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Beginner Question Regards 531 PR's

I did a couple of cycles of 531 in the past and one thing that always puzzled me was the PR’s ie you do the last set and go all out to set a PR however first off your told not to train to failure and to hold a rep or two back so how are you going to break a record if your not going all out until you can’t complete another rep ?

The other part I don’t understand is the PR its self ie if I up the weight by 5 and 10 pounds each cycle i’m never actually lifting the same weight so how do I know if I’ve done better ?

My conclusion is i’m going for more reps than I did before with the 85%,90% and 95%, ie the first cycle perhaps I did 6 reps with my 85% weight and in the next cycle I get 7 reps with my new heavier 85% so I have a PR OF 1 rep would this be correct ?

Although I can’t see how its possible to keep doing this with heavier and heavier loads especially when holding a rep or two back… please could someone explain what i’m missing sorry for being a bit slow.

You are over-thinking every single topic you asked about.

If you really want to get into it, Rep PR is the heaviest weight you managed for X reps. For example, during 5s week you hit 10 reps on your plus set for 200 lbs. You’ve never done 200 lbs for 10 reps, so you THAT is how you know you’ve done better.

Even though you leave 1 or 2 in the tank, that’s just to avoid grinding with really sloppy form (this doesn’t help you get stronger). Even though you aren’t really going 100%, you will still breaking records because you always train like this.

[quote]tredaway wrote:
I did a couple of cycles of 531 in the past and one thing that always puzzled me was the PR’s ie you do the last set and go all out to set a PR however first off your told not to train to failure and to hold a rep or two back so how are you going to break a record if your not going all out until you can’t complete another rep ?

The other part I don’t understand is the PR its self ie if I up the weight by 5 and 10 pounds each cycle i’m never actually lifting the same weight so how do I know if I’ve done better ?

My conclusion is i’m going for more reps than I did before with the 85%,90% and 95%, ie the first cycle perhaps I did 6 reps with my 85% weight and in the next cycle I get 7 reps with my new heavier 85% so I have a PR OF 1 rep would this be correct ?

Although I can’t see how its possible to keep doing this with heavier and heavier loads especially when holding a rep or two back… please could someone explain what i’m missing sorry for being a bit slow.[/quote]

Wow - check out the Rep Max Calculator in the book - this whole section explains how to compare rep maxes. To make things even easier please read pages 21-33 of the 2nd Edition. Also read “5/3/1 and Beginners” for more information on training (2nd Ed) and the “5’s PRO for Beginners” in the Beyond 5/3/1 book (it’s on TNation).

I’ve been lifting for about 25 years and have set numerous PR’s and have rarely gone to failure - because you must learn how to train smart. When you train hard and make progress, you don’t have to go to failure to set a PR. That’s kinda what we are after.

[quote]tredaway wrote:
The other part I don’t understand is the PR its self ie if I up the weight by 5 and 10 pounds each cycle i’m never actually lifting the same weight so how do I know if I’ve done better ?
[/quote]

This has been adequately covered, but let’s count several ways.

Let’s say that one month my TM for OHP is 60 kg. On the 5/3/1 week I press 57.5 kg for 6 reps.

Two months later when my TM is 65 kg I press 57.5 kg on the 5s week (truth be told I’m not sure how you can say you’re never lifting the same weight twice). I get 7 reps. New PR!

Or let’s take the month before that. With a TM of 62.5 kg I’m pressing 60 kg on the 5/3/1 week. Let’s say I press it for 6 reps. 57.5 kg for 6 reps to 60 kg for 6 reps. New PR!

Or use the calculator in Jim’s book, as he stated in the post above mine.

Dave101 your quite correct I do have a big tendency to over-think things lol unfortunately that’s just how I am sorry if it bothers you.

Jim thanks for the reply, I have just re-read pages 21-33 of the 2nd Edition I obviously read through the book to quickly and missed the information a case of missing what was under my nose the whole time… boy do I feel stupid !!

The sad thing is I even have a Wendler calculator app on my phone I didn’t realise these rep max’s refered to the 1 rep max :slight_smile: thanks again for every ones time.