I found a workout I like. I like it because it's simple, focuses on the big lifts, and is meant for gaining both strength and size.
It's called Boring But Big, and it's the most popular assistance template for the 5/3/1 training program.
Here's the gist:
- Overhead Press – 5/3/1
- Overhead Press – 5 sets of 10 reps
- Chinups – 5 sets of 10 reps
- Deadlift – 5/3/1
- Deadlift – 5 sets of 10 reps
- Hanging Leg Raises – 5 sets of 10 reps
- Bench Press – 5/3/1
- Bench Press – 5 sets of 10 reps
- Dumbbell Rows – 5 sets of 10 reps
- Squat – 5/3/1
- Squat – 5 sets of 10 reps
- Leg Curls – 5 sets of 10 reps
I also read the book behind the workout, 5-3-1.
Here are some notes to help implement the program:
- Use this table and your training ORM (TM) to determine how many reps and weights:
- To calculate your training max (TM): Start with a rep max for that exercise. For example, find the max weight you can squat for 5 reps. Use this 5 rep max (5RM) to calculate the 1 rep max (1RM). Say the 5RM is 135. The 1RM is the 5RM * 5 * 0.0333 + 5RM. So 135 * 5 * 0.0333 + 135. Take this 1RM and multiple by 0.9 to get your training max.
- For the second iteration of the big lift of the day, do 50-60% of training max for the weight. But do 30-40% when just starting the program.
- Overall, the author suggests you don't need to be as concerned with the weight you use on the second and third lifts, or even track it.
- Expect to go through 5-7 cycles without stalling. But when you do stall on a lift, deload only that lift, multiply the training max by 90% and set that as the new training max. Unless it's going bad across the board, then take a deload week.