5/3/1 Experience

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  1. Quote Originally Posted by SRS2000 View Post
    I kind of reached the same point when I switched to raw training. I think the final straw was my raw bench being stronger than ever, but I couldn't do anything in the shirt.
    If you're already reasonably strong, be careful not to try and kill yourself right out of the gate. Wendler says that more advanced trainees have to "choose their battles" more carefully when it comes to going all out on the last set. I made this mistake in my first cycle and really beat up my low back.
    I appreciate the advice. I am so long armed, shirted benching puts my biceps in such a bind when I tuck my elbows as much as I'm supposed to that after about two consecutive weeks in a shirt my bicep tendons feel like they are about to rip off the bone and they ache nonstop. Just not fun for me. My issue will definitely be my shoulders, and not over doing it. I think I will probably be best served to focus on my all-out sets on bench rather than SMP. It isn't a comfortable exercise for me to begin with and the full ROM aggravates my shoulders. I don't see much added benefit in going all out on them on the last set.

    Like I said, I'd rather train raw and when I find another meet to go to, just squat in briefs, which I can get used to again with little time, and use a single-ply shirt from someone like Ricky Crain that will give me just a little added support and that I can bench comfortably in on meet day. Not a bullet proof vest that requires two SHW's and a small army of midgets to get me in to. So, this training system being designed for raw training will hopefully keep my strength increasing and keep me competitve come meet time.


  2. Quote Originally Posted by Ironhyde View Post
    I appreciate the advice. I am so long armed, shirted benching puts my biceps in such a bind when I tuck my elbows as much as I'm supposed to that after about two consecutive weeks in a shirt my bicep tendons feel like they are about to rip off the bone and they ache nonstop. Just not fun for me. My issue will definitely be my shoulders, and not over doing it. I think I will probably be best served to focus on my all-out sets on bench rather than SMP. It isn't a comfortable exercise for me to begin with and the full ROM aggravates my shoulders. I don't see much added benefit in going all out on them on the last set.

    Like I said, I'd rather train raw and when I find another meet to go to, just squat in briefs, which I can get used to again with little time, and use a single-ply shirt from someone like Ricky Crain that will give me just a little added support and that I can bench comfortably in on meet day. Not a bullet proof vest that requires two SHW's and a small army of midgets to get me in to. So, this training system being designed for raw training will hopefully keep my strength increasing and keep me competitve come meet time.
    Sounds reasonable to me. I've found so far I've done OK with the bench if I do max reps on the BP, but just do the prescribed reps on the military press. If you have shoulder issues, I would start very conservative on the military press training max you work off of (even less than 90% of actual max). Pulling max reps on the DL every week beat up my lower back, so that's just something to pay attention to.
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by SRS2000 View Post
    Sounds reasonable to me. I've found so far I've done OK with the bench if I do max reps on the BP, but just do the prescribed reps on the military press. If you have shoulder issues, I would start very conservative on the military press training max you work off of (even less than 90% of actual max). Pulling max reps on the DL every week beat up my lower back, so that's just something to pay attention to.
    That's what I was actually thinking about doing on SMP, so I think starting with even 80% would be good. You think that's too low, or would that be okay?

    This is really a very different training program than I'm used to. I usually deadlift every other week. This has always worked the best for me and given me good strength gains. I will be sure not to over do it on SMP and deadlift for sure.

  4. I think 80% would be fine to start with for the military press. It's always easier to adjust things up if it's too easy than to try and recover from overdoing it.
    I have an idea for my DL training for my next cycle that's still based on the %'s, but should be a little easier on the back. I don't want to suggest it to anyone else without trying it first myself. My advice would be to simply be very conscious of your DL form and if it breaks down at all, stop the set, even if you could grind out more reps. If you're not used to doing DL for reps, I would just do the prescribed reps for my first cycle. If I had it to do over again, this is what I would do. If you tolerate the first cycle well, you can start pushing the reps a little on the second cycle.
  5. EctoMeso
    EctoMeso's Avatar

