T Nation

5/3/1 GVT and PRs Questions for Jim


Hi Jim,

In the Beyond 531 book you addressed the use of GVT but did not touch on the rest periods between sets. When you did GVT did you keep rest periods between 30-45 seconds? If not, would you please recommend a rest period for those who may want to give GVT a try?

Second question, in terms of hitting PRs instead of doing more reps in the last working sets of week 531, should the new PR (if was able to hit one) be used to calculate a new Training Max or for calculating the next wave in the program?

Your response will be greatly appreciated.


If you don't know how long to rest between sets on GVT, you're probably not ready for GVT. The answer is whenever you're rested enough to do the next set. You'll be resting longer towards the end of the ten sets.

Have you read all of Beyond? In every version, it plainly says to add up to 10 lbs each cycle or scale back if it's too heavy. "PR instead of doing more reps?" The PRs ARE the increased reps.


This must have been the third time I've answered this question in 3 days - very weird.

As for rest periods - this depends on a lot of stuff, which is way beyond anything I want to type or anyone cares to read. Suffice it to say, rest periods should NOT be monitored during the beginning of this journey. Just get through the sets. Once you've done it for several weeks you can find out where your sweet spot is - but don't turn this into a conditioning workout and being the limiting factor of how much you can lift. But let's say this - 30 seconds would NOT be recommended.

Second question - NO! Your TM is increased as needed by the program NOT your PR sets. That's the worse thing you can do. Re-read the chapter about the importance of the TM (in the original book and the Beyond book). The TM set at 90% or lower is the key.