T Nation

Template/Advice to Reach Goals?


Hi all,

I’ve been using 5/3/1 for around two years now and starting strength before that , lately I’ve become a bit lost switching from template to template , trying out different things but perhaps not for quite long enough , while I have made gains in strength and size in this period I like to be organised with my training and have a long term plan laid out before me and a goal

My current lifts are
Bench 105kg
Squat 155kg
Deadlift 205kg

I’m 6’3’’ and weigh 205lbs

My goals are to be around 225lbs and my lifts to be
Bench 140kg
Squat 200kg
Deadlift 260kg

I’ve ran several variations of BBB in the past , the bodybuilder routine , SST and the Dave Tate one out the first book

I have the 1st , 2nd and powerlifting book

I’m looking for a suggestions and advice to reach my goals, and which template to suggest

Thanks in advance


It wont matter what template as they are all based on the same principles, as long as the effort is there in and out of the weight room and you keep your head down focusing on small pr’s at a time you will get there. There are plenty of examples on here and in jims books that provide you with plans that will meet your goals.


Thanks for the reply

I’ve always stuck to the principles , I guess it’s a case of trial and error , for example the BBB always puts my squat and deadlift up but doesn’t my bench , where as other templates are the opposite hence why I mix them round

But then again I guess you can’t expect everything to improve at once

Would you suggest a certain template considering my lifts and training life and that I’m sticking to the basic principles, I’ve been training seriously for around 5 years in total

Thanks again


I would try Jim’s Building the Monolith template, like you I have completed many cycles of 5/3/1 and it was by far my favorite and I also had my best muscle gains using it. As mentioned 5/3/1 is built around steady progress, no template is going to increase your strength overnight, you have to put the work in. I found what worked well for me is once a year taking a 8 week block and doing a workout focused on explosiveness and performance. I maintain the big three lifts for strength but mostly focus on performing Push Press, Muscle Snatch, Power Cleans, High Pulls, Sprinting, Jumping, Throwing things as fast as possible with good form. It is a lot of fun and a nice mental break from the 5/3/1 cycles.


I too enjoyed this template. You just need to trust the system, push yourself harder, and eat more dead animals. How is your diet?

205lbs @ 6’3" seems pretty skinny and your lifts should probably be higher than they are after 2 years of consistent lifting. This happens to me as well, but I can usually attribute it to lack of intensity in the weight room and lack of consistency in the kitchen. A man’s gotta eat if he wants to grow!


Thanks for the advice guys

Yeah I am still pretty skinny , but nothing compared to what I use to be , around 3 years ago I weighed 130lbs obviously at the same height of 6’3’’ so I have had good changes physically but still a way to go

I’m eating everything in sight but making sure I hit the required protein for the day too , it has slowed down as of late , the problem I have then is if I do too much in the gym it doesn’t match my eating and I gain nothing


Drink whole milk…easy way to get a lot quality calories fairly cheap.


Yeah I’m going to do the monolith

And have

12 whole eggs
1lb beef
1/2 gallon whole milk
Plus whatever else I fancy

Let’s see what happens


I did this when I ran Monolith and boy, I put on the pounds. Put on about 11lbs in 6weeks, about 5lbs of LBM.
I probably won’t go this extreme again (I’m also in no means a hardgainer), but I do eat a lot of eggs, beef and drink a lot of whole milk. Good luck!


I don’t mean to mess with the program but was wondering why press has two days and bench only one day ?
And could these be swapped around to bench twice and press once a week ?

Maybe my first question will answer the second one


Just do it as written theres a reason why jim sets things up the way he does. What matters is you now have a plan best to follow it especially the eating. I havn’t done it but there is a good write up on jims website from someone on here that did.


Agreed execute as written.


Ok so I did as written today , I did set my TM at 80% though as I will up it to 85% next cycle

Everything went well , the 5x5 squats was challenging as I’m use to doing just the 3 sets of the original program

The pressing felt solid

The chins took some time to do but didn’t move from the bar until I had done them

Did 5 sets of band pull aparts and 5 sets of Facepulls , got plenty of blood in my upper back

Then I got to the dips and I was about spent by that time , but I pushed through to get about 50 reps in total

All in all it felt like a great training day

Now I’m going to sit and eat eggs , beef and drink lots of milk