Some history: I made the switch to strength trainee about nine months ago after losing obesity fat (roughly 80 lbs) via cardio and diet. My starting numbers were something like, at 5 foot 8/~175lbs: 225 deadlift, 185 squat, 155 bench, ??? press. I was untrained and very weak. I’ve put some weight back on and am now at a much more muscular ~205lbs.
For about the last six months, I’ve used my own program of something similar to 5/3/1, only with maximal efforts. Every session, I try to, and majority of the time do, beat my old maxes (5RM, 3RM, and 1RM) using three different week templates (1. 5x5 2. 5to8x3 3. 5x50%/3x60%/2x70/1x80%/1x90%/1x100 of new target 1RM) and follow with relevant accessory work. I simply add five lbs to my upper body lifts and 10 lbs to my lower body lifts. Sometimes, I’ll feel great and go even higher than intended. When I fail, it’s usually a recovery or mental block and I attempt again the next month. Every fourth week I take a deload week. It’s really that simple.
My current 1RMs are 170lbs Press, 275lbs Bench, 405 lbs squat (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3HbQR3pU0s for legitimacy), and 435lbs deadlift. They have all seen solid, consistent progress.
The continual PRs make me believe this system has been/will continue to be very beneficial to myself. I foam roll and stretch multiple times a day, typically, and get adequate sleep and likely more than adequate nutrition. Nagging pains and postural issues I started out with are gone and all that remains is minor carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist. It may seem oxymoronic to say I train safely with constant maxes, but I feel I do.
I want to do 5/3/1 when I inevitably make the switch. I’ve read the second edition and bought/read Beyond 5/3/1. My hesitation from making the switch is that my maxes have been going up so frequently that I question if switching to 5/3/1 now would be a waste of what “noob gains” I have left, and I guess I’ve convinced myself to make the switch once the PRs become a rarity instead of the norm. The thing that keeps holding me back is the training max seeming too light for me at this stage, even if the money set is for reps and other limit-pushing factors exist, such as joker sets.
Am I wrong? Would switching to 5/3/1 likely slow or speed my strength boosting progress compared to what I have been doing? When should I make the switch to submaximal/periodization training? Is there a set threshold or weight range? When the noob/intermediate gains run out and I hit that plateau? Now?
I guess I’m looking for answers and for pokes in my rationale; perhaps even a humbling. Thanks for letting me “think out loud” and any feedback is appreciated.