5/3/1 - How Often Do You Max?

I’m on my 7th cycle of 5/3/1, but I recently picked up a training partner from work. He’s pretty much a beginner, and wants to max once a month, just to have numbers to tell people. I’ve pretty well managed to talk him out of that (benefits of training in my home gym- I have veto power), but I still would like to do max lifts myself just as a bench mark. I was thinking every 6 mos. or so. I think it’s important to mention I’m not a competitive lifter so I don’t have that avenue to use for trying new single rep PR’s… any feed back provided would be helpful.

Well, I’m on week 7 of my first cycle, and was planning on just re-maxing at the end of each 16wk cycle, to get new numbers to calculate from

I’m on my 10th cycle and have never tested my 1RM. I often do a heavy single after the last which is sometimes a new PR for me but I definitely could do a bit more if I came to the gym with only that single in mind, not fatigued from the previous set. You don’t need to reset your max that often with 5/3/1 and the estimated 1RM formula is good for this anyway.

[quote]inkaddict wrote:
Well, I’m on week 7 of my first cycle, and was planning on just re-maxing at the end of each 16wk cycle, to get new numbers to calculate from[/quote]

16 week cycle? Maybe my e-book is different from yours but I don’t think that’s how it works.

I’m on my 7th cycle. I used to remax all the time, until progress stalled. I think its was CNS fatigue from maxing out on reps during third set and then trying to set a PR. I haven’t maxed for the last three cycles and have made steady progress since. Bottomline whats more important a new 1RM, 3RM, 5RM? To me they are all equally important. As long as you a set new RM’s and making progress.

[quote]TisDrew wrote:

[quote]inkaddict wrote:
Well, I’m on week 7 of my first cycle, and was planning on just re-maxing at the end of each 16wk cycle, to get new numbers to calculate from[/quote]

16 week cycle? Maybe my e-book is different from yours but I don’t think that’s how it works.[/quote]

I’m with ya…I understand it to be a 4 week cycle. At the end of the de-load week (week 4) I recalculate maxes and start the next 4 weeks

I am planning on maxing every 3 months or so that way I track my progress. I set goals every 3 months to see if I can reach them, so when I am training I have a little more motivation to push the envelope.

[quote]irish20cb wrote:

[quote]TisDrew wrote:

[quote]inkaddict wrote:
Well, I’m on week 7 of my first cycle, and was planning on just re-maxing at the end of each 16wk cycle, to get new numbers to calculate from[/quote]

16 week cycle? Maybe my e-book is different from yours but I don’t think that’s how it works.[/quote]

I’m with ya…I understand it to be a 4 week cycle. At the end of the de-load week (week 4) I recalculate maxes and start the next 4 weeks[/quote]

Page 27 talks about increasing upper body lifts’ Training Maxes by 5lbs and lower body lifts by 10lbs and that’s what you base your percentages on.

I think I got “16 weeks” because that’s as far as I had set my Excel program to, increasing the weights by 5 and 10 lbs. Sorry for the confusion. Anyway, I’m retesting after 4 months.

How many reps are you getting in your 1+ week? As you keep getting heavier you will eventually be approaching your actual 1RM, and sometime before that doing something like a max triple.

For example, I am starting my 10th cycle and a few cycles ago I had to reset my press because I was not able to get the single and only got the required 3 the week before. On bench for my 1+ week I am getting about 5 with one or two in the tank, so in a few months I expect that to be approaching a reset. My squats however have picked up a lot so I am getting more than double the required (e.g., 10 on my last 3+ week).

The point being, you may not need to intentionally test your max as the weights get heavier, and at the lower reps the calculators are more accurate.

[quote]irish20cb wrote:

[quote]TisDrew wrote:

[quote]inkaddict wrote:
Well, I’m on week 7 of my first cycle, and was planning on just re-maxing at the end of each 16wk cycle, to get new numbers to calculate from[/quote]

16 week cycle? Maybe my e-book is different from yours but I don’t think that’s how it works.[/quote]

I’m with ya…I understand it to be a 4 week cycle. At the end of the de-load week (week 4) I recalculate maxes and start the next 4 weeks[/quote]

You shouldn’t be doing that (recalculating the maxes). Just at 5/10 lbs to each lift.

Huh…I’ll have to re-read it, but I’m pretty sure you add 5 pounds to your estimated upper body maxes, 10 to your estimated lower body maxes, and then recalculate the percentages based on that. Either way I think it comes out to be just about the same weight wise…

[quote]irish20cb wrote:
Huh…I’ll have to re-read it, but I’m pretty sure you add 5 pounds to your estimated upper body maxes, 10 to your estimated lower body maxes, and then recalculate the percentages based on that. Either way I think it comes out to be just about the same weight wise…[/quote]

I recently got a 20 lb. PR on bench and felt I should recalculate based on that max. It was the exact same as just adding 5 lbs. to the training max.

[quote]Fandango wrote:
I am planning on maxing every 3 months or so that way I track my progress. I set goals every 3 months to see if I can reach them, so when I am training I have a little more motivation to push the envelope.[/quote]

This was my thinking exactly… I don’t need a singular number to throw out there for people, but I also have goals and would like to know that I’m capable of reaching them in practice and not just in the mathematical theory approach.

[quote]revchad wrote:
How many reps are you getting in your 1+ week? As you keep getting heavier you will eventually be approaching your actual 1RM, and sometime before that doing something like a max triple.

