T Nation

Counterproductive?

Hi Guys

I’m using the 531 with jokers and first set last setup

I train 4 days a week (Deadlift, Bench, Squat, Overhead Press)

As part of the program I’m always aiming to set a rep Pb in my last working set.

Some people have said to me however that pushing to achieve a rep PB several times a week will leave me burnt out and that I shouldn’t be doing this.

I also notice that some other training programs only have you lifting heavy once a week on one lift.

Can someone explain to me if aiming for rep pbs several times a week is counterproductive?

Thanks
B

Also does the fact that I’m lifting 4 times a week “heavy” leave my CNS at a disadvantage compared to someone who rotates heavy days, speed days and repitition days each week?

What does the program say?

If it calls for “as many reps as possible” then that should be self-explanatory.

Do this on your “+” sets.

Follow the program. If it says do it 4 days a week, then do so.

If you want to modify the proven program, fine. Just don’t expect too much feedback from Jim or on a 5/3/1 site.

Follow the program. You will be happy you did.

I should have said that I’ve been using 531 for last 18 months.

I know what the program says, I’m just curious as to why other programs don’t have you lifting heavy every workout.

I’m trying to basically get information I can use to reply to my gym friends who tell me I’m going to burn myself out lifting heavy and hitting rep pbs every workout

If you have been doing it for 18 months, I assume your making progress.

I would say ,“stick to what works” to the other guys.

They can debate CNS burnout while making zero progress…

This is why 531 has a training max. Using 85 to 90 percent of your real max as a training max will almost guarantee that you will not burn yourself out. Provided that you are eating enough, sleeping enough, and not being a fucking idiot with assistance work.

Also doing 5 cycles forward 3 cycles back will keep you from stalling which will in turn prevent burn out. I’ve been doing 531 going on 5 years now and have never burnt myself out. I have followed the principles and Jims advice. You should as well.

By the way I use rep pr’s, jokers, and FSL as well. I barely do any assistance work only abs and chins and have been making great progress. Unless your gym friends are world record holders or goddamn Mel Siff then stop listening to them

My friends are around the same level as me and have made brilliant gains recently on another well known program

I’ve stuck with 531 throughout.

Thanks guys for the responses

[quote]Bingobob wrote:
My friends are around the same level as me and have made brilliant gains recently on another well known program

I’ve stuck with 531 throughout.[/quote]

Good on you for sticking with a program. Hopping around will definitely kill your gains. What program are they doing?

They are doing the cube method.

I’ve no experience of it myself.

[quote]Bingobob wrote:
I should have said that I’ve been using 531 for last 18 months.

I know what the program says, I’m just curious as to why other programs don’t have you lifting heavy every workout.

I’m trying to basically get information I can use to reply to my gym friends who tell me I’m going to burn myself out lifting heavy and hitting rep pbs every workout[/quote]

I probably should have worded the last set as a PR set - different than a AMRAP set.

If you are young and healthy and can’t push 4 days a week, you probably have some kind of physical issue you must take care of. I don’t know of any PL or OLY program that doesn’t have you lift heavy. You must be confusing this type of workout with toning/ bodybuilding.

And you need to get some new friends - who argues over training? Just lift.

[quote]Bingobob wrote:
They are doing the cube method.

I’ve no experience of it myself.[/quote]

Ive read it. Whats funny is that Brandon Lilly actually cites 531 as one of his biggest influences. Cube also uses a training max. Im not sure why you’re gym friends are giving you a hard time lol its rather amusing to say the least

Hmmmm.

Are you sure you have been doing JW’s version of 5/3/1 for a year and a half? Not a cross-fit variation? Someone who has done the program for that long, and has like you said, made progress/“brilliant gains”, would not ask this type of a question.

These questions are asked by those who are on their second week of 5/3/1.

Trust me I’ve used it for 18 months mate!

Have used 531 and variations of boring but big for most of that time.

Hence my loyalty to it.

I’m merely trying to find out the science behind why other programs rotate their heavy days whereas 531 is based around relatively heavy days every day and aiming to hit rep PRs each day.

Simple enough question.

Jim, can you shed some light on this?

I love 531 and would love to hear your reasoning and views on this!

Thanks
B

I think it has to do with the concept of the training max versus the actual max. When using the training max, you can hover around the heavier percentages more often than when using your actual max. Couple that concept with “starting too light” and you have a recipe for success and fewer plateaus. Simply “training heavy” is too easy to fuck up for most people.

But with one or two joker sets in your program you will be approaching 100% of your training max several times a week.

Suddenly you are lifting heavy each workout, see what I mean?

[quote]Bingobob wrote:
But with one or two joker sets in your program you will be approaching 100% of your training max several times a week.

Suddenly you are lifting heavy each workout, see what I mean?

[/quote]

The answer to your question is that the notion that frequent heavy lifting will somehow damage or disrupt your CNS simply isn’t true. You asked for science…the CNS is your brain and spinal cord. That’s all it is. Its function and resilience is crucial to your survival, and was to the survival of your ancestors down through the millenia. It’s tougher than your friends seem to give it credit for.

So accept that frequent heavy lifting (>90% or whatever) is not going to damage your CNS or any other bullshit. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily what you need to get stronger, but it might be. Many good lifters routinely work up to maximal loads (relative to their daily ability) and thrive on it. This is where experimenting and using your head comes into play.

[quote]Bingobob wrote:
Jim, can you shed some light on this?

I love 531 and would love to hear your reasoning and views on this!

Thanks
B[/quote]

It has been my experience that some can use Jokers to get stronger. Others can’t. Or others have to use them sparingly. That is why the use of these should be done by lifters that understand auto reg. This is all explained in the Beyond book - the different steps of using them in your training.