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  1. #1
    Registered User Chubster3000's Avatar
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    Should I always bench heavy?

    So i'm following this Jim Wendler 5/3/1 program where it says I should be benching twice a week like this:

    Week 1:
    65% 1x5
    75% 1x5
    85% 1x5+
    65% 5x5

    Week 2:
    70% 1x3
    80% 1x3
    90% 1x3+
    70% 5x5


    Week 3:
    75% 1x5
    85% 1x3
    95% 1x1+
    75% 5x5

    My accessories are:
    4x10 incline dumbell
    4x10 dips
    4x12 skullcrushers/rope pulldown


    Since I do these twice a week, I was wondering if I should instead do the first day following the program, and the second day doing a bit lighter, and incorporating close and wide grip bench. Because I'm not doing any other bench variations at the moment and I'm also benching heavy (is it considered heavy?) every session. I was thinking of doing this for the second day:

    5x5 bench
    4x10 close grip bench
    4x10 wide grip bench
    4x10 incline smith machine
    4x12 skullcrushers/rope pulldown



    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Bands and chains FurtadoZ9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Chubster3000 View Post
    So i'm following this Jim Wendler 5/3/1 program where it says I should be benching twice a week like this:

    Week 1:
    65% 1x5
    75% 1x5
    85% 1x5+
    65% 5x5

    Week 2:
    70% 1x3
    80% 1x3
    90% 1x3+
    70% 5x5


    Week 3:
    75% 1x5
    85% 1x3
    95% 1x1+
    75% 5x5

    My accessories are:
    4x10 incline dumbell
    4x10 dips
    4x12 skullcrushers/rope pulldown


    Since I do these twice a week, I was wondering if I should instead do the first day following the program, and the second day doing a bit lighter, and incorporating close and wide grip bench. Because I'm not doing any other bench variations at the moment and I'm also benching heavy (is it considered heavy?) every session. I was thinking of doing this for the second day:

    5x5 bench
    4x10 close grip bench
    4x10 wide grip bench
    4x10 incline smith machine
    4x12 skullcrushers/rope pulldown



    Thanks!
    Too much volume.

    The program is written to prevent you from doing something like that.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Chubster3000's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FurtadoZ9 View Post
    Too much volume.

    The program is written to prevent you from doing something like that.

    So I should just follow the program and forget about the other bench variations?
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  4. #4
    12 pack > 6 pack PurmaBulker1984's Avatar
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    How long have you been doing 531. If you are only a few months in, give it time, It is a great program.

    If you've ran it for 6 months and don't line it, choose a bodybuilding program instead of altering.
    Current max
    325 bb bench
    295 incl bb bench
    275 push press.

    Married w/ 2 kids crew
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  5. #5
    Building The Monolith Anthony21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Chubster3000 View Post
    So i'm following this Jim Wendler 5/3/1 program where it says I should be benching twice a week like this:

    Week 1:
    65% 1x5
    75% 1x5
    85% 1x5+
    65% 5x5

    Week 2:
    70% 1x3
    80% 1x3
    90% 1x3+
    70% 5x5


    Week 3:
    75% 1x5
    85% 1x3
    95% 1x1+
    75% 5x5

    My accessories are:
    4x10 incline dumbell
    4x10 dips
    4x12 skullcrushers/rope pulldown


    Since I do these twice a week, I was wondering if I should instead do the first day following the program, and the second day doing a bit lighter, and incorporating close and wide grip bench. Because I'm not doing any other bench variations at the moment and I'm also benching heavy (is it considered heavy?) every session. I was thinking of doing this for the second day:

    5x5 bench
    4x10 close grip bench
    4x10 wide grip bench
    4x10 incline smith machine
    4x12 skullcrushers/rope pulldown



    Thanks!
    Not knowing what your training max is, you shouldn’t be benching heavy every bench day.

    On your OHP if you really want to have a bench variation thrown in to up frequency, just add a bench variation after your OHP work.
    My training log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175799121
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  6. #6
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    Wendler himself invented the abbreviation YNFTP.

    The post sounds like you've seen a quick description of 5/3/1 in some me internet article rather than having read the 5/3/1 book (books)

    Good for you for wanting to give it a go, but really you'd get so much from reading Wendler's book (s).

    IMHO.. just keep training however you've trained before. Buy a copy of 5/3/1 (maybe the original book for now) and try 5/3/1 once you've had a good read. It will answer your posted question and more.

    Enjoy...
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  7. #7
    Registered User WakingOp's Avatar
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    I don't know of any version that has you lifting heavy twice a week. There's a few that have you lift light on a second day
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  8. #8
    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Post your source for this programming. I don't think that you're doing an actual Wendler program. You should only be benching "heavy" once a week on most templates and that will vary and should not have 85% as your lightest across all three weeks.
    We will never know if we overreacted and did too much. We most certainly will know if we did too little.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Deathguard's Avatar
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    Not an expert on programs. Have seen people bring up 531 on this board a number of times. My impulse would be to ignore the popular plans people try to sell, or even mental queues that seem to be over done (MIND MUSCLE CONNECTION!!! CONTROL THE WEIGHT!!!)

