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  1. #1
    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Anyone here run 5/3/1? Thinking about switching when my semester resumes.

    For the past month or so, I have been running the Reddit PPL (which is similar to Coolcida's ppl but with 1 heavy set of deadlifts on one of the pull days + the rep ranges alternate between 5 and 8-12 for the bench and ohp). I have been making linear progress with this routine so far and have been progressing in weight (or reps) for both the compounds lifts and the isolation exercises. I would like to continue this routine but my semester for college resumes next Wednesday and going to the gym 6x a week is not sustainable for my schedule. I am thinking about running either a 3 or 4 day template of Wendler's 531.

    I am familiar with the Beginner's program a little bit and I know that there are 50-100 reps to be completed for the assistance exercises. Considering how the purpose of 531 is to work with submaximal weights for the barbell movements, would directing most of my energy into the assistance defeat the purpose of the program? I was thinking of doing 4-5 sets of 8-12 into DB presses, rows, ab-work, etc. in order to get some hypertrophy (especially since the first few cycles of 531 are supposed to be "light" to ensure long-term progress).

    I am currently 158 lbs and 5'5 and around 20 percent BF. My max B/S/DL are 140/290/300 lbs respectively and I could do about 3 chin-ups and 1 pull-up. I still consider myself a beginner but I noticed my linear gains are slowly coming to a halt, even with deloads and adding volume. My main goal in lifting atm is hypertrophy so if anyone can give me advice, I'd appreciate it.
    Last edited by Odifududix; 01-12-2020 at 01:34 PM.
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  2. #2
    Toronto Millz12323's Avatar
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    I've been running various different templates if 531 for longer than I'd like to admit... My app says I'm on cycle 13 but im not disciplined enough to take all of the deloads your supposed to or really even follow the program properly lately as I'm skipping a lot of the assistance work these days.

    For the first 8 months I was dieting and getting lean. In that time my squat has gone nowhere at all but I added almost 100 pounds to my Deadlift and a fair bit to my OHP. I reckon I could strict press a little over 200 right now.. And bench is going great lately.. I'm not really looking to push a heavy 1rm attempt at the moment.

    I'd say give it a try. If you're interested in the program pick up a copy of the forever book.

    Boring but big is one everyone seems to run. I'm going to do the 3 month challenge and then be done with 531 I think...

    Set it up with PR. sets.. This is the best part of the program and use a proper training max. maybe jokers if you want too.
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 475x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 165x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
    531 Log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177172201
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  3. #3
    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    I hate to bump this topic but if my current goal was hypertrophy, would it make sense to do a template of 531 in the first place? I was thinking of doing the Viking's Barebones or Lyle McDonald's GBR. I don't mind doing 531 but I feel as though most of my hypertrophy to come from the assistance work.

    If I do Viking's Barebones, would it be stupid to drastically lower the rep goal for squats and deadlift? I care more about my one rep maxes for those lifts unlike the presses. My legs are disproportionate from my lower body (I squat 285 lbs while I can barely bench 140). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing squats but doing high rep sets is gonna start making me dread them.
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    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    there's probably some hypertrophy oriented stuff with 531, not my favourite program but it can work. Looks like you need to decide what you want. On one hand you say you care more about one rep maxes for squats and deadlifts but you want to train for hypertrophy on the other. AFAIK Vikings basically has you doing 4 sets of 32 reps for squats which averages to about 8. That isn't really that high of a rep scheme. You're also overthinking it. You're going to put on size and strength more or less similarly doing sets of 8 rather than sets of 5. Especially if you are a newbie lifter which it seems like you are.

    If you don't like high rep squats then i would probably run something else like fierce 5.
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    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sooby View Post
    there's probably some hypertrophy oriented stuff with 531, not my favourite program but it can work. Looks like you need to decide what you want. On one hand you say you care more about one rep maxes for squats and deadlifts but you want to train for hypertrophy on the other. AFAIK Vikings basically has you doing 4 sets of 32 reps for squats which averages to about 8. That isn't really that high of a rep scheme. You're also overthinking it. You're going to put on size and strength more or less similarly doing sets of 8 rather than sets of 5. Especially if you are a newbie lifter which it seems like you are.