For example, I am starting my 10th cycle and a few cycles ago I had to reset my press because I was not able to get the single and only got the required 3 the week before. On bench for my 1+ week I am getting about 5 with one or two in the tank, so in a few months I expect that to be approaching a reset. My squats however have picked up a lot so I am getting more than double the required (e.g., 10 on my last 3+ week).

The point being, you may not need to intentionally test your max as the weights get heavier, and at the lower reps the calculators are more accurate.[/quote]

I agree with that line of thinking, but I’m also a bit impatient too… every 3 to 6 months I just want to check to see if I can hit the actual weight in practice… maybe when all the suck is gone, I’ll try a meet.

[quote]irish20cb wrote:
Huh…I’ll have to re-read it, but I’m pretty sure you add 5 pounds to your estimated upper body maxes, 10 to your estimated lower body maxes, and then recalculate the percentages based on that. Either way I think it comes out to be just about the same weight wise…[/quote]

Sorry, I mis-understood you. I think what you are doing is fine (as you say, it ends up being pretty much the same anyway). Its actually what I do as well.

I thought you meant this (which Jim obviously considers a bad idea):
http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/default.asp?qid=120764&tid=164

[quote]TisDrew wrote:

[quote]irish20cb wrote:
Huh…I’ll have to re-read it, but I’m pretty sure you add 5 pounds to your estimated upper body maxes, 10 to your estimated lower body maxes, and then recalculate the percentages based on that. Either way I think it comes out to be just about the same weight wise…[/quote]

I recently got a 20 lb. PR on bench and felt I should recalculate based on that max. It was the exact same as just adding 5 lbs. to the training max.[/quote]

I just wrote an entire rant on why you shouldn’t increase your working max by 20lbs. I even quoted Jim Wendler himself. Then I re-read what you said…

Damn skimming

[quote]OBoile wrote:

[quote]irish20cb wrote:
Huh…I’ll have to re-read it, but I’m pretty sure you add 5 pounds to your estimated upper body maxes, 10 to your estimated lower body maxes, and then recalculate the percentages based on that. Either way I think it comes out to be just about the same weight wise…[/quote]

Sorry, I mis-understood you. I think what you are doing is fine (as you say, it ends up being pretty much the same anyway). Its actually what I do as well.

I thought you meant this (which Jim obviously considers a bad idea):
http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/default.asp?qid=120764&tid=164[/quote]

Irish is doing what is recommended. In page 27 Jim says ‘In the second four week phase, the lifter will increase his maxes no more than 5 pounds per upper body lift, and 10 pounds for lower body lifts.’ Copied and Pasted

Alot of people really do need to buy the book

CG, a lot of people need to buy it, and need to actually read the whole thing, instead of trying to figure out the program through various posts online, or buying the book and just skimming through it. There’s a shit ton of great info in that book, more so than just the set/rep scheme

[quote]CGspot wrote:

[quote]OBoile wrote:

[quote]irish20cb wrote:
Huh…I’ll have to re-read it, but I’m pretty sure you add 5 pounds to your estimated upper body maxes, 10 to your estimated lower body maxes, and then recalculate the percentages based on that. Either way I think it comes out to be just about the same weight wise…[/quote]

Sorry, I mis-understood you. I think what you are doing is fine (as you say, it ends up being pretty much the same anyway). Its actually what I do as well.

I thought you meant this (which Jim obviously considers a bad idea):
http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/default.asp?qid=120764&tid=164[/quote]

Irish is doing what is recommended. In page 27 Jim says ‘In the second four week phase, the lifter will increase his maxes no more than 5 pounds per upper body lift, and 10 pounds for lower body lifts.’ Copied and Pasted

Alot of people really do need to buy the book
[/quote]
I own the book. Once again: I mis-understood what irish20cb meant when he said he was recalculating his maxes.

And FYI, raising your “max” vs. your “training max” will result in slightly different rates of increase.

[quote]OBoile wrote:

[quote]CGspot wrote:

[quote]OBoile wrote:

[quote]irish20cb wrote:
Huh…I’ll have to re-read it, but I’m pretty sure you add 5 pounds to your estimated upper body maxes, 10 to your estimated lower body maxes, and then recalculate the percentages based on that. Either way I think it comes out to be just about the same weight wise…[/quote]

Sorry, I mis-understood you. I think what you are doing is fine (as you say, it ends up being pretty much the same anyway). Its actually what I do as well.

I thought you meant this (which Jim obviously considers a bad idea):
http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/default.asp?qid=120764&tid=164[/quote]

Irish is doing what is recommended. In page 27 Jim says ‘In the second four week phase, the lifter will increase his maxes no more than 5 pounds per upper body lift, and 10 pounds for lower body lifts.’ Copied and Pasted

Alot of people really do need to buy the book
[/quote]
I own the book. Once again: I mis-understood what irish20cb meant when he said he was recalculating his maxes.

And FYI, raising your “max” vs. your “training max” will result in slightly different rates of increase.[/quote]

I know you did. I wasn’t really directing that at you. Sorry if it came off that way. I more meant it towards people who ask a lot of dumb questions about a simple program.

Also I’m not sure what you mean by ‘max’ vs ‘training max’. I’m assuming ‘training max’ is what you’re basing your percentages off of and ‘max’ is the actual most you can lift. so ‘training max’ goes up 5-10 pounds a month and ‘max’ can vary. So how can getting stronger (having a higher ‘max’) change the weights youre training with that month?

Maybe I’m confusing what you’re saying. I’ve been doing that a lot today