    Train smarter, by all means. try out a program - stick with it and keep to its prescriptions - if you want to accurately judge it. Make sure you are eating a lot of carbs (this is key). Keep things consistent in your diet and life.

    Maybe you should look into starting strength eventually. It has an advanced setup as well - whenever you get there.

    Good luck.
    "May the wrath of Zeus descend upon you like a great black toad in heat"
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  10. #10
    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Just do the program as is. A lot of programs vary the volume/intensity on different days. Benching heavy every single workout will limit your progress since your body will adapt.
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    Building The Monolith Anthony21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deathguard View Post
    Not an expert on programs. Have seen people bring up 531 on this board a number of times. My impulse would be to ignore the popular plans people try to sell, or even mental queues that seem to be over done (MIND MUSCLE CONNECTION!!! CONTROL THE WEIGHT!!!)

    Train smarter, by all means. try out a program - stick with it and keep to its prescriptions - if you want to accurately judge it. Make sure you are eating a lot of carbs (this is key). Keep things consistent in your diet and life.

    Maybe you should look into starting strength eventually. It has an advanced setup as well - whenever you get there.

    Good luck.
    5/3/1 is popular cause it's a simple and proven method to train. There is plenty of online information on the program where one wouldn't even need to buy any of the books.
    My training log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175799121
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  12. #12
    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Anthony21 View Post
    5/3/1 is popular cause it's a simple and proven method to train. There is plenty of online information on the program where one wouldn't even need to buy any of the books.
    Somewhat true. You don't need to buy anything to get the program and run it, but if you're going to run it, I do think it's worth buying 5/3/1 Forever

    There is no online resource as comprehensive or as easy to reference as this book

    https://jimwendler.com/products/5-3-1-forever-book
    We will never know if we overreacted and did too much. We most certainly will know if we did too little.
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Somewhat true. You don't need to buy anything to get the program and run it, but if you're going to run it, I do think it's worth buying 5/3/1 Forever

    There is no online resource as comprehensive or as easy to reference as this book

    https://jimwendler.com/products/5-3-1-forever-book
    Oh for sure I'd also recommend buying 5/3/1 Forever if you plan to run 5/3/1.

    I'm definitely glad I have the book myself.
    My training log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175799121
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  14. #14
    Registered User Deathguard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Anthony21 View Post
    5/3/1 is popular cause it's a simple and proven method to train. There is plenty of online information on the program where one wouldn't even need to buy any of the books.
    531 sounds like a secret success methodology developed on Oprah.

    If everyone has so much success with it, then the question is, how long did it take these people to get to the numbers they are at, and was it actually faster than xyz program? It's an unanswerable question. Though, I prob side with some others mentality on this: what takes you to 225 isn't going to be the same way you got to 315, or to 405 or to 500... etc.

    If there is anything people need to assess more than their program, it's whether or not they are consuming a significant amount of carbs, along with managing stress/sleep in their life.

    When people ask how I train, like slow or fast, I'd anymore just tell them 'yes'. Same if you are not doing both volume and intensity sometime in your training, then you're doing it wrong.
    Last edited by Deathguard; 01-03-2020 at 01:08 PM.
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    Building The Monolith Anthony21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deathguard View Post
    531 sounds like a secret success methodology developed on Oprah.

    If everyone has so much success with it, then the question is, how long did it take these people to get to the numbers they are at, and was it actually faster than xyz program? It's an unanswerable question. Though, I prob side with some others mentality on this: what takes you to 225 isn't going to be the same way you got to 315, or to 405 or to 500... etc.

    If there is anything people need to assess more than their program, it's whether or not they are consuming a significant amount of carbs, along with managing stress/sleep in their life.

    When people ask how I train, like slow or fast, I'd anymore just tell them 'yes'. Same if you are not doing both volume and intensity sometime in your training, then you're doing it wrong.
    5/3/1 is not some secret success method developed by Oprah. It’s simply a simple, straight forward program that works for a lot of people. Just like many other programs that are out there and available.

    It’s recommended a lot again because of its simplistic approach and how it can be adjusted to fit a lot of people’s needs and style of training. Is 5/3/1 the holy grail? No.

    Is 5/3/1 a good training program that has a majority of what good training programs have in order to push progress? Yes.
    Last edited by Anthony21; 01-03-2020 at 07:52 PM.
    My training log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175799121
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    Bands and chains FurtadoZ9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deathguard View Post
    531 sounds like a secret success methodology developed on Oprah.

