I'm currently in my fourth month of 5/3/1 and I'm loving it. I've made big jumps in all the primary exercises and I think the engineered linear progression gives me an added focus that I need in my training right now. Finding the right layout for me for the assistance work is where I'm having difficulty. My ultimate goal is powerlifting but even after having gained 35lbs I'm a bit skinny for my height and hypertrophy is important at this stage too. I think I can handle more volume and stimulation than 5/3/1 in its pure form calls for.
I just joined the forum and read through the HCT-12 program and it looks awesome, I've always been a fan of rest-pause training and this seems like a straight-forward and effective approach to it. I got to thinking after reading through the program in detail that sticking with 5/3/1's approach to the primary exercises but using the HCT-12 methodology for my assistance exercises might be the magic combination of strength work and volume to pull out the maximum potential of 5/3/1 for me for both strength and mass gains. Has anyone attempted something similar to this that would have comments, concerns or suggestions to offer?
I sheepishly admit that I was so excited about the idea that I jumped the gun this morning and did this for my bench workout:
Warm-Ups: 5 @ 45, 5 @ 65, 5 @ 85, 5 @ 95, 5 @ 115, 5 @ 135
Working Sets: 3 @ 155, 3 @ 175, 16 @ 195
Incline Benchpress w/ Stiff Grip4orce grips
6 @ 45, 6 @ 65, 6 @ 85, 6 @ 95, 6 @ 115, 6 @ 135, 6 @ 155, 6 @ 175, 6 + 2 + 2 + 2 @ 185
6 @ 45, 6 @ 95, 6 @ 135, 6 @ 185, 6 @ 205, 6 + 2 + 2 + 2 @ 225
Overhead Cable Extensions w/ Stiff Grip4orce grips
I forget what jumps the stack makes or what ratio it's at, but I did six or seven sets and did my 6 + 2 + 2 + 2 on what the stack calls 160lbs
I don't know if this is feasible to maintain as my program setup from here on out, but man did this workout feel good. Every set was clean and strong, my tendons felt good and I got a ridiculous pump. I didn't want to leave the gym!