T Nation

Where to Go After a Year of 5/3/1


I've been running 531 now for a year with some great results. I've started to feel a little beat down and bored in the gym. Its time to swtich things up. Just wondering if anyone has a reccomendation for a program on where to go next?


I started a WSBB hybrid 5/3/1 program after a year. It drastically reduced my boredom.


what does it look like?


Hmm, I'm looking forward to seeing this too...


Who the hell gets bored lifting weights?

Lifting is fucking awesome. Fix your head, then stop doing "programs" and go fucking train like a demon.

Look, I know the vast majority of us don't have a coach to feed us a plan, so we have to coach ourselves, but 99% of "lifters" on forums need to be more athlete and less coach. Squat, Bench, Pull. Do it every week. Wave the volume and intensity. Train as hard as you can and get stronger. Any "programming" beyond that really doesn't matter.


Ramo, that's the most asinine I've seen in a long time. What's your issue?

For the others, I believe the Hybrid is covered in Wendler's eBook. Of course, I suppose you could just go to the gym and squat, bench, and pull instead of reading his book, but whatever...

It's simple to do and looks [basically] like this:

5/3/1 Press / DE Bench
5/3/1 Dead / DE Squat
5/3/1 Bench / Accessory (back work)
5/3/1 Squat / DE Dead


I have the book. That's not in it. What is in the book is something that frequently issues from the mouths of successful lifters when questions like this come up...don't bastardize programs, and don't overthink your training.

Jim has said many many times that "Dynamic Effort" training has no place in 5/3/1. He says it in the book, he says it in articles on this site, he says it in the Q&A on Elite. 5/3/1 is built for raw lifters, and very very few raw lifters get anything out of traditional DE work. A small minority do, the vast majority don't...don't use the exception to prove the rule. So if my opinion doesn't carry any weight with you maybe the author of the book's does.

If you and/or the OP are lifting at a high level, then you already have a good feel for how to modify your training when things get stale. If not, you need to figure that out and listen to people who are stronger. And most of these aren't big on mental masturbation, elaborate "programming", or "hybrid" anything.

And when guys come into the gym blathering about brand-name programs and this or that newfangled thing they read on the internet, we know without a doubt that (1) they are weak as shit, and (2) they won't last. That's my issue. Sorry if it's distasteful to you but it's reality.


Has Wendler ever recommended DE along with 5/3/1? I've seen it asked before and he says don't do it. I also found the best way to come off 5/3/1 is doing a modified version of it. If switching to westside I recommend only doing upper OR lower (just at first) and keep the other 5/3/1 still. They both follow the same alternating upper/lower days and 3 weeks + deload. Right now I'm doing a version where I alternate Squat/DL weeks for 6 total and 7th is deload.


A few things:

1- Just because Wendler said something, doesn't mean it applies to everyone. Much respect for the brother, but blanket statements are foolish.
2- Explosive lifting-training for explosive power and speed-can benefit anyone who is lifting-geared or raw. Please don't try to prove that wrong, because it will just sound silly.
3- This is my 5/3/1 workout. I'm getting results out of it. It is keeping me motivated and I've enjoyed the break in my strict 5/3/1 execution.

I'm still missing why this bothers you so much that you have a problem with making modifications to your program when you get a bit stale. I'm not pushing a program, I'm not pushing newfangled this or that or brand name anything. Just the addition of some speed training to an already great "program" like 5/3/1. It's so minor that your ire is confusing.

I'll take back my comment about it being in the book. I can't find it. I was mistaken. You can find this workout if you do a search for it on the web.


'Minority' right here. I've been on the Westside BB template since the beginning of summer and it's been working great. The only time I stalled is when I started tampering with the template to try to 'make it work for a raw lifter'. I tried replacing DE day with RE day: bad idea. I also tried doing more chest work than tri work: bad idea again.

There's a reason there are so many programs out there. It's because not every program works best for everyone for physiological reasons and psychological. Moving away from 5/3/1 was a good idea for me. The volume on the big lifts was destroying my joints and it was boring as hell and the rep maximums had low carryover to my maxes. I've seen people on these boards making great progress with 5/3/1 but I'm not one of them and the OP might benefit from a similar change (maybe not WS BB but something different).


