Resetting TM too Early?

Hi, Jim.

I consider you to be one of the top minds in strength training, and I’d really appreciate your feedback on whether I should continue to push forward and increase my TMs on 5/3/1 or drop the TMs back 3 cycles, which I know you’re big on.

Even if I’m still making minimum reps—and, in most cases, well beyond the minimum reps—and I’m still making progress, would a preemptive reset would be better for the long run?

I’m just finishing up 13 cycles, having started LIGHT but made steady and consistent progress. However, the total number of reps I’m getting is starting to go down. Last summer, I was getting around 13 reps at 325 lbs. for the deadlift on the 1-plus week. Now, I’m getting 10 reps for 350 lbs. on the 1-plus (leaving a few reps in tank). (I increase 5 lbs for the TM each cycle.)

It’s similar with the bench and squat. (I’ve already reset the overhead press TM.)

Thank you for your feedback. It means a lot.

So your heaviest set is roughly 75% 1RM and you’re wondering if you should reset your training max?

It’s called 5/3/1, not 19/13/10

I would never reset unless I have trouble getting 5 good reps on a 1+ workout.

Keep moving forward. You are doing fine.

Interesting the wide variation of rep ranges one sees with this program. I’d have to review my training logs, but don’t believe I’ve ever achieved more than 11 on W1, and six on W3. Although sometimes earlier, I typically reset when I can only achieve one additional (solid) rep on the + set; so 6, 4 or 2, respectively.

Thanks to Jim and the other guys for their feedback. I’ll definitely keep moving forward with the TM.

I had asked because I had seen Jim highly recommending the concept of 5 forward/3 backwards before an actual failure to make minimum reps, but now I realize that most of those situations were when the lifts were just barely getting minimum reps. Glad I got it cleared up.