So I have just started my 3rd cycle of 5/3/1, and I have a couple of questions/problems I am hoping some of you can answer as I dont feel I have gained any strength yet. I will use my “press” workout as an example, but the same essentially applies to me dead, squat and bench days…

I started 531 with a max press of 155, therefore making my training max 139. This is what my first cycle looked like:

Week1(5+): 115x7

Week 2(3+): 125x6

Week 3(1+): 130x5 (152)*see below

Week 4: Deload

Now, in the ebook it said that we should estimate our 1RM using the calculator, and then try to beat that the next week. This sounded awesome and fun to me, except it is freaking impossible for me to do when trying to beat a previous cycle, especially considering he says to not go to failure, and leave one rep in the tank. As an example, I put 152 in parenthesis in week 3, this is what my 1RM estimate is. But in week 1 of the 2nd cycle, my 1RM estimate was 149, and that was with me going all out to failure, because I thought I should be able to beat the previous PR. Turns out its not that easy. I just wish Wendler would have mentioned how there will be a problem with this, instead of just simply saying “beat the previous PR calculation” as if the calculator is exact and also in the same page say “dont go to failure.” So basically he wants me to beat a previous PR that was probably overestimated by an equation (because of lower reps), with a number that will probably be underestimated by an equation (because of higher reps), while also not going to failure? Great…

My other problem is pretty simple. In week 2, cycle 1 I hit 125x6…I am now in week 1 of cycle 3 and it was time to use 125 again, and how many times was I able to hit it? Yep, only 6. Thats FOUR press workouts, and a total of SEVEN weeks in between workouts, and my lift went exactly nowhere! On top of that, I put on one lb every week for those 7 weeks, so diet and weight is not the issue. Anyone else have this frustrating problem??? I am wondering if this means the program is just not working for me, or if I should continue and it will get better? Thoughts? Advice?