T Nation

531 Question

I haven’t seen this asked before, so I thought I would ask. I’ve used 5/3/1 several times, and right now, I’m in my 5th or 6th cycle (doesn’t really matter). The point is the weights for military press and bench press were getting more and more challenging to the point where it was questionable whether or not I could get the prescribed reps. So before I completely failed, I went back several cycles to my second cycle weights. When I did this, the weights were challenging even with the weight decrease and according to my records I was a rep or two shy of what I did in the second cycle. This happened before, and I panicked, thinking that I did not get any stronger. This time I can better comprehend that a rep or two doesn’t matter, and I’m going to keep working my way back up, hoping that it was just a bad day or something. Is there a reason for the submaximal weights being hard again? Has this happened to anyone else?

A couple possibilities:

  1. Lack of good recuperation/recovery/ rest.
  2. A change in food consumption and timing
  3. A change in daily stress levels that you are not accounting for
  4. your psyche. do you WANT to put yourself under the bar?
    Often I find myself at the same point you are now finding yourself. So I go back a month- 6 weeks and review ALL my daily notes (really anal retentive) and look for even the smallest of details and changes that have occured.

I hope this helps. Lift Heavi(er) and Strong(er) !

It happens man. Like killer pointed out, there are many reasons that your weight could be dropping. Just control what you can and keep lifting.

Have you lost weight alongside your loss in strength? It sounds like you’re not eating enough to facilitate your gains.

I’ve tried to maintain my eating habbits. And for the most part, I think that I have. But like Killer pointed out, I’ll have to truly think about what/ if anything has changed. And like Ambugaton pointed out, I’m just gonna do my best to keep pushing through. The only thing that I can’t really control is stress from being in college, but I’m trying my best. Thanks for the input.

Hey wildcat, as “phony” or shitty as this may sound, yoga and meditation do help with daily stress. even 15 minutes a day continuous can help. You may have heard of the “food pyramid” ? Well here is killerDIRK’s life pyramid

At the bottom: How you think-
next level up: How you breath
next level: How you sleep/rest/recovery
next level: How you train
mext level: how you eat

pretty simple really. But in your case try to get some good de=stress work in daily, even between sets and
continued success !

thanks killer; and no, it doesn’t sound phony at all. I actually took Yoga I. It only met once a week, but when it did, I did feel great afterwards. I’ll keep your suggestions in mind.

Jim says that the OHP and the bench press are the slowest to progress on. Just go back a month or two and keep trucking. Three steps forward, one back.

StateOfPsychosis, that is what I’m doing. I’m just wondering whether going back a month or two to lower weights and them still being challenging is a common phenomenon.

Lifting is very mental. If you feel like poop, youre gonna lift like poop.

Be patient and take care of yourself, and Im not just talking about eating healthy. Treat yourself to a milkshake, take time to chill out and play video games. Enjoy yourself.

I personally have had major psychological issues in the last 6 months. I stopped to take care of myself and enjoy stuff more, and now I feel good. My lifts have been going up, and I look forward to my lifts. I mean Im not huge or anything, but it does make a difference.

A lot of it has to do with sleeping well and eating well. Start there and just relax. Everything else will follow. Be patient.


my first thought was bodyweight. Do you have a record of that for the time period as well?

I actaully don’t weigh myself… I’m a former wrestler; and to be honest, weighing myself everyday fucks with my head too much. In the past, I’d start eating less and less (this was even 2 years after I had stopped wrestling). But to answer your question, I did weight myself this past weekend. And even though several months had gone by since my last “weigh-in” my weight hasn’t fluctuated drastically if at all.

Do you do the deload week as written?