T Nation

Bad Workout or Time to Reset?


#1

Been back on 531 for 3 cycles now since running a year on 5x5 …

I’m currently on cycle 4 and halfway through the 5s week …,

Been smashing PRs on all 4 lifts over the last 3 cycles and everything is progressing nicely.

Slightly concerned about my squat though …

At the end of Last cycle I ended with 5 good reps on my 1+ week which I was really happy with on 115kg

But yesterday on my 5+ week I could only hit 5 reps on 110kg and it was a grinder.

Training max last cycle was 120kg and this cycle it’s 125kg …

Not sure what’s caused this … but we are in the middle of a heat wave here in the U.K and it’s been 32 degrees the last couple of days. I don’t cope well in hot weather so I’m hoping it’s just this that’s affecting me and not some sudden strength loss.

Everything is on point otherwise … I’m eating well and using the BBB template

Monday :
Bench 531
OHP 5 x 10

Tuesday :
Squat 531
Deadlift 5x10

Thursday :
OHP 531
Bench 5x10!

Friday :
Deadlift 531
Squat 5x10

I also do weighted chin ups between all my 5x10 sets

I’m just wondering if I should put this squat session down to a bad day and the heat or if I should reset a couple of cycles for the squat TM.

No problems with the other lifts …

I know I can usually get a good 7 reps on a 120 kg squat when fresh …

But after the first 2 work sets on 65% and 75% i just didn’t have it in me to hit a PR

I’m deloading every 7th week …


#2

Only getting 5 reps on your 1s week on your 3rd cycle leads me to believe your training max was too high to start with. A lower one will allow for greater opportunities to progress.


#3

I started at a very conservative 85% TM on everything …

But will happily go lower if reps are supposed to be higher at this point …

On average at the moment I’m getting …

Bench - 7 reps on 5s week
- 5-6 on 3s week
- 4-5 on 1s week

Deadlift - 8 on 5s week
- 6 - 7 on 3s week
- 5 on 1s week

Press - 10 on 5s week
- 8 on 3s week
- 7 on 1s week

Squat - was hitting 7 on 5s until yesterday
- 5 -6 on 3s week
- 4-5 on 1s week

My military press I started at 80 percent hence why the reps are currently much higher … everything else was at 85 percent starting TM


#4

To give you perspective, I’ve been running 5/3/1 for my upperbody lifts since Nov of 2015 (was recovering from ACL surgery). Tody was my 3s week for bench and I hit 9 reps for my topset. The max you may have used to calculate your training max may have been a comp max rather than a gym max (ie: it was set on a perfect day, while psyched up, rather than on an average day feeling pretty average).


#5

Random thoughts:
-if you tested your actual 1RM and based the TM on it, there might be some error. Testing a 5RM for 85%TM works better imho (clean reps, no grinding);
-the difference in squats between 1+ week previous cycle and 5+ week this cycle might be belted vs beltless;
-your numbers on “+” weeks are on the low-ish side. With an 85%TM you should be getting about 7 reps on 1+ weeks, the fact that you don’t feel like doing a PR set after the previous work sets (if it always happens) implies your working with too heavy weights. You shouldn’t feel drained by 65-75% sets of 5.
-While you definitely should re-test your TMs and adjust them, a single workout usually doesn’t imply you’re stalling, bad days happen. Try to look at the big picture (i.e. a whole cycle), in this case it really sounds like you’re handling loads that are too heavy, in the future you might just have a few bad days


#6

Nah they were calculated from my regular gym 1rm lifts which I can execute any given day with perfect form and a pause.

I made sure not to bullshit myself and went with weights I can easily hit for a solid single on any day.

I don’t compete lol

Maybe I’m just not very good at repping when above a certain percentage.

If this is the case maybe I should reset to a point where I can easily hit a certain number of reps for each week…

How many reps should I be aiming to hit for each week ?

Maybe something like …
12 on 5s week
10 on 3s week
8 on 1s week


#7

That’s why I clairified what I meant by a competition max; it’s not necessarily one set in a competition, but one that one would employ in a competition. Perfect form is impressive; I still don’t have that, haha.

But yeah, a lower TM is rarely ever a bad thing. Experiment and find what works for you.


#8

I’m very form conscious lol

If a rep feels sloppy or grindy I don’t count it.

But yeah I think I’ll just reset to a level where I’m hitting those rep numbers and progress from there.


#9

If you only got 5 reps at 110kg, then 110kg should probably be your training max.


#10

This Is your issue here. Your training max should be a weight you can get 5 good clean reps with. Not just a single. This allows you to progress for much longer and build without deloads as often.


#11

Try another week with the same weights

If it doesnt go well either reset maxes or even better fix your form for greater medium and long term gains


#12

Another thing I forgot to mention: you’re using kg (I do too), increasing the TM of 5kg for lower body lifts. 5kg is 11lbs, which is MORE of an increment than prescribed in the book.
I suggest you do +4kg on squats and deads and +2kg on bench and press as increments, that’s 8.8 and 4.4 lbs which is a tad less than the amount prescribed but Jim stressed many times that you can increase less than that but not more.
That’s what I’ve been doing and I went 7 cycles without stalling except for the press (I started at 90%TM for all lifts).


#13

I think that could be the issue … 5kg does seem like a huge jump for squats.

I could try scaling it back to 4kg increments :slight_smile:

In general it does sound like i need to reset but I’ll finish this cycle and evaluate from there - I’m pretty happy with the other lifts at the moment so it’s literally just the squat.

It’s a shame considering I started at 85 percent of a pretty easy gym max and was hitting 10 reps on cycle 1…