Afraid of Losing Progress If I Switch to 5/3/1

How about just A decision first, and if it’s the right one, even better?

If I can be real: 5/3/1 is a program written by someone who squatted 1000lbs, was trained by Louie Simmons, and has made thousands of people bigger, stronger and better. As far as having blind faith goes, you could do no better.

If you CAN’T have blind faith in that individual, find one that you CAN and follow THEIR program. If you can’t have blind faith in ANY individual, practice solipsism and run your own programming, accepting all responsibility for your outcomes.


I don’t know why you posted that dude? I’ve already implied a few times I’m going to get on 531.

I’ve absorbed so much information about it the past few weeks. I’ve even listened to some of the podcasts Jims been on and binge-watched a load of his stuff on YouTube linked to elitefts.

I’m full up of cutting anxiety is all. It’s foreign to me AND I AM AFRAID. v_v

Are you genuinely interested in me explaining why?

Uhhh sure?

I mean I think it might be about overanalysing and just do something/get on 531 but you already said that 531 might not be the best option if I’m going to cut.

Maybe I’m missing the obvious.

You must forgive me, but such a response does not inspire confidence in me that my efforts in explaining would be rewarded by your own efforts in attempting to understand.

I did NOT say 5/3/1 might not be the best option if you’re going to cut. I would appreciate you not attributing to me things I did not say.

I was only expressing my confusion.

Maybe I misread your “5/3/1 isn’t the right fit here” comment. You were talking that I’M not the right fit?

In which case, well, I don’t know what to say. I’m just looking for input from guys that obviously know more than me.

I believe it is a poor fit for you, due to the reasons I outlined regarding “blind faith”. It was not at all in regards to cutting.

And why do you have that? You seem to be in an emotional state with how you look, I understand that, I won’t hijack the thread but feel free to skim through my log and I’m certain you’d realise I can sympathise.

As an outsider that doesn’t know you personally, this phrasing

makes me feel some concern for you.

You shouldn’t do a “fast cut” on 531. You could lose some fat, but even on the most suitable template for fat loss a harsh deficit is unlikely to prove fruitful. Furthermore, seemingly when people are in an emotional state about how they look they tend to go as hard as they possibly can in every dimension that they believe would influence their body-fat levels. Not only do they go into a state of very low calories, they also increase their activity levels, and their training volume.

The initial increase in activity levels might not be entirely voluntary and emotionally driven, as in some individuals there can be some biological processes that triggers a “flee from famine”-response that occurs.

Maybe, but let us postulate that you could not do this and that the best thing you could accomplish is maintaining your strength levels. Would you still want to cut?

Some lifts are more sensitive to bodyweight and bodyfat changes than others. Maybe you improve your technique during this period and are able to make progress that way. But maybe you regress.

Training demands recovery, part of the recovery component is calories in. If you are going to be in a hypocaloric state you’ll have less energy available for recovery. And being in a hypocaloric state means you have less energy available for everything. And your body will adjust all the processes that it does when it experiences being in a low-food environment. Hell, there is a reason that people have less frequent bowel movements when they are in a deficit and it is not solely related to passing less foodstuff - the body literally stops wriggling the viscera as much because that is not as essential from a survival standpoint. Energy availability matters, especially with regards to performance, as food is such a corner stone of recovery.

If your energy availability is high you can expect a degree of healthy weight gain, or weight maintenance. This is when you’d be able to train as much as conceivable (intensity, frequency, volume).

If it is slightly less, then weight would be maintained and a lot of training can still be endured but not as much.

If energy availability is subclinical that can be tolerated for shorter periods during a well-constructed weight-loss program.

And if it is clinical there’d be health implications with impairment of many body systems including training adaptation and performance.

Since all of these states feed into your recovery, you can expect improved performance if you are very well recovered or well recovered (highly or somewhat energetic) and expect similar performance if you are between somewhat and moderately recovered. If you are very poorly recovered to the extent where you are extremely tired you’d expect declined performance.

I think you should get Forever. Read everything under the section “Get a better body in 36 months!”. If you are going to do 531, that is a more suitable approach. Again, as other posters have mentioned: 531 is for performance. You can be performant and look good, but you’ll nuke your performance if you make looking good your priority above all else. And you might not end up looking the way you had imagined either.

1 Like

I have all the faith I need in the program and will be jumping into it both feet regardless of whether i’m perceived to be the right fit.

Thanks for the advice all the same even if you don’t think it’s right for me.

Awesome dude: then you have no anxiety :slight_smile:

1 Like

Great post. Don’t take too much stock in my cut fast/I’m fat comment though. That was kind of in jest, I don’t actually mind carrying this bodyweight at all. 20%+ just seems to be a number that most people don’t want to be at and I wasn’t sure I should continue bulking.

I’d be ecstatic if I could cut and maintain strength. Sure I’ve gotta get my head around it because my focus of “adding weight to the bar/adding reps” each week has to go on the backburner for a while. Not sure how long I’d need to cut where I’m at now. If my guess/loose maths is right… losing 15lb may take me to around 15-16%.

What they want is secondary to what you want. Also, unless you spend a lot of money you won’t know what your bodyfat is anyway. The actual number shouldn’t matter.

What should matter is if your body affords you the ability to do things you want to do or something adjacent to what you want to do (working around injuries and the like). And how you feel, how your body feels, your health both physical and mental and how you feel about yourself.

I heard someone say something similar to “before I started training I never hated my body or how it looked, it was just a body. My body.” once.

I think my immediate goals are becoming a bit clearer. Maintaining my strength whilst also improving my conditioning a bit at around this bodyweight (not being too concerned about it and perhaps losing a few pounds). Hopefully these are all along the same path.

I read sometimes about people looking bigger when they lean out a bit, I’m not sure if I have enough muscle on me for that but even just a month of losing a few pounds will at least stop me from running circles around my head wondering if I should or not. If I decide against it a month or two down the line then I’m set up for a long time of slow bulking before I need to think about it again.

It’s 9:30pm now. I’m on around 2400ish calories and instead of chasing to get over 3200 I’m going to just have a 1 scoop shake and maybe 3-4 oat biscuits leaving me on around ~2700, which is what I’ll now aim for. I will continue to lift heavy and keep as much muscle as I can. I will also add in some sprints on the treadmill and the bike (no more than 5mins on each). I don’t expect to get stronger but will see how i am in a month.

I’ll be checking out your training log tomorrow morning BTW.

Meanwhile…while you’re overthinking all of this, some (a lot) are making great progress just trusting the program (5/3/1), being a little smart about modifying small things about the program to suit their lifestyle, and reaping the rewards.

If you want to analyze, maybe analyze this: why do you think 5/3/1 has such a cult following? Instead of asking yourself if 5/3/1 has too little volume or too little intensity.

1 Like

I’m fully into the 5/3/1 method, the posts here and my reading have already fully sold it. I can see myself jumping through the different variations for the rest of my training life and i can’t wait. :slight_smile:

1 Like