T Nation

Adding Weight to Each Set or Max?


I couldn’t find any answer to this question. But I’m a bit confused about increase in weight between cycles. In his book he says that you should add 5 pounds per upper body lift. These increases are to the max that you’re basing your percentage on, NOT increasing the weight for each set.

But when I compare the tables on page 25 and 27 he’s basically adding 5 pounds to the weight for each set, not to the max. So, which one is “right” ?


Add to training max, not each set.


But don’t you agree that he’s adding to each set when you compare page 27 to page 25?

If my max in 200, then 90% is 180, first week first cycle would be: 117-135-153.

Second cycle would then be??
max = 210, 90% 189 and first week second cycle would be: 123-142-161 ?

What he does on page 27 is basically adding 10 to the working set i.e. first week second cycle would be: 127-145-163.

Which one is right?


I just answered this question. Ths issue is, you are adding to 1rm. Don’t do that. Add to TRAINING max.


So if my 1rm is 200, then my training max (90%) is 180. So I should add 10 to 180 for lower body. That’s still not what you get by comparing table on page 27 to table on page 25. See attached photo.


I do not know how many more times you want me to tell you to add it to the training max. If you don’t want to do that, train however you want man.


Training max. LITERALLY SAYS IN THE PICTURE YOU POSTED!! Why won’t you accept the truth when you posted the answer?

Or do whatever you want.


Adding weight to your training max automatically adds it to the working sets. It is perfectly laid out in the pictures you posted.
E.G. Military press TM of 150 week 1: training weights of 100/115/130
Military press TM of 155 week 2: training weights of 105/120/135

That being said, your rounding up or down can influence the training set numbers slightly. I use an excel spreadsheet that rounds to the nearest 5#. If the actual calculated weight is 142, it rounds to 140. If it is 143, it would round to 145.


Ok I think I get what the misunderstanding is about. I didn’t round the numbers like you do. The thing is, adding 5 to the training max DOES NOT lead to an increase of 5 in the working set.

Here is my calculations, not rounded. So adding a 5 to the military press training max will lead to an increase in the working set by 3,3-3,8 and 4,3.

I’m sorry for this misunderstanding. I’ll add the 5 and 10 to my training max. Thank you all for the help.



How does one add 3.3 pounds in plates? Most gyms don’t have 1.25lb plates, I wouldn’t hold my breath for 1.65lb ones.


Good spot. Everybody stop training until we get this maths right.


May be too dumb to lift…


good lord.


jeez do you not know what rounding is?


Seriously, is this really so hard? 531 could not be simpler. If you don’t have the newest book, let me spell it out for you:

simply plug in 85.4% of your training max into the equation for each lift, then let T equal the amount of time you spend in the gym, and, for simplicity, use the speed of light in a vacuum for m. Hopefully this clarifies things for you, as you were making it way more complicated than needed.


Keep the limits out of this function please. Nice deviation from the norm…