Program for A Todd

A friend of mine from Kansas just got a good job for the year before he heads to grad school. He will be managing a popular bar in a college town which requires working late nights and being pretty busy. His goal is to stay in shape and not hemorrhage strength while working over 60 hours a week. After shooting a few messages back and forth and going from the stand point that he likes Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 (full disclosure so do I) I came up with what I think will be a good plan for him moving forward.

Two days a week ala 5/3/1

Day 1 Day 2
Squat 5/3/1 Deadlift 5/3/1
Bench 5/3/1 Press 5/3/1
Accessory Squat or deadlift movement Accessory Squat or deadlift movement
Accessory bench or deadlift movement Accessory bench or deadlift movement


Since he can only train with weights twice a week due to his schedule right now my goal for him will be to work total body each time. Run the typical 5/3/1 on the main lifts and then depending on the goal at that time (muscle size, or strength) run either Wendler’s Boring but Big 5×10 (for size) or his First Set Last 5×5-8 (for strength) for the accessory movement. I would suggest doing a three cycle block of each program and then switch to the other. The accessory movement can be the same movement as before, but I would suggest doing something like the safety squat bar squats or some other type of movement that has good carryover to both movements that is easy to program for.


Day 1 Day 2
Long Hill Short Hill
Ab wheel Pallof Press, Planks
Push ups Dips, incline pushups

The hill day is meant to be a form of conditioning. For this individual and anyone familiar with where he lives, the short hill I’m referring to is the JRP and the long being the campanile hill. The goal here is to move and slowly increase the number of reps with the weeks. Don’t go out and destroy yourself here, instead start off with only doing about half as much as you feel capable. Run through this like a circuit and make sure that your work on these days isn’t taking away from your heavy lifting on the next day.

Prowler days

Day 1 Day 2
Prowler Light Prowler Heavy
Back Raises Reverse Hypers/GHR
DB rows Pull ups
Hanging leg raises Choice Abs
Arms Arms

He will be doing his prowler days in the gym that he lifts at, so I tried to add in a bit more volume of assistance work in since he won’t have the time for it likely on his lifting days.The light and heavy prowler statement is about the weight he actually loads on the prowler which in turn will change the distance he can push it and such. He could also change this to one day it is push and the other it is pull (as in with a rope or handle). I suggest that he does a set of the prowler and then one set of the assistance menu and go back and forth that way he gets in quality volume while keeping his heart rate up and not deviating too far from the prowler work. An example of this would be: Prowler push, back raises, prowler push, back raises, prowler push, back raises, prowler push, db rows, prowler push, db rows, and so on.


Sunday should be spent doing nothing other than relaxing and maybe doing a bit of active rest. This means just going for a walk, hiking, or otherwise. Anything on this day is completely optional and is not going to be required.

Basic Schedule

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Recovery Prowler Heavy Short Hill Squat Day Prowler Light Long Hill Deadlift Day
medium easy hard medium easy hard


He can switch the way the lifting days are set in that if he is sorer from squatting then deadlifting move deadlifting to Saturday so he has a solid day to recover before doing more training. Otherwise it will be a bit of trial and error for him to find what is the appropriate amount of volume to do on the conditioning days, and not zap his strength for his actual lifting days. He lifts on those days since Wednesday is his only consistent night of sleep and he takes Sunday off from work.


So this is a basic program for him to test out doing my best impression of Jim Wendler (let’s be honest it wasn’t that good). I hope that this program makes some sense to any of you that are reading this and if you have any questions please just let me know and as always thanks for taking a minute to read this.


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