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Old 11-07-2009, 01:46 PM   #1
Arien Malec
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Default 5/3/1 and weightlifting plan

I'd like to continue to focus on strength (particularly squat and overhead pressing strength) while maintaining technique on the core lifts.

5/3/1 seems to fit my brain and hopefully recovery ability. I know some of you have been combining the core lifts with 5/3/1 approach for the strength work. I'm looking for feedback and critique of the following plan or plans:

Idea #1:

Saturday:
Snatch, work up to %, do as many singles as can be done with good technique/speed
5 week: work up to 80%
3 week: work up to 85%
531 week: work up to 90%
Push press 5/3/1

Monday:
sn, c&j light technique work
Back squat 5/3/1

Wednesday:
C&J, same approach as snatch above
Bench/floor press 5/3/1

Thursday:
sn, c&j light technique work
Clean pulls 5/3/1 OR
Snatch DLs 5/3/1 (reps until technique degrades)

Assistance work/conditioning only as recovery permits

Idea #2: One lift a day

Wednesday: technique work, bsq, 5/3/1
Thursday: technique work, push press 5/3/1
Friday: snatch as above
Saturday: jerk as above
Sunday: clean as above

(obviously drops bench and DL work, again assistance/conditioning only as recovery permits)

Thoughts? Alternative approaches?
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:29 PM   #2
Alex Bond
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Arien, for idea #2 I would do the Clean and Jerk together on Sunday, or maybe Snatch Saturday and C&J Sunday or Monday to try to fit another rest day in the middle there. It sounds like a pretty good plan.

Edit: Or another way might be
Day 1: Snatch
Day 2: Push Press
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: C&J
Day 5: Back Squat

There you have a rest day before the more technically demanding lifts, and you have two rest days after the more physically taxing C&J and Back Squat to recover for the next week to come around. These are just ideas though, it seems like a good framework no matter what specific ordering of days you decide to go with.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:06 AM   #3
Arien Malec
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I like your edit Alex. I'm thinking of setting it up like this:

Monday, Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: sn
Thursday: pp
Friday: rest
Saturday: c&j
Sunday: back sq
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:03 PM   #4
Arien Malec
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In the deload week of this after the first cycle.

Conclusions:

1) trying for max reps in sn & c&j combined with 5/3/1 work on pp and bsq really sucked. It works better to keep strength cycles focused on strength.
2) Recovery from the bsq work interfered with the core lifts, and shoulder fatigue was a real problem (this is exacerbated by the fact that I have crappy recovery ability and really poor upper body strength)
3) As set up, even with technique work, I wasn't getting enough work in the quick lifts.
4) Marathon reps to failure on the squat really suck (my last sets were 10-13 reps); there is such a thing as starting too low.

For the next cycle, I'm going to set up as follows:

Snatch and C&J work will be done to a reasonable set of reps with a medium-heavy weight that I can lift quickly with no misses

T: sn, c&j, pp 5/3/1
Th: sn
Sa: sn, c&j, clean pull 5/3/1 (last set until speed breaks down)
Su: c&j, bsq 5/3/1
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:44 PM   #5
Gavin Harrison
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I have a few things I think might help you, give you want to do o-lifts but focus on strength(?).

First, spread out your work.. you claim to have poor recovery ability, but you're trying to cram a lot into the week... 3 sn sessions, 3 c&j sessions, PLUS push press and back squat 5/3/1..

Try this maybe

Day 1: Upper assistance. Keep it simple, push ups, dips, chins, rows, etc.
Day 2: Cleans 5/3/1, Squat 5/3/1, Abs
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Press 5/3/1, Chins, DB presses of some kind (bench, incline, whatever).
Day 6: Lower assistance. Again.. simple: lunges, back extensions or GHR, etc.
Day 7: Rest
Day 8: Upper assistance. Same.
Day 9: Snatch 5/3/1, Deadlift 5/3/1, Abs
Day 10: Rest
Day 11: Rest
Day 12: Bench 5/3/1.
Day 13: Lower assistance. Same.
Day 14: Rest

Or just ONLY do 3 days per week.

like

A: Clean 5/3/1, Squat 5/3/1
B: Press 5/3/1
C: Snatch Technique, DL 5/3/1
D: Bench 5/3/1

example
Monday: A
Wednesday: B
Friday: C
Monday: D
Wed: A
Friday: B
...

