T Nation

Suggestions for a 5/3/1 Template?

Ah ok, just to clarify, when you say FSL weights do you mean the percentages, aka using that with BBB it would be 65% at 5x10 or the complete FSL set scheme with 65% at 5x5?
( If I have understood everything correct here )

I actually did the first workout this Monday with the BBB Bench part at 60% and it worked great.

Do you anticipate it might become an issue with using 60% on BBB Deads? Guess I could just try it tomorrow and see how it feels.

Ah. And now I realize/read that there are multiple ways of programming the BBB sets. BBB Forever uses two versions that varies percentages:

(1) Week 1: 60%, Week 2: 50%, Week 3: 70%
(2) Week 1: 50%, Week 2: 40%, Week 3: 60%

And then the original which uses a constant percentage between 40-60%. Recommended is
around 50-55%.

What would be the recommended approach here?

I am leaning towards the first version in BBB Forever. Seems fun to vary the percentages a bit and test around how it feels. But I have no idea what is best here.

Just a few things to pick up on here for me.

I absolutely don’t think you’ll need extra grip training on top of climbing and all your barbell work.

That depends what your goals are. For physique, shoulder health and general manliness, I’m convinced that the press is a better choice. If you have other goals, bench may be more appropriate.

If it turns out to be, cut the dips out or find a substitute.

I agree with this. As long as you keep the rep quality high.

I also agree with this. I will probably never do BBB for deadlift again. I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze.

This is going to be an experience thing for yourself, but in general, keep it at a weight in which the bar speed is good. Just because you can grind your way through 5 x 10 ugly reps at a weight, doesn’t mean you should do it.

You’ve gotten a lot of good replies @tobe. I just wanted to highlight this bit in particular,

Remember this for the future. When planning your training, start by addressing needs.

Nah mate, this isn’t a problem you have (yet). I know exactly why you’re picking up on this, but the root issue stems from your relationship with heights & falling. The limitation isn’t physical, but psychological. I’ll gladly help you fix lack of explosiveness in climbing when it becomes an issue. But that issue just isn’t there at the moment.

Keep with the activation work, don’t skimp on it. Do it between sets as you warm-up on lower-body days. Consider doing something that doesn’t have an impact on recovery such as dropping down into a squat position while brushing your teeth and focusing on flexing the muscle that you know is lazy.

If you start a log, record a squat and tag @j4gga2 and @guineapig. Both have keen eyes and lots of insights to share. Speaking of logs, if you want this topic moved over into the training log section as to keep everything together you’ll want to tag @Chris_Colucci.

When you do lunges, as your problem is in the posterior, hinge at the hip. Here’s an explanation,

I wouldn’t do this just yet.


Should be fine, if you look at BBB Beefcake you’ll see you have the same scheduling more or less.

YMMV, but I’ve found that I prefer to do PNF on my lower body days as you’re already warm and it’s an excellent opportunity to coax out additional range of motion from the muscles. It’s possible to overdo though, but personally I’ve found it more taxing to pair upper-body work with lower-body PNF-stretching as my legs don’t get as much time to recover.

Very good remark. Benching, and vertical pulling, will encourage inwards shoulder rotation.


Appreciate the tag man!

I just wanted to add my 2c on stuff other than the squat.

Mobility Work

As a climber, passive range of motion is not your friend, it’s active range of motion (and particularly rotation) that’s your friend.

If you like stretching, keep a bit of it, but instead it’s far more important to prioritise active range of motion.

PNF techniques like hold-relax (Google it) as opposed to contract relax are very very useful and highly recommended.

Additionally, look through the drills in this video, and pick the 3-5 of the drills that best address your perceived mobility deficit(s).

It’s important you do your CARs with 100% focus and effort. If done properly they’re actually very taxing. As such, do them on your off-days. It’s best not to do them as part of a warm-up or after training, as the amount of focus/attention they’ll recieve is insufficient. If you have to do CARs around your workout, do 2 at the most


Agreed, 100%

I would even go as far as to say that leg strength (beyond a very low level), isn’t necessarily helpful as long as you can use that strength in any position.

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Agreed also. I see the strength requirements for climbing to as very similar to that of grappling sports like BJJ and MMA; that is, the ability to control and produce force in all manners of awkward positions and directions.

Phil Daru is an extremely successful strength coach who specialises in training for fighters (boxing, MMA and BJJ) who has put out a good amount of free information on the topic. He could be a valuable resource


Noted, though I use alternating grips with weights over ~130kg. I would like to use double overhand for heavier weights. I started doing some grip exercises where I try to hold barbells for 20 seconds with a given weight for 3 sets and then increase when I manage to get all three. I think doing them after the press day might be a good idea?

Perfect goal and I will gladly own it. Press it is =)


Yeah. Did the deadlift session today at 60% and IMO it went fine. rest time was 2 min between each set, not sure if that is too much. Heard there was time limits, at least on the assistance stuff.

Noted, keep the reps nice and clean.

Appreciate the pointers!

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Just gotta keep going higher then.

Yeah, I got some stuff I’m doing that I think will help with this. One legged exercises and such things.

Nice! Going to start a training log and post some data there, with some videos of the lifts. There are some issues I would like to sort out with the deadlift and squat. Might link to this post in the training log. Otherwise it might get too messy?

Cool, I will check the video. Thanks =)

Yeah, I have been doing the hold-relax PNF a little bit on the glutes and quads. Porbably need to do it for the hamstrings/inner hamstrings as well.

Ah, nice. Skimmed over them a bit and I found some that will we useful ( All of them to be honest ) Thanks a lot man!

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Nice, will def check him out

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Glad to have helped! :slight_smile:

@tobe I think I missed your climbing experience and what you are wanting to address?

Btw are you focusing on any particular aspect; bouldering, sport routes, ice?

Edit. I’m asking this as someone who used to be a climbing coach, some years ago. And started lifting a few years ago.

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Ah, cool. I recently started climbing, around 3-4 months ago. So I am very new to this. I only do boulders at the gym for now; The wall stuff is an ambition. My biggest problem is fear of heights and falling which prevents me trying to climb more aggressively. So I guess it’s mainly just a “climb more” thing.

I feel like I also have problem being explosive at the wall. I find it hard to find the correct leverages and generate power sometimes, especially in the legs.

If you don’t mind the brutal honesty this is a reflection of your fears. Two things happen to you as you have to gather courage to do a move, either

  1. during the time you’re gathering the courage to go for a move you’re accumulating fatigue in your arms on the routes that force you into a bent-arm position
  2. On the routes that have you hanging on straight arms you’re essentially killing any stretch reflex you’d have if you were to move quicker up the route

Your ability to generate power through the legs in this context isn’t limited by your squat, or your unilateral leg strength but rather how your feet are positioned and also to some extent your footwear. You’re physically stronger than your technically capable so from a strength standpoint you’ve outgrown your shoes (beginner shoes) but your technique hasn’t caught up with you yet. Did you watch the Neil Gresham masterclass?

No problem, appreciate the tips. I did begin to watch it but that was a while ago, probably need to re/watch it. I just have to climb more to get comfortable on the wall and keep the momentum.

another T-Nation dancer? cool! @tobe

Here’s that superstrong ballet dancer I mentioned @tobe!