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5/3/1 Time to Deload?

I train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pretty seriously (about 6 days per week) and have been doing the MMA variation of 5/3/1 to improve my strength, http://www.jimwendler.com/2012/02/531-and-mma/ sometimes splitting it into 3 days depending on my training schedule. It has been going well for a couple of months now, but my progress is really slowing down. Where I used to get at least 2 or 3 reps above the minimum, now I am basically always getting the minimum, and struggling to do so.

On a recent squat I actually got 1 less than the minimum, though my lower back was still sore. I have been running it on 3 week cycles with no deload, since the program doesn’t mention doing a deload. As context I am 5’11, 180 (I compete at 170 or 175, so gaining weight is not an option) and my max lifts are

Press:135x1
Bench:225x1
Dead:315x1
Squat:240x1 (I know this sucks, it is really hard to balance squatting and training)

Any suggestions on how to keep my progress going? Would adding more assistance work help? Right now I mostly do dips, kroc or cable rows, various chins, face pulls, and single leg squats. Is deloading necessary when I only lift 2x/week?

The article also doesn’t mention not doing a deload. In fact, it doesn’t mention anything about percentages and cycling. It assumes 5/3/1. 5/3/1 is a 4 week cycle. You will get away with skipping the deloads for a while if you start light as you are supposed to, but you will certainly stall faster.

If I were you, I would restart the program using 90% of your current max as your training max and continue from there. Do the full 4 week cycle. Don’t skip your deloads.

How would I balance the deload with BJJ training? I have the 5/3/1 book and I don’t remember what it says about balancing sport practice with the lifting during deload. In training we do a lot of strength and conditioning movements during warmups, so would it be enough of a deload to still do the suggested percentages during the deload week or should I just take every 4th week off?

I normally take Tuesdays completely off and train BJJ the rest of the days, and lift 2 days, usually Sunday and Wednesday. Dk if that helps.

[quote]Prodigul wrote:
How would I balance the deload with BJJ training? [/quote]

Weird question here. Just follow the program. The only time it will make a difference is IF you compete. You would do a delaod on the week of the competition, no matter where you are on your cycle.

You can also follow the adive Jim give on 5/3/1 and MMA (look at his website).

I guess what I was asking is whether the point of the deload just doing less weight on the 4 main lifts to rest your CNS, or is it more about giving your body an overall rest? If it is about overall rest, just my BJJ training leaves me pretty beat up, so it may make sense for me to just do accessory work in the gym, or even take the week off. If it just has to do with the CNS load of >80% weights in compound lifts then I get just dropping the percentages.

I think maybe on the deload weeks, you could also reduce your time at BJJ practice. If you normally roll for x-amount of minutes, maybe do half that and do more straight drill work. Not sure if this helps, but it’s something I would do if I were still in BJJ.

I don’t know how you could be too wiped out to do the deload, i mean the deload is a lot easier than the regular work. If you can do the regular work, the deload should seem like a breeze.

Thanks, yeah that makes sense. I normally go hard every week and I think my body is starting to feel the effects of it, and it is certainly slowing down my strength gains. I will do the prescribed percentages for deload week and reduce my rolling, replacing it with drilling. I think I will also just take the rest of the week off from lifting and come at it fresh.

Thanks again for all the input!

[quote]Prodigul wrote:
Thanks, yeah that makes sense. I normally go hard every week and I think my body is starting to feel the effects of it, and it is certainly slowing down my strength gains. I will do the prescribed percentages for deload week and reduce my rolling, replacing it with drilling. I think I will also just take the rest of the week off from lifting and come at it fresh.

Thanks again for all the input![/quote]

Good plan. Do this.