T Nation

Struggling Off the Floor


So I’m relatively new to 5/3/1. I’ve read a couple of the books and have put it to practice. It’s my comeback into training and it has been a little different of a journey than before. Anyway, on to the topic. So right now my DL 3RM is 170KG (that’s what I’m using as my training max). For the past few weeks I’ve been putting in Joker sets into the big 3 lifts. Every time I can pull 170KG for 3. The last ones is a tad ugly but its far from a lift to failure. I put 180KG on the bar and that sombitch just won’t freakin budge, it may as well be 500KG. This week I got it up an inch before my form just went to hell… Any suggestions on what assistance would help me off the floor. Posterior, or quads? I’ve been doing 5x5 RDL on my squat day. Maybe I should go heavier like a 5x3, or maybe I need size and do a 5x10. What do you think? Thanks for any advice. That 180 just stares at me and laughs, really pissing me off.


Stop doing jokers every week, follow the program, quit trying to max out every time you deadlift, etcetera etcetera. You should know the answer to this if you read the book. Do at least 6 months of 531 and see where your dead is then. Don’t change anything, just pick a template and run it as is, eat a lot, and do light conditioning. I know what you are probably thinking right now and my answer is YES IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE


Thanks for the reply. I was under the impression that the beyond 531 book in the section about jokers talked about adding them in routinely. Maybe I’m misunderstanding that section. I have been seeing positive results in my other lifts. I’ve lifted for years so mechanics are good and I know what I’m capable of. My comeback has been much more challenging this time around. I’ve never struggled like this at this weight. Granted I’ve never spent years on 531 so maybe that’s what I need. But I still believe that I have a weak link that is causing this


I agree with @oldbeancam. Do the program as written don’t make any changes. It was written by someone who knows what they are talking about it.

But also Front Squats.


Thanks for the reply. Front Squats are the only squats Im doing.


Damn, comprehension again?



Like the fucking plague, brother.


I know which topic you are referring to. I read the whole thing yesterday. I’m not going to go down that road. I’ll just do what I want and abandon this thread. Thanks for the help but I’m out. What’s the point in even replying to anything if you’re not going to be helpful. That’s the point of this forum. Quit acting like my 7 and 9 year old.


Just ignore all the e-attitude. There is a reason Wendler has hundreds of different routines (or whatever he’s calling them these days), it’s because he’s tried a LOT of different stuff to see what works and what doesn’t. There is no written law that says you can’t try stuff out for yourself too. It doesn’t make you stupid, it makes you a free thinker. Sure, what you try might end up sucking, but eventually you’ll get it figured out. There is always positives to take away from it.


Thanks man, I agree with you all the way. Appreciate your post. It’s crazy how bent out of shape people get over 531. No one is the same, everyone responds differently to different things. If there was a bullet proof way that’s perfect for everyone then everyone would do it. Asking for some simple advice in this forum is ridiculous.


Deficits help with speed off the floor.


Thanks for that. What percentage do you use? Low reps between 1-3 or high like 5-8?


I go for higher reps. And focus on the setup. Check out CTs 915 program.


I’ll have to do that. I’ve heard a lot about it but have yet to read it myself


It explains what assistance to use to fix a weakness.


What helped me the most with getting my DL moving from the floor was the following routine . DL sets and reps, GM for say 3x8 or 5x10 concentrate on form then rows 5x8. When I miss it’s still off the floor not at the knees. Deficits caused my form to change too much.
Pay no attention to any attitude, it’s not ok to make fun of people for a simple question in a open forum.I’ve had the same experience


Do you mean do the 531 work then follow up with then GM? (forgive my ignorance, I’m not familiar with what GM means, unless you mean General Motors haha).

Have you tried bent over and pendlay rows? If so which has helped you?


GM are good mornings. If those are not a option , then I would use straight leg deadlifts. Any row you like to use I think is fine . I like old fashion barbell rows.
Without trying to sound mean, sometimes you just need time to get stronger. A simple alternative to try might be to reset yourself after each rep on your top set. So it’s like individual singles. Your form will improve and you will get more out of each rep. Push the floor away with your feet , then break the bar from the floor as you push with your feet. Give that a try before adding any different exercises for a few weeks . I think you might be surprised at your improvement.


Hey man thanks a lot for the tips. I’ll have to add in some GMs into my Squat day. I always pull from a dead stop on my working sets. Otherwise I don’t think I’m doing dead lifts. But I think the cue of driving the floor away is something I need to work on. Maybe that alone would be enough to get it off the floor. Thanks mate, cheers!


I’m a big fan of snatch-grip deads to help getting off the floor, double as a nice upper back exercise as well.