    If you don't like high rep squats then i would probably run something else like fierce 5.
    I guess 531 is something I'll stick to once my semester resumes. I've been on PPL for the past several weeks and Viking's weekly volume less. Plus I do enjoy the concept of it and the freedom when it comes to push/pull/core assistance work.
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    I hate to bump this topic but if my current goal was hypertrophy, would it make sense to do a template of 531 in the first place? I was thinking of doing the Viking's Barebones or Lyle McDonald's GBR. I don't mind doing 531 but I feel as though most of my hypertrophy to come from the assistance work.

    If I do Viking's Barebones, would it be stupid to drastically lower the rep goal for squats and deadlift? I care more about my one rep maxes for those lifts unlike the presses. My legs are disproportionate from my lower body (I squat 285 lbs while I can barely bench 140). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing squats but doing high rep sets is gonna start making me dread them.
    If you're concerned with hypertrophy, just make sure all your assistance work is geared got hypertrophy and also run a higher volume main program like bbb. I would set it up as follows:

    Day 1
    Squat 531 + pr and/or jokers on 3 and 1 week
    Squat 5x5 @ fsl
    Assistance (25-50 reps of push/pull/ single leg of core


    Day 2
    OHP 531 + pr and jokers on 3 and 1 week
    OHP 5x10 @ 40 - 70%tm
    Assistance (25-50 reps of push/pull/ single leg or core

    Day 3
    Deadlift 531 + pr and joker sets on 3 and 1 week
    Deadlift 5x5 @ fsl
    Assistance (25-50 reps of push/pull/ single leg of core

    Day 4
    Bench 531 + pr and jokers on 3 and 1 week
    Bench 5x10 @ 40 - 70%tm
    Assistance (25-50 reps of push/pull/ single leg or core

    That can be your leader template and then your anchor will be something else. Instead of 25-50 reps of each push pull for the anchor you could do 50-100 reps instead and use those to focus on hypertrophy.
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 475x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 165x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
    531 Log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177172201
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  7. #7
    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Millz12323 View Post
    If you're concerned with hypertrophy, just make sure all your assistance work is geared got hypertrophy and also run a higher volume main program like bbb. I would set it up as follows:

    Day 1
    Squat 531 + pr and/or jokers on 3 and 1 week
    Squat 5x5 @ fsl
    Assistance (25-50 reps of push/pull/ single leg of core


    Day 2
    OHP 531 + pr and jokers on 3 and 1 week
    OHP 5x10 @ 40 - 70%tm
    Assistance (25-50 reps of push/pull/ single leg or core

    Day 3
    Deadlift 531 + pr and joker sets on 3 and 1 week
    Deadlift 5x5 @ fsl
    Assistance (25-50 reps of push/pull/ single leg of core

    Day 4
    Bench 531 + pr and jokers on 3 and 1 week
    Bench 5x10 @ 40 - 70%tm
    Assistance (25-50 reps of push/pull/ single leg or core

