T Nation

Template as Written, No Extra Assistance?

Hey Jim,
I appreciate all you do and take everything you say about training and life to heart. Your training methods and life lessons are respectable, direct and to the point, and it all has helped me to live my life in a similar manner. Thank you.

I’ve always followed your templates exactly as written. I’ve only added in hammer curls at the end of sessions if I have a few minutes to spare. I’ve noticed that a lot of others add in your recommended Wendler 6 to all of their templates. I don’t do this.

I eat to perform, lift consistently, do Agile 8 every night, and condition after each session. Am I shitting the bed by not adding in curls or dips or ab work if it doesn’t call for it in the template?

Thanks for any help.


I think I found my answer within a different post.
Thanks again.


You aren’t shitting the bed but even some basic assistance work would help. For example, let’s say you did this:

Cycles 1-3: PR sets, push-ups/dips x 100 total reps, chins/rows x 100 total reps, single leg/core/KB snatches x 100 total reps (all per workout)

Cycles 4-5: PR Sets, no assistance work

Reset and then back at it.

Damn. Thanks, Jim. I appreciate the help.

I’m just finishing a cycle of full body, and plan on running 5/3/1 + FSL 5x5 after to start a new 5/3 set. Would you recommend me adding your suggested assistance after the supplemental lifts or in place of them?

It depends on how you cycle/plan your training and your conditioning. The above should be fine unless you are horribly out of shape.

I don’t feel like I’m out of shape, but I don’t know what your standards are. I can do chins, dips, push-ups, etc just fine. 5x10 is no problem with these. Also, I run incline treadmill sprints after each workout, like you’ve suggested in an older article.

As far as planning/cycling goes, I’ve gravitated toward your full body templates due to my 3 day/wk training availability and ran them as written in your recommended 5/3 set up. I’ve only recently read that you suggest changing the intensity over the 5 cycles so I’ve never done that. Pretty much just picked a full body template and ran it for a while, only changing it up when I felt like trying something new.

What it boils down to is I’m a busy guy but I make time 3 days a week to train to get stronger. I have no plans to compete. If you think I should just keep doing what I’m doing (Beyond full body template rules), then I’ll do that. I’d like to plan it out and not think about it. Just run it and get stronger.

Sorry this was long, Jim. I understand you can’t program for everyone but so far I’ve trusted everything you’ve said and it has worked. I don’t do this stuff for a living, you do.

Any input would be awesome. Thanks for taking the time, man. It means a lot.

There are a lot of full body templates - I just wrote an article today about how a couple of them can’t follow the basic assistance work that is the cornerstone of the program. So it all depends on which one you are doing, etc.

Bottom line is as long as you follow the program, have an accurate TM and are smart about resetting, you’ll be fine. How we program all the conditioning and jumps and throws and all that stuff - it works well. But if you are making progress, and following principles, you are good to go.

Start light
Progress slow
Break PR’s
Use big lifts

I’m adding a 5th principle: balance.

Balance doesn’t equal “time spent”. It means adequate attention.

This is great. Thanks for taking the time. I look forward to the new book coming out. Will some of these templates from your forum be in there?
Keep doing what you do because it really helps busy dads like me become stronger and overall better at life.

Thanks, Jim.