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Smashed It On The Cycle, but Failed The TM Test

Hi everyone. Looking for some advice on how to proceed.

I just finished my first FSL 5x5 Anchor cycle after a 7th Week deload following 2 cycles of BBB.

Went to do a TM Test today for squat and bench, and it didn’t go as planned.

I had hit my squat 1+ set for 8 reps, and my bench 1+ for 9 reps at the end of the Anchor. So, I thought my TMs were starting out nice and low.

On the TM test, I worked up in 5s to 100% of my 85% TM, which for squat was 245lbs, and for bench 180lbs.

Unracking the squat felt heavy, and the first rep came up way too slowly to get 5 reps, so I racked it.

I got 5 reps on the bench, but it was a bit of a grind on the last rep.

I’ve hit these weights on both lifts for 3 sets of 5 in the past. So, I’m thinking to just chalk it up to a bad day and continue to increase TMs based on killing it throughout the Anchor cycle.

Does this sound accurate/advisable, or should I readjust before starting my next Leader?

Any comment or advise is appreciated.

Did you do a deload week after the cycle ended and before the TM test?

I did:

Leader - BBB
Leader - BBB (with increased TM)
7th week deload
Anchor - FSL 5x5 (with increased TM)
TM test (at TM just used on the Anchor)

I understood the TM test to be a deload option in the “7th week protocol”. I wanted to do that before starting my next Leader cycle.

You’re probably better off to do a true 7th week deload, then a TM test before starting a new cycle. Otherwise you’re running a risk of banging against the rev limiter two weeks in a row with heavy weight.

That would make sense. Maybe from here I’ll just deload and then try the test again to be sure how I will proceed before my next cycle. Thanks for the comments!

How hard were you pushing the PR sets on the 1+ week where you hit the weights mentioned above? You should push those hard but not to a puke-worthy level. If you’re grinding the last rep you’re definitely eating into your recovery more than you want to. Usually I leave one in the tank and I do OK recovering on sub-optimal sleep and a busy life.

I had another rep in the tank on bench. On squat it was more taxing cardiovascularly. The reps felt strong, but I’m not used to doing higher rep squats. Probably could have done more if not for that.

I usually don’t get much soreness if at all, but I my legs were pretty sore following the deadlift workout that week, in which I got 6 reps on the 1+ set. It was only 310 sumo, and I’ve done 355 conventional for 5 a while back.

If you’re doing the work then maybe you could look at your refuelling habits.

Eat more, maybe.

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Likely true as well.