T Nation

Switching from 5x5 to 531

Hi i’m having trouble rwarpping my head around this, my last workout i did
90 kgs 5x5 on the bench, i am switching to 531 now.

The program says to take 90% of my 1rm (100) and the first workpout will be roughly
set 1 : 60kgx5, set 2 : 67.5x 5 and set 3: 77.5 kg x5+ …

I will be adding the boring but big so after i will do 5x10 with 45kg.

Now my concern is obviously that this is going to be wayyy to light, i have no problem taking a step back but these sets are lighter than my normal warmups, still no problem but the 95%x1+ in week 3 will still be lighter than even 1 of my previous worksets! and after that i also have too take a deload week!!

So basically i will be lifting very very easy weights after that i will have to go even lighter with a deload week… it will take months this way to get to workouts that are as stimulating as what i did in my last workout.

Again i do not mind taing a step or even a few step backs for the longer term, but this got me questioning if it will be productive , its basically a couple of months deload…

Thoughts please

Why the switch from 5 x 5?

You could always employ Joker sets or First Set Last if your concern is that the weight is too light. Jim Wendler covered this pretty well in his last book. Have you read it?

Dont F*ck with the System…
Do it as written for a year and watch the strength come !

goddam, to many f*cking ADHD I want it now people…

; (

[quote]killerDIRK wrote:
Dont F*ck with the System…
Do it as written for a year and watch the strength come !

goddam, to many f*cking ADHD I want it now people…

; ([/quote]

Give the guy a break. He’s here asking about the rational and is curious about stuff. Isn’t that what the “beginner” forum is for?

OP - recommend you read Paul Carter as well. Specifically what he calls CAT technique. But in general his thoughts on strength gains from sub maximal lifting.

That’s… The… Point.

You reduce weight so that you can hit weights that you actually can hit, with good and clean form.

Wendler does this out of the assumption that far too many people lift weights that they really can’t lift out of ego and such.

I’ve had the same concerns about things being really light, and low volume, and just “too easy” with 5/3/1 when I looked into the program before. Obviously months down the road it wouldn’t be so easy.

But switching from something like 5x5 where you’re used to having to push yourself all the time, it’s a huge change.

However, that was before I read any of Beyond. And like what T3hPwnisher says, I think you should look into Joker Sets and FSL. These let you do more work, and should help take you past the psychological hurdle of things seeming to be too easy.

Keep in mind that I don’t do 5/3/1 myself. But I will say that Joker Sets are kind of a game changer as far as my thoughts about how well the program would fit me.

[quote]Captain Needa wrote:
OP - recommend you read Paul Carter as well. Specifically what he calls CAT technique. But in general his thoughts on strength gains from sub maximal lifting. [/quote]
x 2

Thanks guys, some interesting reply’s.
I know i’m in the “i eat a lot but i’m not gaining weight” zone here.
But i had to make the topic anyhow :), thanks for the reply’s, i will look up on the tips given.

I had a similar concern prior to starting 531. I was also bothered that you “only” increase your lifts by 5/10lb every month when before that Im used to adding 5lb every week (despite hitting plateaus often!). But the amount of great feedback was too great that I gave it a shot anyway. It’s only after trying it out that I finally understand how it works. Eventhough you’re not really using your true max, you still have to push the final set to your limit (not to failure though) and the “small” weight increases ensures that you’re progressing at a steady rate which will add up to huge increases over the long run. In the 10 cycles that I used 531, I’ve never had to reset any of my maxes except for my overhead press twice because I was too stubborn not to use a training max for it.

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
Why the switch from 5 x 5?[/quote]
I have been stalling too much lately, while my diet has been pretty good. I think its time to try a new program, that advances with smaller increases of weight and isnt linear.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
You could always employ Joker sets or First Set Last if your concern is that the weight is too light. Jim Wendler covered this pretty well in his last book. Have you read it?[/quote]

I have read 5-3-1, don’t know if that was his last book? But i dont recall Joker sets… i will google them.

[quote]killerDIRK wrote:
Dont F*ck with the System…
Do it as written for a year and watch the strength come !

goddam, to many f*cking ADHD I want it now people…

; ([/quote]

You either didnt read my post or misunderstood, i’m perfectly fine training for the long term (taking steps back), that doesnt mean that i want to do something inefficient when it might not be necessary.

I’m not burned out in any way so a deload is fine but like i said if this turns into a 2 + month deload that would be way to much. Not saying it is, but just asked my question to get some advice on it.

If you did 5x5 you know just 1 all out set for max reps doesnt sound like much when your used to basically do almost 5 all out sets.

[quote]Captain Needa wrote:
OP - recommend you read Paul Carter as well. Specifically what he calls CAT technique. But in general his thoughts on strength gains from sub maximal lifting. [/quote]

Will definitely look into this, strength gains from submaximal lifting is something i am very interested in to read more about.

[quote]magick wrote:
That’s… The… Point.

You reduce weight so that you can hit weights that you actually can hit, with good and clean form.

