T Nation

Lowering TM aka Grey Pube TM



With grey pube era approaching, I'm thinking that higher reps on the PR set might be a wise move to start making.
I was sure that i read a response from you (on another forum) along the lines that, if a higher-rep work set was wanted then just lower the TM e.g. 70% of 1RM.


Ok, if BBB programming is followed for 5x10 on assistance, then maybe a higher % of TM is required than 50% (i.e. if a lower TM is used)?

eg squat/deadlift 1rm = 500lb
set TM @ 70% for higher reps on PR set = 350lb
using 50% of TM = 175lb
which for a 500lb squatter/deadlifter looks a little too light for 5x10.

Hope I've managed to explain correctly and pLease understand I'm not "asking for permission" to raise the %TM used, just looking for some insight on how you might "tweak for grey pubes"!

Thanks for any you might share!!


i’m curious as to where you read this.

I have a ton of info about Grey Pube Training in the new Beyond book (2x2x2 Training).

Here’s what I would do:

TM=85-90%, cap all sets at 5
All “big assistance work” is done with 5’s Pro, capped again at 5. NO Boring But Big - that’s just nonsense for Grey Pubes.



Thanks for the reply.

I was not sure if I was allowed to mention other sites here.

I think this is the post from you I had in mind:


I realise that it was to ensure he was doing higher reps on the work set (and not specifically for Grey Pube training) but, in effect, it lowers the TM doesn’t it?

What is your reasoning for the recommendation to cap all sets at 5reps?

Why would BBB programming be nonsense?! Especially as the Hypertrophy Phase of 2x2x2 is, essentially, BBB!

Finally, what age do you consider “grey Pube” territory?!

Thanks for all the useful, common-sense knowledge you share.


Saves the joints. Keep the total volume low to keep the body from falling apart - or be selective in your volume.



Love 5/3/1.

Just wondering - is the new Beyond 5/3/1 workout too much volume guys 50 plus?

Been doing the Triumverate for nearly a year now and thought about making the change.

Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


[quote]Authorben wrote:

Love 5/3/1.

Just wondering - is the new Beyond 5/3/1 workout too much volume guys 50 plus?

Been doing the Triumverate for nearly a year now and thought about making the change.

Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

Maybe - maybe not. Just like some kids mature quicker and can lift differently than their hairless peers, not all 50 year old bodies have the scars and fuck ups of their similar aged friends. Too hard for me to say - why don’t you just add in Jokers or do the 5’s progression or something very similar.


Thanks, Jim.

Actually, I’ve been adding Jokers and 5’s along the way. Gonna stick with what works for me.

Appreciate your reply.


I’m rapidly approaching 50 and I’ve been doing the BBB routine for about 2 years now.That includes hill sprints and heavy bag work. I’ve been lifting weights since I was 15. While I’m not going to say my recovery is stellar compared to when I was 20, it’s really not too bad - in fact, it’s nowhere near as bad as everyone says it should be. I’m making great progress still and I really don’t feel my recovery nor my joints are a problem.

I may think differently when I’m 60, but I’m not sure older gents need to be setting themselves up with any artificial, outside boundaries - just pay attention to the ones you’re actually experiencing when they come up.


ill be 45 in may and lifting for around 18 yrs- still going heavy as i can, smarter now about injuries and when to back off, and still making gains… i train with a crew of 20 somethings that are animals and go about 250lbs or so, so at 5’8 220lbs, im the little guy. one thing i like about the book and the new things in it is that i can control my volume with jokers and FSL. i really have never given any thought about lowering my TM. I programed it a BIT lighter due to coming off a strained pec and a related period of reduced training. in short, i think you can control the volume pretty easily with the program, man…just listen to your body, i think as you get older its a day to day thing.

just my 2 cents cause im old, lol


Thanks for the input guys.
I’d been doing a little more readingreading about training than I normally do and seen that (for example) DC recommended higher rep ranges for +35yrs; Dan John feels hypertrophy should become more of a focus for older lifters; amongst others.

I’m not saying “don’t train for strength”, just looking at how to change the focus slightly within the principles of 531 as, usually, Jim will say that some of the more obviously hypertrophy focussed routines (BBB, Behemoth, etc) aren’t good choices for " grey pubes"!