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Stalling on 5/3/1 - What Does He Exactly Mean?


Hello guys.

I have researched the internet for answers but I can’t seem to find one, so I hope that you can help me. I have a question about what whats mentioned in Jims book about stalling. Let’s say I’m on week 2 3x3 and I don’t get the required reps on let’s say bench. Do I take the 90 percent of my training max then and reset and start on the next week (1x5, 1x3 and 1x1) or do I reset the cycle I’m at, or do I reset completely and go back to cycle 1? I hope you see this and reply.

Thanks for your time.


Usually just complete a cycle before reset. It takes a while to stall out, usually 6+ cycles even on your worst lift if you start out correctly. You should be able to see it coming ahead of time, if you’ve been running it for a while you can reset when you get close to stalling to avoid this situation. If week 2 is your hardest week you might stall there first, but week 3 might not be as hard. If you can’t make your reps for 2-3 weeks in a row you probably should have reset the previous cycle.


Generally wait to finish the cycle to reset, but you have to autoregulate. If you didn’t hit the reps on week 2, you can keep it the same and just try hit the single the nect week before resetting or put it down for 1 week to get some reps on the 1+ week and reset afterwood. Always lower the TM, don’t leave it static and try to push through. Generally put the weight back 3 cycles worth. So if you’ve been upping your Bench 5 pounds per cycle, drop your TM 15 pounds. I’m sure someone will say differently but it all works.


As I understand it, you take 90% of your last rep record’s predicted max. Predict by weight * (reps * 0.333) i.e. 100 * (5 * 0.333) = 166.5.

N.B your predicting max will be slightly different depending what week you take it from. Wendler suggests taking the higher predicting 1RM (e.g. if you did 50 x 12 on a light week, say the 5’s week, this will give a higher max than the 100 x5). These numbers are arbitrary, by the way. Nor does it matter in these examples about pounds or kilos. The formula works for both