T Nation

Help with Restarting


I am 41years old and have been away from barbell and dumbbell lifting for the past 6months. I am going to start up Wendler's 531 program next week and I had a question concerning the break-in period. I was thinking of taking a month to slowly allow my body to readjust to the weights before going fully into the program. Is taking a month too long?

During my time away I worked with kettlebells and bodyweight exercises exclusively (dropped around 35lbs). Thank you for your assistance.


Hi, Hadawada, welcome to the old geezers' home. Lots of folks here doing 5/3/1, you'll get good advice. I'm not a 5/3/1 guy myself, but sounds sensible to ease into the program.

How much lifting did you do before the layoff? Did you do a lot of heavy stuff like squats, deadlifts, or cleans?


Well, Wendler says starting low is better anyhow, so I would say, take a week, see what you can currently do, and use those for starting maxes for the program next week. If the discrepancy is something like, then you could bench 350, and now only 200, then maybe take a couple more weeks to get into it, but if its like 250 before, 200 now, I would say go for it. The lighter work will get you used to the volume, and making form better while you increase is always better than rehabbing/starting over.

and btw, hi, heh.


I thought 5/3/1 started really light. But I'm not a 5/3/1 follower. Heretic, I am!


Thank you all for the help and Cavalier I was doing powerlifts before I decided to take a break from the weights but now I miss lifting so this time around I want to do it sensible. What I was concerned about was lifting light and regaining form before starting in on the program.


take your max tests now. for it to be accurate, you want to pick a weight you can get around 10 times.

let the reps make you strong. don't worry about starting low. you can always take a couple heavy doubles or singles after the money set.