T Nation

Increasing Training Max

Alright guys so I just finished cycle 2 of wendler 531. Now moving on to cycle 3, will it be okay if i just increase my squat TM by just 5lbs as opposed to 10lbs?
Well on my week 3 of cycle 2, on my top set of 1+, i managed to hit 5 reps, but it was hard, a proper grinder, like rly rly hard!!. As for bench i hit 6, deadz i hit 9 and OHP i hit 7.
What do you think?
Stick to 10lbs increase for squats or just increase by 5lbs?? Deadz ill defo increase 10lbs

You are overthinking it. I wouldn’t change my plan based on performance on one day, especially when 5 is a fine number to hit on 5/3/1 day.

Answer to all TM questions. Well, the majority anyways…

1 Like

According to the ideal, you started too heavy, plain and simple. Once you cant hit at least 5 reps on any given week or lift, you reset your TM for that lift. In your case, you hit 5 on 531 week. So next cycle, on 531 week, if you get lower than 5, reset your TM. If you get 5 + again, keep moving forward.

Hitting 5 is redlining it though. Especially on cycle 2. But ya, one day’s performance shouldnt change the decision with the program.

What version of 5/3/1 are you running? Week 3 you are supposed to get 1+ reps on your AMRAP set. If you set your training max based on the original program and the formulas in the original book, the expected reps on week 3 is actually about 5.
Lots of variations have come out, but the original program was 90% of real max and take 95% of that on week 3. That is 85.5% of real max. Five reps with 85% of real max is pretty normal.

So long story short, should i increase my TM for squats by 5 or 10lbs? What u guys think?

Personally, I would increase it by 5 lbs based on the info you’ve given. You were basically at your 5 RM before on your 1+ week, so adding 10 lbs to it might not be the best idea. I’d rather have it 5 pounds too light and get stronger reps, then too heavy and not allow you to get your quality reps in.

Personally, I would follow Jim’s advice.

Personally I would not increase by 10 pounds if my previous cycle was very hard on the last week. I would either reset, MAYBE stay with the same TM or just increase by 5 pounds.
It’s your training, you know if it’s beginning to be to hard.
By all means increase, if you don’t get the reps on the last week, your balls will fall of… No they won’t. You wont get the reps you shoot for, lesson learned. Reset TM keep lifting.
You probaly have many years of lifting left.

Take a look through @cdmac24 's log. This guy blasts damn 12-20 reps on his + sets. Guess who’s probably not gonna stall out or have to reset any time soon?


Yes, I would go slow with your TMs (in this case just go up 5 or stay the same)

The info we don’t have for you is how much time you have training. You mentioned this is your 3rd cycle of 5/3/1 but we don’t know how much consistent training time you have in the gym.

The reason this is important is because if you look through my log you will see I increased my TMs after 2 cycles (6 week protocol) by more than the recommended amount but only because I had a very specific set of circumstances (getting back into the gym after a long layoff) and my strength gains outpaced the +5/+10 pound changes.

For you, I would recommend just going +5 for squats and then really focusing and getting mentally ready to attack those AMRAP sets each week, really working on technique (bracing, walk out, breathing cycles, etc.), and just generally being a BEAST!

Thank you for the response guys. I have decided to increase my TM for squats by 5lbs. We will see what happens.