T Nation

Training 3 Days a Week


#1

Hello Jim,

At this moment I train 4 days a week but I'll have to cut it down to 3 days (last year of school, I need to focus on it a bit more). Could you give me an idea how can I fit 5/3/1 into my upcoming routine?

I was thinking about something like: 2 days main lifts and 3rd day assistance stuff.

Monday
Squat - 5/3/1 + FSL
Press - 5/3/1 + FSL
Rows - 50 reps

Wednesday
Deadlift - 5/3/1 + FSL
Bench Press - 5/3/1 + FSL
Chins - 50 reps

Friday
Dips - 50 reps
Barbell Curls - 50 reps
RDL - 3 sets
Leg Raises - 3 sets


#2

Have you looked at the full body template or monolith, or beyond or volume tap or any of the other 3 day templates? Otherwise, throw the day 3 movements on the other 2 days, do them as optional supersets and use the 33rd day to read a book/some other activity


#3

In the 531 2nd ed book I have, I see Jim seemingly pairing up bench with squat and DL with OHP, I think I remember him saying it was to prevent lower back stress… but don’t quote me.

I like the OHP on squat days too, bc I go when it’s empty and I can stay at the same bar :slight_smile:


#4

You can also take a four day template and stretch it out, so you’d do

week 1

MON Press 5/5/5
WED Deadlift 5/5/5
FRI Bench 5/5/5

week 2

MON Squat 5/5/5
WED Press 3/3/3
FRI Deadlift 3/3/3

etc. That’s what Jim laid out as an option in the original 5/3/1 book.


#5

By the way, my weights are light-
I can see needing to pair bench with squat to preserve lower back with heavy (real) weight.


#6

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
You can also take a four day template and stretch it out, so you’d do

week 1

MON Press 5/5/5
WED Deadlift 5/5/5
FRI Bench 5/5/5

week 2

MON Squat 5/5/5
WED Press 3/3/3
FRI Deadlift 3/3/3

etc. That’s what Jim laid out as an option in the original 5/3/1 book.
[/quote]

This is very good advice. For many people it is useful to think training week as an individual thing, and not force it to 7 days.

I like training like this, it gives options to train 2-4 times/week by how you have time/can recover. It would feel quite dull to go to the gym just to hit assistance. I don’t say it is useless, but I would prefer do something more focused when I get the possibility to train.

I have had success when using either Squat, DL - Bench, Press OR Squat, Bench - DL, Press split, but anything works.


#7

I’m sure I read that you can do something like the following

Day 1 squat + assistance
Day 2 Bench + assistance
Day 3 Deadlift & OHP + assistance


#8

Thank you guys for the advices. I’ll go like nighthawkz said - 4 trainings stretched to one week + one day.


#9

i think your set up is fine but another option would be day 1 squat day 2 bench and day 3 deadlift &military. ive also used a 2 per week schuedual day 1 squat/deadlift day 2 bench/military. i know the second lift tends to suffer but i made great progress with that templet.


#10

[quote]bignmean500 wrote:
i think your set up is fine but another option would be day 1 squat day 2 bench and day 3 deadlift &military. ive also used a 2 per week schuedual day 1 squat/deadlift day 2 bench/military. i know the second lift tends to suffer but i made great progress with that templet.[/quote]

Yeah, but if I had to combine two lifts together then I would do squat/bench + deadlift/press. I can’t imagine full template while doing squat, bench, deadlift/press.


#11

A lot of good suggestions in here, I’m currently doing the Monolith (as tsantos suggested above) and I’m really enjoying the program so far. 3 days/week and that is plenty.


#12

I saw Monolith, it’s really solid template. The problem is that, I started making progress when I switch to one major lift per workout.


#13

Check out the “pass the torch” article. Also, he wrote an entire book called “3 Days Per Week.”