5/3/1 - what would you do?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by VoodooPlata, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. VoodooPlata

    VoodooPlata Brown Belt

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    Ok, this is a question that Wendler actually answers in his terrific Q&A on the subject of 5/3/1, but as we say in scandinavia, "there are degrees even in hell".

    To make a short story long: i used to do squats to slightly above parallel because i was a whiny little man-whore who thought i was taking care of my knees and because my idiot classmate who hasn't gotten stronger in four years of lifting five times a week told me it was the best thing to do. Half squats, you could say.

    But then the power of the S&P enlightened me, i hardened the fuck up and started doing my squatz ass to the grass. That meant a reduction of my 1RM of course, and i started doing 5/3/1 at the same time. NOW. When i started 5/3/1 i could do 5 * 85 kgs. So i set my max to 90 kg and then removed 10% for a grand total of 81 kg.

    But Wendler has me training my hamstrings, which i never did before (see man-whore paragraph above) which has made my legs commensurately stronger in these three weeks. Also, i saw a Rippetoe tutorial on the squat which immediately added 10 kgs to my 1RM.

    Now i squat 115 kgs, and i know that i can do 120 if i don't insist on maxing last in every workout. In the case of 120, that's a 40 kg deficit. That's 90 lbs. The question: should i REALLY not increase my max to what it actually is?

    tl:dr; my Wendler max for squats is 90 lbs lower than my actual max. Is this too much? Should i adjust it even though Wendler says not to?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  2. betamin

    betamin Blue Belt

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    If you would do starting strenght could you keep adding weight? If you do I think you should change routines, I believe 531 is more of an early intermediate at least, I see it more of a stall breaker, while ss is better if you have any noob gains left.

    If not maybe you should up your max at least 40 lbs because you would reach your max in 9 months which I think is a little too much, maybe someone with more experience could help more.
     
  3. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Well, normally I'd say follow Wendler's advice, but the difference between your training max and your actually max is quite large. So I'd say split the difference and use 100kg as your training max, or increase your training max by 10kg instead of 5kg for a few months and see how that feels.
     
  4. dogmai

    dogmai Orange Belt

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    The purpose of 5/3/1 is to be light. What are the reps you're hitting for the all out sets? I mean, are you hitting twenty reps on your 95% single day?

    What I would do, since your squat soared so quickly, is pick something you know is a 5rm and use that as the 95% single day, then calculate all your weights accordingly, that way you know you're keeping it light enough to not stall out.

    Say you 5rm 315#, that's 95% of 330# training max, which is 90% of 365# actual max.

    And then you know when you get to your 95% day you can shoot for six reps at least. Wendler stresses how you truly want this to be light, it's a long-term program.
     
  5. dogmai

    dogmai Orange Belt

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    P.S.

    Or don't change anything at all, since you know that this program is absolutely working and in a few months down the line, you can recalculate when you finally stall.
     
  6. VoodooPlata

    VoodooPlata Brown Belt

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    20 is easy - i stop at 20, since Rip says doing more reps won't help anyhow.

    I like the idea of slow and steady - i won't hurt myself since i'm also doing BJJ. Also, i like the mix of high reps and max strength - it seems suited to strength training for sports, which is what i do.

    I'll do a 5RM test next time i'm in the gym, and then set that as my new max - i'll probably land close to 100 kgs like Tosa suggested. Thanks for speedy advice, S & P! (i still call it S & P, don't be mad)
     
  7. dogmai

    dogmai Orange Belt

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    Yeah, IMO it's a li'l too light for the 5/3/1 if you're bustin' 20 easy on the 95%x1.
     

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