T Nation

Help with My Progress? 6 Months In, Think I am Stuck


It looks like you have been making some progress. But I will just reiterate what has been previously stated in this thread. You should be able to complete 3-5 good reps with your Training Max (3 means a 90% TM, 5 means a 85% TM). At the very most these reps should be challenging, but not grinders to get done.

Judging from what you have just posted, your bench press and deadlift TM’s seem far too high. However, only you can know if you are really having a bad day/week (sickness, injury, etc.). But keep in mind setting your TM correctly is supposed to insulate against this stuff.

I say do a deload week then reduce all of your TM’s by 10%. The week after you deload, work up to your TM’s and attempt to get 3-5 reps at each one. If you can’t get required reps, recalculate your 1RM from what you could get, and use that to set your new TM.

Do you have any of the 5/3/1 books? If not I highly recommend you get them, especially Forever. It has everything you need in it to guide you through all of this.

P.S. If you are still using the “Jim Wendler App” on your phone, you should stop. It isn’t associated with him in any way (he doesn’t have an app) and many of those are often wrong in how they have the program written out.


Thanks for the fast reply! A couple of points:

  1. When you say to deload 10% all TM, you mean all exercises or only BP and DL?
  2. If I reduce 10%, it means my new TM for Bench will be 209 and for DL it will be 334 LBS.
  3. I am using Wender Log app by Vandersoft.
  4. I read the original 531 and Beyond 531. I have not read Forever.


Either or. Regardless of what you set your TM to, you should be able to hit it for 3-5 reps.

Do you actually have micro-plates for loading? Why not just round to the nearest 5? You don’t need to be that precise.

I am not familiar, nor do I care.

You should, its great.


I’m also more or less beginner and I trained high rep range at first then switched to low rep ranges and hit dead end like you did now.

Then I returned to high rep ranges and added more calories into my diet - and I’m making progress again.

I don’t know anything about your diet but maybe there’s some room for improvement on that area too.

And for the end - high rep trainings gives me waaay better pumps than low rep training.


I would suggest this protocol for the poster. Just take a week to work up for each lift to a heavy enough 5 rep set, like testing a 5 rep max, but making sure that every rep has solid technique and good bar speed (not a grinder). So, a weight that is heavy but still 5 solid, fast reps. Now make those weights the training max. That ensures that you can in fact do 5 reps at the training max, and will get the training max to about the right level relative to a 1 rep max.


So a good rule of thumb would be to reduce 10% of TM if

  1. you CANT do 3 reps.


Not necessarily. Its depends on what 5/3/1 template you are running. 3 good reps is a good indicator or a 90% TM. Lots of 5/3/1 programs can be run using a 90% TM, however setting your TM to 85% is never a bad thing.

If you only get a couple reps using this formula to calculate your new 1RM:

Weight Used x # of Reps x 0.0333 = Estimated 1RM

80-90% of Estimated 1RM is your new Training Max.


Did the deload week. Today I am starting with a 10% decrease on deadlift, squats and bench press.


Guys, I am writing to thank you all. The advice you gave me about deloading 10% if I could not do at least 3 REPS in AMRAP really help. I deloaded what I was struggling with. Here are my new 1 RM, everything went up!
Squat 366 LBS - 377 LBS
Overhead 171 LBS - 173 LBS
Bench 220 LBS - 244 LBS
Deadlift 410 LBS
I also stop doing a deload week every 6 weeks (2 cycles). Instead I am doing one every 3 weeks (every cycle). I just feel like a million dollars after one deload week. I do not know if its mentally or psychological.


Good to hear your making progress again.

This could be key. Sometimes less is more. If you find you make better progress deloading every three weeks keep doing it.

What template are you currently running?


2 day program of Wendler 531 first book:

Day 1
Barbell Rows

Day 2
Overhead Press
Fat Bar Barbell Curls


Right on. Keep up the good work.

Just as a reminder for the future, if on your PR set on the 3rd week of a 5/3/1 cycle (95% for 1+) if you can get at least 5 reps your TM is probably good and you can keep increasing. If not, take a deload week and then run a TM Test Week after that and reset your Training Maxes accordingly.


I did solutuon 2. Making real good gainz in phase 2 now


Guys I have a couple of more questions.

  1. How do you run TM Test Week after a deload week? How do you you structure it? You run it like a normal routine, or do you do one exercise per day? Reps, weights, etc.
  2. On the third exercises of my routine, Fat Bar Gripz and Barbell Rows, sometimes I cannot do all the repetitions in one of sets of the first or second week. With these exercises, the repetitions are between 10-8, I would reach lets say, 8 and 7. However, on the third week when the weight is heavier and repetitions are 5, I can do all of them. Do I modify something or just keep going until I cannot do the entre repetitions of the last week?
    |Barbell Row|||||
    |Reps|Peso|Barra|Discos|Discos en Cada Lado|
    |Week 2|||||
    |Barbell Row|||||
    |Reps|Peso|Barra|Discos|Discos en Cada Lado|
    |Week 3|||||
    |Barbell Row|||||
    |Reps|Peso|Barra|Discos|Discos en Cada Lado|


Are you programming your assistance work. If so then stop. Just pick a weight you can do 5x10or whatever you want to do and get the work in. It’s just assistance, you don’t need to be progressing it all the time or using weights for which you can’t do multiple sets of at least ten.


I am using the Wendler 531 model for assistance exercises. He put that in his first books. Not making it up.

  1. To do a TM Test Week all you do is work up to your TM in 10% jumps for sets of 5. When you reach your TM, try to get 3-5 reps. These should be good, fast reps. Not grinders. 3 reps means a 90% TM, 5 reps means a 85% TM. I have gotten 4 before and set a 87.5% TM. You can pair the lifts up, or do them all on different days. Its very easy. Afterwards, no supplemental work, just do some light assistance.

  2. Are you using the Simplest Strength Template? That’s what it looks like. I would say if your having trouble with the higher reps just do a 5x5 with the Barbell Rows that you add 5-10 lbs every time you do them. That’s what I am currently doing. Or you just have to reduce the weight. Also make sure your Barbell Rows are based on a Training Max, not a true max.


Thanks for the reply:

  1. Next week is my fourth week of the cycle. Deload week. After that week I will reset TM. The training MAX for this cycle are the following:
    Monday Squat (TM 333) + Bench (TM 219)
    Thursday Deadlift (TM 352)+ Press ((TM 161)
    The training MAX for the next cycle would be:
    Monday Squat (TM 343) + Bench (TM 224)
    Thursday Deadlift (TM 362)+ Press ((TM 166)

How many sets should I do per exercise? What TM should be my goal, old one or new one? In other words, how should I structure my routine to set up new TM.

  1. I would have to reduce the weight even I can complete the 5 repetitions of the last week? Or just because is assistance exercise I really should not worry that much.


Goal should be new TM. Start at 40% work up to TM in 10% jumps for sets of 5. Attempt to get 3-5 reps at TM.

For the Barbell rows either reduce the weight so you can hit the reps, do less reps, or keep it the same and see what happens. Only person that can fix that issue is you.