Wendler does this out of the assumption that far too many people lift weights that they really can’t lift out of ego and such.[/quote]

I understand, that is the problem … I don’t lift weights i cant lift or overestimate my 1rm.
I did the first workout yesterday and it felt very weird, doing the BBB 10x5 with 50% of 90% of my 1rm. I am yet to accept that a 45% of my 1rm max will do much for strength gains or even hypertrofy.

I ended up underestimating my 1rm by 12kgs according to the last all out set. So that combined with working with 90% of my already too lowely estimated 1rm ended up being a weird workout.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
I’ve had the same concerns about things being really light, and low volume, and just “too easy” with 5/3/1 when I looked into the program before. Obviously months down the road it wouldn’t be so easy.

But switching from something like 5x5 where you’re used to having to push yourself all the time, it’s a huge change.

However, that was before I read any of Beyond. And like what T3hPwnisher says, I think you should look into Joker Sets and FSL. These let you do more work, and should help take you past the psychological hurdle of things seeming to be too easy.

Keep in mind that I don’t do 5/3/1 myself. But I will say that Joker Sets are kind of a game changer as far as my thoughts about how well the program would fit me.[/quote]

I understand, but i dont feel its necessary to take 20 steps back when i can take 2 back if you know what i mean. I dont doubt the program at all, i’m just contemplating the starting point.

You mean the book beyond 531? I thought that was a follow up program, or is it an improved version of 531? I’ll put it on my reading list anyhow.

Currently looking into Jokersets , Fsl and BBB will figure out which one(s) i will apply in the coming days.

[quote]Mizery wrote:
I had a similar concern prior to starting 531. I was also bothered that you “only” increase your lifts by 5/10lb every month when before that Im used to adding 5lb every week (despite hitting plateaus often!). But the amount of great feedback was too great that I gave it a shot anyway. It’s only after trying it out that I finally understand how it works. Eventhough you’re not really using your true max, you still have to push the final set to your limit (not to failure though) and the “small” weight increases ensures that you’re progressing at a steady rate which will add up to huge increases over the long run. In the 10 cycles that I used 531, I’ve never had to reset any of my maxes except for my overhead press twice because I was too stubborn not to use a training max for it.[/quote]

I’m not bothered about “only” increasing lifts with 5/10 pounds per month at all, assuming that i am improving. That being said if it would take months to get to a similar workout i was doing till 4 days ago than i would be bothered. I might not be valueing the last all out sets enough in what they do for stimulation of strength gains though, but again that is why i made a topic to get advised.

Dude, you need to stop thinking of taking the 90% training max as taking a few steps back. Think of it more like giving yourself more room to grow. Let’s say that you start with a weight that you can only do 2 reps with. When you try to increase the amount of reps or weight that you do every session you will eventually hit a plateau pretty quickly. However, if you start with a weight that you can do 15 reps with, and try to increase the rep and/or weight every session, it will take a while before you have to deload, giving you more opportunity to build your strength and muscle. This is quite an extreme example but you get the picture.

To reiterate, STOP thinking of the 90% training max as taking a few steps back. Just because the weight you’re using initially is lighter than your 5RM doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time. You can still build strength at 10+ reps. Jim Wendler has put a lot of thought into this, just follow it to the letter before trying to tweak it to your needs. Literally thousands of people have done this and those who are successful are the ones who followed the rules of the program. You will not slow down your progress by using a training max. You’re just gonna progress faster.

Not sure why you wouldn’t ask in the Wendler forum but take the opportunity to perfect your form and consolidate and recuperate from your 5x5 work.

To give you a numerical example, let’s say currently you can bench press 100kg (220lb) for 5 reps, which gives you a current estimated max of 115kg. Then the next week you start 531 and take 90% of 115kg to get your training max, which is ~103.5kg. The first 5s week asks you to do 85% of 103.5kg for AMRAP. If you can do 10 reps with the 88kg, then your estimated max is 117kg. There, you already broke your PR from the very first 531 session. You don’t always need to do singles or very low rep to get stronger, although you can incorporate those using Joker Sets.

[quote]Respeezy wrote:
I understand, that is the problem … I don’t lift weights i cant lift or overestimate my 1rm.
I did the first workout yesterday and it felt very weird, doing the BBB 10x5 with 50% of 90% of my 1rm. I am yet to accept that a 45% of my 1rm max will do much for strength gains or even hypertrofy.
[/quote]

Then why are you doing 5/3/1?

It’s a classic case of thinking the TM is he same as a PR.

Also, don’t do FSL if you are doing the BBB.

Buying the book would answer all your questions.

I think you should run a different program.

[quote]

Then why are you doing 5/3/1?[/quote]

Because i think my linear progression is halting and i’m looking for an easier program because i’m going to up the martial arts (Bjj) training frequency again.

[quote]JFG wrote:
It’s a classic case of thinking the TM is he same as a PR.

Also, don’t do FSL if you are doing the BBB.

Buying the book would answer all your questions.[/quote]

tm the same as a pr? I am thinking of texas method and personal record lol? care to explain?

Yeah i looked up joker sets and fsl and i’m sticking with the program with bbb for a while and reevaluate after some time.

which book are you refering to?