You don't necessarily need to squeeze your training into arbitrary work week intervals.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:50 PM   #6
Alex Bond
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Get the oly lifts on their own day so you can really do a lot of reps and get some real work down on them. The oly days where I felt I made the most progress were the ones where I came in, did just one lift for maybe 20 reps, all singles, starting low, working up to 90% for a single, dropping off a bit to ~70%, work back up to 85-90%, then ramp down from there. Then do some assistance stuff, some light squats or ab stuff or pull-ups or something. That's just my style - if I'm going to be training, I want the chance to really sink my teeth in. That many heavy reps really gives you a chance to establish yourself, find a problem in your lift, think of a solution, test it, drill it, and demonstrate to yourself that you've learned it, all in one session. If you are trying to do other heavy stuff that day, you won't have the energy to devote to what matters.

It sounds like the back squats demanded too much in recovery, so drop them. Push press are good for developing strength, but if you're putting heavy shit overhead 3-4 times a week anyways, how much push-pressing do you need on top of that? You mention shoulder fatigue as a problem. Maybe regular presses, they are a bit less systemically demanding. It sounds like you were just doing too much other stuff.

Do you have Greg's book? Are you familiar with the beginner program in there? It's excellent, you might want to give that a try.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:03 AM   #7
Ian Gallimore
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To echo what Alex has suggested, give the OL stuff a day of their own so you can give them the time they deserve, and also so you can push yourself on the strength days. I've just finished my 7th cycle of 5/3/1 plus OL, and shifting the OL stuff to their own day(s) made a big difference. FWIW, I'd be very suprised if back squatting once a week was what hit your recovery (you didn't mention what assistance you did, but from your description I'm guessing it wasn't Boring But Big). The volume isn't exactly GVT. I did BBB on everything for the first 4 or 5 cycles and I had no recovery issues, and I'm 35 in a couple of months. In week 1 of a cycle I'll often deadlift up to 15 reps, so one set of 10 in the squat really shouldn't be an issue.

You have pretty much the same goals as me at the moment, so here's how I have things set up over the course of a week:

Sunday: C&J, clean pulls
Monday: Front squat 5/3/1, Strict press 5/3/1, Assistance: Back squat ladders 2-3-4-5-6 reps x 3 sets, dips 5x10r, chins 5x10r
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Snatch, snatch pulls, pushups 5 x max reps
Thursday: Clean deadlift 5/3/1, Assistance: DB rows 5x10-20r, GHR, hanging leg raises and/or plank variations
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off

You'll notice that Monday is a volume day, and Wednesday serves as a tune up day before Thursday's heavy loading. There's no bench because it causes my shoulder problems over time, plus I have no real desire to ever bench again. Personally I'd suggest you skip it too to save yourself the recovery issues, and to strict press rather than push press. Strict press is much easier to gauge progress on than push press, because you don't have to work out whether an increase is just due to getting better leg drive but still being weak overhead, and as Alex says, it's much less taxing overall.

Now, 5/3/1 has a deload every 4th week, so your heaviest strength work will be done in week 3. In order that I can dedicate all my powers to squat, press and pull during week 3 I have my OL set up so that the most volume is in week 2, then to cut back significantly on volume and intensity during week 3, then ramp back up in intensity in week 4 when I'm deloading the strength lifts. I can then use week 4 as a bit of a test week and work up to a max triple/double or single just to keep things fresh.

