T Nation

Reached My Max, Only Getting Target Reps


#1

Hey guys!

After years of trying to be an "aesthetic" athlete I've changed my mind and trying to focus more on powerlifting. I really like Jim's 5/3/1 programm and I'm in my 4th circle now.

Now it seems that I hit my Max but maybe I'm doing something wrong. I've also checked the book and couldn't find a clear answer...

Here's the problem:

Whenever I complete my last set (no difference between 5 3 or 1 weeks) I only reach the specified NO. of Reps.

That means - If I do squats in my 5 Rep week - I can only reach 5 REPS - in the 3 Rep week I can only reach 3. I know that the Plan is 5+, 3+ or 1+ and in the fist cycles there was no problem with that.

Is it possible, that I've increased the weight (of course I did it acc. to the plan) too much or doing too much assistance work?

Thanks for all answers and hints!

Best regards from Austria

Gery


#2

I doubt it’s too much assistance work, but you didn’t list your assistance work so it’s impossible to say for sure without more info. My guess, and the reason most people stall early, is that you started with your training max too high. How you’re eating and resting, and what other activities you’re doing, can also have an affect of course, but this is the most common mistake.


#3

The plan is actually 5/3/1.

You are progressing (as long as you upped your weight every 4 weeks), nothing wrong with that.

Make another cycle then go back 3.

What template are you using?


#4

You’ll need to take my words with the appropriate grains of salt as I’m likely an older age bracket and your body will cope with more.

You’ll be well served keeping your TM below 90% of your (estimated) 1RM.

That means 4 reps in the 5/3/1 week. If you fall below that, time to consider dropping the TM to a level which is below 90%.

5/3 approach does this for you without thinking. In some instances though, you may need to tweak it.

That said, it sounds like you started with a high TM.


#5

Hi!

Thanks for your answers. Sorry I forgot to attach my workout plan regarding the assistance work.

Here is my workout plan:

1.) (Sunday) â?? Chest + Triceps:
Benchpress (depending on the week 5/3/1)
Assistance Work (always 5 Sets):
Incline Bencpress or incline dumbell press â?? Rep Range 8-12 RPS
Dips with extra weight â?? Rep Range 10-12 RPS
dumbell pullover
triceps cable pushdown â?? Rep Range 12-15 Reps, very slow
Push-ups (20-50 depending on how exhausted I am)

2.) (Monday) â?? Conditioning work with Kettlebell Swings (10 MIN. @ 30/30), Rope Jumps and core work (Hanging leg raise, ab pulldowns on rubber band, roll-outs)
Sometimes a few pull-ups or other calisthenics fun

3.) Tuesday â?? Leg day
Squats (depending on the week 5/3/1)
Assistance Work (always 5 Sets):
Lunges or Leg press â?? Rep Range 8-12 Reps
Leg curls front/back â?? Rep Range 10-15 Reps
Calve raises on machine

4.) Wednesday: Rest day or same as Monday, depending how fit I feel

5.) Thursday (Back):
Deadlift (depending on the week 5/3/1) â?? I currently do snatch grip but I have problems with my grip, I have extreme small hands - so Iâ??m thinking about switching to the alternate grip.
Assistance Work (always 5 Sets):
Dumbell or barbell rows â?? Rep Range 8-12 Reps
Several variations of Pull-ups with and without extra weight â?? Rep Range 10-15 Reps

6.) Friday (Shoulders + Biceps):
Press (depending on the week 5/3/1)
Assistance Work (always 5 Sets):
Dumbell press or sometimes handstand push-ups â?? Rep Range 8-12 Reps)
Side raises 10-12 Reps
Face pulls 10-12 Reps
Shrugs (every second week, 6-8 reps)
Hammercurls 10 Reps
Barbell Curls 10 Reps
Concentration curls or tight grip chin-ups 12-20 Reps

7.) Saturday: Conditioning work/Cardio and Core Training

About myself: I re-joined training after 3 years absence last year. After a few good â??newbie gainsâ?? I reached my plateau of 120 kg Benchpress pretty soon. Now Iâ??m hoping to get over this Plateau. Same with Squats and Deadlift. I have neglected lower body and deadlift work for way too long. Currently Iâ??m fooling around somewhere around 150 kg Deadlift (170 with alternate grip) and 140 kg squatsâ?¦ So, not too good for my Bodyweight of about 77-79 kgâ?¦


#6

[quote]styrian wrote:
Hey guys!

After years of trying to be an “aesthetic” athlete I’ve changed my mind and trying to focus more on powerlifting. I really like Jim’s 5/3/1 programm and I’m in my 4th circle now.

Now it seems that I hit my Max but maybe I’m doing something wrong. I’ve also checked the book and couldn’t find a clear answer…

Here’s the problem:

Whenever I complete my last set (no difference between 5 3 or 1 weeks) I only reach the specified NO. of Reps.

That means - If I do squats in my 5 Rep week - I can only reach 5 REPS - in the 3 Rep week I can only reach 3. I know that the Plan is 5+, 3+ or 1+ and in the fist cycles there was no problem with that.

Is it possible, that I’ve increased the weight (of course I did it acc. to the plan) too much or doing too much assistance work?

Thanks for all answers and hints!

Best regards from Austria

Gery[/quote]

lower your TM


#7

[quote]styrian wrote:
Hi!

Here is my workout plan:

1.) (Sunday) â?? Chest + Triceps:
Benchpress (depending on the week 5/3/1)
Assistance Work (always 5 Sets):
Dips with extra weight â?? Rep Range 3x10-12 RPS

2.) (Monday) â?? Conditioning work with Kettlebell Swings (10 MIN. @ 30/30), Rope Jumps and core work (Hanging leg raise, ab pulldowns on rubber band, roll-outs)
Sometimes a few pull-ups or other calisthenics fun

3.) Tuesday â?? Leg day
Squats (depending on the week 5/3/1)
Assistance Work (always 5 Sets):
Low back (raises/RH)

4.) Wednesday: Rest day or same as Monday, depending how fit I feel

5.) Thursday (Back):
Deadlift (depending on the week 5/3/1) â?? I currently do snatch grip but I have problems with my grip, I have extreme small hands - so Iâ??m thinking about switching to the alternate grip.
Assistance Work (always 5 Sets):
Rows

6.) Friday (Shoulders + Biceps):
Press (depending on the week 5/3/1)
Assistance Work (always 5 Sets):
Curls

7.) Saturday: Conditioning work/Cardio and Core Training

About myself: I re-joined training after 3 years absence last year. After a few good â??newbie gainsâ?? I reached my plateau of 120 kg Benchpress pretty soon. Now Iâ??m hoping to get over this Plateau. Same with Squats and Deadlift. I have neglected lower body and deadlift work for way too long. Currently Iâ??m fooling around somewhere around 150 kg Deadlift (170 with alternate grip) and 140 kg squatsâ?¦ So, not too good for my Bodyweight of about 77-79 kgâ?¦

[/quote]

Fixed for you.

Get stronger, stop the fluff, give it all in the session, stop complicating your life, keep it simple.

You are not getting the +sets because you are concentrating to much on the fluff.

Once stronger, incorporate the 5/3 principle.

Good luck


#8

Thanks guys! I’ll give it a try, lower my TM and reduce the volume a little bit.

I’ll keep you updated!