I'm looking for some help with programming. Im almost 33 years old, about 145 lbs. I just got off of taking time off after a cortisol shot to both forearms to help heal tears. I train jiu jitsu, and eskrima. I know with programming you want to know what my maxes are. Not to say I am scared to test maxes, but I don't want to aggravate the current tears or make things worse. My previous maxes were 295 lbs deadlift, 185 lbs bench, 265 lbs squat, 165 over head press. Im definitely far from strong but I guess everyone has their journey. I took about 3 months off after the shots and the pain seemed to go away. The pain was mostly present during pulling and grip work. In my training previously I was used to a lot of pull ups, oly lifts, farmer walks, and grappling type of pulling. All of this set my forearms on fire because of the tears over the last year, where as previously my grip was decent for my size.

My goal is to get my forearm and grip strength back up without making the tears worse. I want my strength through the roof. I've used 5/3/1 in the past with sucesss. I want to use it again, but I'm worried that those low rep high precentage pulls will be bad news on my forearms. I have always wanted to deadlift 405 lbs. I know thats a long ways away, but I also know that especially as I get older I need to work smarter, not just harder.  - Daniel



Answering a complex question like this is very tough on a forum.

What you are asking is more like online programming which most people charge for (myself included).

I will give you a few suggestions to help you get started.

First, if you have tears in your forearms you are correct to lay off the grip work for a bit.

Many people get injuries form being out of balance.

As a person who did both BJJ and Arnis
(similar to Eskrima) for years I can make a very educated guess that you have a lot of gripping and squeezing done with the hands and not a lot of opening the hands against resistance.

Try adding in stuff like jamming your hand in a bucket of rice or sand and opening it from a closed fist position for high reps a few times a week.

You can also add in the exercise below:


Adding in these two will help to balance out the area and may prevent further injury.

As far as programming goes I would not be too concerned with the issues you addressed about 531. You are strength training and need to use a weight that is a challenge.

531 uses a training max, so you are never really at an extremely high percentage unless it is a test week.