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5/3/1 Final Set Question


#1

I am just beginning my fifth cycle of 5/3/1. I've seen some legitimate gains in strength and mass thus far.
My question concerns the final set, or the "+" set in which the goal is failure. As I'm tracking my progress I notice that the number of reps I've been hitting on this set have been decreasing steadily, especially in my bench press. I'm not sure if this is because Mr. Wendler has you start below your actual max or if I'm approaching a plateau.
How many repetitions do other people generally hit on the terminal set of an exercise?


#2

First, The "+" set isn't taken to failure every time. It's for pushing yourself on if you feel up to it.

Second, yes, as the weights go up, the number of reps gradually will come down. Eventually you won't be able to hit the reps you're supposed to, then you re-set.


#3

DD,

Thanks man. Psychologically it's a bit of a hit below the belt watching your reps fall like that, but then again the program doesn't leave much room for ego. What kind of rep ranges do you generally shoot for on the " " set by the way, let's say on the 5/5/5 week and the 5/3/1 week?


#4

First starting out and going to failure, I'd probably hit 10 or more on the 5 week and 4 or more on the 5/3/1 week.

There are some really good threads on here about it with Wendler himself answering many questions like this:

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_strength/wendlers_531_program_part_5


#5

Thanks again I really appreciate it.


#6

For me, I tend to hit "failure" around 7-8 for 5 week, 4-6 for 3 week, and 3-5 on 5/3/1 week. That's what I have noticed ..


#7

From what others have posted bench seems to work the least well with this program. The simplest thing Wendler recommended was this small change for bench.

For every week after the last set, do 2 more decreasing weight and AMRAP on the last set. Example

Week 2
70% x 3
80% x 3
90% x AMRAP
80% x 3
70% x AMRAP

A good goal is to beat reps next time you repeat a weight, so on week 3 if you benched 250x5, eventually you will have 250lbs for week 2 and in a few more months for week 1 so you have 2 more chances to beat 5 reps on 250.