Also, don't skip the assistance. Sets of 10 in the squat may not be fun, but from my experience of 5/3/1 they do work, and it's important to do what works not just what's fun. However, I found a way of reducing the boredom of high rep squats by using ladders with more weight. That way I can get 60 reps done in 3 sets in less time than it would take to do 5x10r, and with more weight on the bar. 5x10r in the press is still awesome though - I did that for the first 6 cycles, and only switched to dips this last cycle. If you have poor upper body strength then do as Jim suggests and get your 5 sets of 10 in. Build some muscle.

With smart programming you can hit PRs in the 5/3/1 lifts almost every session without killing yourself for the next week, or affecting your OL. Make sure you keep track of those PRs too - it's amazing how much you can get done on a bad day when you have something to aim for, and therefore turn a bad session into a great one. Number of bad sessions I've had over the last 7 cycles: one, where I didn't get the prescribed reps in the front squat - I simply reset my numbers and started again, and now I've surpassed the high point of those first few cycles.

Remember what your aim is - to get stronger in the squat, press and pull and not get any worse in the snatch/C&J. Train with that in mind and don't try to meet 15 targets all at once. Snatch/C&J heavy enough and often enough that you don't forget how to do them or turn into a chicken, but don't waste energy trying to chase OL PRs.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:30 AM   #8
Garrett Smith
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Read Matt Foreman's article in this month's PMenu. I'm going to re-read it today.

Wendler said in his manual that there are some days where you just go in and hit your numbers (in the max set, stopping at 5 or 3 or 1) and go home. I've found being conservative in my last set more often than not helps my recovery greatly. It's very much like the flawed idea behind CF--competing every day is too hard on the system for many of us. Doing ~4 absolute max sets per week (sometimes getting into double digits, as you mentioned) can be rough...you'll figure it out.

I did 5/3/1 for ~4 months straight with DL, FS, BS, and BP. Worked out OK.

My current general plan (I'm only on the second week of the whole thing), which seems OK so far:

Monday: REST
Tuesday: Snatch, 5/3/1 front squats
Wednesday: Gymnastics-based warm-up, 5/3/1 weighted dips
Thursday: REST
Friday: Ankle/hip/t-spine prehab/Jumpstretch
Saturday: Gymnastics-based warm-up, 5/3/1 standing press & weighted chins supersetted
Sunday: C&J, BB hip thrusters

I'm still deciding on my progressions on the OLs in this context. Anyway, maybe it will help.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
Kevin Perry
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Just to throw another idea in there this was how I was going to organize my 5/3/1 before my layoff. But from yours, you obviously want to do more weightlifting based work.

Mon: press 5/3/1 + assistance
Tue: Snatch 10 singles, squat 5/3/1
Wed: off
Thu: Bench 5/3/1 + assistance
Fru: Clean & Jerk 10 singles, Deadlift 5/3/1
Sat: off
Sun: off

might want to be conservative on reps in the final set and be conservative with weight on the classic lifts only going up when you comfortably complete all singles with good form.
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:37 AM   #10
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Perry View Post
Just to throw another idea in there this was how I was going to organize my 5/3/1 before my layoff. But from yours, you obviously want to do more weightlifting based work.

Mon: press 5/3/1 + assistance
Tue: Snatch 10 singles, squat 5/3/1
Wed: off
Thu: Bench 5/3/1 + assistance
Fru: Clean & Jerk 10 singles, Deadlift 5/3/1
Sat: off
Sun: off

might want to be conservative on reps in the final set and be conservative with weight on the classic lifts only going up when you comfortably complete all singles with good form.

Kevin,
I have done something very similar. i found the reverse the order of monday & tuesday and thur fri to work well.

your oly volume is really low. if you're lifting fairly heavy on the "531 days"you might find it more efficient to keep your high skill and lower skill lifting days seperate. i always say, skills first then go to work.

caveat: I did not do true Oly lifts, I had a 1 motion log press day (snatchish) and a clean and jerk axle day (CJ) both of these relatively higher skill movements but more forgiving in terms on blunt force than high % oly movements.

Even so, with less than 12 singles for work sets, and % between 80-95 recovery was fine.
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