Ken's Intermediate 5-3 ProgramFirst Notes
I have never done this program. I have no specific plan to do this program (at very least not before I've completed 2 cycles of 5/3/1). I just wrote this up for fun because I find the exercise useful.
This is not a general use program, its for me. Choice of accessories, 4 days/week, intensity, all come from general principles but are specific to me.
If I ever try a non-5/3/1 intermediate, this would probably be it. Reasons are below.The Program
1) "5" means 5/5/5+
2) "3" means 3/3/3+
3) "1" means 5/3/1+ (which is only on there for rows)
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 The Ideas
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Chins Squat (3) X Dead (3) X Squat (5)
Curls Bench (5) X Press (5) X Bench (3)
Row (5) X Bulgarians X Row (3)
Chins Squat (3) X Dead (5) X Squat (5)
Curls Press (5) X Bench (5) X Press (3)
Pause X Row (1) X Pause
In no particular order, this was formed from these ideas:
1) This intermediate lifter should not exceed 90% intensity because it requires additional recovery time that is hard to fit into a one or two week plan. This is the guiding principle behind this program and what separates it from earlier doodles I made.
2) All lifts are not created equal in terms of stress w/in a session. The major lifts are squat, dead and bench. The minor lifts are Press and Row. One or two major and one or two minor in a day trains well w/o overwhelming, especially if rule #1 is kept in mind. By this reasoning, Week 2 Day 4 is the most stressful, Deadlift and Bench in the same day. That is also why both are 5+ (low intensity) instead of 3+ (high intensity) that day.
3) As a beginner I could do Deads 3x/2weeks. As intermediate once/week is fine.
4) As a beginner I did squats 6x/2weeks. As an intermediate I should not radically depart from that, so 4x/2weeks is "half-way" to advanced programs where you squat once/week.
5) As a beginner I could do bench, press, and row 3x/2week. As an intermediate I can probably continue that.
6) This program has 3 accessory slots, but I specifically worked them up for leg exercises for me. Therefore this is the "rubbery legs" variation, except there are no other variations.
7) I still don't have perfect form. Add in point #1 above and it is a good idea again to stick to higher reps and lower intensity.
8) Choosing 5/5/5+ or 3/3/3+ on a particular day is easy. If the days of complete rest until the next session for that exercise are low, you do 5+. If not, do 3+. So Friday Squats must be 5+ because I'll be squatting again after only two days rest. But Week 2 Day 6 Press can be 3+ because it's 4 full days of rest before I Press again.