    That can be your leader template and then your anchor will be something else. Instead of 25-50 reps of each push pull for the anchor you could do 50-100 reps instead and use those to focus on hypertrophy.
    I skimmed the 2nd edition of 531 but I'm away from home for awhile so I can't read the book. I understand the TM is 90% of your one-rep max. Would the 5x10 for the presses by 40-70% of the training max or the one-rep max? Also do you have to do Push, pull, AND Leg/core assistance work every session (i.e doing Lat Work on Squat days) or just on the session it's appropriate?
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  8. #8
    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    I skimmed the 2nd edition of 531 but I'm away from home for awhile so I can't read the book. I understand the TM is 90% of your one-rep max. Would the 5x10 for the presses by 40-70% of the training max or the one-rep max? Also do you have to do Push, pull, AND Leg/core assistance work every session (i.e doing Lat Work on Squat days) or just on the session it's appropriate?
    it's based on the training max, good thing with 531 is you can customize it the way you like. The accessories really aren't that important in terms of programming. Just as long as it doesn't interfere with recovery and progression on your main lifts. You can do 1 leg/pull/push/core exercise each session if you want. This makes it more of a full body day. Or just simply do legs one day, pull one day, push another, core another and just keep going with it in a cycle. It's not a huge deal. It's the main sets you would be more concerned with, don't overthink the the accessory volume too hard, do a few sets for a few accessory exercises near failure and you should be okay.
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    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sooby View Post
    it's based on the training max, good thing with 531 is you can customize it the way you like. The accessories really aren't that important in terms of programming. Just as long as it doesn't interfere with recovery and progression on your main lifts. You can do 1 leg/pull/push/core exercise each session if you want. This makes it more of a full body day. Or just simply do legs one day, pull one day, push another, core another and just keep going with it in a cycle. It's not a huge deal. It's the main sets you would be more concerned with, don't overthink the the accessory volume too hard, do a few sets for a few accessory exercises near failure and you should be okay.
    Intersting. I guess I'll run it in the future and do 5x10 @70 percent of my TM. I know I should probably start off light but my max bench press is only 140 lbs; anything else feels like a glorified warm up set. Can 5x10 be done with DBs as well or are they best reserved for assistance?
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    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    Intersting. I guess I'll run it in the future and do 5x10 @70 percent of my TM. I know I should probably start off light but my max bench press is only 140 lbs; anything else feels like a glorified warm up set. Can 5x10 be done with DBs as well or are they best reserved for assistance?
    I would maybe even start a bit conservative on the 5x10. It's a lot of volume which you may not even be accustomed to yet, especially for something like squats. or if you are not used to this sort of rep/set scheme. At worst you went a little bit light on your first week and at worst you may have some pretty bad DOMs and have this volume effect your recovery for the next few sessions. I know for me personally at about the 4th set of 10 my legs or arms start developing alot of localized fatigue, and this is lifting around the 60-65% 1RM range on average.

    5x10s could be done with DBs, i'd maybe use something else if you are already doing 5x10 for your assistance but that's just me. You don't need to overdo the assistance if you are already doing your main lifts + 5x10 on assistance. A few sets should be fine.
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    Do your first week @ 40 or 50% for the 5x10. Increase the percentage on 3 and 1 week. What I do is if it feels too easy, I make it harder by doing paused reps. Which is what I have planned today.



    I would highly recommend taking the programming stress off your shoulders and download some kind of 531 app that tells you what weight and reps you should be working with that day


    My workout today looks like this 5s week

    Bench - TM : 255
    165x5
    190x5
    215x5 (no pr or joker sets because it's 5s week)

    135 5x10 (50%

    And then whatever I program for assistance which lately I've just been skipping because motivation Sucks lately.

    There are 0 challenging sets in my workout today because 5s week. Like nothing here is over rpe 5 so to make it feel like I'm not just wasting my time I'll throw in paused reps this session. I may do the whole session with a 2 CT pause each rep.

    When most people look at it they see an easy training session that's a waste of time but the primary benefit is it's much easier to become better at a movement when you have a 50% weight on the bar instead of a 95% weight like most people train and they just have trash form all the time.

    This is assuming you want to train for strength and want to become proficient at the movements.
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 475x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 165x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
    531 Log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177172201
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  12. #12
    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    You guys have made the program more clear for me. I do have a few questions left:

    1. Can your percentages for the 5x10 have to be vary for different exercises? Like can I do 40% for squats but 60% for bench?

    2. Do your 5/3/1 sets have an AMRAP set like the beginner’s template where you set a PR?

    3. Do the push/pull/core assistance have to be at least 50 reps?

    4. Are standing cable crunches viable?
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    You guys have made the program more clear for me. I do have a few questions left:

    1. Can your percentages for the 5x10 have to be vary for different exercises? Like can I do 40% for squats but 60% for bench?

    2. Do your 5/3/1 sets have an AMRAP set like the beginner’s template where you set a PR?

    3. Do the push/pull/core assistance have to be at least 50 reps?

    4. Are standing cable crunches viable?
    1) you're supposed to use a different percentage depending on the week so for example I'll use 50% on 5 week 60% on 3 week and 70% on 1 week.

    2) yes this is the most fun part of the program. Jim refers to them as pr sets in the forever book.

    3) it depends on the template. Some templates call for 0-50 reps each of push pull core assistance whereas other programs call for 50-100 reps each of push pull core assistance.

