T Nation

When to Reset?


Hi everybody,

I would like to hear your opinion on the reset; in the books Jim suggests to reset when the weights start to get too heavy and you are not able to hit the minimum prescribed reps on the last sets. My question is: if last cycle I got only the minimum reps (5 reps in the 5plus set, 3 reps in the 3plus set, 1 rep in the 1plus set) and I didn't have any more reps left in the tank, should I go back 3 cycles (restart from 90% TM) or should I go forward another cycle, trying to get the minimum reps, and reset only If I fail to get them for three weeks? I would like to know If there are any benefits in pushing forward another cycle before resetting.

I am 177cm, 75kg, 21 years old. I am following BBB variation II (so I do the 5x10 sets on the day of the opposite movement) with the deload every 7th week (after 2 cycles done back to back, except for an extra deload week that I took after the first cycle). I have started in september 2014 with my first cycle, now I am finishing my 5/3/1 week of the fifth cycle and next week will be a deload.

My starting TM:
Squat 100kg
Bench press 70kg
Deadlift 135kg
Military press 47,5kg

The TM of the cycle I am finishing:
Squat 120kg
Bench press 80kg
Deadlift 155kg
Military press 57,5kg

For the bench press and deadlift I am adding weight for sure because I got 4 reps in the 3plus sets last week and 2 reps for the bp in the 1plus set 2 days ago (tomorrow I will be doing deadlifts and I am sure to get at least 2 reps in the last set); so the problem is with the Squat and the overhead press, I feel like this fifth cycle my TM was very close (maybe equal) to my real maxes. Will I be able to adapt during the deload week or will my TM go beyond my real max?

Thank you Jim for the program.


I just reset my deadlift because although I hit 2 reps on the 1+ week, I moved the bar too slowly so it felt like moving a max versus training. Good thing was the next deadlift workout that was 3 back in the TM, I added 6 reps to my PR at that lower weight with faster bar speed. So I use bar speed and technique as guides (assuming my recovery and diet are in order).


Thank you for the answer! For the assistance work have you experience with the BBB template? Would you drop the weight for the assistance work too or not?


I am probably one of the few that don't do BBB, so I can't help with that one. But if you are using percentages (i.e. 5x10 @ 50% TM), I would assume the answer is yes.


If you can only make the prescribed reps on the last set of the week, it's probably a good time to reset. You don't have to, but like bartmann said (and he had hit 2 on the last week) it feels too close to maxing out instead of training.

Meanwhile, when you drop back you'll likely see improvement in those previous numbers either by PR or by better control/form.

As for BBB 50%; it should match the TM number of the cycle you are in as that fits better with where you are.


So last week I took the scheduled deload, and today I started the new cycle. I droped the TM weights as you suggested (on the squat and military press) going back 3 cycles. Today was my squat day and on the last set I got 13 reps @90kg, while on cycle 2 I got only 7 reps at that weight! Bar speed and technique were also a lot better. Thank you very much for the good advice!


Go back. As mentioned before, the TM is a training tool, not a dick measurement.