T Nation

Failed a Set of Squats


#1

I’ve been using 5/3/1 since February and this is the first time I could not complete the minimum amount. I was scheduled to hit a minimum of 5 reps of squats and could only hit 4. What do I do when I fail? Take a couple days off and try again?


#2

Have you reset your training max since you started? It’s probably too high.


#3

Make sure you can do your TM for 5 reps. If not - lower it.


#4

Yeah I’ve been adding 5lb to upper body and 10 lbs on lower body every cycle. Was doing great until now.


#5

you need to change the training max you’re working from, not take days off. taking a few days off might get you your reps this time, but you’ll be failing everything soon enough.

5 3 1 will not have you progressing at the same rate forever. You have to reset regularly.


#6

I’m dropping 20 lbs but have increased my protein intake. I have a meet in August but after I might try increasing my calories to see if it makes a difference.


#7

Be careful with the protein! I give my girlfriend a protein shot every morning and all it’s doing is making her fat.


#8

wtf kind of nonsense is this comment? lol


#9

It’s ok, she says it’s paleo. haha

To the OP, as everybody else says drop your TM and progress from there. One step back = 3 steps forward. You’re not less of a man because you reset. Think macro not micro. Git er done.


#10

I believe Wendler says that when this happens, you take 90% of your current estimated 1RM, and start over again. If your stalling on multiple lifts, take a deload week.and then recalc all your maxes and start over.

Its somewhat expected to have to reset somewhere between 5-8 cycles

personally, I give myself three attempts that day to make the lift before resetting. More often than not, I can make the lift on the second try.


#11

If you can only hit 4 reps your TM is too high. Set your TM to whatever you hit 5 SOLID reps on.


#12

Could have been just a bad day that happened because reasons (i.e. you didn’t feel good, you were particularly stressed, whatever), you should take a look at your previous months and see how you did.
If on your 5+ weeks you did 10 reps every month then this time happened to hit 4, it might just be a bad day, happens.
Most likely, you need to tweak your TM. Pick a TM that allows you to do 5 good reps (85%TM, most recommended usually) or 3 good reps (90%TM).
You might not need to test it, if you keep your training logs (and you should) chances are you could have hit 3-5 reps in some “+” weeks PR, probably the 1+ week, so that’s your number.
Whatever you do, I’d finish the cycle you’re doing anyway so you can have the full picture with all numbers, PR sets and such.


#13

I was doing great every cycle, but feels like I hit a wall with this last cycle :anguished:. I might just be getting old


#14

Squats have always given me a hard time - first an injury (I discovered I have IT Band Syndrome…yay) plagued me last year and now that I’m over it I have weeks where my squat capacity diminishes and recovers with no rhyme or reason.

Before recalculating your max and rebooting the 5/3/1 weights, I would try taking a deload week and monitor your diet. I’ve found that caloric deficits can plague the squat more so than my other lifts - maybe it’s not what your eating that is the problem.

Because of last years set back, I am very much a beginning-intermediate squatter. But hopefully what I’ve said here helps.