T Nation

Another Joker Question

I am following the 28 week template in the Beyond 531 book and I have just started Jokers this week. However, I have struggled to complete the in the first week.

My understanding is that you complete the last + set, then rest. Then add 10% of your training max to the bar and attempt to lift (5 on 5+ week, 3 on 3+ week, 1 on 1+ week). If you complete that, add another 10% and so on.

However, my first two days, I have been unable to complete the first set. E.g.

Day 1 - Bench Press

  • Max weight I have ever lifted - 120kg (6 months ago)
  • Current TM (7th cycle after complete reset) - 115kg
  • 5+ week and I managed 10 reps at 97.5kg (predicted max of 130kg)
  • This was a PR both in terms of reps at weight and predicted max.
  • First joker set (97.5 + 12.5 = 110kg) - I only managed 4 reps :frowning:

Day 2 - Dead lift

  • Max weight I have ever lifted - 190kg (about 6 months ago)
  • Current TM (7th cycle after complete reset) - 185kg
  • 5+ week and I managed 9 reps at 157.5kg (predicted max of 204kg)
  • This was a PR both in terms of reps at weight and predicted max.
  • First joker set (97.5 + 12.5 = 175kg) - I only managed 1 reps :frowning:

Basically, after the PR set, I am completely trashed. I feel as though I don’t have the strength to do any more lifts. After my PR set, I have rested about 4 mins until I was completely recovered. My questions -

  1. am I doing the Jokers correctly?
  2. Should I rest more/less before going onto jokers?
  3. Should I only do jokers when I don’t make a PR (I am making PRs 75% of the time at the moment)?
  4. Anything else about the jokers I am doing wrong?

Jokers are 5-10% jumps. I recommend programming them in 6 week blocks.

Tried the 5% thing with Squats and Shoulder Press and it was much less dissapointing :smiley:

I will also programme Jokers for this 6 week block then move onto another 531 variation as I will end of the 28 week cycle.

Thanks again for your help and advice :slight_smile: