7th Week Training Max Test, 4/5-Rep Grinders

Hey everyone. I just completed doing the seventh week training max test. I was able to hit five reps on all my training max but a few I found were real grinders around reps four and five. My question is should I continue with my training maxes or adjust them by 5-10lbs?

You’ve gotta change something - either eat more (provided you’re not stuffing yourself already) or switch up your template, or lower your TM - the only option I’d advise against is doing nothing and continuing to add weight.

I personally would keep my TM’s the same, run a different template, and add some food (again, if you’re not already going hard on the front).

Okay so that I’m clear do you think your TM is too low? Because you can do 4-5 reps with TM. And that’s meant to be at “90%” of your actual max.
If that’s the case chill and enjoy the extra volume.


I’ve run 531 where I’ve deadlifted 95% of my TM 10 times. Fairly comfortably.
My 5+ rep maxes where 18-22. My 3+ was 12-15. You still make progress at these reps ranges. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to up the TM quickly or you’ll miss out.

Just keep pluging away. It won’t be long before your TM starts to look more like 90% of your max again.

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I’m just wondering if my TM is too high. I’ve never run the seven week protocol where you test your TM so I’m unsure if it should be a stressor or something that you should easily get 5 reps on. I took a few days off,4-5 days, and planned on switching templates. Figured this would be a perfect time to test my maxes before setting up the next template. If the last 5 reps should be easy then I need to lower my maxes a bit but if at 100% of my TM it should be tough and grind the last rep or two then I’m right we’re I should be.

If you can 5 rep your TM is definitely not too high and you could probably bump it up a touch based on my understanding of what a training max is.

@wicat3 It depends on your definition of grinding reps. If your bar speed really takes a dip, I’d reset the TM.

Of you’re wondering if your TM is too hight just drop it.
Linked to above having a TM well below your actual won’t hurt you. So long as you are reasonable.

Your training max, for 5/3/1, is supposed to be a weight that you can walk into the gym on any day and hit 5 clean reps with. So, it’s not too high probably, but the fact that reps 4 and 5 are grinding kind of suggests that a stall might come soon if he keeps adding weight.

You’re way stronger than me, so I’m not disputing your advice, only clarifying why he might be hesitant to add more weight within the confines of the 5/3/1 program.

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Are you using a 90% TM? If so, i think youre good. Forever says 5 strong reps for an 85% TM and 3 for a 90%. So if your first 3 were better I’d say move on per protocol.

However, I think you could also use that 5 rep grinder and recalculate a new TM. It would be lower but thats not a bad thing.

No appreciate the correction. Its been a while since I ran 5/3/1 and I’d clearly forgotten how different the concept of TM is there compared to other training systems.

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My bar speed took a dive on a few of the lifts. For example, my deadlift on my training max was definitely slower than any other set done that day. I can safely say my training maxes were easily good for 3 reps but after that they broke down. As for what percentage I was running I believe it was 90%

Staying with the same TM or even lowering it is unlikely to set you back. You should still be able to measure progress through your top sets. Compare against your previous performances. 5 forward / 3 back is a viable strategy. Maintaining progress over the long term and not injuring yourself is better than linearly increasing your TM.

Knock 5% off the weight you used as a test - should be about right.

All books except Forever had 90% TM… 90% is good, hard 3 reps.

Yes - he says that he doesn’t want the 3 reps to be a true 3RM either. OP never specified if he was at 85 or 90, either. 85% is 5, 90% is 3, but it sounds as if he’s really grinding the 4th and 5th reps. I did say that his TM is probably not too high, and that he could just keep it the same for one more cycle and maybe change a program. When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to just back off a bit and then push for the long haul.

if thats 90% and he is grinding 4th, that is very good.

100% true, yes…

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