    If everyone has so much success with it, then the question is, how long did it take these people to get to the numbers they are at, and was it actually faster than xyz program? It's an unanswerable question. Though, I prob side with some others mentality on this: what takes you to 225 isn't going to be the same way you got to 315, or to 405 or to 500... etc.

    If there is anything people need to assess more than their program, it's whether or not they are consuming a significant amount of carbs, along with managing stress/sleep in their life.

    When people ask how I train, like slow or fast, I'd anymore just tell them 'yes'. Same if you are not doing both volume and intensity sometime in your training, then you're doing it wrong.
    Jim designed it in a particular way that caters to the people who don't adhere to programs, have days where they don't sleep well / eat enough, miss workouts, half ass and don't take it 100% seriously.

    Which is most of us. It's very forgiving and designed to be a long term solution with minimal impact and most importantly, facilitate our every day lives.

    Its also extremely effective. Are there other programs that could theoretically take you to a higher level over "x" amount of time? I'm sure there is. But this will get you 80-90% there with, most likely, a greater success rate.
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    Registered User Deathguard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FurtadoZ9 View Post
    Jim designed it in a particular way that caters to the people who don't adhere to programs, have days where they don't sleep well / eat enough, miss workouts, half ass and don't take it 100% seriously.

    Which is most of us. It's very forgiving and designed to be a long term solution with minimal impact and most importantly, facilitate our every day lives.

    Its also extremely effective. Are there other programs that could theoretically take you to a higher level over "x" amount of time? I'm sure there is. But this will get you 80-90% there with, most likely, a greater success rate.
    This is what i want to focus on:

    "It's very forgiving and designed to be a long term solution with minimal impact and most importantly, facilitate our every day lives."

    I wonder how many people looking for programs have not a clue that this is a compromise.

    I think there are too many parameters that program is balancing/promising.

    If it seems like it works, good for you.


    I think where I'm coming from, I think there's something more right about someone slaughtering weights like a savage, with little to no regard for specific tweaking of the weights (using percentages). It's the right mentality and a program should give order to that emotion.

    I think a program that gets you closer to that point of exertion is better than the inverse (upon that spectrum). It satisfies the inherent attraction a male (should) have for lifting weights - to conquer something, to achieve victory, mastery of his body.

    Real life does happen, and so strength training has to work around that. However, if your training doesn't alot for that discretion to fit in at times harder months, then its almost a crying shame.
    I digress.
    Last edited by Deathguard; 01-03-2020 at 10:40 PM.
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    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deathguard View Post
    This is what i want to focus on:

    "It's very forgiving and designed to be a long term solution with minimal impact and most importantly, facilitate our every day lives."

    I wonder how many people looking for programs have not a clue that this is a compromise.

    I think there are too many parameters that program is balancing/promising.

    If it seems like it works, good for you.


    I think where I'm coming from, I think there's something more right about someone slaughtering weights like a savage, with little to no regard for specific tweaking of the weights (using percentages). It's the right mentality and a program should give order to that emotion.

    I think a program that gets you closer to that point of exertion is better than the inverse (upon that spectrum). It satisfies the inherent attraction a male (should) have for lifting weights - to conquer something, to achieve victory, mastery of his body.

    Real life does happen, and so strength training has to work around that. However, if your training doesn't alot for that discretion to fit in at times harder months, then its almost a crying shame.
    I digress.
    Oddly enough... I think Wendler's 5/3/1 book, his attitude to training and life are a very close match to your posts. Probably more so than the actual OP of this thread.

    If you don't mind his dry and sometimes abrasive sense of humour, forthright opinions and occasionally strong language I think you'd enjoy reading his original 5/3/1 book (I certainly did). Probably find you've far more in common with his thinking than general mass consumption programs or BS YouTubers with shortcuts and tricks.

    Wendler can offend many people, safe to say he'll never read my comments here though. He's at pains to tell people never to come to forums like this one and warns against the "internet 'tuckers' with all of the advice and none of the experience". You talking about us (me?) Mr Wendler? How rude!

    Try to borrow a copy, you might enjoy the read even if you don't use the program (s) he's famous for.
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
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    Originally Posted by Deathguard View Post
    This is what i want to focus on:

    "It's very forgiving and designed to be a long term solution with minimal impact and most importantly, facilitate our every day lives."

    I wonder how many people looking for programs have not a clue that this is a compromise.

    I think there are too many parameters that program is balancing/promising.

    If it seems like it works, good for you.


    I think where I'm coming from, I think there's something more right about someone slaughtering weights like a savage, with little to no regard for specific tweaking of the weights (using percentages). It's the right mentality and a program should give order to that emotion.

    I think a program that gets you closer to that point of exertion is better than the inverse (upon that spectrum). It satisfies the inherent attraction a male (should) have for lifting weights - to conquer something, to achieve victory, mastery of his body.

