T Nation

531 Weights Question


Hey guys, I'll keep it short. I'm running 531, seeing great progress, no complaints. today I did my '3' weights on my '5' day, with no problems, but what would you guys do for the next week for the '3' week? I just do the 3 week anyways, but am curious on anyone's opinion. Thanks!


Do the 5 week weights next week. 3/5/1 is another acceptable approach that Wendler talked about in 5/3/1 for powerlifting.


Sounds like you might want to consider resetting your training maxes. For this go around maybe just do the 3 weight and try to beat the reps you did on the 5 week or add 10% to your 3 weight now. You pretty much can do whatever you want so long as you stick to the principles right?


Just do the "3" and do a shit-ton of reps.

The point of 5/3/1 is slow, consistent, and if Wendler is speaking the truth, completely predictable strength gains.

I don't think there's any real reason to be jumping the gun.


Do the program and have faith that it works. It is a good thing that you started light. You will make more progress before stalling. I have talked to Mr. Wendler about this via email. He told me that even though I was getting my "5/3/1 week" weights for 10 reps on my AMRAP sets, that I should stay the course because that is how the program is designed to work.


You even said your seeing great progress so I would keep doing what your doing.


As stated above i would use the 3/5/1 pl approach. You could also throw is the pyamid sets and have two amrap sets one with the prescribes percentage for the day and a lighter one. For example its squat day.

Set 1 5 reps 185
Set 2 5 reps 225
Set 3 5+ reps 276
Add this
Set 4 5 reps 225
Set 5 5+ reps 185

Basically two amrap sets one heavy and one lighter.


I guess you mixed up your weights?
Do either 3+ again OR do the 5+ weight its no biggie


Just keep following the program. Eventually the weights will catch up to your ability and you'll find you will just get that last rep on each of your prescribed numbers.

The program works, slow, stead AND predictable. I'm on it for over 2.5 years now and still not bored.


I'm hopefully nowhere close to stalling but say I can only get the prescribed reps for 2 weeks in a row, should I take my training max back to what it was 2 cycles prior?


NO - Not if you're getting the reps. Keep going and adding weight each month until you miss. If you do the program correctly it should be a LONG time before you miss any weights.


Even If on say 3s week I only get 3 and then on 1s week I only get 1?


^^^^ yes - It's been like that for me for over a year now but the weights keep going up.


This is good to know. I was afraid to fall out of the 6 to 10 rep range on my lifts, but I finally realized I had to let the program run its course. I am now determined to ride it out until I cannot anymore, and I am comfortable with that. I added the pyramid down sets to the triumvirate template (for some extra volume), and I am very pleased with my workouts at this point in time.

I did an entire year of boring but big, and I am working on a few months of triumvirate FYI, so I can only comment on those templates.

The farther along I get into my programming and understanding of the theory behind 5/3/1, the more comfortable I am with trying to improve my training max, and being comfortable knowing that I can hit it at any time (tired, poorly fed, sore, etc.). I think you just have to be patient and realize that you are not training your best ever lifts on this program, rather you are training your training max. For instance, you may come in and get 225 x 10. Next week you may not be able to beat or get that (due to soreness, or being pooly fed, or being tired from work, etc.), but if you set up your weights correctly your training max will go up each cycle and eventually your TM will be 300.

The longer you go without stalling, the better. Just keep reppin like a mofo and addin weight.

Most people I know who struggle with this program don't understand the training max concept, and aren't committed to being patient and making the slow gains. I know I am guilty of that to some degree. I hope I made sense. I am good at fumbling my words sometimes.


Have you ever had to reset your weights?


Not the way the program says to do it. I have missed (but not very often) and when I did, I simply kept the weights the same for the next cycle. I've never missed two cycles in a row.


x2 this


Progress is key with 531, I like to only hit my prescribed reps, then drop 10% and go for broke. You should not be missing reps though, that likely means your maxes are set to high. The way I do it, allows me to run a higher % of my 1RM, but I still never allow my self to miss reps ever.

If I were you OP, I'd just do 5s next week, and carry on from there. This program is set up to be judged by the year, not weekly, so I wouldn't worry to much about it. Goodluck