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5's PRO on Lower Body, PR Sets on Presses?

Hey, I’ve been feeling beat up the past couple of cycles and just now starting a leader after my anchor. I’ve noticed that I really like PR sets on my presses, but my lower body feels really beat up everytime I do my PR sets on squats/deads. Am I stupid and overthinking in thinking I shouldn’t do PR sets, even on leaders, for my presses while just following normal 5’s PRO on lower body lifts?

I might be treading into dangerous waters by saying this, but: 5/3/1, more than anything, is a set of guidelines as opposed to rules (cue Pirates of the Caribbean Barbosa face). That means it has a lot of “plug n’ play” aspects, and allows people to manipulate certain parameters to suite their individual needs.

Personally, I run all kinds of Frankenstein-esque combos in my training built off of 5/3/1. This is the result of experimenting with various 5/3/1 programs or parameters and finding what worked for some lifts and not for others.

If PR sets work well for your press but not your squat and deadlift, and just wreck you, then don’t do them. Find what works best for YOU and exploit it to make YOUR best gains.



The general 531 answer is ‘it depends’.

However; I personally shit the bed on PR sets regardless (lifting is my gpp for boxing). So, I like to not do them as much. I’d keep them out of the leaders (as most templates have them) and if you want to do them on anchors for bench and press, go at it!

IIRC Jim says that mixing templates is fine, somewhere in forever. So doing PR sets for 2 lifts and not doing them for 2 lifts should be fine.

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I agree with @kdjohn on this. No need to crush yourself on PRs for squat and dead’s if it’s interfering with other activities. 5’s PRO with those will still keep you strong on those lifts and let you emphasize conditioning or other training.


You’ll probably find that if you do a few cycles of 5 Pros with an appropriate TM and increased assistance then do a cycle where you do rep PEs and less assistance that you get a great result from that PR cycle

I’d do the entire body like this but if PRs for the upper body lifts is working then I’d stay with that.

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I really dislike 5s pro if done as written as i do believe first 2 weeks are somewhat of an undertraining. As in, if you are supposed to be able to do 5 @ 95% , then what is 5 @ 85% supposed to do? But that is just my opinion.
What i do like, for example, is using 5s pro principles in original 531…
For example… lets NOT decrease TM for 5s pro, stay where we are at 531 and just NOT do PR sets, but same as 5s pro caps us at 5 reps, lets cap our 531 top set at minimum reps - so you do 5s and 3s and 1s and stay there.

The problem with what i written just now could be the fact that you progress further and further and are always able to complete these caped top sets, until your 95% weeks 1rep is actually your true max, and you are overreaching now.
So what i am doing right now - i am not capping my progress like 5s pro, but i am increasing my minimum reps.
So instead of doing 531 where 5+ is minimum of 5, my 85% week is 9+…My rule of thumb is +4 reps over minimum, so i am doing 9+ , 7+ and 5+.
If i want a bit heavier cycle, i will allow myself to go +3 reps over minimum but then i will reset after that cycle, so for example - i train and progress as long as my 85% is NOT LESS than 9 reps, and my 95% is NOT LESS than 5 reps… then when that gets heavy, i will allow myself to do 1 cycle where i will do maybe 7-8 reps on 85% or 3-4 on 95% but that is where i reset to a point where i can do 9+(could be 9, could be 12) on my 85% week again and so on.
This still allows you to break your own records and challange yourself every day but the weights are not as heavy that they crush you.

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Many people after a while use different schemes for different lifts, for different reasons. It’s fine.

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By your own admission, weren’t you struggling with constantly burning out in your training?

Yes. Thats exactly why i said what i said and because of those principles i wrote, today i added 25lbs to my bench AFTER pr’ing on amrap set before that also, since the time i believe you answered on my topic on not going too heavy. I listened, i sticked to what i wrote here earlier and 2 months later i PRd reps and two singles :slight_smile:

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