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bojackson
05-14-2010, 07:13 AM
after each 4 week cycle, how do you adjust your weights on each lift? is a "feel" type deal, or is there a formula?

ScottYard
05-14-2010, 07:15 AM
If things went well Ill add 10 pounds to my bench and squat and 5 pounds to my bench. When I meaqn add Ill actually add 10 pounds to each set from the last mini cycle. But Ill also keep weights the same and go for rep PR's too. Mix it up.

StLRPh
05-14-2010, 07:31 AM
+5 on bench/military, +5 to +10 on squat/deadlift. Jim usually says just +5 monthly for all lifts. Its a long term programming model. Get the book if you can.

BumperPlate
05-14-2010, 08:31 AM
If you don't have it, get the book no.1;; otherwise you should base your adjustments off your "+" set. IMO, start a sequance of waves with numbers that allow you to (minimum) double up the reps on 5+ and 3+ weeks. Add 5 lbs each wave until you struggle to hit the '+" set, and then re-adjust back and start a new wave sequence at double reps again. You should be getting stronger and see a change in the starting numbers.

Everything depends on you training level? New to lifitng, gains come quick. Been at it for 25 years?? Gains become cyclic just like the training.

brihead301
05-14-2010, 10:19 AM
The percentages are based off your 1RM, which is the number that increases every cycle.

SMK41
05-14-2010, 11:14 AM
after each 4 week cycle, how do you adjust your weights on each lift? is a "feel" type deal, or is there a formula?

This is the spreadsheet I made myself to calculate my weights each cycle.

http://www.smkrause.com/shared/531_Workout.xls

You can just use the Estimated 1RM Calculator on the first tab to get your 90% 1RM value. Plug it in on the Cycle 1 tab and on the Cycle 2 tab just set your increases (I used 5 lbs for bench/ohp and 10 lbs for squat/dl). The sheet calculates all your working sets and warmups for the next 12 cycles.

If you ever need to manually readjust on a future cycle you can just type in the green cells on that cycle to pick a new 1RM value or change the increase in weight for that cycle.

SMK41
05-14-2010, 11:17 AM
If you don't have it, get the book no.1;; otherwise you should base your adjustments off your "+" set. IMO, start a sequance of waves with numbers that allow you to (minimum) double up the reps on 5+ and 3+ weeks. Add 5 lbs each wave until you struggle to hit the '+" set, and then re-adjust back and start a new wave sequence at double reps again. You should be getting stronger and see a change in the starting numbers.

Everything depends on you training level? New to lifitng, gains come quick. Been at it for 25 years?? Gains become cyclic just like the training.

Not sure exactly what you meant by this, but you don't want to increase your max to your estimated max based on your + set. If you do that you are going to end up increasing way to quickly and you will plateau a lot earlier. Sorry if I misinterpretted what you were saying.

I do agree with what you said about doubling up on reps for the first cycle though. If on Cycle 1 you cant hit 10 on your 5+ set and 6 on your 3+ set you started too high.

bojackson
05-14-2010, 11:58 AM
well, i am finishing up week 3 on my first cycle and then the deload. i had planned on adding 5 pounds to all my benching sets and 10 to the squats and DL. I do not plan to "guess" my max, as i agree, that can get tricky. i guess i was wondering when do you shoot for a new 1 rep max? does this vary from person to person? i had planned running 4 weeks and then shoot for new maxes. and thanks for all the imput guys. thats why i love this site.

StLRPh
05-14-2010, 12:06 PM
Jim says to wait as long as you possibly can to test your 1RM. In the meantime you focus on improving your rep maxes. FWIW, I will finishing my 6th cycle before I do a true 1RM. I did work up to heavy singles (using a variation suggested by Matt Rhodes) on my 3rd cycle but they were not true 1RM (probably about 90-95%). Most of what I did is in my log if your interested.

bojackson
05-14-2010, 12:13 PM
once again, thanks for the help. i have been lifting for some 15 years and this site has re-energized my desire to get stronger. that plus doing my first meet in march and i feel 25 again!! Im hoping to make some gains on the 5/3/1. in the past i have used something similar for my workouts, but i dlike to follow this as closely as i possibly can. i will certainly follow your log. i post my workouts in my log as well (Bo's Log)...thanks again

Sean S
05-14-2010, 12:30 PM
Simply add 5 lbs. to your "training max" for the BP and military press and 5-10 lbs. to your SQ and DL "training max", then re-calculate all your training sets for the next wave. Most of the time this yields a 5 or 10 lb. increase in all your sets, but not always depending on the rounding. Even if you test your actual max at some point down the road, don't re-adjust everything based on that. Keep the pattern of adding 5 or 10 lbs. (depending on the lift) to your "training max" each wave provided you've at least been hitting the target reps.

brihead301
05-14-2010, 12:30 PM
Like I said, you choose your 1RM in the VERY beginning of the program. Say your squat 1RM is 225 lbs. that will be your 1RM for which all calculations will be based on. Now, you choose a weight that's 10% lower then that, which is 202.5 lbs. Round up to 205 lbs since most gyms don't have fractional plates.

