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Help 5/3/1 Question


46 yrs old.
My log is Water Coffee...

I am mid-way through my 7th month of doing 531. Months 1-5 have been all progressively increasing lifts. 6th month I struggle getting + reps on money set. Bit more fatigued and a few more aches and pains than normal. Deload week was refresing then I reset the next cycle using the "same" numbers as the 6th month. These last two weeks I could not even hit the same rep range as last month. Missed each previous best by 1-3 reps. Still hitting target # of reps but its the + reps that I am goin backwards on.

I dialed my diet back "a bit" as I found the mid section to be growing along with everything else. I gained approx 15 lbs in 7 months of concentrated effort in "mostly" clean eating, resting, and working hard. The last 45 days it has been triple digits. Three teenagers running as my wife has been dinishing up some contract fork out of town for the same period.

Maybe stress related? Heat? I have never charted my workouts and watched my diet as much as these last 7 mths. The progress has been great until recently. Am I over thinking it? Just a phase?



For what its worth. Id say that yes the stresses you are taking about probably having a impact. I wouldn't over think it. I would suggest dropping your training maxes back . Id say go back two training cycles and restart there. That's my 2 cents for whats its worth.


Hate going backwards... Will consider. School starts next week for the three teenagers and wife is finally home again for a couple months anyways.


One must quit in order to go backwards. This is life, where very little goes according to plan. You're going to have to work through it. Maybe increase or change your protien source. Try some of the energy boosters before your workout. Don't however get caught up in your head stay focused and push harder!


Its probably time to reset your maxes. Remember 5/3/1 is designed to reset them every 6-8 months or so.


WHAT? Uh oh... Um, guys... I have been resetting/adding 5-10 lbs "every" month. Your saying that is not right? I guess I wrongly assumed if you could complete the standard 531 base and were able to hit at least +1 you should keep adding weight.


Agree. Quitting is no option. Increasing protein and cleaning up diet on to-do list. Never have taken any kind of energy booster beside a cup of joe in the morning. Suggestions? Will definately keep pushing. Thanks.


Your body can't differentiate one kind of stress from another, so any additional stress impacts recovery.

I agree with Bulldog and Joe about resetting. I ran 5/3/1 for a year and noticed after about 6 months I had to either keep the 1RM flat or reduce for the following cycle.

Like others say, don't overthink it, just go flat or drop the 1RM and build a new base. You'll be hitting PR's again in no time.


I have seen my best 5/3/1 gains after 'resetting down' on the training maxes, and going for rep maxes. With the lower weight, you will be hitting weights you hit a few months ago, but getting higher reps each time.

This is the resetting thing that bulldog was talking about. and dont reset your training maxes on all lifts unless you have plateaued on all lifts. the system assumes that you will plateau, and when you do, drop training maxes on squat/dl by 20 lbs, and bench/press by 10 lbs.

In my 5/3/1 koolaid swilling and jimwendlernutswinging, i have said it a million times. let the reps make you strong




Ahhhh. Got it. Thanks all!