T Nation

What Book to Buy? Does It Matter?


Looking to buy one of the 5/3/1 books. Just no idea which one to get, as I don’t know what the differences are.

Which one should i get?


I’m thinking just preorder the 5/3/1 forever? But then buy the kindle version for like £7 so I can get a start today. As I’m coming to the end of my little break (only a week) I gave myself, and looking to start training again monday.


My understanding is that 5/3/1 forever builds on an understanding of the system so it’s probably not a good idea to buy it first.

You could probably get away with buying Beyond.


I think Beyond covers the basics very well and gives you lots of ideas on how to customize your template.

5/3/1 alone is not a program, it’s more of a method to apply to lifts. Learning how to customize the templates becomes the program.

Forever seems to have a whole bunch of NEW stuff which, while REALLY cool, might not possibly be easy for people just starting out and learning to program. Which is fine because there will likely be lots of programs that you can do as is, but it’s once you start tweaking that the real understanding starts.

Edit speeling


Jim answered a similar question and said to buy the new “531 Forever”.

While you wait, you can still get started right away. There are several 531 workout programs on this site, including the Beyond 531 1.1 - 1.4. That will keep you busy (and progressing) until the new book comes.


Oh, well there ya go OP.


Jim also recommends buying the original if you’re not familiar with the system (per the website)


I really think Beyond replaces the original. It covers everything about the original program. But honestly, it may not matter. As long as the original or Beyond conveys the premise, Forever is probably the only reasonable place to end up.


Just buy the new book at Jims website or wait for kindle
There is plenty of information online regarding the previous books that you dont need to buy or download a pirated copy. Unless thats what you want to do; not telling you to do so.

Philosophy like the majority of the rest: Train smart;Dont be a pussy


The original and go on your journey.


For you, get the original book. It will ram home the main point -progress on the top set/main lift
Beyond is great but provides too many variations and at 17yo will probably confuse you/encourage to keep flip and flopping.


In all honesty, I would start with the original 5/3/1.

It was my first book and completely changed the way I thought of lifting. Think of it as philosophy course, if you will.

But Beyond 5/3/1 comes a close second - its basically putting into practice the principles of 531 and going one step beyond.

If u can, get both. Guarantee you wont regret.


Yep, just buy the first book if that’s all you can afford right now. Later, get the 3rd book. The 2nd book can be skipped completely.