Barbell Shrugged

The power of commitment and 5/3/1

Doug Larson

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  • I’m on my third cycle of the 5/3/1 program and my strength gains are way ahead of the program curve! For instance, my third round of the “3” cycle, I’m getting 8-9 reps. My very first week I did 165 for 8 reps on squat. I just did 195 for 8 reps last week. I want to jump ahead but I know I must trust the program and just keep riding it. I don’t know why we get in such a hurry to progress… I guess it’s just the instant gratification / lack of patience age we live in? I actually didn’t know you had Jim on the show, but I’m totally going back and listening to Episode 99 right now! Shameless self plug, but you can check out my progress on my website Thanks for all you BS guys do!

  • I love 5/3/1. But I find my self again and again to stall in presses. In both shoulder and bench press my weak link is triceps.
    I have done 5/3/1 for over a year and I have gained a lot of strength in deadlift and squat. I have no switch the overhead press to push press to learn to be more comfortable with heavier load OH. I will do this for 12 weeks and then go back to strict presses. Any other ideas?

  • I have a question about metcons after 5/3/1. I’ve seen other articles that state to avoid long metcons and chippers but they never say why. Can someone elaborate as to why to avoid long metcons after 531? I’ve been doing crossfit + 531 as strength program for about 6 months with good results. Would results be better if I stuck to faster metcons?

    • If you’re going to Metcon after strength, it needs to be more like assistance strength work. Shorter duration, maybe a little heavier. If you go too long too often, you’re introducing a competing stress that could harm your strength progress. Focus in your training and you’ll get a better result.

  • I really love 5/3/1. We use its principles to structure strength work pre-metcon three days a week at my local box, and recommend it to everyone willing to put in the hard work and especially the patience.

    Do you have any advice on how to add some olympic weightlifting to it without ending up having a crushing ton on volume on the legs? I have read Jim himself suggesting a couple of sets on “leg days”, but I’m not sure if that is enough for someone actively trying to improve those lifts.

    Any tips appreciated, and, just to let you know Chris, the content here is solid gold, as usual. Cheers!

    • If you want to work it in, maybe drop any deadlifts and do your cleans and snatches instead. Work with a qualified coach to help you “fuse” the ideas.

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