Switching to the 5/3/1 Training Program

During the past week, I’ve done nothing but steady state rowing for an hour per day. I’ve mostly been trying to clear out the cobwebs in advance of a programming change in the gym. And now I’m implementing the change…

I’ve been doing PHUL since late November. It’s been a good run overall, but the workouts are long, and I’ve been starting to get really rundown lately as the weights have continued to increase. I’ve thus decided that it’s time for a change.

After much consideration, I’ve decided to follow Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program, as outlined in his book. This seems to strike a good balance of continued (albeit slow-ish) progression, shorter workouts, and lots of flexibility as I move forward.

For starter, I’ll be following the Boring But Big assistance template. I’ll be following the 2nd version, with the BBB sets being done with the complementary lift each day. Thus, I’ll hit 5×10 bench on OHP day, 5×10 squats on deadlift day, and so forth.

Switching if up like this is mainly a DOMS-avoidance technique. I’ve found that it’s best for me to hit each big lift twice in a week, otherwise I can get pretty sore. This is true even if the second day is just higher volume at lighter weights, like the BBB sets will be.

Of course, by switching lifts, I’ll probably be able to handle a bit more weight than if I doubled up on a lift each day (i.e., 5/3/1 sets followed by BBB sets of the same lift). For starters, I’ll be targeting 50% of my training max for the BBB sets, but might increase that if it’s too easy.

P.S. Due to personal scheduling issues, I’ll be spending the next week getting used to the 5/3/1 structure with the 3-day beginner program. After that, I’ll jump straight into the 5/3/1 BBB routine.

Workouts & Training
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