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View Full Version : Implementing assistance exercises for 531


Blair Lowe
06-17-2011, 10:47 AM
Last cycle I started with a simple basic 531 template. LowBarBackSquat, Overhead and Bench Press ( with elbows tracking along body instead of flaring out ) and a conventional Deadlift.

This cycle I had thought of wanting to fit in some front squats. I decided to not do them on the same day as Back Squats before or after but will add them on the day that I DL.

Generally I was doing BS+OHP but on the first week, I added GoodMornings. I didn't really have an idea of how much I could GM so I went off 60% of maxBS and my last set was 155x5 and that was very doable. I'm not planning on trying to go for extra reps on the GM since they are just assistance work.

Tomorrow is when I'll do my day of DL+BP. Initially I was thinking of doing the FS at the end but I think I should do them at the beginning. Originally I was not going to push them past the recommended reps, but now I'm wondering if I could/should?

Right now, max BS is LBBS 335, DL 380, BP 225, OHP 150, FS 235. I didn't test a max GM last week. Sorta half ass and I lucked out that I was able to do 155x5 for the first week.

Kevin Perry
06-17-2011, 05:01 PM
Push away, I think someone on here used FS with 5/3/1 template to good success.

My opinion on GM's is you should do them for sets of 10+ reps with a light weight, just works wonders.

Front squat placement I think is just a matter of preference, try it on DL day before the deads and see how it feels. You gotta just experiment with it.

Blair Lowe
06-18-2011, 05:18 PM
Thanks Kevin, Mr. Steve Low advised I do just about the same.

Troy Kerr
06-18-2011, 05:32 PM
Hey Blair, Greg's book states that 35% of 1rm back squat is a suitable percentage to use for good mornings in the 10 rep range.

Allen Yeh
06-18-2011, 08:33 PM
I wouldn't do FS's before the DL/BP those things are the focus. The only things I remember Jim Wendler recommending before the main lifts would be stuff like box jumps or power cleans i.e. explosive lifts. Put your main focus into the main lifts using the 5/3/1 method.

Then do your assistance lifts and figure out a rep scheme you want to follow and follow that for the cycle. Jim Wendler has had a lot of good articles on T-nation doing FAQ's.
Check this out: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_worlds_simplest_training_template&cr=

Not a huge fan of heavy GM's, I've tried doing 5's and would rather go back to 10's. Just make sure assistance exercises stay that, I did get to a point where I was getting too crazy with my assistance crap.

Allen Yeh
06-18-2011, 08:36 PM
From http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/blood_and_chalk_volume_10&cr=

T NATION: I know too much assistance work can mess up progress as can hitting the assistance stuff too hard. Thing is, I love assistance work. Can I do "more" of it, provided I keep the intensity low? What do you suggest?

JW: This is very easy to do. Remember that in training and in life, there's a balance to everything – a push and a pull. You push something into your training and something has to come out. In your case, you want to push up the volume of your assistance work to elicit greater gains in hypertrophy. Because of this you have to pull something out.

I'd start by dialing back your training maxes to at least 90% of your max and don't go for max reps. Just keep things "even" with your heavy lifting. Don't push everything that hard – keep the intensity up, but the volume LOW.

Now after your big lift of the day, beat the hell out of the muscles. For example, you could squat and then follow that up with big work for your quads, hamstrings, and lower back. But with the increased volume of the assistance work, you need the extra energy that wasn't spent on the main lifts.

The problem is that everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too. It doesn't work like that – you can't be strong like a powerlifter, fast as sprinter, and as big as a linebacker. Well, you can, but these people are so rare that teams pay them millions of dollars and television stations have billion dollar contracts to broadcast them to you. They're called professional football players, and if you're one of them, you aren't reading this, as you're too busy counting your money and cracking skulls.

So if you want to increase the volume of your assistance work, dial back the strength work in the beginning of your training. This will allow you to maintain your strength and build the muscle you desire. Also, less typing – more eating.