Tired of Bulls**t and Gimmicks. Best 5/3/1 Plan for Fat Loss?

Hey everybody. I wanted to ask everyone a quick question. I’ve been trying to lose some fat and love handles and have tried a few different things. Anyway, I’m tired of all of the bullshit and gimmicks out there. I want to get back to strength training like I used to do and a gradual fat loss diet. However, my main goal is to lose some fat. My question is what is the best 5/3/1 variation to follow for fat loss? Also, is it best to do the conditioning after the workouts or on off days? Or is there something else out there I should do? (I have ran 5/3/1 before, read 5/3/1 and beyond 5/3/1).

Honestly, any variation will help you lose fat if you eat right as consistency is really the only thing that brings about change. To choose one, IMO I’d say the BBB template since you are hitting high (total 50) reps of assistance exercises.
I believe Jim has said it doesn’t matter when you do the conditioning, after workout or off day whichever works for you.

Good luck with your goal!

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My experience w BBB was that a calorie deficit drove me into the ground. The volume catches up to you pretty quickly.

Fat loss is about get these right, in this order, especially if you want to make a gradual, permanent change.

  1. Diet, first dump the junk, then watch your carbs
  2. Sleep
  3. Life stress
  4. Recovery
  5. Metcon added a little at a time
  6. Which 5/3/1 template to use
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If you’re tired of gimmicks then the most sensible approach is to look at what you are eating now and pick out a couple of things you can improve every few weeks.

It might be to regularly eat 3x per day
It might be to get more veggies.

It doesnt really matter, the point is we all know how to eat but we’ve been purposely confused by those who stand to make a buck from making things muddy and needlessly difficult.

Learn to change bad habits to good ones. Dont be the person who ends up listening to some muppet telling everyone to eat kale in 30g portions 6 times per day and avoid spinach because kale is superior and will fix all your problems.


I just dropped my weight from 95 kg to 89 kg and body fat from 26% to 20% between January-April by cutting carbs very drastically but this was done under supervision. What I would suggest is that you start decreasing carb intake gradually, let’s say first you drop carbs from breakfast for a week or two, then from lunch but keep the carbs in meals around training. If this works then your golden, but you can also tweak the intake around training if you don’t see results. By carbs I mean potato, pasta, rice etc., veggies you can of course eat as much as you can. And don’t forget add “good” fats such as olive oil, nuts and avocado to your diet because they give some energy back that you lose by cutting the carb intake. Don’t know how much protein you are getting, but do not lower the amount, keep it as is or increase. Also drink A LOT of water. I also made the mistake of going too heavy with weights, so maybe instead of adding volume you should lower the TM, decrease the rest periods between main work and do bodyweight stuff for assistance circuit style. Intensity over volume.

I dropped 20 pounds over 6 months using mostly the Simplest Strength template. I lowered my supplemental lift TMs because on 5 week, I started failing on the 3x10s. I suspected the calorie deficit had a bit to do with that. My strength gains were slow, but steady. Every main lift went up in the process. I even hit a PR at my body weight in the press at the end of the 6 months.

I didn’t do anything exceptional in cardio. I sprinted twice a week and took walks most days. (I get 3-4 miles of walking at work). I slept and I recovered. I think the reduced volume of SST helped (me at least).

I think the biggest key was that I took a slow approach to it. I only slightly reduced calories. My deficit was less than 300 per day, and never more than 500. That and recover, recover, recover.

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This has to be Wendlers favorite thread title of all time

The other posters all had good advice. Diet is the absolute biggest determining factor in how you look and what your weight is. Master this and you master your weight.

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Drop your calories into a very slight deficit (200-300/day or so) and pick a variation that won’t beat the hell out of you. So, probably not BBB. Maybe FSL with a single FSL set and a couple of assistance exercises.

I know everyone preaches the low carb no carb approach but that’s not great advice for everyone. When cutting, yes I cut, I keep the carbs and protein as high as possible, while staying in a deficit, and I seldom lose strength and the weight just falls off. Every time I’ve gone carb restricted gym performance suffers. Just my 2 cents and I’ve done both.

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I appreciate the input from all of you guys! I was also hoping for a reply from Jim himself. I’m new to the website, but does he usually respond to most of the posts?

@jordankipper55 ,

I see you’ve recently signed up. You could search this forum for fat loss-related topics and you’ll surely gather a ton of valuable information.

Jim gave some good advice in this thread:

And my personal favorite:

Hope this helps. There’s been a ton of information given on this forum and reading through older topics can be really useful at times.


Thanks for the links man, I really appreciate it!