    Im starting this on monday actually just finished his book. ill be following Assistance Work #1: Boring But Big, where u follow up ur main work he prescribes then use 5x10 for the same movement.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by EctoMeso View Post
    Im starting this on monday actually just finished his book. ill be following Assistance Work #1: Boring But Big, where u follow up ur main work he prescribes then use 5x10 for the same movement.
    Just ease into it and pick a weight for the 5x10 that is very light. You will likely be very sore, so don't try to go too heavy the first week. If you find after a week or two you can increase the weight a little, you can, but it's tougher to recover if you run yourself into the ground the first week or two.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by SRS2000 View Post
    Just ease into it and pick a weight for the 5x10 that is very light. You will likely be very sore, so don't try to go too heavy the first week. If you find after a week or two you can increase the weight a little, you can, but it's tougher to recover if you run yourself into the ground the first week or two.
    I can attest to this personally. I just completed my first week and I had to back down my assistance work considerably from what I had intended on during the week of 3 x 5. SRS you were correct, sir. I can tell how easily my shoulders would get beat up if restraint is not used in the assistance exercises, especially not being used to doing two such shoulder intensive movements in the same week between benching and SMP.

  8. Going into my 2nd "wave" or w/e its called. made 1 critique on 5/3/1

    for deload Im doing 5 sets of 5 for the main lift at 50-60% of my 1RM using priplens (sp) table focusing on speed and explosivness. Im using the deload week to make more progress on the assistance works, yes I know its assistance but Im not even strained.

    Ive been checking out some other people's suggestions of this and a common one that seems to work well is the 5/3/1 "max" day, instead of doing 1rep+ @ 90-95%, some people are doing 1 rep 90-95%, 1 rep 102.5%, and one last additional rep of 90-95% again. Food for thought Im sticking to Wendler's original gameplan tho.
    Serious Nutrition Solutions

  9. Has anyone made good progress in weights while on a cutting diet? I've just started reading up on this and am getting ready to start trimming down. Typically strength goes down on restricted calories so I wonder if this will help counteract that.

  10. You can make some progress while cutting, but it depends on alot of factors. If you are dropping very slowly, you can make some slow steady progress over time. If you are already an experienced lifter, your goal will likely just be to maintain strength while you lose weight. From experience, I would also caution you to not go all-out on the last set every workout while cutting. Your recovery simply isn't as great in a calorie deficit. Also set your training maxes very conservatively if you plan on cutting. Maybe even in the 85-90% range of your true max instead of the 90% Wendler typically recommends.
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  11. Thanks for the info. Maintaining strength is a priority. I think I am going to try a 4 week cycle before I start a cycle of Prime. Looking forward to the Prime for sure.

  12. How long before you guys are stalling on any lift on 5/3/1? I'm into my 5th mesocycle and the bench is starting to slow down big style but hasn't halted; yet.

    What did you do? change ME lift (e.g. flat bench to incline or deadlifts to rack/deficit deadlifts)? or recalculate weights and start again?

  13. Quote Originally Posted by SemiBulimic View Post
    How long before you guys are stalling on any lift on 5/3/1? I'm into my 5th mesocycle and the bench is starting to slow down big style but hasn't halted; yet.

    What did you do? change ME lift (e.g. flat bench to incline or deadlifts to rack/deficit deadlifts)? or recalculate weights and start again?
    I am on my 7th cycle and have yet just the other day, missed my prescribed reps by 1, but I think I will be recalculating my #'s...it's also what he recommends, but a change in the main lift may help.

    I know a couple of ppl switched from the military press to the push-press with success.

    By the way, the 5/3/1 is a solid program. I understand that it's a "slow" program and for those that don't follow it to a "t", recognize that you/it will not work. Even Wendler says that.

  14. I dropped the the SMP from my 5/3/1 completely. After two weeks of SMP and benching, my shoulders were already screaming. Has anyone else done this? For me personally, I think it's too much stress on the shoulders when training raw. I am now benching on Mondays, deadlifting on Wednesday and squatting on Saturday or Sunday. I'm doing an extra day of accessory work on Friday or Saturday, depending what day I squat on. This week is my deload week, so I think I should be able to tell a difference in my shoulders possibly tonight when I bench, but by next week for sure when the cycle starts over. Curious what you guys think about this...

  15. I got mine setup like this...

    Tues - OHP
    Wed - DL
    Fri - BP
    Sat - SQ

    I added band work into everything except OHP. My shoulder arent hurting but Im definately looking forward to the deload next week.


