T Nation

I Did the Program Totally Wrong, Question About Making it Right



I am a moron, and jumped on “5/3/1” without reading the book. So I used my 1RM, not my TM, and I also used the reps on week 3 to recalculate my 1RM instead of just adding 10/5lbs. I realised this was wrong when I got the book. And I have already done 3 cycles this way.

Luckily, I have still managed to get some decent progress. My estimated 1RM’s have developed like this:
Deadlift: 130kg -> 160kg
Squat: 115kg -> 140kg
Bench: 77.5kg -> 92.5kg
OHP: 60kg -> 70kg

For my next cycle, I intend to do the program as written. But I am wondering whether I should use 90% of my “new” 1RM’s, or the old ones. I feel like the old ones would be way, way too light, but I am worried that my “new” ones might be too heavy for the slow-but-steady approach that we’re looking for. Would appreciate any input.

Best Regards,


When in doubt, use a light TM. All it means is that you will get to progress for longer.


I see your point. But if I punch my old numbers in a 5/3/1 calculator, I’ll be DL’ing 90kg week 1 and 100kg week 3 for my next cycle. I recently did 8reps at 127.5kg.

So I’ll be in the gym, doing something like 15+ reps for my AMRAP set. Is this really a good approach?




Roger that.