I used the 5/3/1 since last September and the couple of months or so I have gone heavier and included more volume than that program recommends.
I'm somewhat content with how my training has gone this year. I train alone (partners don't last more than a week), am surrounded by bodybuilders, and have been continuously stressed from my life, but I still hit regular PRs and progress.
After my meet, however, I will probably train with lighter weights as I did in the beginning of the 5/3/1 program. For example, I used to hit about 10 reps on my 5+ week, 5-7 on my 3+, and 3-5 on my 1+. I would like to gain some quality size in that time and hopefully be competitive in the 198s, while staying lean.
Right now I'm looking to do my first meet in the RAW 181s on June 27, at the WNPF meet in New Jersey. My best gym lifts to date are: 405/325/465. I know the bench press will be lower due to the pause, but I will be happy for a 1200 total with something like 400-415/300-315/485-500 at my meet.
My split is roughly like this:
1) Bench Press
2) Bench Press variation with focus on developing triceps (heavy dips, close-grip bp, floor press)
3) Bench Press repetition effort
4) Lats (DB row, BB row, chins)
Sometimes I will throw in repetition work for triceps or rear delts
2) Hamstring (GMs, Stiff-leg deadlift, leg curl if I need to lighten load on lower back)
3) Hips (sumo deadlift, pause squat, leg adduction)
cardio, foam roll, stretching
1) Standing Overhead Press with clean
2) Close-Grip Incline Bench Press 4x5
3) DB Jerks or Overhead Lockouts
2) Deficit deadlifts for extra volume, or Front Squats
3) Pause Squat or Box Squat
4) Deadlift Holds or Farmer's Carries
cardio, arms, abs, calves, snatches