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Hitting a Plateau?

After 3 solid cycles of 531, I have now confirmed to have "flatlined"
My weights are still low and the reps are still high on every single week (12-15 on squats, 13-16 on press, 14-20 on bench, and no deadlifts), I really like chasing new rep records each week/month… However, lately I’ve been having a lot of days where I cant beat last week/months PR or I’ll actually get less reps than usual. So my question to you would be, based off your experience, what are some effective ways to start PRing again? I follow Triumvirate template (very closely) and dont have a deadlift day(off day now), Should I start pausing on the + sets? change assistance work? What do you think would do the trick?

EDIT: I have read the multiple ways to break plateaus but I just want to know based off your experiences, what has actually worked for you?

thank you

You’re not always going to be able to set PRs. Stick with the program, try to eat more and you’ll start hitting them again.


Dont worry. Keep pushing hard and eventually the PR’s will come. You can’t expect to keep crushing your PR’s every week.

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Some ways I personally choose, depending on a few things, are:

  • change up of rep schemes, I’ll change this for the big compounds once I start to hit a plateau. Just to spark a bit of life in my lifts.

  • Get heavier, when I get stuck on a lift for 4+ weeks I’ll usually decide to add some more weight and bust through it, then drop weight down again if necessary whilst keeping the same strength. I also add about a litre of water on a day when I know I’ve been struggling, it does wonders.

  • Micro load/strength exercises, I have little microloading plates that I have with me in the gym, every little helps! Also I like the change up my accessory exercises to focus on certain lifts e.g. if I can’t push past my squat, I’ll incorporate some pause squats or box squats to help out

I’m more into gaining muscle than strength so mine might be different to some peoples as it’s not a massive focus haha, hope you start smashing it soon!

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A lot of this is addressed in the books.

Switch to 3/5/1 and only push for PR’s on 3+ & 1+. Previously on this forum Jim has recommended 3 cycles of 5s PRO SSL & then 2 cycles of 531 PR Sets 5x5FSL.

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I wouldnt worry, as long as you are hitting the minimum reps you are getting stronger over time.

As above I would say can move on to a 5s pro template now, this is really good…

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