T Nation

Am I Getting Weaker?


I’ve been doing 531 for the last 3 weeks and as I’m lifting more weight on the AMRAP sets I’m seeing my 1RM go down, i.e.:

Week 1 bench:
5+ AMRAP for 10 reps @ 70 - 93.3 kg 1 RM

Week 2:
3+ AMRAP for 8 reps @ 72.5 - 90 kg 1 RM

Week 3:
1+ AMRAP for 5 reps @ 77.5 kg - 87.2 kg 1 RM

What’s going on here? Am I seriously getting weaker?



You have run 1 cycle of the program. It’s not even enough time to have accomplished anything, let alone get weaker OR stronger.

Check your numbers in 12 months.


Concur with Mr. Pwnisher.

Also, are you testing a 1 rep max every week or what’s going on? If you are doing that, stop doing that.


HAHA no, I just put my numbers into a 1RM calculator online to see


Those literally mean nothing. Wait until you start pulling or squatting high numbers for reps. They will say your est 1RM is like 150 pounds above what you would even think about doing.


If you really must do this, take the average of all 3 calculated 1RM numbers and that is your 1RM for cycle 1. Repeat each cycle. Even if one stays the same or goes slightly down its not necessarily a problem so you’ll need to commit to this for like 6 cycles or so.


You are a beginner (I assume) and it is perfectly normal to get more reps at lower weights since you are not yet proficient at handling heavier weights. Like others said, keep on training, eating and sleeping, the strength will come.


Hi, yes I am a beginner. I’m hitting numbers I’ve never done before too so I assumed it must be due to my CNS etc. simply not being used to that weight.



I only have the original 531 and Beyond, so I’m probably waaaaay off with the terminology here. But aren’t the AMRAP sets intended to be assistance (eg, FSL) or, perhaps, done as part of the Strength Phase template for example?
It seem to me that the OP is listing these AMRAP sets as the work sets (ie, on the 3rd week it’s the 95% set). If so, then these are low rep numbers, whether a beginner or just starting 531. You shouldn’t be struggling to hit 5 reps after one cycle. Is your TM correct?
If I have erred, apologies.



You shouldn’t see any strength gains until AFTER a deload or following a specific protocol for peaking. While you’re training you will accumulate fatigue (physical & CNS). It’s ok, keep training and when you deload properly or plan for a peak then you will see your gains. There’s a reason volume decreases extensively as one gets closer to a competition or planned 1RM attempt.

I had the same experience as you. First cycle or two of 5/3/1 I was hitting 145lbs for 7 reps on OHP. Six weeks later I was hitting it for 3-4. I just needed to reset my TM and let my body fully recover from all the new stress (multiple AMRAP sets per week).