At the beginning of this year, I decided to focus specifically on my strength training for 2014. Although I used 5/3/1 over the preceding 18 months, it was on a much more casual basis with ad-hoc resetting. I therefore have little experience of progressive cycling and have a question:
I am just about to finish the 4th cycle of this new programme and wondering whether I should take a 5-forward, 3 back; or 4 forward; 2 back approach.
The reason I am considering a 4/2 is because I am a scientist and it looks symmetric and well ordered on my spreadsheet. This may sound wacky, but it all seems to fit well into 28 week training cycle (4x7 weeks). With 4:2, this means that I will finish 6 full increments over 28 weeks, ready to start again with 2 steps back for the next 28 week cycle.
Am I crazy? should I just stick to 5:3?
It’s the principle of slow progression that matters. You’ll be fine doing either.
The reason I am considering a 4/2 is because I am a scientist and it looks symmetric and well ordered on my spreadsheet.
Am I crazy? should I just stick to 5:3?[/quote]
yes, you are crazy, haha!
In seriousness, though, unless there is a competition you are training for in X amount of weeks, it won’t matter that you finish the progression in exactly 28 weeks. I can understand the desire for symmetry, but it depends on if what your spread sheet looks like is more important to you than gaining strength.
Use that scientific nature to your advantage: instead of forcing something into a pattern, try to find the pattern in the cycles that produced PR’s and then adjust your training accordingly. If you are keeping a training log, imagine the amount of numbers to crunch and obsess about in another 18 months!
That being said, if you are still hitting prescribed reps or PRs, do what you want…you’re going to anyway.