5/3/1 with Same Weight for Each Set

Jim, in my gym is a guy who train with a different approach to 5/3/1 than your template.
He´s doing everything like you suggest but he´s not increasing the weight from set to set.
So for example instead of 65%, 75% and 85% on the 5 rep week he´s doing 3 sets with 5 reps at 80% of his max.

What´s your opinion on sets with the same weight respectively why is your 5/3/1 basen on ramping the sets?
Thanks for your answer!

If he wants to train like that, that’s up to him. There are much better ways to train with the 5/3/1 program using straight sets. But obviously he is getting awesome results.

The reason why the program is layed out is due to the 4 principles of the program - check it out.

I’d like to mention that I used to use the same weight for multiple work sets, for example 4 x 5 at 85% (of 90% training max), 4 x 3 at 90% or 4 x 2 at 95%, but I found this out by basically trial and error:

I progressed faster when I ramped my 4 work sets with 5% jumps than when I did them all at single weight. Basically I got stronger faster doing 75% x 3; 80% x 3; 85% x 3; 90% x 3 then doing 90% (all of 90% training max in all cases) for all 4 x 3. I still have a harder time making 10% jumps though, but I am trying to transition, but here are a few reasons why the ramping seemed to work.

  1. It was easier to “get through” if I was down a little and or only had time to get in a minimal workout.
  2. I could always add 1-3 additional sets with additional jumps if I felt good.
  3. I was a bit more explosive on the lighter ramp set, and could concentrate on just flexing the hell out of all of my support muscles, whereas when I went straight up to work weight I was not as properly “set up”.
  4. The absolute weirdest thing is that I would sometimes go in on a “down/minimal” workout and do my first set of 5, or 3 or 2. It felt tough, and I felt like there was no way I could add 3 more 5% jumps in. Then I’d add 5% and it would feel exactly as hard, or even easier than the previous set. The third set would feel even easier!

Anyway, ultimately my feeling is that ramping is more flexible, AND it produces as good results as straight sets with less long term stress so I don’t really need to explain it any more.

I noticed though that Jim has the 5 x 5 and 5 x 3 straight sets (10% lighter than usual top weight) in some routines. Presumably this is more for a break.

Thanks guys.
mertdawg, you wrote on point 4 that the heavier weights feel “easier”. That´s something I found, too.
When you´re ramping the last set is almost as easy as the first one.

Jim, I have one question more for you:
Have you ever done your Frequency Project 2.0 over a longer time? If so, what was your feeling and your experience?