T Nation

Stalling After a Cut


Hi guys, I have been following the 5/3/1 programme with bodybuilder assistance work for a few months now.

My stats now are as follows:
155 pounds
Lifts achieved:
122.5kg (1 rm Squat)
142.5kg (1rm Deadlift)
85kg (1rm Bench Press)
60kg (1rm OHP)

I have just ended my long cut today, after reverse dieting. And for the first time for some reason my lifts have been stalling this week.

On my 3x5 week on my OHP I stalled on the final set, only completing 3 reps. Today on my squat 3x3 , I failed on the second set!, I only managed 2 reps of my second set lol.

So, yeah, I am back to maintenance calories now. But performance wise in the gym I am not doing too well. I focused on cutting down a lot of fat and now that its finished I want to get some strength back.

Should I go back a wave for the OHP and the Squats?


If you can’t do five strong, fast reps with your TM, you are wrong. Simple as that.


Will going back a wave correct this? I did 110kg for reps (my final set of 5 on my previous 3x5 cycle) fine but when it got to 115kg 1x5 I stalled.


Yes, you should reset, probably back a few cycles. Jim suggested that you should be able to do at least 5 reps at your training max, which your training max should be about 85% of your 1rm. You can calculate an estimated 1rm from your recent lifts and then use 85% of that as your new training max.

It is just resetting back a few cycles then moving forward again. Not a big deal. Keep at it!


Don’t get caught up with how big your TM is or what your calculated 1RM is. Just reset your TMs and crush whatever weights that spits out.


Thanks.Over the last few cycles my estimated 1rm progressed to 135kg and I think I have hit a stall now.

I will use 122.5kg as my new estimated 1rm since I managed that rep a few weeks ago.
85% of 122.5kg is about 105kg so that is my new training max. This will put me back 2-3 cycles but I will take the hit if it improves me long term.

I think the increase in my calories (as I am finished cutting) will really help too. However, I am not having a big surplus, I am keeping it a pretty conservative surplus.


Good call. Just remember that your TM is not your personal best for that lift, it is a training number you base your workout around to improve your personal best.