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Stalling in 531. Last Rep of 5 at 85% at Every Lift

Hi, how are you guys doing?

I was wondering if you guys had any tips regarding stalling. I’ve been missing the last rep on 5x3 at 85% in every lift. I’ve kept the same weight in 3 consecutive cycles. I feel really good and strong on 3x3 and 5,3,1, and the two first sets on 5x3. However the last rep of 5 at 85% keeps failing, I mean, I could probably finish the last rep with super poor form. I’ve ran 531 for 1 year, for the last 6 months I’ve had a deloead week every 4th week where I do clean and its variations.

My height is 1.78m, and I weigh 88-92kg,
My 95% lifts are in kg
Conventional deadlift 180
Regular width benchpress 110
Overhead press 75
High bar squat 160

Thanks in advance for your time and respons! (I’m norwegian, sorry if I’m difficult to understand)

Good evening Nordic brethren.

Most likely this is the classic case of a too high TM. Go to a 5RM for each lift and use those numbers as your TM. That should do it.


This, just go a few cycle back and smash your pr sets.


Drawing on what I said to a similar question:

  1. In general people do not maintain the TM. If you stall or reach the point that you should not increase the TM, then you should decrease it. Generally, people just go back a few cycles then try to set new rep PRs and such. You can also do what Wendler has said about 5 forward, 3 back to reset before you have to.

  2. If you are at minimum reps, you should reset. From Wendler’s recommendations for different particular programs, you should typically be able to get 5, or at least 3, solid reps with the TM itself. So, I would reset to a lower TM rather than increasing it. In your case, you know what weights you are and are not able to get 5 reps on, so you can just set the TM to the weight that you were able to get 5 solid reps with (perfect form and good speed), or lighter. Set new PRs at the lighter weights and work your way back up to the weights that are currently sticking for you. If you still stall after that, reset again and try a different variation of the program (e.g., change the volume of the supplemental lifts).

  3. Wendler also has new recommendations about the TM that have been touched on in the forums and are to be spelled out in the new book. Basically, he has programs of 3-5 cycles, with testing and resetting of the TM between programs. I will not attempt to spell it all out, but perhaps someone else will.


This is true, I came 3-4 cycles back when the last reps were to tough and my lifts increased.

I think PR Sets and FSL are way underrated, joker sets are good tools too.
The limit of a strength program comes when you can’t get the reps anymore, so you have to go back, it kinda hurts ego but finally you’ll see it’s a good idea.

Hitting the 5,3 or 1 reps is the minimum, doing 2-3 more reps is the best.


I’ve noticed that the best thing is to maintain the TM around 80-85% If it means resetting, then reset. But it can also mean keeping the same TM or raising it. All depends on where you want your TM to be.

The new 7th week protocol does that. I wont explain it here, but it is in Wendlers private forum, and will most likely to be in the new book.


Thanks for the feedback! I’d definitly reset back, for 5 cycles most likely - and come back stronger. Thanks for sharing your knowledge guys! @mtlk77 @Rattus @revchad

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