Is 5/3/1 good for beginners- Know The Truth!

Powerlifting programs are quite popular among bodybuilders. But with all these programs out there, many get confused which one to go with.

On top of that, it’s also a matter of concern if certain programs are okay for beginners.

So this brings us to the question, is 5/3/1 good for beginners?

Yes. 5/3/1 is good for beginners. But you need a lot of patience while starting this powerlifting program. That’s because the gains can be a bit low. But this should not demotivate you. Following some basic requirements before starting 5/3/1 can take you a long way.

The primary concept of powerlifting programs is to gradually increase and build strength. There are a lot of other things that need consideration.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get into the article!

Is 5/3/1 Good for Beginners

Yes, 5/3/1 is very good for beginners. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 5/3/1 program for beginners. But sometimes, the 5/3/1 program can cause a very slow progression of 5-10 lbs per month. This might demotivate the beginners.

In the beginning stage, you may feel that you can’t finish a full set properly

But, you don’t have to worry and you can always rely on us. We got you covered! All you have to do is just take care of a few basic tips.

Requirements to Fulfill Before 5/3/1

Have you just started working out? Or you’re thinking about working out without any guidance or trainer? Well, then it would be best for you to not jump into the 5/3/1 workout program on day one.

But don’t you worry. You can obviously start the 5/3/1 workout program as a beginner. But, you need to follow some basic requirements first. Let me tell you about them.

Quick Warm Ups 

Whether you are a beginner or not you always need to warm up is a must. They are the most essential part of working out. A 5 minute warm up is perfect before starting almost any workout.

For warming up the full body, you can include light jogging, toe reaching, jumping jacks, skipping and stretching the body. They are great for enhancing blood flow and warming up the muscles.

Strong Lifting for a Year

Being a beginner, you need to start with weight lifting after the quick warm up session. Strong weight lifting is mandatory for 5/3/1. Consider the push and pull aspects of chest flys for building strength. 

But you need to start with lighter weights first. Gradually, you will be a pro at string lifting over a year or few months. Also don’t push yourself so hard, you should always rest and take breaks. 

Increasing the Strength Game

With strong weight lifting you also need a top notch full body strength game for the 5/3/1 program.

You need to perform full body routines to increase the strength game. Full body strength routines are the best way to strengthen your strength game.

You can perform the full body routine three times a week. This routine should include 

  • Squats
  • Bench Press
  • Pull Ups
  • Deadlifts
  • Leg Curl
  • Leg Extension

Again, you should always go easy on yourself, no rush, you can always do it. 

Adding Weights in Every Session

You’ll always have to upgrade your strength game and weight lifting techniques. With advanced techniques, you can achieve your goals for the 5/3/1 program. You can do this by adding  weights in every session.

By adding weights your body will grow strength day by day and you will feel more confident.

You will learn to manage your weights in workout sessions. Also, you won’t get stressed or tired easily like in your pre-gym days.

Fat Loss Training

Fat loss training is a great way to lose more calories.

This training includes running, swimming, yoga, weight training and so on. Ultimately losing extra body fat is definitely gonna help you with 5/3/1. 

Several training programs helps in the perfect and healthy fat burning process. The 5/3/1 can suit your needs as well. 

Fat Loss Training
Fat Loss Training image source

High Protein Diet

High protein diet is always very important for everyone working out on a regular basis. High protein diet will help you to lose weight without breaking your muscle strength.

It also enhances the effects of the whole exercise routine on your body. You will see the progress sooner with high protein diet plans.

Your high protein diet must have,

  • Whey Protein
  • Smoothie Made From Fresh Fruits And Milk
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Soya Protein

5/3/1 Training Schedule

The 5/3/1 training schedule is a four week program. This includes four workout sessions per week. Every workout session from every week focuses on a specific core lift. For instance, bench press, squat, deadlift or shoulder press.

For Week 1

For the first week you’ll have to perform five reps divided into three sets focused on one core lift. You can divide these on mondays, wednesdays, fridays and saturdays. Each day must focus on different lifts. 

For Week 2

For the next week you’ll have to perform three reps divided into three sets. This should focus on one core lift on each day too.

For Week 3

For the third week you’ll have to perform five reps divided into one set. Additionally, three reps divided into one set and repetition of one each lifting workouts.

For Week 04

The fourth week is all about giving your body and muscles a little rest. So you’ll have to perform three reps divided into five sets. You’ll have to use lighter weights than the previous week. 

Safety Measures- Workout For Beginners

For beginners it is a very concerning matter to workout with safety and avoid injuries. Some efficient tips for the beginners to workout with safety measures are as follows,

Warm Up

Warming up will help your blood flow properly and will strengthen your muscles. This will help you to avoid injuries. Also in the beginning, the easiest way to warm up your body is to start working out very slowly. 

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Always drink plenty of water. You must carry your water bottles with you and don’t stay dehydrated. 

Take Enough Rest

You should not get all hard on yourself about this 5/3/1 program and your goals. Always give your body and yourself rest and enjoy the journey. No pressure, no stress.

image source Workout For Beginners

How to Keep Yourself Motivated During 5/3/1

Motivation is the only key to progress and reach your goals. You should always keep yourself motivated no matter what. Motivation will make you feel good about yourself and keep you going even if the progress is slow.

To keep yourself motivated as a beginner during 5/3/1 program, you can always follow these,,

Start the Journey with Friends

It’s always better to start your workout journey with your friends or family or loved ones. Because that will definitely keep you going and no matter what, you will stick to your planned goals. 

Maintain a Tracker

A fitness tracker can always help you through your journey. You can always stay motivated and  take an extra step than yesterday for more progress. 

You can keep a workout journal for yourself, where you will check in with all the exercises you’ve been doing. You can also check the weights you’re using. Check yourself in the mirror for visual progress and also keep your body measurements to compare. 

Reward Yourself

You are doing great! Your progress is so far so good! 

You should always give yourself immediate rewards and definitely should not wait for the end of the week. You can get yourself a body massage kit and new workout gears. And, always give your mind and body rest. 

Be Flexible

You should not keep yourself in a strict box of routines and timelines. Alway be flexible and don’t get on your nerves.

And with your balanced diet, you can sometimes allow cheat days. Because cheat days are always welcome and they are absolutely fine. 


Is 531 good for intermediates?

Yes, Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program is ideal for intermediate lifters (as well as beginner and advanced, using the appropriate versions). The program emphasizes primary work with the major lifts, with some increased repetition and assistance lifts thrown in for good measure.

Can the 5/3/1 progression be faster?

The progression can obviously be faster with proper determination. Keep yourself motivated. Track your outcomes. You will feel confident with the trackers’ results day by day.   

Can you build muscle on 5/3/1?

You can build muscle on 5/3/1. As it will strengthen your core stability of muscles and muscle fibers as well. As 5/3/1 is based on powerlifting, you will be able to build muscles.  


Now you know the answer to is 5/3/1 good for beginners? You just have to maintain a few of the basic tips I mentioned earlier and then they will be good to go.

If you have any further queries, let us know in the comment section.

Good luck!

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