My goals are pretty straightforward this year: try to add a 75 pounds between the three lifts while making improvements in my physique where I can. To that end, this program still incorporates Wendler’s 5/3/1 and is still 5/3/1, it is just more of it. A lot more of it, and its not a bro-split either. Yep, that’s correct, I am incorporating more full body workouts and while I hesitate to state this is a DUP or Bulgarian approach to 5/3/1 (lest the purists call for my head for bastardizing it) it did inspire me quite a bit.
- Bench and squat. Three times a week and pair them together where I can for better meet crossover.
- Full body. No bro splits. (And this is not to impugn the split, they are still quite effective and have their place.)
- Volume. Big But Boring was simply not enough volume for me — but running that as an assistance prior was great preparation. AMRAP last sets.
- Variable. Use 5/3/1 training max percentages to establish three levels of training intensity. Light. Moderate. Heavy.
- Self auto-regulation. Know when to run the full program as designed, or alter variables as needed for time or for fatigue.
- Conditioning: Push-ups and chin-ups.
With those principles in mind, the program pretty much wrote itself. Essentially what I did for bench and deadlift, I made one day LIGHT — up to 60% of TM, one day MODERATE — up to 80% of TM, and for the heavy day I’d run 5/3/1 — and in my case 3/5/1. Basically, just added two deload days for bench and squat. For example, squat:
- Squat (L): 135×7, 150×5, 185×5, (60%) 225×12 AMRAP. 185×10,10,16 AMRAP.
- Squat (M): 135×7, 150×5, 185×5, 225×3, 260×3, (80%) 295×10 AMRAP. BBB: 185×10,10,13 AMRAP.
- Squat (531): 135×7, 150×5, 185×5, 225×3, 295×3, (90%) 330×9. BBB: 185×10,10,10,10,11 AMRAP.
The rest are accessories will be increased by 5 pounds per week, which includes BBB work, deficit deadlifts, RDLs, dumbbell work, etc. All BBB and lighter work is kept at a rest of less than 90 seconds, a minute is best. Workouts are contained to 75 minutes sans warm up and cool down stretching and foam rolling.
I need this badly. Reps start at a modest 30 first week, but for me, those chin-ups are difficult to hit 30 reps. I was going to start at 15, but when I ran the pre-flight last week 15 wasn’t quite challanging enough. The key above demonstrates how the reps increase.
This is the really cool thing. Let’s say I walk in for my moderate day squatting on Thursday and I am just too blown out by Wednesday’s work. Do I skip it? Nope. I can do several things. I can 1) work up to 80% and do minimum reps; 2) Run the light day up to 60% and then decide if I can do the 3×10 sets, or: 3) just do the 3×10 sets at 50%. Same goes for bench press.
DELOAD WEEKS 4 & 8?
You had to ask, didn’t you! I’ll get back to you.
I am excited about this program for the next 8 weeks. I hope that my bench (especially this lift) and squat will improve and I will grow all sorts of gnarly muscle. I already have in mind the next program, but I won’t start penning that out until I run the first 4 weeks.
At the end of this program, I will write up my experiences. Did I make this ambition plan work? Am I dead? But you’ll be able to follow along on the blog to see if I am idiot or savant.
EDIT: After the first week, I’ve decided to remove that second Rack Pull to Shrug and instead add in another Push press for a better bench press crossover.