T Nation

Build Up One Rep Max Before Starting 5/3/1?

I was going steady on a 5x5 schedule with the intention of switching to a Wendler 5/3/1 schedule. I had to take a break from the start of December but I will have access to a gym again this coming week and wanted to start lifting again.

My question is, since I highly doubt I can jump back into the same weights that I was at 2 months ago, meaning I cant use those numbers to calculate my ORM, should I go to the gym and start slowly loading up a barbell and lift until i hit a ORM or should I go back to 5x5 but at a lower weight and slowly build up my 5x5 weight and then once im at my old numbers i use them to calculate ORM?

This question also kind of touches on the idea of calculated/theoretical ORM vs tested/practical ORM, so if you have an educated opinion on that topic please let me know.

Short answer is yes.

Long answer is yessssss.

Moral: Stop over analyzing shit and do what you want. Just get it done.

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Either or.

But if you want to make the move over I doubt you’ll give 5x5 your full 100%.
If you want to make the move over to 5/3/1 then a week of finding you’re current level is a good idea. However you really can’t start too low on 5/3/1. Unless you’re a bit detached from reality.
The last set is always max effort. So even if you start 10kg too light on a lift you’ll just do more reps.
Just make sure the 1+ Set on week 3 is something you can hit for 5 easy, solid reps. Even if you can do more that great. You hear of people being able to do 15+. I do 12+ for deadlifts.
It’s a beautiful system like that.

Btw avoid looking for your 1rm. Look for your 3-5. It’s less likely to get you injured.

So youre going to the 5/3/1 after 5x5? Just ramp up to a 5RM set and use that as a TM.


AS Rattus said.

Go to the gym for 1 or 2 weeks to feel the barbel again.
Build to a 5RM for each lift.
Use the weight you hit for 5 RM as your TM.
Calculate all lifts from that weight.