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Week 3 Question, Move Forward or Dial It Back?

Hi everyone, been doing 531 and loving it.
My question I’m on week 3, and on my 1+ set, normally get from 5-7 reps.
This week however, I was only able to get 4. Should I keep moving forward,
or dial back a bit, so I can hit the 5-7?

Is that a bad day or a pattern? What did you get on your 5s and 3s weeks?

See what happens next cycle… If your 95% week turns into 3-4 reps for a few cycles, then go 3 cycles back.
Some days or weeks are just bad. No need to panic after 1 bad week. Try next cycle, also see what happens on 85 and 90% weeks.

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What about considering smaller increases in weight?
Especially for guys 50+ years old(like me).
Maybe +5lbs to lower body, and 2.5lbs to upper?

On my 5+ was able to do 8 and on my 3+ was able to do 7.

I’d probably look to step back a couple of cycles then.

It depends on your age and goals. As you said you are in your 50s so depending on your joints and overall health, maybe taking a few steps bag as dagill2 said is the best choice.

That said, when I’m working for a strength goal, I am perfectly content milking the cycles until I can only hit 5 on a 5 week, 3 in a 3 week, and 1 on a 1+ set, long as they are technically solid and ‘non-grind’ sets, and then recalculating TM through 7th Week Protocol, or just taking 3 steps back on cycles. Also, if you opt for milking cycles this far, depending on your supplemental work, it can be good to move to a more hypertrophy based cycle with a lighter build, maybe 5x5/3/1 or 5sPro.

Good luck

Judging by what you said, I think I see what my issue is.
You speak of increasing the weight after the 7th week.
I’ve been doing 3 weeks on, 1 deload then add weight.
So, I should be only adding the weight after the 7th week?

@531addict it depends. @bert2145 is referring to the programming as in forever. Of you use 2nd edition or beyond, it’s different.

Yes, I have been referring to the Forever book. The 7th Protocol is a deload/testing protocol but it isnt necessarly on the 7th week in all cases. But you increase the weight still in each 3 week cycle bar a few templates.

Although it just hit me, if you are only getting one technically solid rep on your 1+ set, you don’t really need the 7th week testing to recalculate, chances are you will barely hit the TM once, if 95% was only 1 rep. So you could use that as TM and recalculate, or simply go 3 cycles back in TM.

The 10 pound lower body and 5 pound upper body increase for each cycle is a very crude guideline. 10 pounds for a 500 pound squatter is a 2.5% increase while it is a 5% increase for a 200 pound squatter. A big difference! I have found a 3% increase for each cycle seems to be about right for me.

You are not wrong, but you forget that the higher your strength level, the slower your progression is. So with that logic, as you get stronger and the 5/10lb additions become smaller % of your max, it autoregulates itself and allows you to keep progressing