    4) don't see anything wrong with it. The openness of the assistance work let's you kind of make it your own as long as you balance the push pull and core.
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 475x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 165x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
    531 Log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177172201
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    Registered User rpedrosb's Avatar
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    Currently running 5/3/1 BBB. Cannot really give any critics about it since I have only run it for 2 cycles, but so far I enjoy it and I don't find as boring as they make it sound (maybe because I added some variety with accessory exercises).

    Could you give me some feedback regarding my accessory lifts? Does inverting the BBB lift (Bench with press, squat with deadlift) have any effect? I just do it to make it less monotone

    Day 1:
    Squat 5/3/1
    Deadlift BBB 5x10
    Leg curl 2x10
    Abs

    Day 2:
    Bench Press 5/3/1
    Shoulder Press BBB 5x10
    Lat Pulldown 5x10
    Facepulls 2x10
    Biceps curl 2x10

    Day 3:
    Deadlift 5/3/1
    Squat 5x10
    Leg Press 2x10
    Abs

    Day 4:
    Shoulder Press 5/3/1
    Bench Press BBB 5x10
    Seated Cable row 5x10
    Facepulls 2x10
    Triceps pushdown 2x10
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  15. #15
    Registered User Odifududix's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rpedrosb View Post
    Currently running 5/3/1 BBB. Cannot really give any critics about it since I have only run it for 2 cycles, but so far I enjoy it and I don't find as boring as they make it sound (maybe because I added some variety with accessory exercises).

    Could you give me some feedback regarding my accessory lifts? Does inverting the BBB lift (Bench with press, squat with deadlift) have any effect? I just do it to make it less monotone

    Day 1:
    Squat 5/3/1
    Deadlift BBB 5x10
    Leg curl 2x10
    Abs

    Day 2:
    Bench Press 5/3/1
    Shoulder Press BBB 5x10
    Lat Pulldown 5x10
    Facepulls 2x10
    Biceps curl 2x10

    Day 3:
    Deadlift 5/3/1
    Squat 5x10
    Leg Press 2x10
    Abs

    Day 4:
    Shoulder Press 5/3/1
    Bench Press BBB 5x10
    Seated Cable row 5x10
    Facepulls 2x10
    Triceps pushdown 2x10
    Bumped for you brother, reading about 531 is interesting.
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    Originally Posted by rpedrosb View Post
    Currently running 5/3/1 BBB. Cannot really give any critics about it since I have only run it for 2 cycles, but so far I enjoy it and I don't find as boring as they make it sound (maybe because I added some variety with accessory exercises).

    Could you give me some feedback regarding my accessory lifts? Does inverting the BBB lift (Bench with press, squat with deadlift) have any effect? I just do it to make it less monotone

    Day 1:
    Squat 5/3/1
    Deadlift BBB 5x10
    Leg curl 2x10
    Abs

    Day 2:
    Bench Press 5/3/1
    Shoulder Press BBB 5x10
    Lat Pulldown 5x10
    Facepulls 2x10
    Biceps curl 2x10

    Day 3:
    Deadlift 5/3/1
    Squat 5x10
    Leg Press 2x10
    Abs

    Day 4:
    Shoulder Press 5/3/1
    Bench Press BBB 5x10
    Seated Cable row 5x10
    Facepulls 2x10
    Triceps pushdown 2x10
    Jim says not to invert the lifts but I like to do it anyway.. If only so that people don't stare at you like some psychopath doing like 10 sets of bench.

    The one thing is that you're not supposed to just run BBB continuously.

    BBB is used as a leader template.

    Jim explains to program your training in the following ways

    3 leader/2 anchor
    2 leader/2 anchor
    2 leader/1 anchor

    The anchors tend not to have pr sets or joker sets and are generally a little easier in my opinion and allow for more assistance work.
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 475x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 165x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
    531 Log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177172201
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    Is running 531 feasible if you go to a commercial gym? I skimmed my copy of 531 Forever and I would like to start BBB but my gym lacks medicine balls or boxes. Would squat jumps be a decent substitute for an explosive jump? If so, what can I sub for throws?
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    Is running 531 feasible if you go to a commercial gym? I skimmed my copy of 531 Forever and I would like to start BBB but my gym lacks medicine balls or boxes. Would squat jumps be a decent substitute for an explosive jump? If so, what can I sub for throws?
    I don't think the boxes are entirely necessary for the jumps. Most of the gyms around here at least have medicine balls and I actually quite enjoy doing a few throws before I get into training.

