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Which Version of 5/3/1?


I am planning on starting a 5/3/1 routine soon. I want to do it to increase my lifts for powerlifitng, which I am just getting into. I am 5'10" and 164 pounds and my maxes are

deadlift: 425
squat: 250
Bench: 170 (really bad I know)

there are a lot of different versions of 5/3/1 and I was wondering which would be best for me to do (triumvirate looks good but idk). also would it be better to do the 3/5/1 version for powerlifting?


Don’t sweat your bench too much, it isn’t too bad in comparison to your squat. However, your squat is lagging way behind your deadlift.

Have you truly maximised linear gains? I think you could add a lot more on your squat and bench before doing a slower program like 5/3/1.

If you have, then Boring But Big is the most popular accessory system and works really well. I would just do normal 5/3/1 and BBB.


what program would you recommend?
I probably haven’t. I’ve barely ever done benching or squating, just db benching and hack/front squats because I didn’t have access to a squat rack or a reliable spotter until recently. I have however done a lot of deadlifting in the past. I think something like starting strength would probably not be enough for me to make decent gains, but maybe there is a linear gain program that would work better for me?


maybe stronglifts/sl advanced or bill starr 5x5

or would SS actually be a good idea?


maybe stronglifts/sl advanced or bill starr 5x5

or would SS actually be a good idea?


It’s true stronglifts and SS don’t offer much volume, but because you’ve not done squats and bench that much your lifts will still go up very quickly. Your squat will especially go up quickly due to the big deadlift. I would do stronglifts or a similar 5x5 linear progression program if I were you and aim to put on some solid muscle mass by eating more.

Just for the record, I can squat 550lbs and only thing I do on squats is squat 3x a week at 5x5 so a 5x5 program will be fine.


I’m going to start stronglifts tomorrow! Thanks for all your help!
I’m also working on eating more. Gaining weight is a challenge for me because of past thyroid cancer that is no gone, but my thyroid hormone stuff gets messed up sometimes and causes me to lose weight. But I have found that I can still gain weight if I eat a lot throughout the day.

anyway, thanks for the help


I’m really glad to hear your cancer has gone! Best of luck with it all, message me if you need any help,


They are all similar, which is the good part. You honestly can’t go wrong with any version but since you are newer to the game I’d go straight by the book, old school 5-3-1 until you learn the in’s and out’s of the program then, you have Bain’s permission to do another version :slight_smile: