Noobie Lifter, What Is too Light TM?


I am a noobie lifter(been lifting for about 1 year, but with bad diet and on a kinobody program). Recently picked up the 5/3/1 for powerlifting and the beyond 5/3/1, but i have a question about when should i increase the weight more than what the program tells me to? My TM are as following:
53kg Military press
82.5kg Deadlift
80kg Benchpress(just dialed it back from 88.5 since that was too heavy)
65kg Squat

So my numbers are FAR from impressing and there is big room for improvements. How do i measure when i should increase more than the program? If i am supposed to do 5/3/1+ and i do 5 reps on the last one, should i increase my TM? Or should i wait till i hit i.e 10 reps? I understand that i should go light for building strength, but too light is no point?

Thanks for all answers, sorry if this has been answered before(I have tried to find it but not been able to) and also sorry for my bad English(its not my mother language) :slight_smile:

Edit: I am doing the Strength Challenge with the first set last in Beyond 5/3/1 program :slight_smile:

The program says when to increase the TM and how much per lift. I’m a little confused by your question, if your asking when you should increase it “more than the program” then the answer is you don’t, by definition of the program.

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So because i am so weak i think i can progress faster than the program tells me to if i diet right and sleep enough(plus train right). So for example i found myself in a spot where i was supposed to do 3+ reps for the Deadlift and i was able to do 12 reps and still not “burn me out” totaly… Therefor i increased the TM a little more than the program(added another 2.5kg and then added 5kg when the program told me to). Is this wrong to do? If i get to a point where i am supposed to do a heavy single and the weight is something i could hit for 6-7 reps then i am using too light weight, right? or?

12 reps on the 3+ week isn’t that many reps above normal when you do a reset. What did you get on the 5+ and 1+ on DL on that same cycle?

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Should you be able to do 4x the prescribed reps without going “all out”?

This makes no sense

Yes. Do the program. Don’t change it.

Go back and read one of the books again, especially the frequently asked question section -you dont get the system yet.(yes you should hit high reps at first)

As a beginner, your best bet is to start off with a few cycles of triumvirate template…

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My advice, get the 5/3/1 2nd edition ebook. I find it’s layout and the way it’s written way mroe simple and easy to follow. 531 for powerlifting is an expansion of the program and b Beyond 531 really assumes you already know the program.

I can’t stress this enough:

Getting 12 on 3+ week isn’t that crazy, getting 5 on the 1+ week is incredibly common. If you try to progress “faster” than the program, especially without a coach it will catch up to you quick, your form will fail and you’ll go nowhere. Honestly don’t even worry about anything in the beyond book yet, you are so new to training basic 531 will get you to some serious places.

Just do 531; Triumvirate or BBB, start with 90% and work hard. I wish someone slapped me in the face and told me this when I started.

And yes your lifts are out of whack strength wise with your upper body being stronger relatively but if you follow the program and up 2.5kg’s on upper and 5kgs on lower the lower lifts will go past them soon enough.

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Yes i were not doing Squats and DL for the first 6months or so… Started doing them but with bad form so i had some lower back pain and took a break and decided this was a good chance to do smolov jr for bench… Added 15kg to the 1RM in that phase(80-95kg) :slight_smile: And so i have been slowly progressing after that in my lower body lifts :slight_smile: I have just been doing Triumvirate 5/3/1 from his original book for 8 weeks. been noticing alot of gainz in the lower body. But OK, if you guys say getting 5 reps on 1+ weeks is normal i will not add extra weights. Thanks guys! And i dont know why noobie gainz dont make sense to you @RampantBadger

I have been running 5/3/1 for bench since Dec 2015, and today on my 1s week I hit 306 for 7 reps with an axle.

If you stick with the program, you will get stronger.


With an axle? What did you start at? Its not that i dont belive in the program, but i just wanted this to be SUPER Clear, i dont wanna hit 225 in a year if i could do it in 6months i.e. I will probably go back to Triumvirate afterwards the challenge. How can i implement more work on the main lifts? I want to do each main lift atleast 2 times a week.

I’ve made the greatest gains to my 1RM by using TMs that I could hit for 5-6 on 1 week.

I’ve had a frustrated lack of relative gains when I used a TM that I could only hit for 2-4 on 1 week.

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Don’t get caught up in the time it takes unless you plan on quitting after a year.

Six months is a drop in the bucket.

The thing is, your won’t get stronger quicker if you push the TM up faster. At least, it won’t be sustainable strength.

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Ok thanks guys, guess ill just have to suck it up and do some light weights! :slight_smile:

Just because you want to hit 225 ASAP, doesn’t mean you have to screw with your TM. Your TM and actual 1RM is totally different.

And trying to do each main lift twice a week is a recipe for disaster. Your going to end up hurting yourself.

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I dont think 5/3/1 is the program for you at this stage.

Do starting strength for year and then move onto this. It dosent follow liner progression and it sounds like you want / need a program that does.

Come back to 5/3/1 when starting strength stops working.

Yup. Started at 8x255 with a Rogue axle. Now I use an Ironmind Apollon’s axle.

The program uses AMRAPS. Progress is up to YOU, the trainee, not the program. If you train hard and push yourself, you will get as strong as you possibly can as quickly as you can. If you dick around, you’ll reap what you sew.

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This. That has been my experience on all the lifts. To me, the plus sets are what make 531 so effective. Everything else is important, but the plus sets are my progress drivers.

I wouldn’t be talking about what should make sense when you’re the noobie that needs help making sense of programming.