5/3/1 for a Beginner Generally, I tell everyone to just do the program as is, regardless of training age. Of course, if you're a trainer and are using the program with a novice athlete or someone new to training, simply use your experience to make whatever changes are required – though there shouldn't be many. Now if you're a beginner and are working out without any guidance whatsoever, it's probably best to just stick with the basic program. One of the worst things a young lifter can do is take advice from other beginners on message boards – they usually have all the advice and none of the experience. Below is one beginner modification that's permissible, and effective. It's a subtle, easy way to add in some extra work on the main lifts without compromising the program or the philosophies it was built upon. You perform a full-body routine, three days a week. Full body strength routines are the best way for novice lifters to quickly get strong, provided the program is non-retarded (i.e. adheres to an intelligent progression system). Instead of just one main lift per workout (using the 5/3/1 set-up), two main lifts are used for additional weekly exposures. The second main lift, however, should not be performed 5/3/1 style; instead, use a standard 3 sets of 5 reps, starting at 55% of your training 1RM for the first set of 5 and increasing the weight by 10% each successive set. The exception is the deadlifting day with presses as the second lift. Just do 5/3/1 here across the board.