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What Program to Start with?

Looking for some advice on a beginner program to start for myself. I like the breakdown of the 5/3/1 program but any of your recommendations would help!

Been looking at the following:

  • 5/3/1 for Beginners

  • 5/3/1 boring but big 3 month challenge

I’ve also read something about 5’s PRO + 5x5 FSL works well for Beginners but can’t seem to find a template of the actual program …

Any experiences with the above programs? Good for beginners?

Appreciate all your help and time!

Don’t start with a challenge workout. Its just that; a challenge. Do 5/3/1 for beginners.


Thanks for your response! How long do you think i should stay on the Beginner 5/3/1 ?

Yeah forget the challenge. Its a miserable program also.

If a total, absolute beginner consider this first…

As long as its working. Then change things only slightly. IMO 531 is so great because it’s so versatile.

I would say i consider myself between a beginner and intermediate. I don’t lift really heavy.

This whole path started 2 years ago. I was 35 years old, 5’8" and 210lbs. I began mostly doing HIIT workouts (cardio and bodyweight exercises) and i lost 45 lbs. I then began doing some strength training (mostly split type workouts … bi’s/back, chest/tri’s, legs, shoulders) and in the 10 months i did it, i went from 165lbs to 175lbs. So i did gain about 10lbs of muscle. Haven’t been strength training for about 4 months now because i had vein surgery and needed to keep my workouts much less intense. I’m good to go now, which is why i’m looking for an actual program to follow …

So, i’m not a “beginner” to strength training, but if i took my 1RM’s into consideration, everyone on this board would probably call me a beginner lol …

With all that being said, do you still recommend a Beginner Routine or anything else i can consider ?

Thanks so much for all your help and time guys, it’s much appreciated!

Do you recommend Beginner 5/3/1 or a different version of 5/3/1 ?

I figure most any version of 531 would work for you - especially the more basic ones like Boring But Big or Triumvirate. I’d stay away from some of the stuff in Beyond 531 (the challenges mostly) for a little until you’re more experienced, although something like 5s Pro would probably be good for you.

I’d suggest you buy the book, and maybe Beyond 531 as well, pick whichever iteration really clicks with you and follow it for a few cycles. Personally, I started out doing Boring But Big when I went to 531 and I had a great time, then moved to First Set Last and I’ve been using that for four cycles. All I do is tweak the assistance and stuff as I go.

Yes, i’ve seen people talk about 5s PRO, but can’t find a basic template of it anywhere …

Buy the book(s), they’re about $10 on Amazon.

Any particular one ? There are a few. Beyond or the regular 5/3/1 ?

I found the original (2nd edition) and Beyond to be plenty of information. I don’t think you could go wrong buying any or all three.

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I like the looks of the 5/3/1 Beginner Routine.

How would you approach this routine ? After each week, add 5% to upper body lifts and 10% to lower and do the routune for three weeks then deload ?

Nope, sounds like you dont get the system yet. Read a few articles like the ‘blood and chalk series’ and ideally get the book.

-After a month you add 5 and 10% to your training max and recalculate from there.

Anyway start with triumvirate all laid out here…

My bad, i actually didn’t mean to say that …

3 weeks with the percentages of 5/3/1, 4th week deload then add the 5 and 10 to TM.

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Exactly, that is correct

Since the beginner routine seems to really have piqued your interest; and you understand the main idea in terms of the TM, do the beginner routine and run it for a few cycles.