    If you don't have the equipment for it then I guess skip it. I guess Jim wants to make sure you warm up your body before you jump into the weights.

    I personally skip the jumps and mobility and just do quite a few sets lately with a really light weight.

    For bench I'll do 2 sets with just the bar
    Squat and DL I do 2-4 sets at 95-135
    And then I'll ramp up into more warm up sets leading up to the working sets

    Basically until I feel like I'm moving well.

    The biggest thing I learned from 531 is that the submaximal training is really helpful. I know you're probably looking at doing bbb at like 50% and wondering what's even the point or the 5x5 fsl is a glorified warm up set but the carryover to the higher intensity stuff is legit.
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 475x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 165x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
    531 Log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177172201
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    Originally Posted by Millz12323 View Post
    I don't think the boxes are entirely necessary for the jumps. Most of the gyms around here at least have medicine balls and I actually quite enjoy doing a few throws before I get into training.

    If you don't have the equipment for it then I guess skip it. I guess Jim wants to make sure you warm up your body before you jump into the weights.

    I personally skip the jumps and mobility and just do quite a few sets lately with a really light weight.

    For bench I'll do 2 sets with just the bar
    Squat and DL I do 2-4 sets at 95-135
    And then I'll ramp up into more warm up sets leading up to the working sets

    Basically until I feel like I'm moving well.

    The biggest thing I learned from 531 is that the submaximal training is really helpful. I know you're probably looking at doing bbb at like 50% and wondering what's even the point or the 5x5 fsl is a glorified warm up set but the carryover to the higher intensity stuff is legit.
    I suppose I'll stick to the warmup sets. I am not an athlete- just a recreational lifter.

    My gym does have medicine balls but no where to throw it or slam it lol. The only uses I've seen involve core exercises.
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    Originally Posted by Odifududix View Post
    I suppose I'll stick to the warmup sets. I am not an athlete- just a recreational lifter.

    My gym does have medicine balls but no where to throw it or slam it lol. The only uses I've seen involve core exercises.
    Dont they have smaller ones that are like the size of a basketball and weight 5-20 pounds?

    Also I misinterpret what it says in the book. I think he says you don't so bbb with pr sets and joker sets but rather you can do those in the anchor after your bbb leader.

    In my opinion don't kill yourself with the details but that's just me.
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 475x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 165x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
    531 Log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177172201
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    Okay so I go back to school this Wednesday (where I would like to start running 531) and I took a second look at my schedule; apparently Mon, Wed, and Fri are the perfect time for me to lift; all the other days have me preoccupied with class or clubs.

    Would Building the Monolith be feasible if I can't do more than 3 chin ups? I looked at Wendler's site and it has rep goals involving 100 chins, 100 dips, 100 shrugs etc. I don't know if my body can handle that much volume but I am already stalling out at a 140 lb bench press even with a calorie surplus.
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    Can someone explain to me (or point out where I can find this information) what is this leader/anchor thing about?
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    Originally Posted by rpedrosb View Post
    Can someone explain to me (or point out where I can find this information) what is this leader/anchor thing about?
    In the books man!
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 475x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 165x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
    531 Log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177172201
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    Originally Posted by Millz12323 View Post
    In the books man!
    I have 2nd Edition and Beyond and I did not find it there (I have to admit I did not go through every single page). Is it in the Forever?
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    Originally Posted by rpedrosb View Post
    I have 2nd Edition and Beyond and I did not find it there (I have to admit I did not go through every single page). Is it in the Forever?
    Oh sorry man. I only have the forever book and I haven't read any of the other ones. Maybe he only talks about it in that book
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 475x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 165x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
    531 Log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177172201
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    Originally Posted by Millz12323 View Post
    Oh sorry man. I only have the forever book and I haven't read any of the other ones. Maybe he only talks about it in that book
    No problems, I was thinking of getting Forever anyway as soon as I decide if I keep going with 5/3/1 in the long term. Thanks to its variety and personalisation options, it feels as a training philosophy that can be followed almost indefinitely.
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