    Real life does happen, and so strength training has to work around that. However, if your training doesn't alot for that discretion to fit in at times harder months, then its almost a crying shame.
    I digress.
    I think it's time for you to stop ranting against something you don't even understand

    Now, go do some months of building the monolith, FSL Widowmakers followed by BBB, or maybe the hard version BBB 3 month challenge, and get back to us.

    Don't forget the jokers
    Last edited by Farley1324; 01-04-2020 at 08:44 AM.
    We will never know if we overreacted and did too much. We most certainly will know if we did too little.
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    I dont think 5/3/1 is a bad program, I do think the volume for bench for most people is just wasy too low, hence all the complications with jokers, backoffsets, etc etc.

    Thought it worked pretty well for lower body.
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    Originally Posted by DCSpartan View Post
    I dont think 5/3/1 is a bad program, I do think the volume for bench for most people is just wasy too low, hence all the complications with jokers, backoffsets, etc etc.

    Thought it worked pretty well for lower body.
    Which templates are you referring to?
    We will never know if we overreacted and did too much. We most certainly will know if we did too little.
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Which templates are you referring to?
    I stopped counting how many minor variations of his programming he could put out when 5/3/1 Beach Body came out.
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    Originally Posted by DCSpartan View Post
    I stopped counting how many minor variations of his programming he could put out when 5/3/1 Beach Body came out.
    So when you say it doesn't have enough bench volume, you're kind of just making it up?

    Minor? lol

    I think the consistent thing about 5/3/1 is the only people who talk **** about it, don't know anything about it

    No, but really, if it doesn't have enough bench volume for you, you're on the wrong template for you
    We will never know if we overreacted and did too much. We most certainly will know if we did too little.
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    Originally Posted by Deathguard View Post
    I wonder how many people looking for programs have not a clue that this is a compromise.
    Roughly the same amount of people with mediocre adherence to a perfect program.
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    Originally Posted by FurtadoZ9 View Post
    Roughly the same amount of people with mediocre adherence to a perfect program.
    Or plowing ahead on a cookie cutter super strict program that spells out every last ounce on the bar and rep to complete at breakneck progression-speed, leading to form breaking and fried 'cns' from excessive overreaching
    We will never know if we overreacted and did too much. We most certainly will know if we did too little.
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    So when you say it doesn't have enough bench volume, you're kind of just making it up?

    Minor? lol

    I think the consistent thing about 5/3/1 is the only people who talk **** about it, don't know anything about it

    No, but really, if it doesn't have enough bench volume for you, you're on the wrong template for you
    When it does have volume it has stupid volume like 5 sets of 10 after a heavy AMRAP set. At teh end of the day you are doing something completely different than 5/3/1 to try to get your volume up.
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    Originally Posted by DCSpartan View Post
    When it does have volume it has stupid volume like 5 sets of 10 after a heavy AMRAP set. At teh end of the day you are doing something completely different than 5/3/1 to try to get your volume up.
    If you want more volume, you are doing a 5/3/1 template that has higher volume than some of the others.

    Which templates are you familiar with?

    Also, PR* sets.

    What is your preferred sets x reps to get bench press volume?
    We will never know if we overreacted and did too much. We most certainly will know if we did too little.
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    Originally Posted by DCSpartan View Post
    When it does have volume it has stupid volume like 5 sets of 10 after a heavy AMRAP set. At teh end of the day you are doing something completely different than 5/3/1 to try to get your volume up.
    5x10 is a reasonable back off strategy from a top set.

    Perhaps it warrants too light of a weight for some people, where more weight @ 3-4 x 8 could be subbed in. But it's valid.

    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Or plowing ahead on a cookie cutter super strict program that spells out every last ounce on the bar and rep to complete at breakneck progression-speed, leading to form breaking and fried 'cns' from excessive overreaching
    Yes
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    Originally Posted by FurtadoZ9 View Post
    5x10 is a reasonable back off strategy from a top set.

    Perhaps it warrants too light of a weight for some people, where more weight @ 3-4 x 8 could be subbed in. But it's valid.
    And if you choose to do 5x10 as your supplemental, you don't have to do it sets across, either, you could work down in weight if you wanted. There are also templates with supplementals of various 5x5, or 10x5, or 1x20, or 5 5 10+, and more.

    If there isn't enough volume for you, pretty much you didn't pick the right template for your needs
    We will never know if we overreacted and did too much. We most certainly will know if we did too little.
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    And if you choose to do 5x10 as your supplemental, you don't have to do it sets across, either, you could work down in weight if you wanted. There are also templates with supplementals of various 5x5, or 10x5, or 1x20, or 5 5 10+, and more.

    If there isn't enough volume for you, pretty much you didn't pick the right template for your needs
    So far you're the only person I've recognized since re-joining the forums from 10 years ago.

    I see you've been quite active sir
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