T Nation

Weight Increases After Deload?

Hello, I’m just getting started with 5/3/1, finished my first three weeks, about to deload. In regards to the weight increases in TM for each new cycle, it seems to me that prescribing 5 lbs to the upper and 10 lbs to the lower body exercises isn’t nearly as precise as the rest of the program, in which training percentages are emphasized. To illustrate, lets say my TM are the following;
press 100
bench 200
Squat 300
Deadlift 400

An increase of 5 pounds in the press is an increase of 5% whereas the same 5 pounds added to the bench is only 2.5%. Same goes for the squat & deadlift (10 lbs = 3% increase squat & 2% increase deadlift). Has anyone considered the possibility of increasing TM by a set percentage rather than a fixed number? Theoretically, this might lead to more consistent progress in the weaker lifts. Thoughts? If I missed this topic in the book can you point me to the appropriate chapter?

My advice, don’t overthink this, you are just starting the program, just do it as prescribed for awhile, earn the right to start tinkering and modifying once you have more experience using it.

The training max is just a tool, you can find more information here regarding it but if your training max is right the program will yield results.

How many reps are you getting on your plus sets? This will help you to know if your tm is on the right track.

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3-4 reps above prescribed (4-5 on singles, 6-8 on triples, & 8-10 on 5s). Does that sounds reasonable? The squat 1+ I did 2 days ago to wrap up the third week has knocked me on my ass! I am still sore a day and a half later & lethargic. Definitely resting up the deload…

I still have a lot of reading to do & experience to gain.

Thanks for your reply

Just do the program as it’s listed. I’ve already tried this, years and years ago, and it doesn’t work.

Trust me - whatever you’ve thought of, I have already tackled, worked out and used or discarded.


Your rep ranges look to be in line with the TM max, I’d say just keep marching on with the program. Typically on your 1+ week you want a good 5 strong reps with 95% as an indicator that your TM is on point.

Jim has a new 7th week protocol that is in his new book that will outline and assure you have the correct TM, he says its foolproof for all.

Understood. 7th week protocol is in Beyond 5/3/1?

No, 7th week protocol is in the book Jim is just finishing up that is currently not available, should be released soon though.