I met Wendler today, and while I was a believer before, I have been re-affirmed 10x over that his suggestions are sound. If Wendler says something isn't a good idea training-wise, that is good enough for me. He's not a fan of 5/3/1 + DE work, he's got reasons for it. I would also say from meeting him that he doesn't give a flying fuck if you do DE work with 5/3/1- it's your life, go live it.


I'm a believer in Wendler. I'm a believer in the program.

You know what I'm a bigger believer in (besides worshipping Wendler)? Results. I'm doing what I'm doing because while I appreciate his knowledge, I don't give 2 shits what he says or why he says it. I take the parts of his program that work for me, I add my own bit and as long as it's working, I could care less.

After 12 cycles of 5/3/1, I'm pretty sure I'm qualified to make some changes...


What it looks like you're doing is using the DE work as your assistance work most of the time. In this case I think it could work fine because DE work with short rest periods can certainly elicit a training effect. The problem with adding DE work to 5/3/1 is that most people want to add it to a 5/3/1 with a full complement of assistance work with separate DE work added on top. The way you are doing it actually looks fine.


You're probably "qualified" to make some changes after you have both a solid base of knowledge as to why the changes should be made AND you've built significant strength with the methods, regardless of how many damn cycles youve done. Ive done 5/3/1 for most of the past 2 years, and i dont really care how many cycles that means. You can cut the fucking attitude and the Wendler worshiping bullshit. All I said was he advises against it, but in reality doesn't really care what YOU (or I, or anyone else) does for their assistance lifts. (in other words, go ahead and fucking do it if you want to, it's your life!).

But I'm curious what kind of results you've seen, if you'd care to share them with us. I'm not trying to be a dick here, but at nearly 300lbs, with squat and deadlift both below 500lbs, I suspect much of any gains you've been seeing are more of a function of simply getting more experience squatting and pulling, than any one assistance scheme.


Not trying to be a dick here, but anytime I hear someone say "...X person said it and I don't care why they said it, I believe it because they must have a good reason...", I can't help but question their objectivity. If they don't care to ask the 'why', how can their advice on the particular subject be sound?

I began looking for a better assistance scheme because my lifts were generally progressing, but they were inconsistent. I had up weeks and down weeks. My inconsistency became consistent.

Since implementing this a few cycles back, my working/AMRAP sets have completely leveled off and smoothed out. Is this because of the DE work? maybe. Is it because of the reduced volume due to the DE work? maybe. Is this because of 'getting more experience squatting and pulling'? maybe.

I appreciate your concerns, but I believe that I have the experience necessary, and the base of knowledge necessary to make these changes without consulting with the master.


Please show me where I said "X person said it, and I don't care why they said it, I believe it because they must have a good reason"- the thing is, you don't have the liberty of changing my words around because they're right there for anyone to see. I didn't say that, plain and simple.

You really need to get off this "master" and "worship" shit, it just makes you sound like an ass. And at nearly 300lbs, with deads and squats around 450lbs, with knee wraps, you aren't nearly as strong or knowledgable as you think you are.


Go do some powerlifting routines:
-russian squat routine

5-3-1 is not the be-all end-all of the strenght training routines


You did say it, though:

Your comments actually don't bug me a bit. I figure if all you can do it make comments about my weight, I must be doing something right. They make you look like an insolent douche, too.


You conveniently dismiss the sentence right after that which states "he's got reasons for it" but whatever, you certainly can do whatever you'd like. It gets a bit ridiculous when people start modifying plans that were put together by people that are much, much stronger than them; much much more experienced and knowledgable than they are on the subject. You can do whatever you want, I should never have challenged your modified plan, because it doesn't matter one bit to me. My progress is quite fine two years into 5/3/1, without making modifications. Quite honestly, the only times I didn't see progress are when I did deviate from the plan, and knew at the time that I probably should just stick to the plan, only to look back a month or so later and kick myself.


I think these would be the best for you, you have the basics, now lets get into more depth, that will keep you entertained. And BTW, your not the only one who gets bored.

Or buy the westside book of methods ( this is the only way I would suggest doing westside routines)

Or try the Juggernaut method, the joshsrength method, or anything like that, look for them on Elitefts.com