T Nation

2 Weeks into 5/3/1. Thoughts and Shoulder Questions


So I’ve been researching 5/3/1 for a while, read the PDF version online, decided to finally breakdown and get Forever once I figured out I understood a good chunk out of it. (Unrelated, book got lost in shipping for… about 4 weeks. Even though I paid for priority… goddamn mail)

Anyways, I started with BBB because it has a good following, and I haven’t done shit for volume in a while. I’m probably classified as an… experienced beginner. I’ve lifted for years, but only started taking it seriously in the last year or so. SO I’m about two weeks in, and I know it’s supposed to start out very easy. But the actual 5/3/1 rotation feels… way too easy. Almost like I’m not putting in any work. Is this normal? The volume sets are pretty excruciating, which is to be expected considering I haven’t done more than 5 reps in a year with a barbell.

As for the shoulders, simple question: Shoulders feel substantially better, but I wanted to spend some time doing Z-Press as opposed to actual OHP, due to the massive decrease in shoulder strength and a little bit of lingering pain. Trying to retrain them from scratch. As well as adding some extra assistance. Is this a decent assessment? (Bench is around 340, OHP is around 165 now, which seems extremely disproportionate)



Training is not supposed to feel like an S/M experience. I realize that this is contrary to most ideas but it’s true.


I know what you mean but stick with it and resist any urge to jump ahead with your TM as that gets you nowhere. Use PR sets to challenge yourself.

That’s weird that your Bench Press is so much more than your Press, but why not just do the Press? Not sure if I understand the question about replacing with the Z Press.


I was expecting it to be “easier” but it just took me by surprise. But I get it, I’ll stay on course.

As for the press, my right shoulder has been fucked up for a while, and I’ve been nursing it back to health. Mobility is still pretty garbage, but it’s getting there. I want to keep the motion, I dont think taking any more time away from pressing is really going to help it at this point, and I know Z-Press will keep me honest, while keeping the same motion.


I felt the same to be honest. Ah right okay, yeah I also have issues with my right shoulder. Never tried Z Presses but might give em a whirl.