T Nation

Help Planning 5/3/1


#1

Hey guys been running 5/3/1 for powerlifting and was wondering if anybody could help me out with planning it. I have a meet on May 16 and a meet on July 25. So I have 10 weeks between meets. My plan at the moment is to get three cycles in by starting back up the week immediately following the first meet but not doing a plus set, then skipping the deload weeks in the first two cycles and just having one the week before the meet. Not a great plan I know but does anyone have any better ideas? Any help is much appreciated


#2

If you have the flexibility now you can try experimenting before the first meet in May to see how you respond. I’m guessing that you’ll have to leave a bit more in the tank during the first and/or final week if you aren’t used to running them back to back with no deload. It’s more volume over a shorter period of time in the long run so it might be a good idea to be on the conservative side at first if you aren’t used to it. I probably wouldn’t have the discipline to keep 2-3 reps in the tank if doing this, haha.


#3

Ever hear of the planning fallacy?

Doing three cycles instead of two in a ten-week frame means you increase your TM one extra time - which isn’t the same thing as actually getting stronger. Did you post this here instead of in Jim’s forum b/c you knew the answer you’d get there?

At any rate, who is to say you won’t learn some things between now and then - might affect how you plan that period of training.


#4

[quote]Ramo wrote:
Ever hear of the planning fallacy?

Doing three cycles instead of two in a ten-week frame means you increase your TM one extra time - which isn’t the same thing as actually getting stronger. Did you post this here instead of in Jim’s forum b/c you knew the answer you’d get there?

At any rate, who is to say you won’t learn some things between now and then - might affect how you plan that period of training. [/quote]
Whoa dude calm down, I don’t explore this site much outside of this forum and the occasional article. If you’d actually suggest how to stretch out two cycles into ten weeks instead of getting all pissy about it, I’d be more than happy to listen and learn a thing or two. I wouldn’t have posted here if I was just going to do it anyway.


#5

[quote]lift206 wrote:
If you have the flexibility now you can try experimenting before the first meet in May to see how you respond. I’m guessing that you’ll have to leave a bit more in the tank during the first and/or final week if you aren’t used to running them back to back with no deload. It’s more volume over a shorter period of time in the long run so it might be a good idea to be on the conservative side at first if you aren’t used to it. I probably wouldn’t have the discipline to keep 2-3 reps in the tank if doing this, haha.[/quote]
Thanks for the advice, so far the deload weeks have been nice but I don’t think necessary. A week for me seems to be plenty of time between workouts, I just don’t want to mess with something that’s been working so well any more than I have to lol


#6

[quote]Ramo wrote:
Ever hear of the planning fallacy?

Doing three cycles instead of two in a ten-week frame means you increase your TM one extra time - which isn’t the same thing as actually getting stronger. Did you post this here instead of in Jim’s forum b/c you knew the answer you’d get there?

At any rate, who is to say you won’t learn some things between now and then - might affect how you plan that period of training. [/quote]

I understand what you mean but there should be some flexibility in programming. The adjustments made by the OP seems reasonable and it would also be a good learning opportunity. We could use an example where he got 15 lbs out of running only 2 cycles. What if he got 20 lbs out of running 3 cycles? What if he overdid it and only got 10 lbs out of it. He wouldn’t know unless he tried. As long as volume and recovery are balanced then he is likely to make progress. Leaving more in the tank to reduce intensity of the top set will help with the increased volume.


#7

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:
Thanks for the advice, so far the deload weeks have been nice but I don’t think necessary. A week for me seems to be plenty of time between workouts, I just don’t want to mess with something that’s been working so well any more than I have to lol[/quote]

I’m sure Jim put in deload weeks as a fail-safe for people who pushed hard on the + sets all the time. I’m glad he did because that helped me make progress when I used 5/3/1 in the past. It took awhile to learn that you don’t have to run yourself into the ground to make progress. You’ll be fine since you probably don’t have that problem.


#8

As long as you can manage your fatigue then you should be fine. You don’t need a deload if you’re not burned out, so don’t burn yourself out. During the 10 weeks between meets keep assistance work to a minimum and go easy on the conditioning. Focus on the main lifts and maybe a couple assistance lifts that will help you to get a bit stronger, but on that kind of schedule you can’t expect any major gains.

That’s one drawback of programs like 5/3/1, they are a good way to organize your training without putting too much thought into sets, reps, and weights, but there are situations (like this) where it’s less than ideal.


#9

There are a lot of other effective programs (and lifters) that rarely, if ever, use deloads. Just because Jim advises it, it isn’t necessarily the best option. In his “beyond 5/3/1” program he says to do a minimum of 6 weeks of training before deloading.


#10

I’ve ran 531 for several cycles. I used it for 9 months straight, Ive gone more than three cycles without a deload and everything went fine. I was also using the powerlifting version. I think you’ll be fine.


#11

Ok thanks for the input guys I’ll just run with this plan then. I should’ve mentioned in my original post that I’m definitely not expecting any kind of crazy progress in 10 weeks lol just trying to figure out how to make it work.

Turtletaub:
Did you run the two peaking cycles the way he lays out in the book? How’d you like it? I think it looks good and I like the way you get to hit your openers a lot in the months leading up to the meet but would be interested to see what others who have done it before think.


#12

Ok thanks for the input guys I’ll just run with this plan then. I should’ve mentioned in my original post that I’m definitely not expecting any kind of crazy progress in 10 weeks lol just trying to figure out how to make it work.

Turtletaub:
Did you run the two peaking cycles the way he lays out in the book? How’d you like it? I think it looks good and I like the way you get to hit your openers a lot in the months leading up to the meet but would be interested to see what others who have done it before think.


#13

Yes, i used the pre-meet peaking stuff that he laid out in the book. I loved hitting the heavy singles after the main work. Going into my first meet and having killed my openers in the pre-meet cycle helped take a bit of the edge off of competing for the first time. Good luck man, you’ll be good to go.


#14

Depending on your levels of strength (and everyones diff percentage wise) i would advise goinga bit heavier than suggested.Normally in most routines its best to start light but in my exp with this I used the percentages recc and they were much to light.I know I may get some crap for suggesting this but in my case thats what id do.Again everyones diff and I know you can run it again and obv inc weights in the next cycle…I do like the outline of the program but I had to tweak the %s a bit as I got weaker the first run…


#15

I would ask jim in his forum.

Personally I would keep the deloads wether you feel like it or not and ‘earn’ them by massively cranking up the volume of assistance work in the preceding couple of workouts.