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Smaller Jumps on the Main Lifts?

Jim recommends 10 pound jumps on squats and deadlifts and 5 pound jumps on bench and press.

Has anyone ever dropped down to smaller jumps such as 5 pound on squats and deadlifts and 2.5 pound on bench and press.

I was thinking about how that would work for much older lifters and women.

I know the progression would be slower but would it be less wear and tear on them.

Yes. I’ve been running various versions of 531 for the last 5-6years. I’ve always gone up in 1.25Kg plates on each side (i.e. increase of 2.5Kg after every cycle). For both upper and lower body exercises.

I always do the deload week also. But I do not follow the 531 template deload week - I simply take time away from the barbell.

Its been slow but I’ve got stronger every cycle. Also been injury free during this period.

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Yes, it works. I usually do 1kg (2.2lbs) jumps on Press.

Yes, for sure… The 10 pound jumps are ok only if you are somewhat close to 5 plate deadlifts.
When you do 10 pound jumps for 100 pound lifts its a 10% increase and is not maintainable for longer than a few cycles…
I always use half the suggested increase for women and beginners.

Not slower at all, no. When you do higher jumps you hit the wall sooner, need to reset the program 5 cycles back and start over. Doing smaller jumps takes you further with no reset. At the end of a year you might just be doing less resets or none at all, and will have made THE SAME progress at least… maybe even more progress.

Heck, I’ve done plenty of zero lb increases across all lifts for new cycles. It all depends on your goals, strength level, training age (and biological age), and what else you have going on in your life at the moment.

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Using the same cycle 2/3 times over and just beating your rep PR’s is a great way to make progress. If you’re thinking that going too heavy too soon is going to hurt you its a really good way to still get stronger AND look after yourself.

Its also a great way to get through stalled progress. Adding 1 more rep over a month seems so much more reasonable that adding a few kg sometimes.

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Agreed. Also, there are times when maintaining your strength level is the goal. Either you just need to take a breather after several months of hard strength work, you want to shift your focus to hard conditioning for a few weeks, or simply because life outside the gym is too demanding.