T Nation

Quick 5/3/1 Question - 5lb Increase


Good evening all. Just a quick question regarding 5/3/1 weight progression. I'm on my 4th cycle and noticed that on my two upper body lifts, bench and shoulder press, the weight is the same from one cycle to the other since I'm only increasing the training max by 5lbs. I use the CEILING function that Wendler outlined in his eBook.

Take shoulder press

Training max 95

Reps Weights
5 65
5 75
? 85

Training max 100

Reps Weights
5 65
5 75
? 85

This continues in the subsequent 3/3/3+ and 5/3/1+ weeks. Do you just repeat the same weight or increase by 5lbs even though it isn't 65/70/75% of your training max?

This doesn't happen for each 5lb increase. I'm just wondering what most people do when it does occur.



It won't hurt anything to repeat and will likely help.

But, having fractional plates, I use the ROUND function myself.


Rounding anomalies used to perplex me, but I don't worry about it anymore. For the most part at 2.5 or more I round up, less than 2.5 I round down, and I don't worry if its a repeat, but I also may do slightly more or less weight depending on how I feel and if its a weight I psychologically want to rep out at. In the long haul 5 lbs. here or there isn't going to matter one way or the other as long as you are following the basic wave loading scheme.

Edit: Another thing you could do if the rounding bugs you is to figure out the top set for the first 5, 3, and 1 day for each lift and then just add 5 or 10 lbs. to each top set each cycle rather than adding 5 lbs. to your training max and recalculating based on percentages.


Thanks for the quick feedback. If I'm feeling strong when this pops up in a future iteration I'll just add the weight.


if this ever happens to me...i just stick to the numbers and let the rounding do its job.


Good advice. One other easy solution would be to not worry about rounding. If you have two cycles with the same weight, simply try to beat your previous rep max. More reps equals more work.




what rug said.

As the local Bishop of 5/3/1, my interpretation of the Bible (all praise Jim) is that if the calculator says repeat the weight, you repeat the weight, and just get more reps.

this is the word of Jim