T Nation

Cycling Assistance to Maintain PRs


Anybody with any experience/advice/sarcastic comments that are really shots at our politicians/etc on cycling assistance work to maintain PR sets?

My main goal with 5/3/1 isn't competition or a sport but just to keep hitting PRs on the main PR set and keep becoming stronger and better'er. As everyone knows you can only keep this up so long with adding 5lbs to UB movements and 10lbs to LB movements.

Eventually you won't be able to PR and then you will miss on your 5/3/1 sets and have to take a few steps back to take several more steps forward. I've charted my lifts over the past two years and there have been peaks and valleys (with overall consistent gains, thanks Jim!). Just trying to see if anyone has any insight on plotting out 6-18 months with the goal of consistent rep PRs.

February 2012-November 2012 standard BBB (5x10 at 60%)
November 2012-January 2013 bodyweight assistance (prep for Army PT test)
January 2013 - July 2013 - Personal BBB program. 3x10 standard exercise 3x10 different bar (swiss for pressing, SS bar for squatting and trap for deadlifting)
July 2013 - September 2013 FSL paused rep work 5x5 every week (this REALLY got my PRs going again but they've kind of tapered off)
September 2013 - October 2013 - added in Joker sets when strong

Was thinking about going back to BBB to get more reps and more chance to refine my technique or maybe going the other direction and trying rule of 10 or BBB challenge with 5x1 TM.

Maybe a yearly cycle could look something like . . . . . ?

Dynamic work
Rule of 10

Shift into each one as it gets harder to PR and eventually start over when failure to meet 5/3/1 reps . . . . .



It seems like you have answered your own question here. When you stall out, just tweak your variables such as first set last, joker sets, more volume/bbb, and step back on your training maxes. It has worked for you in the past, right?


Just do 5 forward/3 back - the assistance work and variations don't matter a ton because the principles of the program are EXACTLY the same, thus the program is the same.

I do have a huge program written in the Beyond book - something like 28 weeks of training, everything mapped out. Check it out.



You recommend the 5 forward 3 back for the 4 or 7 week cycle (or doesn't really matter)

And yeah I probably have my answer right there in front of me. Sometimes can't help but over analyze though, data analysis is what I do for a living anyway.

Hopefully with the release of Beyond 5/3/1 this past summer, the rise in popularity of the program and open forums such as this it will spark even more data sharing to help refine programming.


I'm a little confused. Just to be clear you mean after 5 four week cycles of progress to start back and use the the max weight base from 3 cycles ago and progress from there/


I recommend it for both.