T Nation

Reset Training Max?

question -
should i adjust my training max after re-testing PRs?

I’ve been doing 5/3/1 for 8 cycles. during this week i’m retesting my PRs on all 4 lifts. All my lifts have gone up more than i would have expected. do you guys think is should adjust my training max based on my new PRs or continue with the increases from my original ?

example -
my current TM for bench press is 235. if i was to reset my TM based on new PR it would be 255.

I will begin my 9th cycle this coming week and looking for some insight. I’m inclined to continue the slow and steady climb with my existing TM but dont want to short change my self just because having a new TM would make the lifts harder.

If all of your lifts are increasing REALLY well with your current approach, I would think that’s a sign that you definitely SHOULDN’T change things by recalculating your training max. Clearly, your current approach is working.

That said, sticking with Jim’s 5 forward/3 back approach is also pretty crucial for maintaining progress, so if you haven’t done that yet, I’d consider it.


When I first started 5/3/1, years ago, I intentionally used a lower deadlift TM then I knew I could pull. I had been pulling sumo-style in my previous, more linear, program. I also had hamstring issues from endurance running training.

I also used a lower TM for the press, based on a 5 rep set I did after benching on the previous program.

For squat: 90% of what I could do for 3 reps. For bench, I flat out used 90% of a slow, grinding 1rm.

Stay with me.

I retested 10 cycles later. My tested 1RM deadlift was 70 pounds higher than my TM. My heaviest single for the press was 40 pounds higher than my TM. I’m not talking about my original TMs. I’m talking about what my TMs were when I retested, and I had gone up the prescribed 5 or 10 pounds every cycle. I never reset either deadlift or press because I’d consistently get 5+ at the 95% weight.

My squat was about equal to my TM, and I had reset it once. My bench? The one I used that lousy, crappy, grunting 1RM for? I reset it three times that first year, and my 1RM a year later had gone up like 10 pounds.

I only stalled on the press when I increased it based on my tested 1RM.

Take from that what you will.

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Hey mate i would go back 6 and then start 5/3 or 4/2 from there. There is also the 7th week protocol that jim has talked about but to be honest i dont know a whole lot about that till his next book is out. After a while you get a feel as to where the tm fall off point is for each lift by how reps feel and how heavy weights get, when this happens slow it down by keeping tm static for a couple cycles or smaller increments each cycle. You will find the best progress is made when tm is at or around 85-90%.


Unless you want to get weaker. The evidence is right in front of you and you choose to not see it.

Thank you for your input.

My take away for your response is to not mess with things and keep moving forward as is. If it aint broke don’t fix it…

You can fix it until its broke. Don’t do it.

My squat TM before my first PL competition was 385. In competition I squatted 425.

My TM for the next cycle was 355 (5/3 reset).

The program works, if you let it.