NOV, Pilates and Full Body Training...and Assistance Work
What up Jim! My name is Ross. I'm a firefighter down in Texas and have been using your program for awhile now and can't say enough good things about it!! Just have a small question. Of course my main goal is the primary lifts but I love workin my traps! It doesn't hurt to have them along with a strong upper back when your wearing an air pack for awhile! Wondering if you could tell me some ways to hit'em pretty hard. I appreciate what you do. Stay NOV!
Check out the “Yoke” article on EFS and another article (can’t remember the name) on www.JimWendler.com detailing the exercises I recommend. In general, power cleans, hang cleans, deadlifts, TBar rows, Kroc rows, upright rows, shrugs and drag rows (also known as the shrug/row combo that Karowski used) would all fit the bill. Couple that with some neck work and you’ll be good to go.
Any opinion on Pilates? Looking at throwing in a class alongside your 4 day simple strength template and martial arts twice a week. It's about the only physical activity my girlfriend will do with me (asides from the obvious).
I've got shit flexibility and can only see it doing good.
Answer: I will be honest here and say that I have no idea what Pilates is. If it is a structured flexibility program (and more importantly one that you will follow), it would be better than what you are doing now, which is probably nothing much. Give is a shot and make sure it is structured for your current level. You wouldn’t expect an expert Pilates person to squat 800. And a Pilates instructor shouldn’t expect you to do the equivalent in their given discipline.
Just started 5/3/1 and I have been having serious troubles finding the right assistance work for me. At first, I was interested in the Simplest Strength template, which I chose the big 4 assistance lifts to go with my main lifts. I realized, however, that some of the lifts may not be necessary for me. For example, I chose good mornings for squat day. This doesn't make sense for me because for my deadlift (and my squat) the weak part is my quads, not my lower back. I programmed some other exercised that I felt (and still feel) are necessary for me because they hit my weak spots or are pulling exercises, which you said you can't do enough of.
My main point is that my weaknesses for the big lifts are usually the big muscles involved (e.g. the pecs or the quads) and not some other secondary muscle. I don't know what assistance to do for the big muscles because I feel like most of them are geared towards some secondary muscle.
In summary, the primary muscles for each lift are the weak links, what accessory work should I choose?
Answer: Do the template/sets/reps/exercises as written. It covers all the major muscle groups (quads, hamstrings, low back, shoulders, chest); assistance work isn’t just about the mythical weak point bonanza that is sweeping the nation. It’s about balance. And please don’t be afraid to make your strong points stronger. Seems silly to me to not dance with the girl that got you there.
And let’s be honest with each other, very few people shouldn’t do good mornings. Don’t be afraid to get stronger.
Hello Mr. Wendler. I bought your 5/3/1 for powerlifting ebook about a year ago and have been following the program in that time span. I am extremely satisfied with the results. I keep seeing in your Q&A posts that you hint at an NOV book to be released sometime in the future. What exactly will the book cover? Will it be more of a supplementary book on training or something else entirely?
Answer: The NOV book is a labor of love for me – it’s basically my message to my sons about life and training. When this will be done? I have no idea as it has grown over the past year and will be published when I think I’ve dumped all my intellectual diarrhea on the paper. This book will ONLY be available in hard copy; that much I do know.
I hope you have time to read this, I've done a ton of research on your 531 program and.have been trying to put together the best workout for me. I'm 21, 6' 180lbs and I eat like a horse so recovery shouldn't be an issue..
But I've done ss for a while and didn't really like it bc of the lack of conditioning (I'm a Cav scout in the national guard, so overall fitness is important too)
I guess I just wanted your approval (or other recommendations) for this routine. My 1rms are currently squat 205 dead 235 bench 195 press 115.
The routine I wanted to do is..
Power clean 531(not going for max reps)
2 mile run (military requirement)
The thought with the power cleans is to stay familiar with them while still adding some weight but not going balls out.
Also, doing heavier conditioning on workout B since A has 3 531 lifts.
If you take the time to read this I greatly appreciate it..
By the way, my main goal is just to get strong.not powerlifting or bodybuilding..just look decent and perform my military duties better.
Answer: Personally, I wouldn’t do this program. I’d do something like this:
Squat – FB template progression
Clean – 531
Bench Press – 5/3/1 (pair with chins)
Squat – FB template progression
Deadlift – 5/3/1
Press – 5/3/1 (pair with chins)
Squat – 5/3/1
Bench or Press – 5 sets of 10 reps
Lat work (preferably rows)
I just don’t like doing too many “big” exercises per workout – keep it at 1 or 2 exercises with the 5/3/1 sets/reps. This is part of my training philosophy. Whether it is part of yours, I don’t know.
I have been doing 5/3/1 for a couple years now and have had great results. Thanks for everything you do.I wanted to mix it up a bit and switch to the various full body templates from the 2nd edition, obviously starting with the first one and working my way up. I did have a few questions:
1. What does the deload look like for the extra squatting days do the percentages stay the same on all templates?
2. What about extra work for abs and lowback? I was thinking about throwing 3X10 on days when I fell like I am feeling good for the extra work.
3. What about GHR throw those out?
4. Sprinting? Just program it the same?
Thanks for you time, I know you get a lot of questions.
1. The same deload %’s as in the program; nothing changes.
2. If you feel that this will help you, do it. I would recommend doing the program as written.
3. Do the program as written – then make the changes you feel you need to make after a couple months.
4. Your programming of sprints, etc. would mirror your goals and physical levels – so yes, the same as you normally would depending on your current training goals.
Question: Hey Jim
Lately I've been reading about powerlifters who trained just squat/bench/dead and nothing else, barely any accesory exercises , if at all.
I've read in your books about not worrying about the accessory work, which is what too many people do. Then with your full body template, it basically has you do a squat-a press-and a pull all in the same workout, 3x a week. I can see your own training is reflecting this now as well.
I guess my question is Can a person get stronger on the main lifts at a faster rate by just training the main lifts such as how you structure in your full body templates or even the "im not doing jack shit" template? Is it because more energy is saved due to the dropped accessory work, and allows faster strength adaptation? Because I remember in your Im not doing jacked shit template, you dont full endorse just doing the main lift only.
Answer: You still need to do assistance work (for the reasons I list in the book). The only people that really don’t need to do it are people who are genetically suited for the sport of lifting. The problem with the over abundance of questions about assistance work is that there is 99% focus on 1% of the program. This makes no sense to me. A solid program with the correct main exercises and sets/reps/progression makes the biggest difference. Assistance work serves a purpose but it certainly isn’t the anchor.
Question: Hey Jim,
I just want to start by saying how badass 5/3/1 is. I utilized several templates and have hit PRs at every meet I've entered since starting the program and have also noticed a marked improvement when I compete in strongman as well. As always, a tip of the hat to you, sir.
I recently started the full body template as I'm experiencing some shoulder problems and this template allows me to back off the percentages for my upper body lifts and still get good work in through the 3x week squatting. My question is in regards to amount of assistance work (I know you hate these questions). Would additional assistance work on the training days be too much due to the increased squatting volume? What about doing simple, non-weighted bodyweight work on on non-training days? I feel like the overall volume is low, but I know this can be deceiving because of the amount of stress squats can put on the CNS and the body. The last time I squatted more than once a week was 10 years ago when I was still in the Marine Corps and my 20-year-old body was much more resilient and bulletproof back then. I just don;t want to get too overzealous. Thanks and onward to victory.
Answer: If I were you, do the program as written for several months. Then when you feel confident about where you are at and your decisions regarding programming, make the changes you feel you need. The Full-Body Template progressions listed in the book will take care of most of your programming and extra work needs.
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