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Weight for Next 5/3/1 Cycle?


Hey all,

So i have the 5/3/1 manual, and it all looks good but I have one question. I am finishing up my first cycle, but I am unclear on what weight to use for the next cycle.

During the 3rd week of each cycle the reps are 5/3/1, and on 1 you are supposed to do as many reps as possible. Do I calculate my new 1 rep max from that and then plug that in to the formula to find out my new max for the next cycle?

Wendel stresses starting off with light weights which I did, but if I calculate my new rep max that is going to be a big jump in weight for my next cycle. I don't want to lift too heavy at the beginning if it will hamper my gains in the long run.



Interesting, quested I never thought about. I am also running 5/3/1. I just add 5 lbs to bench and overhead, and 10 lbs to deadlift and squat, as long as I hit my targets. I do this regardless of whether or not I crushed my goal reps or not.


no, if you keep using a new max, youll always be repeating that same 1 month template over and over.

add 5-10lb (5/7% or w.e. really) to your lifts for the next cycle. and then keep doing that. if you set it up right, you should have a good three cycles at least where your not calculating your lifts at 100% max.

example my actual max squat is 405.
so first cycle 1rm(95%) at 90% is 347 (405*.9*.95)
add ten pounds for cycle 2= 357

so that's 6 cycles before im even lifting at my actual 100% max. yup took half a year to get back to 405.


if you have the manuel then fing read it and you wouldn't have to ask stupis questions. Add 5 pounds per cycle to bench and press. 10 pounds per cycle to squat and deadlift.


settle down princess he/she was just asking for help because they were unclear of something no need to turn green on them.


Do that, though with the squat and deadlift as you start to get close to only hitting the targets just use 5 lb increases to get a few more cycles before needing to reset.


The program as-written definitely says not to reset your 1RM. Therefore, if you want to do 5/3/1 as Wendler intended, then no, you shouldn't reset it.

However, I did. I'm still pretty weak and I probably started 5/3/1 before I should have. There was one week where I did 41 reps of deadlifts at 100 lbs for my last set. That's clearly not what the program was designed for. I was either an idiot for starting with too low of a weight and/or for doing 5/3/1 before I had a solid training base.

When I reset my 1RMs, I increased the weight enough to keep my projected reps at a reasonable level. For example, I also had a couple weeks of 25 reps on my bench press, so I increased the weight for the next cycle to get my projected reps back down to 8 to 10.

I've done that twice now and I'm still hitting PRs every week. For my next cycle though, I'm going back to the recommended increases. I would say that you only need to reset if you end up with crazy high reps that aren't even testing strength.


That's actually kind of an interesting question. The book says add 5 pounds to upper body lifts and 10 for lower body lifts each cycle. The 90% is just the starting point.

In my own training, I'm at a point where my last set is somewhere north of 10 reps on some lifts if I follow it to the letter. I may have started too early as well. When it gets to that point, I've been resetting because I've never really seen the point in sets of 10+.

I do keep a "target" in mind. I use Wendler's formula to convert multi-rep sets into approximate 1RM. So, for example, if rep 245x8, that gives me a calc max of 304. The next week, when 265 is the last set, I go for 6 reps, which calculates to 308. It's not perfect, but it allows me to set goals and see progress from week to week.
It's been working REALLY well for me so far, but I'm only finishing the 2nd round.

That's my newbish take on things, anyway. I'd love to read the more experienced guys' take on this. I've got a training log for reference.


I was actually thinking of the same thing when I finish my current cycle. If I used Wendler's 1RM formula on my last set of the day, I got a calculated 1RM 15-20 lbs greater than the 1RM I used at the start of the cycle. (my 100% 1RM, not the 90% used in workouts)

I think this is because I undershot my 1RM before I started the cycle. If you start with your correct 1RM for your cycle, then you only need to add the 5 or 10 lbs as Wendler says. However, if you are basing your numbers on a weight well under your 1RM, then you may need to recalculate it in order to start using the correct amount of weight.

For example, if you were using the 1RM of 175 for bench press to calculate your lifts, but your actual 1RM was 200, then you're not working with the same intensity that you could be. I would probably recalculate it so I start my next cycle were I should have been last cycle.

After writing that I checked my book. I just want to draw attention to page 8, "Starting Too Light" After reading that, I would say just add the 5 or 10 pounds and keep going as usual. Don't recalculate.


Only calculate your 1 rep max again once you start to stagnate.

I've been adding 10lbs to upper and 15 to lower for the last 2 cycles. This program looks really simple, but goddamn does it ever work.

I've never felt stronger, and have gained about 25 pounds in the last 3 months.


Read the book