Training Strength (5/3/1) and CrossFit Simultaneously?

I’ve been dabbling with this idea of training crossfit three times a week and strength (5/3/1 + accessory work) three times per week. I was wondering if anyone on here has done the same or a similar thing and could tell me how they programmed it. Thanks in advance.

Just do strongman.

90% of the new people who turn up at the strongman place I train at have exactly your goals and are nearly always happy they decided to do strongman.

If you like 5/3/1, there’s a new and pretty cool template on EliteFTS (note: not written by or endorsed by Jim Wendler). Worst case, this may give you ideas on how to program.

1 Like

Thanks. Strongman does interest me, but a lower back injury messes with my deadlift. Frame carries are no issue though, so I might just focus on that instead of deadlifting for now.

Broaaadly speaking 5/3/1 for main lift then loads of bodyweight moves/metabolic work etc for assistance is fine

Whatever you do dont do any of the jackass stuff like high rep O lifts or kipping pullups. 6 days a week mish-mash not good either

Not 5/3/1 but good ideas here…

I tried to come up with something like this but gave up. It’s tough to program. The 5/3/1 part is easy but then you’re doing a WOD with squat cleans or push press (or both at the same time) that affects your recovery between 5/3/1 sessions.

I like parts of CrossFit but I can’t figure out the programming in terms of strength. There are days where you build up to a 1RM but it seems random and there’s no progression along the way. I guess the goal is randomness but it doesn’t work for me.

Good luck!

Generally, trying to do too many things at once is a bad idea. The positives you would see with either approach as a standalone are minimized, and the negatives are amplified. Plus, I think there would be too much overlap of the lifts you might do on the WOD and 531, meaning you’d be affecting your recovery.

My advice is to decide which one is more important to you, and focus on that. Also, remember that you don’t have to do everything at once. Do 2 leaders and an anchor of 531, then try doing crossfit for a stretch of time.

I think if you want to supplement 531 with another activity, do something that covers your conditioning or mobility for the week. Like taking up boxing, rock climbing, joining a recreational sports team, or even finding a yoga class.

1 Like

I’ve been struck by the parallels between Strongman and CrossFit for awhile now. I think they’re a lot more similar than most people will acknowledge (not really at the extremes, but for the average “person working out” they offer a lot of the same basic benefits. Some people may want to build their bodyweight skills (things like muscle-ups and handstand walks) but I think you could do a lot of good with a base of barbell and Strongman work augmented with practicing 1 or 2 of the bodyweight skills a day.

For GENERAL FITNESS, that is. Lest someone get me wrong and think I’m telling Brian Shaw to take up CrossFit.

It’s hard not to get sucked into CrossFit after watching the games. I’d love to be like those guys and gals but it’s a full time job for the genetically gifted (at that level).

I got pretty into CF by watching the Games and the YouTube videos that CrossFit puts out spotlighting the top athletes (and the hot chicks, lol) leading up to the Open, regionals, and the Games. I’m not totally into the programming myself but I think the athletes are extremely impressive and they’ve done a lot of stuff right in terms of marketing and making strength and lifting “cool” in a mainstream sense (something that powerlifting, weightlifting, and bodybuilding have never really succeeded at).

It’s pretty funny to see people commenting on the YouTube vids of the events and critiquing the guys by comparing them to top-level athletes in an individual discipline (i.e. people who aren’t that impressed by top Games competitors deadlifting 500 pounds; never mind that they also have to be proficient at muscle-ups, handstand walks, double-unders, rope climbs, have enough cardiovascular horsepower to handle some intervals on a bike or rower, probably at least one longer cardio event - long trail run, swim, one year they had a half-marathon row). Sure, I can deadlift more than Rich Froning! He can beat me in every other physical test you can think of, BUT DOES HE EVEN LIFT?!


Jack of all trades but master of none! I’m not sure what word you use that’s better than Jack and worse than master but that’s where those people live every day.

The 10 year anniversary games had a 7k trail run immediately followed by a Deadlift ladder. The poor guy who finished last in the trail run had 15 minutes to rest before deadlifts and he completed the whole ladder!

Having tried to do this,I will tell you right now it is incredibly difficult to accomplish.

I should state that I have done Crossfit for 1.5-2 years while trying to fit in lifting. I finally decided to go back to my roots with lifting and started competing in powerlifting instead. I don’t regret my decision.

I think you need to make up your mind on what your goals are. In my experience Crossfit doesn’t “fit” into other stuff. The random nature makes it literally impossible. For example they “program” in heavy overhead kettlebell carries on Tuesday, and you have to hit a PR in Bench Press on Wednesday. Good luck, as your delts are gonna be toast and your probably may not even hit minimum reps. But they will say “scale the workout”, which results in you scaling back so far its not going to elicit a training effect and you wonder why the f**k your doing the workout anyway. See the problem?

If your main goal is Crossfit, then do Crossfit. Their definition of fitness has powerlifting as a comparably small portion what they measure. You will need to look across all their criteria and probably need work in a variety of areas as well as lifting.

Me personally, I have found proper programming can achieve the same thing Crossift can. It might not be as sexy, but it can get the job done in simpler way. No need to do 150 wall balls with dubstep blaring in the background, just train like an athlete.