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Confused about Calculations in 5/3/1 BBB?


My working sets for the big 4 lifts are as follows (Estimated 1RM in parenthesis):

Deadlift: 375lbs x5 (1RM 435lbs)
Press: 120lbs x5 (1RM 135lbs)
Squat: 245lbs x5 (1RM 285lbs)
Bench Press: 195lbs x5 (1RM 225lbs)

When using an online calculator for the 5/3/1 BBB program, should I be using my estimated 1RM (I’ve never maxed out before) or use my 5RM?



After a bit of research I’ve answered my own question-

You take your estimated 1RM and use 90% of that (To account for any bullshit and ego lifting) and then base the percentages off of that.


Your working sets should be different percentages of your training max for each set. For example, the first set of 5 should be at 65%, the second set should be at 75%, and the third set should be as many reps as you can get at 85%.

If you are listing what you are currently working at rather than what you think your sets should be in 5/3/1, then you can calculate what your maxes would be by:

(Weight X Reps) x .0333 + Weight.

So for your deadlift, your estimated max would be (375x5)x.033+375, or 436. Your Training Max would be 90% of that, or 393. That’s the number you would use to calculate your working sets.

I’m not sure I understood your question correctly, but I hope this helps.


I probably could’ve worded it better but you got the jist of it… My working sets listed were referring to what I moved last week in a different program. Thanks for your help


Once again - don’t use an online calculator.