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5/3/1 When is it Time to Jump?


I just finished my first cycle of 5/3/1 and have a basic question for those with more experience using it. I know Wendler says no more than 5lbs/month increase; however, for bench I hit 13, 10, and 8 reps in my first cycle, and I don't see adding 5lbs doing too much to those next cycle. At this rate it will be a good 7 or 8 cycles before hitting the minimum reps on the last set will present any kind of challenge. Is this pretty standard when you get started? Am I worrying about nothing?


I would just follow it as written and learn to pick your battles (i.e. don't go balls to the wall every session).


That's perfectly okay. In fact if you were hitting much fewer reps you would probably have been starting to high.


Thats how its set up. Your supposed to be waaaaay over prescribed reps for a while, and you shouldnt have to rest for at least six months. your doin it right, just keep pluggin away


Wow, guys are so much nicer here than over in BB forum. I was thinking about posting this for about a week, since I was so worried about sounding like a newb.



its your avi


Please, for the love of whatever god you deem the higher power, stick with it!


From the man himself!


Just as a point of reference, I went 6 cycles before my prescribed reps, and my brother is on his 5th cycle and just hit 11 reps on 5/3/1 day, he is also eating like a mad man. This shit works.


Thanks for all the replies. I have every intention of sticking with the program indefinitely at this point...I just wanted some perspective. I will add 5 lbs this week.


Honored to see you in my humble thread! I have every intention of sticking with this, I just wanted to make sure things were starting off at the right pace.


All hail the mighty 5/3/1, especially that part of staying well north of vag.


I would honestly add 10 lbs after how many reps you hit. You would probably still hit at least 10-11 reps on 5's day, which is still a high number. I would start only adding 5 lbs after only hitting about 9-10 reps on my 5's day. That's just me though... and I do compete, so I don't really care for hitting reps in the teens on my main lift. Still waiting on the 5/3/1 powerlifting book though!! :smiley:

I usually don't care for avi's like that, but yours is just amazing....


Well, I did decide to jump just 5lbs this cycle, and lo and behold on my first 5s day on bench I hit 12 reps. That's 4 weeks in a row now my projected max has calculated out to a whopping 50lbs more than what I'm using for the given cycle (on all 5s, 3s, and 1s days alike).


Keep in mind, the numbers catch up to you quickly. It'll be a different story once you get to cycle 5 or around there.

It isn't a bad thing that you are hitting 12 reps now especially if you are planning on using it for a year or more. A 10lb jump from cycle 1 to 2 isn't entirely a bad idea (which is exactly what I did the first time) but I only planned to be on it for 6 months before I dislocated my elbow (completely unrelated matter) and got through 4.5 cycles before it happened. So I wanted to speed things up a bit.

Give you an example of mine. Before the injury I was hitting 11 reps with 396 lbs (180kg). But could only manage 5 reps with 440 (200kg). The difference in projected 1RM and my true 1RM was that the projected one was about 45lbs higher.

Don't make jumps that are too great!


^valuable input Teledin. Thanks. The weird thing is, though, my projected max for overhead is just about spot on each week. This discrepancy was making me think something was off.


I had the exact same scenario.

But I tell you, the progress I made in 4.5 months was quite significant. I added 4 more reps to my ATG squat at 286 lb (130kg), 3 reps to my 396 lb deadlift (180kg) and 5 reps to my 264 lb (120kg) bench.


You've got some respectable size on you. Did you do much of that while doing 5/3/1?


Thanks. I added some extra size, but it really wasn't a lot. Which was expected, seeing as I'm over the newbie gain phase and only did it for 4.5 months of the program.



Just finished my first week of my 5th cycle and I'm STILL hitting 12 reps on bench and DL, and 11 on OHP and Squat. I don't think this is standard, but oh well. It's great progress for me.

Edit: I'm not complaining...