First and foremost huge to you Jim and your 5/3/1 program. I’ve read all your books and use them, as well as my (hopefully) good sense, as my training Bible. Also love the philosophy and passion beyond the mere set/rep schemes.
And I have a question, specifically, about the rep schemes. The methodology behind getting strong involves moving heavier weights for lower reps; hence the 5/3/1. But it seems to me the “ideal” number of reps on your + sets is both a matter of preference and much debate. I’ve always started light and increased the weight per cycle until I could only achieve one additional rep on the + sets. So 6, 4, or 2 depending on the week, at which point I shave a percentage or fixed number and recalculate. Two steps forward, one step back, repeat.
I note in Beyond 5/3/1 when talking about Joker Sets you recommend capping the + sets (or PR set) at 10, 8 and 5 respectively. “Capping” your hardest set of the week at 10, 8 and 5 doesn’t reconcile in my mind with 5/3/1. You’re doubling and then some the rep scheme in weeks two and three, and arguably doing a hypertrophy set in week 1. I fully understand and am on board with the idea of starting light, but…
Can you please explain this? Why shoot to exceed the minimum by two, three, even five times (on week three)???