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Phenom
12-05-2010, 02:51 PM
I'm about to start the 5/3/1 week (third week) of my 2nd month of Wendler and I have a couple concerns about the reps and percentages. Does anyone find that the 5 rep week is by far the most difficult, followed by the 3 rep week which is significantly easier, then the 5/3/1 week is cake? The 5/3/1 is almost like a deload week. I understand that the idea is to build up to the 1 rep, therefor the 5 rep set isn't difficult, the 3 rep set is just the weight of the final 5 rep set from the first week, then the 1 rep set, which is the highest weight so far in the wendler progression scheme, is nothing compared to my absolute max (this week I will be ending with 440x1 on deadlifts, but I've pulled 515 before). I won't be reaching 515 for about 6 or 7 months from now.

I can't help but feel like the 5/3/1 week is a waste. My highest 5 rep max ever on DLs was 405x5. This month it had me ending the first week with 395x5, which is fine with me, I'll be working towards that 405x5 set next month. The 5 rep week seems to be very effective, since just 2 months in and I'm right around my orginal 5 rep max. The 3 rep sets and especially the 1 rep set just don't feel as effective because of how much farther they are than my real max.

I'm absolutely not trying to say that I'm too strong or advanced or whatever for this program. Is it possible that my 5RM is unusually low compared to my 1RM that the program is just going to be a little odd at first? Can anyone help me understand this?

ScottYard
12-05-2010, 03:02 PM
Did you buy the book?

Phenom
12-05-2010, 03:12 PM
Did you buy the book?

No, I'm just following the progression plan. I'm guessing based on your question that these issues are addressed in the book.

ironwill727
12-05-2010, 03:20 PM
The point is to start off easy and continually progress. Yes the 5 week is the hardest for most (especially if you are not used to doing higher reps). The 5/3/1 week should not be easy if you are going at it on the 1 set. You are supposed to get more than 1 rep on that set.

Brian Hopper
12-05-2010, 03:30 PM
If you haven't bought the book then I would do so. The third set on all three weeks your going for a rep max. For example:

WK1:
5,5,5+
WK2:
3,3,3+
WK3:
5,3,1+
WK4:
Deload

If you just do the 5 reps, 3 reps or the 1 rep then yes it's going to be easier. The point is, on the last set of each week you want to hit the required number and more. I have only done 2 cycles, so hopefully Scott will come in and give his opinion since he is more advanced with the program.

Phenom
12-05-2010, 03:57 PM
It's a good thing I asked, I didn't know that. Luckily I'm not even finished with the second month so it's not like I've gone too long doing it incorrectly. I guess I should purchased the book. I'll go to the mall to talk to santa clause and tell him I'd like the book for christmas. Thanks for the responses guys.

byronsru24
12-05-2010, 04:50 PM
If you would have bought the book you would realize this is a program for long-term results. I'm ending my 9th wave with it since febuary and have gone from
these...granted these were after a bad car accident I suffered and thus weren't PR's for me but still:

425 squat
275 bench
525 deadlift

to:

475 squat w/ room to spare
350 bench w/ room to spare
550 pull w/ room to spare

The program works, you just need to be patient, and stick to it. I agree though, the 5's week on pulling is rough, but you get used to it. After pulling all those reps in training, on meet day pulling 1's is a cakewalk. Where before I would be sucking wind come deadlift time, my meet in febuary I was real fresh when it came time to pull, and went 3/3 for the first time in a full meet ever on the deadlift.


My next meet is in march and I'm hoping to go 500-365-600. That would be just over 12 waves on the program.

T o m m Y
12-05-2010, 05:48 PM
Awsome progress bro.
What asst. lifts did you use for each?

byronsru24
12-05-2010, 06:02 PM
Thanks, I got a long way to go, but so far 5/3/1 is working real well for me. I train alone in my basement, so equipment is pretty limited. As far as assistance stuff:

I basically do some band lat work every workout. Nothing real taxing, but I get in 5 sets of 10-15 reps. My upper back has always been weak, so I slowly added these in over time.

On my squat days I'll do weighted back raises, and situps on the back raise.
On DL days its usually romanian deads, and eagle situps
On bench days its either ultra wides, or pressing for reps w/ 185-225, and chinups or pullups
On Military days its usually some volume pressing after my main set and db cleans

Nothing too complicated, and I've been breaking PR's w/ no sign of slowing down. Key for me has been to pick my battles. On days like today where I felt ****ty, I just did the prescribed reps, and called it a day. Typically though I'm still getting 5 reps on the 3's week, and 3 reps on the 5/3/1 week.

Brian Hopper
12-05-2010, 07:37 PM
I'll go to the mall to talk to santa clause and tell him I'd like the book for christmas.

Don't forget to ask him for his new book that he is working on!!!!

UncleAl
12-06-2010, 07:20 AM
When I reached more challenging weights, I fried my CNS so badly trying to continue getting the 'extra' reps, my progress halted. Serves me right for not listening to Wendler's admonition not to go to failure.

Speaking of recovery, once I corrected my insanity, I found moving my mesocycles out from a week to nine days (M/W/F/M, W/F/M/W, etc) also helped recovery immensely. Might work for some of you fellow seniors, too.

Tom Mutaffis
12-06-2010, 07:44 AM
One of my training partners has been using 5/3/1 and his deadlift stalled so he decided to change it up and pull singles for all 'working sets'.

An example would be on a week where the program calls for (3) sets of (5) his workout would be:

415 lbs x 5
450 lbs x 5
475 lbs x 1,1,1,1,1

Since you were not going for extra reps on your final sets for each day you may want to try than, and if your progress stalls with any of the big lifts you can give this 'singles protocol' a try. I found that 5/3/1 worked well for me with pressing movements but did not work well for squat or deadlift, though it could have been due to setting the working maxes a bit too high.

geoffsherman
12-07-2010, 06:30 PM
One of my training partners has been using 5/3/1 and his deadlift stalled so he decided to change it up and pull singles for all 'working sets'.

An example would be on a week where the program calls for (3) sets of (5) his workout would be:

415 lbs x 5
450 lbs x 5
475 lbs x 1,1,1,1,1

Since you were not going for extra reps on your final sets for each day you may want to try than, and if your progress stalls with any of the big lifts you can give this 'singles protocol' a try. I found that 5/3/1 worked well for me with pressing movements but did not work well for squat or deadlift, though it could have been due to setting the working maxes a bit too high.

Tom,

I am interested in how your partner is setting up this singles protocol. My deadlift will not mve even though I have put 50 lbs on my squat. Does your partner just take the workset and instead of 1 set of 1, 3, or 5, does 1 set of 1, or 3 sets of 1 or 5 sets of 1 with the same weight? Thanks.

Phenom
12-09-2010, 01:52 AM
I'm definitely feeling better about the program now that I've realize the final set should go to failure. What a rookie mistake. Today was the 5/3/1 DL day that I was worried about. The sets were:

350x5
395x3
440x1

I knew I could get 440 for 2, but I thought 3 would be a stretch. I ended up getting 4. I was pumped about it. I'm thinking my 1RM has definitely moved up from 515.

Brian Hopper
12-09-2010, 01:27 PM
That's good, you should still order the book. It has alot of good information.

AdamBAG
12-09-2010, 01:30 PM
Definitely buy the book. I think the e-book is $20. It clearly outlines "going to failure" etc. and how the program works best.