Okay, so your STARTING 1RM is 205 lbs (remember that is 10% less then your actual 1RM)....base all calculations off that.

Cycle 1

wave 1

65% of 205 = 135
75% of 205 = 155
85% of 205 = 175

Wave 2

70% of 205 = 145
80% of 205 = 165
90% of 205 = 185

Wave 3

75% of 205 = 155
85% of 205 = 175
95% of 205 = 195

Deload

55% of 205 = 115
60% of 205 = 125
65% of 205 = 135

Now, you add 5 lbs. to your STARTING weight, which was 205...NOT to each set!!!! This is very important. It's based on percentages of your 1RM, not on each individual set.

So for cycle 2, your new starting weight is 210 lbs

Cycle 2

wave 1

65% of 210 = 135
75% of 210 = 160
85% of 210 = 180

Wave 2

70% of 210 = 145
80% of 210 = 170
90% of 210 = 190

Wave 3

75% of 210 = 160
85% of 210 = 180
95% of 210 = 200

Deload

55% of 210 = 115
60% of 210 = 125
65% of 210 = 135

See how that works?

Now do that for all the main lifts, and that is how you figure out the weights you use every session.

Mike G
05-14-2010, 01:17 PM
This is the spreadsheet I made myself to calculate my weights each cycle.


Thanks for posting that, it will be very helpful in the future.

Bo, Brihead has it dead on according to the book. Doesn't mean you have to do it that way, but the increase you make each cycle is to your max, not the sets and then you readjust your working numbers.

geoffsherman
05-14-2010, 06:32 PM
Not sure exactly what you meant by this, but you don't want to increase your max to your estimated max based on your + set. If you do that you are going to end up increasing way to quickly and you will plateau a lot earlier. Sorry if I misinterpretted what you were saying.

I do agree with what you said about doubling up on reps for the first cycle though. If on Cycle 1 you cant hit 10 on your 5+ set and 6 on your 3+ set you started too high.

I have been using 5/3/1 for 18 months and found that the goal of hitting high reps like this will eventually limit your progress significantly. The reason is that you won't have opportunities to be lifting near max weights. Yes you will make progress on maxing reps, but I don't think that's the goal of the program. What I have done (and found to be successful) is to go 3/5/1 only doing max reps on the 3 and 1 week, just hitting the reps on the 5s week. I will only reset if I can't get the prescribed reps (i.e. 2 reps on the 3 week). In addition, I pick two of the main lifts where I take heavy singles that I feel need some work. Before doing this, my deadlift was stalled; in 3 waves since I have added 15 lbs to my dl max and its flying up after 6 mos of nothing.

bojackson
05-15-2010, 07:05 AM
brihead, thanx boss, that was about as simple of an explanation as i could get. makes sense to me. im not a newbiw to lifting by any means, just do not have the book and wanted to know a little more about the increments. not able to get the book right this moment, next month i will purchase it. thanks

SMK41
05-17-2010, 02:46 PM
I have been using 5/3/1 for 18 months and found that the goal of hitting high reps like this will eventually limit your progress significantly. The reason is that you won't have opportunities to be lifting near max weights. Yes you will make progress on maxing reps, but I don't think that's the goal of the program. What I have done (and found to be successful) is to go 3/5/1 only doing max reps on the 3 and 1 week, just hitting the reps on the 5s week. I will only reset if I can't get the prescribed reps (i.e. 2 reps on the 3 week). In addition, I pick two of the main lifts where I take heavy singles that I feel need some work. Before doing this, my deadlift was stalled; in 3 waves since I have added 15 lbs to my dl max and its flying up after 6 mos of nothing.

I wasn't suggesting that you'll be able to continue getting high reps on your last set after a lot of cycles. I was just saying that for the first cycle 2 you should have been pretty conservative with picking your initial max so you should be able to get a lot more reps than the prescribed amount on the final set each day.

The idea of doing 3/5/1/Deload and only trying to max out on the final set on the 3 and 1 weeks sounds pretty interesting though. I'm actually pretty new to 5/3/1 so I'm going to just stick with it as written for a while, but at some point I may consider switching things up and trying your method.