 5/3/1 including going for a PR on the last set. I would suggest you do 5/3/1 coupled with 5x5 FSL as the anchor.

Great, appreciate the pointers. It sounds like 5/3/1 with PR sets and 5x5 FSL is a good anchor to use then.

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Cool. Now I figured out how to quote properly.

Jumps and throws is the current plan.

I currently have the following issues:

  • Lack of explosiveness in climbing.
  • Lack of glute and inner hamstring activation in the right leg due to a habit where I rotate the leg inwards a bit in all activities that I do. I have had problems with form in the bottom of the squat for quite a while, but it’s starting to get better due to activation exercises. ( knee-banded squats, lunges, etc. ).

I thought the 1 legged RDLs might aid in the glute activation. I also plan to do some lunges before for activation and even with weight in the upper body days if time and recovery allows.

Nah, perhaps not =) Though I don’t think I activate the traps enough during deadlifts overall…

We will see, I guess. If it becomes a problem I will handle it. I think I will only climb once a week so it should be fine. I can do grip training the other days.

I like bench =) But seriously though, if I am better off with press, I can go with press.

Besides carbs, tons of protein and sleep. If I get recovery problems:

  • Lower the intensity of the climbing
  • Not go all out in dancing
  • Back off some of the assistance work if it becomes to much.
  • Lower TM
  • Use lower percentages on the BBB sets

I think the previous program had more volume and that was doable. But this has more barbell work albeit at low percentages. Once I feel worn down I usually self regulate down.

Sounds fun! Might try in the second cycle =)

Wednesday 1.5 hours, Thursday around 3 hours.

Not breaking into that much sweat in the course. It’s gonna be beginner tap dancing and some solo jazz. Neither will be that intense, in my estimation. Far from HIIT sprinting if I put it like that.

Now, Bench day is on monday, Deadlift day is on Wednesday, Press day on Friday and Squat day on Saturday/Sunday. The social dances, when they start again ( probably in like 2-3 months ) are gonna be on Friday or Saturday. So that might be ok.

One thing I worry a bit about is having Dips on the Squat day in Sunday and then do Bench on Monday. Can this be a problem? I can achieve 50 bodyweight dips in a workout without that much of an issue.

Yeah, I will check them out. I will not do the PNF part directly after leg days.

I agree that it was not good for lifting progress. If this new approach will use lighter volume I don’t anticipate it will be a problem with the dancing, especially since it is low intensity dancing. But we will see. If I make shit progress and the dancing suffers I cut back.

As a climber id be careful of your shoulders getting tight with all the bench. I’ve had shoulder impingement before I touched a barbell. I like the overhead press as it works as a health check for shoulders. Are they back and moving correctly?

Thanks for the heads up!

I did tear my rotator cuff while playing hockey about 1.5 years ago. Could not press och do chins properly until 6-8 months ago. It’s recovered now but I still feel some of it if I do a bad stretch of the shoulder during climbing.

I do alot of face pulls, band pull aparts and the occasional chest stretch and rotator cuff exercise.

I think my presses are ok, got someone to check last time and it was apparently good.

Perhaps you can go higher on these. I use FSL weights (except for DL, but I don’t do BBB with them anymore anyway). For BP and OHP, using the FSL weight should be fine if your TM is correct.

Your Swedish is showing.

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Haha. The mask was bound to slip såmtajme.

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