    Keep in mind that the OHP is an accessory lift to the BP, I wouldnt drop it. Id switch to a push press or if that wasnt possible a seated press
    Serious Nutrition Solutions

  16. Quote Originally Posted by Ironhyde View Post
    I dropped the the SMP from my 5/3/1 completely. After two weeks of SMP and benching, my shoulders were already screaming. Has anyone else done this? For me personally, I think it's too much stress on the shoulders when training raw. I am now benching on Mondays, deadlifting on Wednesday and squatting on Saturday or Sunday. I'm doing an extra day of accessory work on Friday or Saturday, depending what day I squat on. This week is my deload week, so I think I should be able to tell a difference in my shoulders possibly tonight when I bench, but by next week for sure when the cycle starts over. Curious what you guys think about this...
    I would just do a BP assistance workout in place of your OHP day on the program. Some moderate assistance work could help build your BP without beating up your shoulders too much. One thing that worked for me before my last raw meet was doing a BP assistance day were I did very light DB overhead presses for 2-3 sets of 30-40 reps and then some light tricep and upper back work. This kept me fresh on my main BP day, but let me get some work in on another day.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by SRS2000 View Post
    I would just do a BP assistance workout in place of your OHP day on the program. Some moderate assistance work could help build your BP without beating up your shoulders too much. One thing that worked for me before my last raw meet was doing a BP assistance day were I did very light DB overhead presses for 2-3 sets of 30-40 reps and then some light tricep and upper back work. This kept me fresh on my main BP day, but let me get some work in on another day.
    That's exactly what I had in mind. I was going to keep an extra assistance day anyway, and I was thinking I would add either a chest or shoulder exercise, but keep the weight fairly light. Just enough to stimulate the chest and shoulders. I felt like the OHP was also taking away from my bench day because my shoulders were already so fatigued. Thanks for the input, bro.

  18. my 5/3/1 regime is staggered so i'm not hitting the heavier weights on each lift all in the same week. i.e. this week i'm in my 3rd week in the mesocycle of squatting, 1st week in benching, etc. etc. this wasn't intentional initially but with regards the shoulders it means i'm not hitting them super heavy in the same week. that and plenty of light accessory and rotator cuff work, 50% cissus and they're fine so far.

  19. I figured I would chime in on this again since I have been doing 5/3/1 for quite a while now. I have gotten to where I mainly use it for deads and OHP. When I started 5/3/1, my deadlift PR was 500x5. Today, I pulled 565x3 with some left in the tank. This is over a period of 6-7 months. For me, that's awesome progress as that 500x5 stood for a while. As a reference, I am setting up my next cycle with a 565 max which is around 90%. Do not run this program with your true maxes. I think that really needs to be stressed. OHP is a huge weakness of mine. Over the same time frame, it went from 185x5 to 205x5. 20 pounds may not seem like a lot, but it's a solid gain to me. Overall, I'm a big fan of this program. I have a lot of experience with it so any questions are welcome.

  20. Sounds like you're making great progress. Whatever you are doing, you should keep it up. How often do you go for rep maxes on the DL? I've struggled to make progress with my DL because I end up killing my lower back going for rep maxes.

  21. I usually will do it once per cycle. Usually on the 5/3/1 day on the last set. It really depends on how I feel. I don't feel the need to go for a rep max on the last set of each workout. I will usually leave a rep or two in the tank. I haven't done a true 1RM in a while. I'm training for a PL comp right now so that will happen soon. I also will give myself an extra day to recover sometime. I space out my heavy squats and deads pretty far apart. My hamstrings tend to stay sore from squatting so I will postpone my deads sometimes. If the deads are getting your low back, don't be afraid to back off on the percentages a little.

  22. Im not pulling as much as you but I dont go all out on deadlifts either, prolly could do 1-2more. My form gets worse and worse the more fatigue I experience, regardless of the exercise. I dont wanna pull or hurt myself for an extra rep
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  23. I pulled a rep max every week and hit PR's for 3+ months straight on my deadlift doing 5/3/1. Went from 430x6 to 490x6. I also ran an oral cycle but I hit pr's before the cycle and 3 weeks straight after the cycle.

    Squats improved a lot as well. Bench, not so much. MP got weaker...
  

  
 

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