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Thoughts on My Programming?


So, this is what I’ve come up with for my 5/3/1 programming and assistance work. Any feedback is appreciated.

Squat 5/3/1
Front squats FSL (@Weekly squat %)
Lying hamstring curls 5x10
Hanging leg raises 3 sets to failure

Bench 5/3/1
Press FSL 5x5 (@ Weekly press %)
DB Row 5x10
Lying tricep extensions 5x10
Facepulls 3x12

Deadlift 5/3/1
Walking lunges 5x10
BB Row 5x10
BB Curls 5x10
Hanging leg raise 3 sets to failure

Press 5/3/1
Bench FSL 5x5 (@weekly bench %)
Lat pull down 5x10
Tricep pressdown 5x10
Facepulls 3x12

Where did you get the 5x10 from?

Just assistance work. I like training at 5 sets of most of the assistance exercises. The basics are the 5/3/1 and assistance and this is what I’ve gone with.

Have fun with it.


Why reinvent the wheel? Choose one of the 1,000,000,000 programs Jim has written and go with it. It amazes me how many of these “Do it yourself” programs pop up for opinions. Most guys will run it regardless of comments.

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Run the wheel? I’ve actually read the book and from all the templates he has on there, this is what I’ve come up with. The baseline remains the same, the 5/3/1 sets/reps, followed by accessories. All I wanted was an opinion from various other highly experienced lifters on here about the volume on the accessories I’ve chosen. It is too much? Should I drop an exercise etc? Those that want to learn something new everyday always ask for an opinion from people who have been doing the same for years on end.

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Only you know if you can do it.

you’re better off following a template/program 100% as written rather then customizing stuff. So for assistance dont do more total volume for assistance in a workout than rx’d. If the original template says 5x10 press or 5x10 rows, dont do more than 50 reps of each or 100reps total for the assistance stuff in that workout. Its only going to eat away at your recovery.

I agree, but also would point out that many templates leave the assistance option open and I think the OP is asking mostly about this.

My thoughts/questions, having run a few 531 programs:
Why, are you not doing any supplemental work for the DL day? Why are you doing front squats as supplements, rather than squats? Why are you not choosing assistance from each category for each day? (on squat day, for example, there is no push or pull categories).

Other suggestions: I would definitely put in pull ups in any program as assistance, and would much prefer dips/push ups over tricep ext/pull downs. The volume is fine, and even a bit low for using FSL 5x5 as the supplement. But it’s better to undershoot and adjust.
So, my main advice is to replace all or some of the isolation assistance with bodyweight moves: push ups, dips, pull ups, inverted rows, ab roll outs.


100% agree! I think bodyweight exercises mesh really well with 531. less strenuous on the nervous system than weighted movements but still hits key areas to progress the main lift!

Exactly that. The templates are very much open to how we program them and I was looking for a few thoughts. The supplemental work I chose is the walking lunges, sort of long stances. Would I be better off doing Good Mornings here instead? FSL 5x5 on the Deadlift really beats the shit out of me. I must add that my diet isn’t exactly on point at the moment, because life. So thought I’d go with the wider walking lunges instead which are less taxing.

In terms of pressing, I combined bench with overhead just for added frequency, so neither muscle group isn’t ‘at rest’ for a full week.

Thank you for your thoughts! Seems like most people prefer bodyweight movements to supplement the 5/3/1?

When I started 531, I was reluctant to do the 531 main lift and then 5x5 or 5x10 FSL with the same lift. It was different than what I how I trained in the past, and especially with the deadlifts. From now having experience with the system, I would recommend sticking with the single lift per day, and lowering your 5x5 FSL % weight as needed to get the supplemental reps in. I would say that has made a tremendous impact on my training capacity and the strength gains made since using 531. So, leave your ego at the door and just pick a supplemental weight that allows you to get your 5x5 sets and reps in. Eventually, you’ll be able to do that at your FSL weight, and even SSL weight.

Don’t lower your FSL, pick the proper TM.

Assistance has to do with goals. Nothing to do with body or dumbbells or barbells or skipping ropes. Do what is best for your goals.
If 5x5 deadlift is too hard, get better.

Thanks very much. Suppose I just need to stop whining and just man up about it all. Among the assistance lifts in terms of BBB, which would you recommend? FSL 5x5? BBB 5x5@80? Or BBB 5x10? I know you can’t really go with both strength and size in terms of optimisation but which would you say has the best balance/bang for buck?


This question doesn’t really make sense. The assistance lifts of BBB are not FSL, BBB 5x5@80 (??), etc… those are supplemental work that depends on the template. The assistance are things like dips, DB squats, pull ups, ab roll outs, etc… where you typically choose an amount from the 3 categories based on the volume of the supplemental work. So, doing BBB (5x10) as the supplement means you’d do less assistance work than doing FSL 5x5.

Honestly, just do Krypeia exactly as written if you want the most bang for your buck. It has prescribed assistance and even the order in which to incorporate it with the main lift/supplement. It’s essentially a BBB template where assistance is pushed pretty hard.

Just give it a go and see how it works? In the grand scheme of things doing something for a couple cycles won’t hurt anything. Do it and learn something from it.

Why not, exactly? What’s your current strength level? How much training experience do you have?
Improving size and getting stronger have quite a correlation. It’s especially true the “younger” you are in terms of training experience. As a beginner, you can bet that putting on size will improve your strength, and vice versa, for example.

Hard to tell, what’s your goal with training?

5x5@65-70-75% of your 80-90% 1RM shouldn’t beat the shit out of you.
As stated above:

Pick a TM for Deadlift that you can get five SOLID reps with. That is, five SMOOTH AND STRONG reps, not a grinded TM that sucks the life out of you. If you set your TM this way, doing 5x5FSL won’t break your knees at all.

If you’re looking to specifically get a 3 day template, look at the full body ones from Forever. As a generic rule, each day is squat - pull - push. So you squat 3/week, deadlift 1-2/week, then bench 2/week and press 1/week or vice versa.