I'm interested in hearing others thoughts on this routine.
I have a couple of hesitations:
1) Does strict press really deserve its own day? (I like the squats, DL, and bench)
2) The concept of going conservative with your numbers in order to allow yourself room to achieve success. Sounds like sandbagging to me.
3) One month seems like a long cycle to me. I'm considering condensing the program by running more than 4 workouts a week. However, if it works as is, I won't.
I am by no means knowledgeable on the subject, these are just my initial thoughts. Would like some input from people who have experience running the program.
He recommends the standing press, not the push press. It's a great lift, if you can't press your bodyweight overhead then you need to work this lift.
His method is slow and steady wins the race. His program has worked for a lot of people, it is simple to execute, so simple that people often muck it up and wonder why it doesn't work. You definitely aren't sandbagging it, you are building up a base and with the final sets of the 5/3/1 work you should be working hard. Keep in mind the accessory work needs to be worked hard.
The reality is if you train at 100% all the time you'll burn out. If you wave the load and volume, you can work around 90% of your capacity (not 1RM) for long periods of time and make gains. Wendler does this by changing the main exercise 5/3/1 exercises rep ranges and loads. Westside does it by changing the exercises frequently. Other programs do it by keeping volume extremely low and intensity high. While others keep the volume high and the intensity low. 5/3/1 balances both pretty well.
If you know how your body responds to training intensity and volume, then you might be able to skip a deload week. But if you aren't making gains or every time you hit the gym you pound yourself into the ground, then you should probably take the deload week. A compromise would be a 6 week cycle followed by a short deload.
If you really want to give his program a shot, do his program. Don't do 5/3/1 6 days a week without a deload.
As I mentioned, many have done well on it. It's simple and effective. I'm not saying it is the best program in the world, but it covers all the bases pretty well.
oops, meant *strict press
good feedback. much appreciated. I'm still debating running the program, strongly considering it
Not really a bodybuilding routine either. Is that what you are going for?
Not really. At this point I want to add some strength. I'm doing a little more assistance work than normal to help make it a little more of a "bodybuilding" routine