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5/3/1 Variations

Two more ways to reap the benefits of this no-plateau plan

Variation #1: The Bodybuilder Template

Follow the set and rep guidelines for 5/3/1 on your first lift of the day, and then perform four or five assistance lifts with very high volume. Because the volume is a large increase over what we offered you in the magazine, do not take any of your sets to failure. Just go for a big "pump".

Here's an example of how you could set up your training days:

Workout A

  • 1 Barbell Shoulder Press
    Sets and reps according to 5/3/1
  • 2 Barbell Upright Row
    Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 3 Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    Sets: 4 Sets: 12 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 4 Bentover Dumbbell Raise
    Sets: 4 Reps: 15 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 5 Dumbbell Curl
    Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 60-90 sec.

Workout B

  • 1 Deadlift
    Sets and reps according to 5/3/1
  • 2 Chinup
    Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 3 Dumbbell Row
    Sets: 4 Reps: 15 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 4 Back Extension
    Sets: 4 Reps: 25 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 5 Ab Wheel Rollout
    Sets: 4 Reps: 15 Rest: 60-90 sec.

Workout C

  • 1 Bench Press
    Sets and reps according to 5/3/1
  • 2 Dumbbell Bench Press
    Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 3 Dip
    Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 4 Dumbbell Fly
    Sets: 4 Reps: 10 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 5 Triceps Pushdown
    Sets: 4 Reps: 10-15 Rest: 60-90 sec.

Workout D

  • 1 Squat
    Sets and reps according to 5/3/1
  • 2 Leg Press
    Sets: 4 Reps: 10-15 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 3 Leg Extension
    Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 4 Leg Curl
    Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 60-90 sec.
  • 5 Situp
    Sets: 4 Reps: 25 Rest: 60-90 sec.

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