T Nation

531 Vacation/Deload Conflict

Hi there,

Firstly, thank you T-Nation (for this great community) and Jim Wendler (for an excellent program). Your passion is contagious and it is helping me get back (and stay) on track.

My question has to do with the 531 and vacations. I’m just getting back into it. I just finished week 3 of my first cycle this past week. This week will be my first deload week. Next week I will be be traveling on vacation. I do not know whether I will have access to a good gym. My question is simply, how do you recommend I manage these next two weeks? Jim said to use your best judgement on this and I evaluated some options.

  1. best case scenario: take the deload week this week, hope I find a good gym while I’m traveling the week after, and move onto cycle 2(program stays as is)
  2. take the deload week this week. If I don’t find a gym on the road, this means taking the whole week off (I could still do calisthenics and conditioning that week). move on to cycle 2
  3. repeat week 3 of the first cycle this week, treat the week I travel as a deload week (so if I have access to a gym I’ll do my deload reps, if I don’t i could do BW exercises), move on to cycle 2
  4. any other recommendations?

FYI, I’m 5ft 8.5 in. 200 lb. during my 531 week, my max reps were squat 245x12, DL 290x7, bench 215x6, OHP 140x4. I’m not feeling too beat up right now. I feel like I’m getting stronger already, so I don’t want to lose any progress I’ve made so far. Thanks in advance for the replies!

How I would do it is I would train as per normal up until I left for vacation, then when I got back from vacation I’d start training again.

I would do sort of what “some_dude” said - I’d begin cycle 2 and use the 5-3-1 PL split, or 3-5-1. So I’d hit my 3’s week this week.
Then I’d take my d-load on vacation, and start back with my 5’s week (since the % is a little lighter), and then on to the 5-3-1 week.

FYI - my schedule, injury, etc. has caused me to deload at every possible interval in the program - including the week before the 5-3-1 week. I have also taken a week off of all major lifting before a comp. I felt great and stronger each time.
You may gain weight on a week off, but probably won’t loose any strength at all.
You don’t lose as much as people think anyway - if anything at all in just a week.

[quote]some_dude wrote:
How I would do it is I would train as per normal up until I left for vacation, then when I got back from vacation I’d start training again.

This - just train and then take the vacation. When you get back, start training again.


If one trains hard in the weight room, uses AirDyne every day, jumps 3-4 days/week, runs hills/Prowler 3 days week - these “life” vacations are deloads that won’t matter. You come back home and you can immediately jump back on the horse.

The problem is that people rarely take advantage of the time they have at home. Anything less than 100% compliance with ATTENDANCE and EFFORT is not conducive to reaching your goals.

It takes NO TALENT and your GENETICS don’t matter in regard to attendance and effort. Just like it takes NO TALENT/GENETICS to be in-shape and to make yourself stronger than you were before.

So the problem is never about the deload or the vacation.

When I’m on vacation, I’M ON VACATION. I’ve made the “gotta find a place to train” mistake way to many times.

Thanks again everyone for your responses!