T Nation

5 Up 3 Back Question

Hi guys,

Jim wrote some time ago about Grey Pube training and capping all sets at 5 reps. As I fast approach Grey Pube status, how would this fit into the context of 5 up 3 back where the object is to push more than 5 reps in the 5 and 3 weeks once you have moved back 3 cycles?

Would this mean that 5 up 3 back is not applicable in this instance and I should keep pushing until I stall and then reset? I’ve used 5 up 3 back since day 1 (almost 2 years now) and found recently that pushing the PR reps on the last set when I go back 3 is starting to screw with my joints a little and my recovery.

I am still following the beginner template because its simple (meaning I cant screw it up) and because I like it. Conditioning is walking every day plus Agile 8 for mobility.

Any thoughts and feedback is appreciated.


5/3 is not recommended. It was a band-aid over a geyser that has since been fixed.

Thanks Jim.

On that basis would you recommend continuing until I stall and then reset my TM for that particular lift?

I recommend going through the program (Leader/Anchor) and using the 7th week Protocol. This has been explained on this forum and will be in new book.

Essentially, you know how the 5/3/1 program is so easy to use? Now, I have made it even easier to program for any situation/goal/person and EVERY part of training is programmed.

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If PR set fuck you up, do this:

cycles 1-2: 5’s PRO, then either choose BBS, BBB, SSL (5x5) or FSL (5x5)

Cycles 3: PR sets FSL 3x5


Sweet. Since I’m at the point where I’m only getting the minimum prescribed reps on my PR sets each week, would you recommend resetting my TM at 85-90% of my current 1RM?

Yes - you should never, ever outrun your TM. That’s why we ONLY do programs now, no templates. Programs force the lifter to do what is right.

Last question Jim.

Now that as of today I have officially attained Grey Pube status, for an old fart like me would you recommend a simple deload or push for rep PR’s with TM in week 7?