Info about me: 6’3’’ 206lbs (arms are short-ish relative to my height and have long legs so to grab bar on deadlift I have to lean farther over the bar than I would like)
The 90% 1RM numbers I am using on my current cycle to calculate working set weights are below:
Shoulder Press 169
I have been doing the 5/3/1 program for about 5 months now and have been working out for roughly 8 years. A couple different times during that time I lost significant progress that I made when working overseas and also when I was in a job where I did not work out very much (my own fault). I took all the advice and instructions to heart with this program and started out with a very modest 1RM for all lifts and have seen good progress overall. My squat has come furthest along, feels great, form is great, and am still hitting great numbers during my final sets of the every week. My bench has been improving slowly in some rep ranges as I strive to beat previous records (not always). Deadlift is progressing and was feeling great for the past few months however as the weights get heavier every cycle my form gets worse as I try to hit the numbers and try to beat my previous records. But shoulder press has seen the biggest wall yet. I couldn’t do a single rep this week 3 of my cycle, it was too heavy and got stuck at the starting phase of the press.
I have a couple questions and hopefully someone has something to say that will help knock some sense into me or help me in some way.
If the weight gets too heavy (mostly just shoulder press/press has always been my weakest lift) as I progress, should I go down for next cycle/keep the same/train a different way for that lift to stimulate growth (i.e. do a cycle of band work or something to try to be able to push through that sticking point) or what? I am curious about what to do next.
If form starts to become compromised (deadlift/shoulder press), should I go down in weight for the next cycle(s) and focus on perfecting my form, should I change up my stance (i.e. sumo) that may be more advantageous for my height/limb length, or just stfu?
Also, I feel that some of my lifts on bench press, deadlift, and shoulder press are the same as they were before I started this cycle (i.e. my reps for 135 on shoulder press are slightly lower now than they were when I was doing a bodybuilding split with the same weight, and my bench press is about the same as it was then too). I am not saying it’s the programs fault, I love it, the workouts feel great, I am just wondering if this is normal and not to worry about it.
Lastly, I know Jim Wendler mentions that the assistance work is just that, assistance and not to worry about it, which I haven’t been. I just crank them out after the main lifts and try to keep the pace up, weights the same or a little bit heavier each cycle, and then go home. I definitely focus my energy on the main lifts, however I have noticed that some lifts (i.e. pullups/dips) have gotten weaker for whatever reason over time. I would like to stay strong in those lifts, what advice would you have for working on lifts like those? For example I have been doing 5x15 for dips and 5x10 for pullups for 5 months and have seen little progress in dips and cannot even do the pullup reps in five consecutive sets anymore. Before I was doing weighted versions for less reps but for me it translated into being able to more easily do the BW rep ranges of 10+ when I cycled back and forth. I feel like switching those up to do less reps would be looked down upon as part of this program. Any thoughts?
Thank you so much if you read this and I hope someone can help me out as no one that I know has any experience in this area. If I am completely incompetent and writing something stupid or something that doesn’t make sense, I apologize in advance and admit that I am human and humbly accept your criticism. If not, I would appreciate your feedback!