Time to Dive into 531, Help?

Hello Mr. Wendler and everyone else.

I am in need of some advice about programming. I will keep this as quick as possible. I am a 22-year-old male, ex-athlete, and I am in college. I have a few years of training under my belt, but that time has been full of inconsistent results and program hopping. For the past few months, my training has been sporadic, I feel I have gotten weaker, and I have put on some fat. I am around 5’9" and 205 pounds. I have a decent build, probably from my years as a football player, but am looking to get stronger, leaner, and more conditioned.

Simply put, I know that I need to stop eating like a piece of shit, but with the main focus of fat loss (for general health and also for an upcoming checkup) and getting stronger I need help with programming. The results are hard to argue with and I have now read the 2nd edition book. I am ready to dedicate my time and training to it, but want some advice on a template. My best lifts as of last year were a 350lb squat, 405 lb deadlift, and 230lb bench (nothing crazy I know) and I am sure I have gotten weaker. Should I run with the beginners template or another?

Any advice is appreciated!

How keen are you to do the beginner template? Does anything else jump out of the page at you?

Definitely the portion about conditioning and the simplicity of picking assistance work. It seems like a solid template with good exposure to the lifts. I’m just not sure if I should follow that template or warning that spreads the lifts over four days with where I am at. I just don’t know how long I could string out the beginner gains.

If the beginner template is of your liking. Do it.
If not, try another.
You did some training, your PR’s are good, so you know how to lift.
You can do the beginner template OR
If you can get to the gym 4 times a week, just do the OG (original)
3 working sets of your main lift, push the last set hard but not to absolute failure.
Try the Triumvirate assistance.
Get to learn the principles of Wendler.
Start to light, progress slow, do jumps and throws, do mobility, do cardio.
After 4 cycles or so, you could add in some backoff sets, if you want more volume.
Don’t do everything at once.
In 6 - 8 months you could try one of the programs. Krypteia seems like one many likes. I don’t have the latest book so I don’t know it.
I know OG works very well, start with it an progress from there.

read this

Damn this is great stuff. Thank you!

Also the account I used to post this is on hold for some reason but I am the OP!

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Don’t worry about this nonsense. Like anything, progress is easiest at the beginning - enjoy the fact that you don’t need to think as hard as when you have progressed a while.

Use the time to establish great habits, not to try bury yourself. You dont scream down the road at 7000rpm just because your gas tank is full.

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One more question for you! I can across the beyond 531 1.1 on here. What about it over 3 days vs the beginners version? I’m also still confused on the beginner setup for the lifts in the 2nd edition book vs. his website/blog.

I do not have the second edition book.
This is not rocket science Tarheel.
As I understand in the beginner template you refer to it’s a matter of doing the main lifts as PR sets vs 5’pro.
I think that it really doesn’t matter. If you like to push your sets do PR sets, If you feel beat up by PR sets and can’t recover from them do 5’s pro.
It’s a matter of being consistent. If you do 5/3/1 for 1 month, then do juggernaut, for 3 weeks, then texas method for 1,5 months, then some CT hypertrophy stuff for another months. You’ll likely not end up as great as sticking to one system for a long period of time. However that is not the whole truth, somebody seems to do well when switching because they get bored by doing the same.
You seem to have your eyes on the beginners version. Do one cycle with PR sets, then one cycle 5’s PRO. Deload. Look at your log, and most important look at the notes, how did it go. Pushing for reps might made you suffer a bit, while doing 5’s pro left you fresher for next workout.
It’s a matter of trial, fails and success. Learning, adapting, moving on.
Look at the beyond you found, look at letter to young Jim.
Everything is almost the same. With a slight difference in supplemental and assistance.
I just had a look at the beginner template on Jims site.
I think you are not a beginner any more.
Doing 531 sets squats and bench the same day twice a week with FSL 5x5 AND assistance + DL and press the same way one day a week. With your strength that would be tough and some long days in the gym I think.
You could do as Jim prefers these days:
Warmups, incl. mobility, jumps and thows.
Main lift 5’s pro
Supplemental FSL 5x5
Push 50-100 reps (pushups, dips, db bench, press)
pull 50-100 reps (pullups, chins, rows, band pull apart, facepull)
single leg/core 50-100 reps. (lunges, bulgarian split squat, hanging leg raise, AB wheel)
That is very easy to commit to, nice progression.
You just choose your assistance the day.
Main and supplemental is the money lifts.
I would not do the beginner. Pick Letter to young Jim, The beyond you referred to or the last I suggested.
Do it for 2 whole cycles thats 6 weeks, increase the TM after the first 3 weeks. Deload after 6 weeks. If you do the last I suggested I would do another cycle after the deload, increase TM and do the cycle with PR sets on main lifts and reduce the assistance a bit.
That was a long answer to a quite simple question.

Just finished beyond 1.1 and into first week of 1.2. really enjoyed it and hit some big PRs. Think I’ve seen someone suggest cycling 1.1&1.2, think it was rampant Badger.
Not sure if it’s right for you but it’s the best three day I’ve seen for me.

Actually psyched by the step up of volume and intensity in 1.2. almost like it was designed from someone’s substantial experience :grinning: